Mr. Obama was very smooth last night.  His skills as an orator and debater are excellent.  He doesn’t show emotion.  He deflects most tricky questions with an ease that reminds one of Bill Clinton’s ability to turn words and change the subject.  He has a way of making you believe that it was silly even to have questioned him on the subject.  

His best answer of the night was in response to a question about education regarding whether we should have reform of the system or spend more money on it.  He replied, “Both.”  To me it was the perfect duplicitous answer.  Mr. Obama wants it both ways and figures the voting public does, too.

His most confusing answer of the evening was actually the three different issues which he said were each, “… the most important issue we face.”  He said that about Education, Energy, The current Economic Crisis.  I was left to wonder which is really the most important to Mr. Obama.

Mr. McCain is just too polite and respectful of others.  That may be great from a personal integrity standpoint but it won’t help him win the election.  He missed opportunity after opportunity to call Mr. Obama to explain his plans and programs which are in direct contrast to his past actions.   Mr. McCain’s best line of the night may have been, “…if you want to run against President Bush, you should have done that four years ago.”  I think he missed the opportunity to say, “…four years ago, when you had zero national experience, unlike now when you have had over two years of national expereince.”  Mr. McCain is debating a man who has never had to make a decision more than to weigh the effects on his political career of a vote he may have to later explain.  Why did he not challenge him repeatedly about his total lack of preparation for the burdens of office (not to be confused with his meticulous preparation to run for office)?

Mr. Obama said that Mr. McCain had voted with his party 4 out of five times.  Why didn’t Mr. McCain point out that Mr. Obama had voted with his party 19 out of 20 times.  Mr. McCain should have questioned his opponent’s  constant promise of change and contrast it to the facts of his record that shows he has voted with his party and with his supporters more often than even the vast majority of his fellow Washington insider Democrats.  Why didn’t he say, “Your words, Mr. Obama, are well spoken and filled with hope.  Your deeds show a politician who has voted with his party and with those who have funded him more than almost any other Washington insider.  Which is the truth and which is the lie?  You can’t have it both ways.”

I was disappointed that Mr. McCain did not press Mr. Obama more on his associations with Tony Rezco, Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, and Bernadine Dohrn.  I still believe you can tell more about a person by his associations/friends than anything other than his actions.