Technical issues held up much of the live-blogging… Mark and I did tape a Red Meat, which should be up in the not-too-distant future.
My summary take: McCain was much, much better than in previous debates, but I don’t know how much good it will do him. Obama had a few off moments, and some typically glaringly wrong statements — all of McCain’s advertising is negative? He’s never had any association with ACORN besides a lawsuit? And wasn’t the “kill him” yell at the rally referring to Ayers, not Obama? — but if the persuadables among the electorate decided they liked him better in recent weeks, I don’t know if they saw enough tonight to shake them. The discussion of Joe the Plumber, and Obama’s concept of “spreading the wealth” might break through, I don’t know. It ought to. But I admit, I have not seen the shining messiahlike genius that they have seen on the stage the previous two nights. (Dare I say, “This is not the Barack Obama I knew?”)
While I think this one was miles ahead of Brokaw’s debate last week, I am finding myself largely in agreement with this reader:
Can conservatives at least agree that the Presidential Debate Commission must be either disbanded or ignored because they are producing debates that do not address enough controversial issues (gun rights, immigration, voter fraud, abortion, marriage, trade, and judicial appointments barely came up in any of the four 2008 debates), fail to distinguish the two major party nominees, overly indulge the moderators and town hall audience as peripheral parties, and do not allow enough time for the candidates to explain complex issues or confront their opponent? Of course, what do you expect from a commission comprised of Washington, D.C. insider lobbyists?
Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas taught us the direction the form of important public policy debates should take, which should be modified modernly for two-hours of live television. The current precedents are not working.