Last Presidential Debate
The Hiller Instinct: Last Presidential Debate
It was do-or-die for John McCain and maybe it was impossible for him to do, but, he didn't. The debate was about much more than the economy and neither candidate answered the unanswerable--which is how and when will they will turn it around.
But, on every issue, the burden was on McCain to break through, while all Obama had to do was not be broken. And he wasn't. McCain certainly tried: he directly challenged Obama on several fronts, and he separated himself from President Bush. He was energetic and engaged, and this was his best debate.
But--by a narrow margin--Obama was still the winner on my scorecard. He was never defensive and never wounded by McCain's attacks. He was poised, prepared, and even showed some humor. You know those books, "the making of the president?" Well, the 2008 edition will be easy to write.
McCain made his bones on national security, and the economic meltdown unmade him. At the same time, taxpayer anxiety made Obama's plans to redistribute wealth more acceptable and attractive. It may change in the next twenty days, but I wouldn't bet on it.
I'm Andy Hiller and that's my instinct.
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