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.