I was absolutely shocked to surf the Interweb today and find most pundits think Obama won last night's debate. Some even think he whipped John McCain. Maybe I'm not as smart as I thought, but I thought McCain took it to Barack Obama pretty good and came out ahead. Yes, I did think Obama beat him on Iraq and got some other shots in like tying him to Bush with his voting record and such. But, McCain spouted some good numbers on his perceived faults of Obama's economic plan that Obama never refuted-- except to say, "I don't know where you're getting your figures." McCain's constant hammering of his plan to reduce spending seemed to be the right move with Jim Lehrer trying to find out what each one would be forced to cut when the bailout goes through. Obama danced around what he would do without-- saying tough decisions would have to be made. The bailout seems to play right into McCain's hand with his plan to reduce spending anyway.
I thought the most awkward moment came when McCain brought up the dad soldier's mother who asked him to wear a bracelet. He knew the name of the soldier and mother without hesitation. In response, Obama said he had his own bracelet, but when he tried to remember the name, he fumbled and had to look at it.
Speaking of fumbling, that's the other knock on Obama-- can he think on his feet without all the 'ums', 'ands' and 'you knows'? He gives some of the most inspirational speeches I've ever heard. But those are with a teleprompter. Off the prompter, he stutters and stammers and it comes across like he doesn't know what he wants to say. Oddly, I think his other speeches are too fluid, too good, because when he doesn't have the luxury of the prompter he's not as sharp. Really he should only give speeches without the monitors for the practice.
The place I thought McCain may have lost ground with the American people is the overall mood he showed. He seemed grumpy, even angry in many moments and I even wondered if he hated Obama personally at the end. He never looked at Obama when he answered and refused to even when Lehrer asked him to. Obama was more reserved and polite which may score him likability points in the end. I kept waiting for McCain to yell, "Get off my lawn you damn kids!"
Anywho, I'm no pundit, but like I say, it's funny how this average American didn't see the debate even close to how the majority of the windbags did. BTW, what did you think? Who won and why?