Maybe not an InstaLanche, but I appreciate the link just the same. Thanks, Jim!
If you are new here, this is a three-person effort: my older brother Mark, my younger sister Daria, and myself. All Philadelphia-born and bred (hence, the Phillie gushing and Rocky videos!), we now reside in suburban Philly (Mark), South Florida (Daria), and Franklin, Tennessee (Paul).
As I watched the debate, I would see the smirking Obama and think "McCain's getting to him". I would listen to his answers and shout with glee when he told an outright lie or left JMac a hole to walk right through. Much more often than not, McC would take advantage of the openings. It was obvious to me and to my 16 year old son. I also had the laptop open to the Phillies game, and I would occasionally check in on Instapundit (I tried The Corner often, but most often couldn't connect. Chaka must die!), finding links to Ann Althouse and others confirming what I was thinking.
So as the debate got closer to its finish, and my nervous wife (who wouldn't watch out of fear of the worst) said that she would be going out to put gas in the kids' car, I asked her to wait until the debate was over (there was about 10 minutes to go) so that we could go together and I could refill my tank too. I dearly wanted to watch the Phillies game, but at that point, they were up 5-1, I could hear the game on the radio, and I really needed gas (or else I would have to get out real early this morning to refuel). I also had an ulterior motive: I knew that the talking heads would do nothing more than tick me off after the debate. Having lasted through about 5 minutes of Brit Hume and the Fox News "All Stars" (kind of like an old formerly great veteran in his last year being named an "All Star" although he is batting .244, if you ask me), I told Angela: "Let's go fill up the tanks". I couldn't stand it, because it was so at odds from what I knew I had witnessed - and this was on Fox!
So when I got back and turned on the Phillies game, again with laptop in hand, I checked a variety of sources. Paul Mirengoff, the Eeyore of conservative punditry (except when writing about the Everton football club), didn't disappoint by disappointing. Ramesh Ponnuru also sounded as if a funeral dirge should be playing in the background (I wish The Corner had continued NOT to load!). Frank Luntz's goofy focus group. But then... Hot Air. Drudge's poll. And then Jim Treacher. I was so grateful to Treacher that I shot him an e-mail of thanks, which you can read at the link in the first sentence above.
I was feeling so good after the debate, and I know it wasn't merely because the Phillies were inching ever closer to the World Series. I was thrilled with JMac's performance. I thought he helped to shape the race down the stretch in a way that will only help him: "Spread the wealth" versus the personification of work hard/succeed/realize the American dream - Joe the Plumber. I think I like my chances in a race where Barack the Rebuilder ("Can we do socialism? Yes we can!") versus Joe the Plumber. Is it still a hard row to hoe? Do I like my chances this morning more than I did yesterday? You betcha! Now get to it - volunteer, make calls, spread the message. We can win this thing, people!