The Final Debate

Not going to liveblog tonight.  Just offer some occassional thoughts.  

917pm - McCain seems a little on edge tonight, a little angry and wild.  Remember he started this whole thing by saying how angry, angry people (he) are (is).  

920pm - McCain just said he would balance the budget in 4 years.  4 years!  Good for you Old Man McCain!

935pm - I am truly hating John McCain tonight.  He has been truly nasty.  His back-against-the-wall ferocity seems forced, and he has all too often crossed over into anger and nastiness.

Over these last few weeks, through these debates and the financial crisis, the American people learned much more about both Senators.  In Obama they saw what the liked.  McCain not so much.  In Obama they have seen a future President.  In McCain they have seen - and are seeing tonight - an aging and confused Senator all too comfortable defending a tired, discredited conservative argument.    

These last few weeks have been so important for Senator Obama.  His greatest challenge in the race was to help the American people learn more about him.  He is new on the scene, still not well known to many.  He has an unusual name and is bi-racial.  Taken together the American people while they have liked him needed to know more, to get more comfortable with him. The financial crisis, these debates and a strong set of excellent direct-to-camera Obama campaign ads gave Senator Obama has given people much more information about him, to let them get to know him better.  And they have responded well to him these last few weeks. 

While McCain was more combative and aggressive tonight I don't think he was any better and more effective than previous debates.  I don't think McCain fundamentally altered the dynamic of the race.  My guess is that Obama wins the instapolls by 10-15 points.

11pm - CBS has it 53-22 Obama.  CNN 58-31.   CNN's poll has McCain's unfavorable rising tonight.  Brutal.   


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