Cynthia and I watched the debate from beginning to end, on C-Span — no talking heads for us. McCain came out at the beginning as sharp, clear, and focused, a better communicator than Obama. But that didn’t last long. After a while it was clear that at least Obama had thoughtful, well-constructed answers, especially under the time constraints and the fact that responses were not allowed, although Obama managed to get a few in anyway. It became clear that McCain was lying a lot of the time, or simply mis-informed. Obama may have been gilding the lily a little but at least he had trains of thought in his answers. McCain tended to jump around a lot, and kept opening with “My friends” which came across as phony after a while. His worse moment was when he thought he was being cute with that snide side-pointing at Obama as “that one”. Of course, I’ve been reading what others have been saying: Josh Marshall, Kevin Drum, NYT editorial, plus several more in this vein. The snap polls have all given the debate to “That One” by a solid margin.