Didn't tune in to the debate until about midway through, when they were already discussing foreign affairs. This is actually a relief, since the economy just gives me a headache, and I really don't believe either candidate has any clue how to fix it anyway. They'll just naturally pick whichever political solution fits with their anticipated base of voters and go for it.
It was interesting to note the opportunities McCain missed. I agree with Michelle Malkin that McCain didn't make any noteworthy boo-boos during the (part of the) debate (that I bothered to watch). But he noticeably missed opportunities to really slam the door on Obama's particularly naïve world view. McCain never really answered Obama's stated goal of "restoring America's reputation" with the world. Started re-hashing his already scored point that Iraq is still a fundamental key to our success in the whole war on terrorism.
Both men cut across each other frequently and forcefully enough that no one will be accused of being a shrinking violet. To this old conservative's eyes, though, Obama looked more and more tense as the debate progressed. His noticeable hesitation when attempting to respond to McCain's bracelet story was particularly telling. He actually had to glance down to remind himself of the man's name. Not a gaffe, per se, but an indicator that the war is for Obama something to be closed out and distanced from sooner rather than correctly. He's not interested in a lasting solution in Iraq. He's interested in how the world views that solution.
I also don't think the rest of Obama's base has got to be thrilled with their Anointed One's stated desire to close out the Iraqi theater, while at the same time ramping up in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Hey, war is war, guys, and if Iraq is unpopular, why should Afghanistan or Pakistan be any more popular as a place to spill American blood?
I also have to wonder how Russia and China are ever expected to consider US interests by helping with sanctions against Iran. Given Russia's continuing "imperialist" tendencies of late, and China's continual thumbing of noses at any human rights violations, I just don't see either one of them getting excited about helping us prevent Iran from going nuclear. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see nuclear centrifuges in Iran with parts made in Russia and/or China.
So I obviously give the nod to McCain, even though he muffed quite a few chances to put this upstart in his place. I heard absolutely nothing that I wasn't expecting from either candidate tonight, nor was I particularly impressed with either man's debating style. (CNN was hilarious with their little "instant audience reaction" graphic. Gee, look at that... the overall average goes up when Obama is talking — even before he actually answers the question — and goes down when McCain speaks. What a shocker. Could it be that CNN viewers are in the tank for Obama? Nah... That's cynical, even for a Republican.)
Woody ranks this one: Big Hairy Deal. (Not!)
Question of note in the Woody household: Jelly Woodyette asked, "Daddy? What did he say about torture?" My first political discussion with Daddy's little girl. *sigh*
1 hour ago