Brit Hume: Spirited debate, pretty good exchange, not just parallel news conferences. Quite a bit of time on domestic matters early on. McCain pounded away on spending, Obama on taxes. Obama was pressed on what programs he would cut but didn't answer. Obama kept coming back to "Iraq is a mistake". Brit doesn't buy the "I didn't call for a sit-down with Ahmedinajad" line.
Brit can't think of a soundbite, and neither can Fred. C'mon, guys: "I have a bracelet too!"
Fred Barnes: McCain finished strong. Obama didn't get rattled, although he was on the defensive.
Nina Easton: I give it to McCain. Moved conversation about financial crisis back to spending, where McCain is comfortable. Style: McCain clear and direct. Still something bland and policy-speak about Obama. Rounded edges, not direct.
Bill Kristol: I didn't think it was close. I agree with Nina and not with Fred. McCain got under Obama's skin - visibly irritated Obama, made him frustrated.
Brit: A lot of "I agree with Senator McCain" statements.
Juan Williams: As expected, he thinks Obama was on the offensive. However, he does knock Obama for the weird facial ticks. "Tactics and strategy" might be a sound bite. You are associated with the last 8 years.
Brit: How successfully did Obama make the case that the last 8 years were awful and McCain would be just 4 more. I didn't think Obama did that.
Juan: Grudgingly agrees with that to some extent.
Carl Cameron: Says McCain's advisers say, as expected, that McCain did well. Turning point: Iran. McCain put Obama on defense. 8 times Obama said that he agreed with McCain, 7 times McCain explicitly said that Obama was wrong.
Major Garrett: From Obama campaign - Rick's casino "Shocked that Obama's people think he won" (being cute). Obama is trying to spin McCain's experience as being trapped in the past, so they were happy that he brought up Kissinger, Reagan, etc.
PHILS WIN, METS LOSE! WOO-HOO! 2 games ahead with 2 to go!
I think I am done blogging. Phew....
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