The Hofstra Hoedown concluded a short time ago and parts of it left me shaking my head.
I checked out a bunch of the post-debate snap polls that have Obama winning and I am somewhat mystified. My wife came into the room toward the end and asked how it was going and I replied, "I think Obama's losing."
I know Obama is ahead in the polls so he didn't need to go out on a limb or try anything crazy. Conventional wisdom says play it safe with a prevent defense -- no gaffes, no explosions, etc. But honestly, I watched the whole thing wondering why I kept feeling like McCain repeatedly put Obama on the defensive over and over again. That doesn't mean that I think Obama was rattled -- I don't think he really ever was -- but so often throughout the debate, I felt like Obama was forced to spend his time in the weeds explaining himself. He also let some fat pitches go by and never lifted his bat off his shoulders. Was this part of the plan...to be calm, cool, collected, absorbing shot after shot, and seemingly above the fray while McCain flailed about? From the post-debate responses, it apparently worked.
I suppose I was just hoping that Obama would conveniently slide a shiv in between McCain's ribs every now and then because I find this new John McCain, his running mate, and his campaign appalling. On the other hand, that's the emotional response, the response driven by ego and pride. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I'm not the front runner for President and Barack Obama is.