Before the debate, we heard a lot about how good McCain is in a town hall format. There wasn’t much evidence of that last night. Time’s Swampland does a good job of explaining why:
In the classic McCain town hall, differences of opinion are expressed, and McCain works to build a conversation, so that everyone develops respect for him and each other, even if there is disagreement. In this debate, McCain was trying to convince voters and the audience that Obama was not worthy. So there was a stilted element to the affair. Finally, the key to the classic McCain town hall is that McCain is having fun. He did not appear to be having fun tonight. Obama, meanwhile, did not seem interested in having fun. He was there to make his case, and he did it clearly.
I’m starting to get used to the idea of President Obama. The economic crisis seems to have sealed McCain’s fate, even though he’s the one who warned two years ago about the problems of Fannie and Freddie, while the Democrats were saying everything was fine. After eight years of spending increases, the Republicans have squandered their reputation for greater financial responsibility.
I’m just grateful that Obama was not President in 2007. By the time he takes office, it looks like it will be too late to surrender in Iraq. Once it becomes Mr. Obama’s war, I doubt he’ll be eager to lose a war that is being won.