I decided to give myself even more time to digest the debate this time 'round. This was mainly because it really did seem like Obama did pretty well. When I feel like the guy I plan to vote for do well, I need to double-check that my bias isn't playing a role in my judgment. Not that I'm terribly supportive of Obama. I have problems with this Clean Coal crap he spews like so many chimneys. But I digress...

With more than half a day's perspective on the debate, I feel that Obama's grace helps him come out on top every time. McCain is scrappy, ornery and attacky.

Obama, on the other hand is smooth, relaxed and confident. So, once again, I think Obama wins on points.

My impression was that Obama had more answers than McCain, though did obfuscate a-plenty. In fact, the one real zinger of the night (childish as it was) came when McCain reminded viewers that Obama failed to even address the issue of a fine for people taking part in Obama's health care plan. When McCain challenged Obama by pointing out that he hadn't mentioned the exact amount the fine would be, Obama just looked to the moderator and remained silent. Watch the clip for yourself here, compliments of C-SPAN.org's Debate Hub: http://www.c-spanarchives.org/…idLink.php

Barry's reaction (or lack there of) reminds me of what Know-It-All types I knew in high school would do when they were helped to learn that they didn't quite know it all--they just pretended like they heard nothing and then look to the authority figure to move the discussion on.

Aside from that, Obama never seemed like he was scrambling to defend himself. Sure, he did defend himself but McCain sure seemed to be attacking a lot. In fact, I feel like McCain is starting to take lessons from Palin on how to debate. He kept forcing his responses away from the questions asked. While Palin was clearly steering things toward topics she'd been briefed on, Senator John turned many of his responses into attacks on Obama.

Sure, Barry "attacked" McCain, but his attacks felt more like him pointing things out about McCain where as Senator John seemed grouchy and almost bitter.

I kind of feel like McCain can't quite "get" why he's doing so poorly in the polls lately.

A great example of his bitterness (regardless of where it's coming from) was a moment that is already going down in blogoshpere history as the "That One" moment.

Senator John was talking about an energy bill jammed with pork--well, here's an excerpt from C-SPAN's transcript: "There was an energy bill on the floor of the Senate loaded down with goodies, billions for the oil companies. And it was sponsored by Bush and Cheney. You know who voted for it? You might never know. That one."

Check out this moment for yourself, again compliments of C-SPAN's debate hub: http://www.c-spanarchives.org/…idLink.php

The image at the top of this post is a screen grab taken at the exact moment McCain says "That one."

When I was a kid, my dad and step-mom had this nasty habit of referring to my mother as "whatsherface". It was because they couldn't bear to say her name. When I hear McCain use similar phrasing like "that one" when referring to another human being, I can only assume that McCain so loathes his opponent that he was simply incapable of referring to him as "Senator Obama."

Allowing this kind of anger to impact how you speak is not professional, respectful or representing of someone I would be comfortable leading America. Just sayin'!

All in all, it was a creepy night for McCain. Obama may not have gotten any zingers in, but he comes out on top by staying cool and avoiding the potential for "angry black man" accusations.

McCain, on the other hand, needs to chill out. He's coming across as clearly angry and defensive, snapping at Obama like a cornered animal. Which, of course, he is.

Like Al Gore, back in 2000, McCain isn't adjusting his performance from one debate to the next. Al didn't take advice from anyone about loosening up. McCain, if he's changed at all since the first debate, seems to have gotten more mean. That's not a good direction to go in. Sure, Obama hasn't adjusted much from the first debate, but hey, he doesn't need to.

I do wish Barry had elaborated on that health care fine McCain mentioned.

Final verdict: Obama wins (but not dramatically)
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