This was barely worth watching. The only exciting factor was anticipating disaster if someone made a mistake.
I learned nothing new here. Nothing happened at all as far as I am concerned.
I was only concerned about what the "folks" thought of the debate. What the "folks" think is based on body language and demeanor. McCain was condescending and grumpy, yielding a clear and obvious dislike of Obama.
His obvious strategy was to portray Obama as naive and inexperienced on foreign policy. Fascinating contradiction considering his running mate, who doesn't have the experience and confidence to even be trusted to appear and provide post-debate spin when invited. When asked in an interview whether Palin was ready to take over the presidency, McCain unhesitatingly bellowed, "Absoluuuutely, Absoluuutely!". Yet Barrack Obama somehow is not, despite having clearly demonstrated his understanding of world affairs on the world stage for dozens of months now, having his every word and gesture scrutinized and evaluated by everyone in the world. I wonder how many "folks" caught this absurd contradiction, and thought "wait a minute now". Conveniently, Sarah Palin was MIA. Just the presence of her face on camera somewhere that night would have laughably undermined McCain's debate thesis.
Even the mighty anti-intellectual placebo vitamin PhD Michael Savage Weener announced on his radio show that Palin was unqualified. This must have pissed off thousands of psychotic semi-literate drones who listen to him every day.
I thought McCain won the debate. No, not literally. Not on substance. He won merely by being there and not screwing something up big time. He won by putting Obama on the defensive, making him react all night. It is something he has learned after being in many election processes. When your monologue is done and you are about to pass the hot potato to your opponent, you need to add an accusation every time. This forces your opponent to waste their time addressing your accusation (even if it is totally unfounded) instead of addressing what they want to say. This is how McCain has decided to run his entire campaign so far.
Fortunately, the independents questioned after the debate were twice as likely to say that Obama came across as the victor- Snapshot polls by both CNN and CBS News showed Obama with a clear advantage among voters in how people perceived the debate performance. CBS monitored a roomful of uncommitted voters and when asked who won the debate shortly after it was done, the number of people who raised their hands for Obama was more than double than those for McCain.
Some people speculate that McCain's grumpiness and condescension were negatives. As far as substance, nothing really happened except that two people showed that they have the nerve to stand there and talk coherently for an hour and a half about positions we already knew they had.