Had Barack Obama had MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow as trainers, he would have put up a more entertaining fight last night. Neither pretends to be objective; their criticism and satire of John McCain are so effective because they are backed by the cold steel of hard facts, so many of which perforate McCain's claims and his campaign's advertisements. Devastation born of actuality.
Initially, I thought Obama needed more snap in his jabs but he, perhaps in a slow and naturally easy way, left McCain the bloodier. Unlike his opponent, he didn't go for a knockout or a knock down. There seemed confidence in letting the points build up.
So however dull Obama initially seemed, he slowly slowly wove an invisible web of authority and pulled into it some of McCain's accusations as though they were equal in irritation to flies but no more important. By the end something truly unexpected happened: of the two men, Obama came to seem older.
Check out other opinions on the debate from The Daily Beast team.