This moment — Obama talking about things he "didn’t understand" — was the best bit of last night’s debate. Economic discussions were intriguing, but bickery, although Obama projected a much better understanding of what middle America fears right now.

Obama taking on our reactive foreign "Yee Haw" foreign policy was a very well done point. 

This enormous sea change in undecided voter opinion really leapt out at me:

Before the debate, McCain had a 48/46 favorability rating; that improved to 56/36 by the end. But that’s about where Obama started the evening—54/36. After an hour and a half, Obama’s favorability numbers were 80/14. As Joe Biden would say, let me repeat that: 80% of the undecided voters had favorable views of Obama and only 14% saw him negatively for a net rating of +66. Not even Bill Clinton got such a warm response in town hall formats.

Obama’s thoughtful approach to the folks asking questions wore well last night. McCain’s continued erratic and volatile approach? It was kind of creepy, to tell you the truth.

McCain was in aggressive alpha-male mode last night:

McCain was the more aggressive . He strode to center stage more quickly to meet Obama on his side. He got so close to the questioners that some appeared frightened. Rather than sit while Obama spoke, he stood upright or leaned against his stool. He was fidgety and unsmiling.

That was Dana Milbank, but I noticed it, too. You could visibly see people leaning away at times.  It got even weirder at the end when McCain sort of half ordered Cindy to interact with Obama so McCain could avoid him. I thought maybe I’d imagined it, but Michael Scherer caught it, too — very juvenile. 

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

119 Comments