As the “First Read” notes, McCain seemed kind of tired. He was good, but didn’t have a great energy level. Also, I was struck last night by just how much he repeats himself–same lines, same jokes, over and over and over. Hey, that’s politics, and he’s certainly capable of spontaneity, but so much of his performance is rote.
Another thought on Fred: Again, he was great, but I think it might be like Sunday’s debate for Romney. He was great, but McCain wasn’t bad, so it didn’t help Romney that much in New Hampshire. Similarly, Fred was great, but Huck wasn’t that bad, so Fred’s probably not going to get a huge bounce out of it. Could be wrong–if Fred starts to get big crowds and some buzz, good things could start to happen for him down there.
But the big winner last night was McCain, for reasons I go into here.