Both candidates did well tonight. McCain’s campaign was imploding, and he needed to get back in the game tonight. He accomplished that, despite a slow start. Obama needed to demonstrate a working knowledge of foreign policy, and he accomplished that.
I think Obama did a little better. Both had good points on Iraq, and each was able to make their respective arguments. Given that McCain has the edge on experience and foreign policy, this is a win for Obama. Along those lines, here’s the best moment of the debate for Obama.
McCain did a good job of emphasizing his experience and knowledge of the issues, and he repeated over and over his argument that Obama did not understand the issues. That said, Obama was able to deflect those by being able to speak intelligently about the issues.
We’ll see how this plays out. McCain did not hide his utter contempt for Obama. McCain always hates his opponents, and he was barely able to even look at Obama. The grouchy candidate rarely wins, so this might hurt him. Obama, on the other hand, was confident and tough without being arrogant or antagonistic.