In debate, McCain and Obama battle mostly to a draw, Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
The only new element was a proposal from McCain to order the Treasury to buy $300 billion of troubled mortgages directly from homeowners and negotiate new fixed-rate mortgages based on the homes’ depressed values. The $700-billion financial bailout plan that Congress passed last week allows the Treasury to buy mortgages directly but does not require it. Obama has said the Treasury should consider buying mortgages but has not demanded it.
Mccain’s Missing KO Punch, Dick Moris, NY Post
McCain failed to rebut patently absurd claims – like Obama’s claim to favor nuclear power, his “plan” to cut taxes on 95 percent of Americans and his charge that McCain would shower CEOs with new tax breaks. Incredibly, McCain even let Obama get away with lamenting the high deficit. He needed to say: Let me get this straight. You want to raise spending and give everyone a tax cut and you won’t increase the deficit – where does the money come from? He needed to explain that Obama would hike taxes on practically everyone, that the Democrat’s spending plans require a huge tax increase or a major rise in the deficit.
Obama Crushes McCain, Michelle Cottle, Christopher Orr, The New Republic
I’ll predict that two things broke through. First, Obama constantly invoked the lived experience of Americans and explained how his proposals would relate to them. McCain hardly ever did this–even when he got specific, like on pork barrel spending, he did not relate it to peoples’ lives. Second, McCain was just nasty–calling Obama “that one,” and delivering zingers like “Did we hear the size of the fine” with a smile so forced it looked like it would break his face.
McCain loses by not winning, Roger Simon, Politico
So if you had to say somebody lost Tuesday night, it was McCain. Because he had to win and he did not. He is the one who has to change the current trajectory of the campaign, and he did not do that. McCain is behind in the national polls and way behind in the Electoral College vote projections. His party is lagging in voter registration in key state after key state, and in voter enthusiasm in general.
For the New Contagion, the Same Old Prescriptions, Steven Pearlstein, WP
Against a backdrop of an unfolding meltdown in global financial markets and the near-certainty of a U.S. recession, the two candidates for president used the occasion of a much-anticipated town hall meeting last night to repeat all the talking points they were making long before the recent bank failures, the free fall of stock prices and the federal government’s expensive rescue efforts.
What’s The Headline?, Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic
The questioners were mostly props, the format, negotiated by both campaigns, was terrible, and there weren’t any memorable moments. CW says that John McCain had a 90 minute window to turn his campaign around – to put into play the McCain Resurgence Strategy, if you will, and if that’s the CW threshold, I don’t think McCain met it