James Fallows (The Atlantic):
The least self-aware moment for John McCain in last night's debate came at the half-way point, when he said, "I'm afraid Senator Obama doesn't understand the difference between a tactic and a strategy."Howie P.S.: Goldy also directs the reader to John Coles' "The Narrative Starts to Settle In" with a video mashup by Jed Lewison--"Angry John McCain" (video 01:22)." Here's a taste from the Coles post:
For years and years, Democrats have wondered how their candidates could "win" the debates on logical points -- that is, tactics -- but lose the larger struggle because these seemed too aggressive, supercilious, cold-blooded, or whatever. To put it in tactical/strategic terms, Democrats have gotten used to winning battles and losing wars. Last night, the Democratic candidate showed a far keener grasp of this distinction than did the Republican who accused him of not understanding it.
That is just a sample of what is going to come. Look for the appearance of the following words in days to come: cranky, grumpy, crotchety, angry, mean, rude, sneering, snarling, contemptuous, off-putting, snide, boorish, and worst of all, not Presidential. SNL will probably drive the point home in a skit that will become the dominant narrative tonight, and McCain will become boxed in regarding his behavior in the second debate, much as Gore was unable to be as aggressive as he wanted in the second debate (I remember the running joke was that Gore had been medicated for the second debate).