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The format was a kludgey hybrid that was constraining. Brokaw completely sucked as a moderator. I mean you don’t need to let him moderate anything else. He asked more questions than the voters did, and his questions were largely stupid. I didn’t really think Obama won so much as he didn’t lose. I thought Obama was better on foreign policy than on the domestic issues in this debate and in the first and I found him a mad muddle and mishmash talking about domestic policy. He had some real passion on foreign policy and was much more coherent on that point. He was scattered and unfocused on domestic issues and failed to concisely make his point. They should have someone in debate prep wire him up and shock him every time he does not answer a question succinctly.

The hot little number I call Mrs. Political Season left the room to go watch something else on TV because it was a snoozer, but she thought McCain made his answers with more clarity and I had to agree that Obama had great difficulty being anything close to succinct most of the time.

McCain and Obama both were off base on Georgia and Russia. We are most certainly headed for another cold war and the idea of Georgia in NATO is ridiculous. NATO is a decrepit military alliance and the EU is not going to pay the price to change that. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq mean we don’t have the resources to project force into that region in a meaningful way and we won’t have the support of Germany, where they have decided they will not be caught between the West and Russia in another cold war conflict.

McCain didn’t score a major hit or get a gamechanger moment, so he didn’t win it. But he didn’t lose it either. All in all, I think nothing changes from this, and the McCain campaign will have to rely on the fear and smear strategy to break and potentially reverse Obama’s momentum.

Exit comment: Its a punk move to have your running mate and every surrogate you claim calling out Obama as a terrorist sympathizer in the media and on the stump every day, but you don’t have the balls to bring that in the debate?


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