McCain obviously practiced his line about not being Bush and Obama should have run four years ago against him all week and still Obama easily brushed it aside.
McCain: Yes. Sen. Obama, I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago. I'm going to give a new direction to this economy in this country.
Weirdly enough, the media have focused on this line, ignoring the fact that Obama provided the perfect retort:
Obama: The notion that I voted for a tax increase for people making $42,000 a year has been disputed by everybody who has looked at this claim that Senator McCain keeps on making. Even Fox News disputes it, and that doesn't happen very often when it comes to accusations about me. So the fact of the matter is, is that if I occasionally have mistaken your policies for George Bush's policies it's because on the core economic issues that matter to the American people on tax policy, on energy policy, on spending priorities, you have been a vigorous supporter of President Bush.
Now, you have shown independence, commendable independence on some key issues like torture, for example, and I give you enormous credit for that. But when it comes to economic policies, essentially what you're proposing is eight more years of the same thing. And it hasn't worked. I think the American people understand it hasn't worked, we need to move in a new direction.
[DN, armchair quarterbacking: Obama might also have pointed out: "John, if you really wanted to reform George Bush's policies, as you now claim, perhaps you should have run against him four years ago."]
UPDATE: John Amato: All day on CNN I only heard McCain's I'm not Bush statement and no response from Obama. They sure are desperate for a sound byte. Obama's response neutralized McCain completely.