Why Obama Won Big
Nate Silver is a must-read. This is a fascinating nugget:The CBS poll of undecideds has more confirmatory detail. Obama went from a +18 on "understanding your needs and problems" before the debate to a +56 (!) afterward. And he went from a -9 on "prepared to be president" to a +21.The more it sinks in, the more I think Obama actually knocked it out of the park last night. He is, in some ways, the inverse McCain. McCain is all drama and explosions but then ... the air smells like damp, finished fireworks smoke. Obama seems calm and cautious but then ... you realize he cleaned your clock.
A few more morning after thoughts: the body language matters. McCain couldn't look at Obama as if he is offended by even having to share a stage with him. But Obama engaged him directly several times. Check the photo below. Even when shaking hands, McCain looks away. This is, in fact, a sign of insecurity.
McCain's unwillingness to make eye contact with Obama through the debate seems to be getting picked up by a lot of observers. Here's an interesting exchange on the subject between Chris Matthews and the Post's Eugene Robinson ...
I took a million notes during the debate....*********
... but let me boil it down to this:
When the details of this encounter fade, as they soon will, I think the debate as a whole will be seen as of a piece with Kennedy-Nixon in 1960, Reagan-Carter in 1980, and Clinton-Bush in 1992.
In each of those cases, a fresh, new candidate (although chronologically older in Reagan's case) had been gathering momentum at a time of general dissatisfaction with the "four more years" option of sticking with the incumbent party. The question was whether the challenger could stand as an equal with the more experienced, tested, and familiar figure. In each of those cases, the challenger passed the test -- not necessarily by "winning" the debate, either on logical points or in immediate audience or polling reactions, but by subtly reassuring doubters on the basic issue of whether he was a plausible occupant of the White House and commander in chief.
And a bunch from The Daily Dish.