So I was pretty harsh on McCain’s performance both last night and this morning. But, on second and third thought, it occurs to me that I ought to admit I often score these debates incorrectly, or at least diverge from the lasting common consensus on them. The headlines I’m reading today — “McCain Presses Obama,” says the New York Times — are actually modestly helpful to McCain. Of course, a few million people see those headlines, while 50 to 70 million watched the debate and were able to draw their own conclusions and impressions. Nonetheless, if the context of the next few days is “feisty McCain took it to languid Obama,” then the debate will have proved to have been a far closer call.
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