David Kuo writes:
Today’s conservatism is lost. It is so lost it doesn’t actually know if it lost at sea, lost in space, or lost in a desert. It lacks moral courage, a philosophical core, and intellectual certitude. McCain’s defeat will help change all of that because his defeat will lead to a debate within conservatism unlike anything in several decades.Peter Suderman writes:
Obama, as always, appeared sophistacted, urbane: He held the mic in that delicate, refined way of final-level American Idol contestants, and constantly seemed to be holding an imaginary pen in the air and trying to visualize it. He will solve America’s energy crisis with telekinesis.
McCain, on the other hand, came off as less the high-toned maverick and more the self-satisfied frat-boy goof: He started several of his answers with an Igor-via-Beavis-and-Butthead chuckle: heh-heh, heh-heh. Sorry dude: not funny.
One thing that’s clear from this debate is how little there is to John McCain and his campaign.
Conor Friedersdorf writes:
One striking thing is what didn’t happen. After days of staring into television cameras telling America that Obama is a closet terrorist sympathizer, Senator McCain blinked when they were face to face. How will Americans who watched those speeches and ads — and then watched this debate — react? My guess is that they’ll find the Illinois Senator a pretty regular, level headed guy, whatever they think of him on the issues. Talk about lowering expectations before the debate! The McCain campaign prepared the nation for a new Che Guevara. What we got is a candidate who Aaron Sorken might’ve written onto The West Wing.
James Poulos writes:
A crippled economy and a stalwart opposition gives a transformational president little to work with. But, paradoxically, perhaps that’s the greatest hedge against overactive presidencies from either Obama or McCain. It’s easy to think we’re headed for more sweeping change in government, given what’s wracked the world private sector. But the weight of bureaucracy and the inertia of government means we’re largely locked in. Ironically, it may be the case that Obama will not be truly transformational enough, and McCain will be too apt to precipitous, impulsive change.