Obama coolly won the third and final debate. The first third I thought McCain was a bit more energetic and had a slight edge, but during the remaining sixty minutes Obama closed him out. The split screens killed McCain. He was blinking rapidly and looked angry. FOX's Nina Easton once again calls it correctly:
Easton: It reminded me of a tennis match where John McCain was running all over the court and Barack Obama was lobbing them back smoothly and the perfect example of that was the William Ayers question which we all were waiting breathlessly for, he raised it and Obama said look iI served on a board with this guy, a reform board, he's an education professor and no I didn't start my campaign in his living room like you claimed and then it was left like that and it was almost a favor for Obama for McCain to have brought that up.
Hume: You mean, he could dispose of it.
Easton: He Just disposed of it and moved on...
It appeared like McCain didn't want anything to do with Ayers and it showed. Schieffer forced the candidates to face the negativity issue and when McCain begrudgingly brought up Ayers, Barack knocked it down with one hand tied behind his back. I do wish Obama would have attacked McCain's associations more at that point, including highlighting his ties to the Keating Five scandal since they actually produced a documentary about it. Obama was more concerned with playing it safe.
McCain was more interested in a sitcom coming soon to you. "Joe, the Plumber," who as we're finding out isn't even in the 250K bracket that he questioned Obama about. A CNN focus group didn't like the new series at all. More shall be revealed about "Joe."
Don't See It [Ramesh Ponnuru]
A couple folks here have been saying that McCain is doing better than in the previous two debates. I wish it were true, but I just don't see it. I think a few times McCain has come across as spluttering.
CNN Poll: Obama wins: 58-31
Who attacked more: McCain did 80-7
John McCain was on tonight–sharp, confident, and powerful. I think he won this debate, although only on points. True, McCain needed something more than a narrow win, but I still think he did himself some good. On the other hand, even when Obama is on the defensive, he radiates calm and confidence. That helps him, regardless of who wins or loses the argument on the issue at hand