My immediate take on last night’s debate: Remarkably serious. Remarkably newsless. I’ll spare you the in-depth analysis, you already know who I thought won. Instead, here’s five things you may have missed.
1. McCain taking subliminal shots at his own age
Think McCain is a little insecure about his age? At least three times last night, he seemed to go out of his way to mock his own status as an Elderly-American. Maybe he’s been watching too many late night monologues.
“…if we don’t fix the greatest fiscal crisis probably, certainly in our time. And I’ve been around a little while. But the point is… (clears throat, awkward facial expression)”
After moderator Jim Lehrer told Obama to direct an answer directly to McCain:
“You afraid I couldn’t hear him?”
McCain even took what I thought was a pretty cheap shot at his own pen:
“As President of the United States, I want to assure you, I’ve got a pen– this one’s kind of old– I’ve got a pen and I’m going to veto every single spending bill that comes across my desk…”
2. McCain channeling his inner Sarah Palin
Does anyone have the slightest idea what McCain was talking about in either of the following two sentences?
“This isn’t the beginning of the end of this crisis, this is the end of the beginning.”
“I think the lessons of Iraq are very clear: that you cannot have a failed strategy that will then cause you to nearly lose a conflict.”
Got that, future military leaders? Failed strategies lead to near losses. So don’t do that.
3. Words you most want banned from the next debate
From John McCain: Stinking corpse
From Barack Obama: Orgy
4. “I have a bracelet, too”
There was a somewhat awkward exchange between the candidates when they started measuring the size of their KIA bracelets. I predict next week Sarah Palin will show up to the VP debate with a Lance Armstrong bracelet. “This was given to me by an employee at Foot Locker…”
5. The key moment of the debate
Obama: flag pin. McCain: no flag pin. Game over. After the debate, a focus group of independents and undecideds picked McCain as the candidate most likely to hate freedom.