Andrew Rice emails his take on (part of) last night’s debate:
Due to unavoidable conflicts–it was my night to cook dinner, and I had to run to the grocery store–I missed the first 40 minutes of the debate last night. I came away thinking that it was actually a very sober, issues-driven affair. Just goes to show 1)you should show up on time and, 2)how little anyone in the press actually cares about, say, the fact that Obama dodged the chance to say he would extend the US’s nuclear deterrent to Israel. Like I said, I didn’t see the “important” part of the debate, but I think your take may be right, Steve—I suspect she turned off a lot of voters. I didn’t think he looked tired in the second half of the debate. Maybe he was just tired of answering all those dumb questions?
That said, by the standards of discourse under which this country apparently now operates, I think “my handwriting wasn’t on the survey” was an Obama stumble, possibly a big one. It was an uncharacteristically weaselly answer that jarred me right off the bat, and now it turns out his handwriting was on the survey…Well, that’s a lie, and people understand lies, and also it’s a lie intended to obscure the fact that he formerly took a pretty extreme position on a wedge issue that he’s now trying to finesse. Anyway, I don’t know what’s going on on the blogs or cable TV today, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see that moment from the debate turning up on television again—maybe in an attack ad in the general.