1.It’s amazing how partisan the various analysts are. It’s really hard to be a genuine SOCIAL SCIENTIST and just see what’s there with your own eyes.
2. Among the best analysts is always Mickey Kaus. Mickey reasonably says that McCain achieved limited but significant success in making Obama seem naive and inexperienced. More impressively, he dispelled concerns about his own recklessness with his very prudent remarks on Iran and Pakistan.
3. Obama negated, Mickey adds, his advantages on the economy by not being able to speak compellingly about the pain of the middle class.
4. The "stunt" of going to Washington, maybe not debating etc. turned out to be a net negative for McCain, although not a big one.
5. Maybe McCain’s victory is still "Pyrrhic," as Mickey claims: People want change, McCain’s distancing of himself from Bush wasn’t effective enough, and Obama only has to pass the relatively low credibility test in these debates. Despite his surprisingly weak rhetorical display, he may well have done that.