Courtesy of Quipster.  Please visit the site as there is an excellent list of retired top guns who have endorsed McCain.

Morally bankrupt at The Atlantic.

  • …I must protest when Barack Obama claims that people are going bankrupt because of health expenses.  There is no evidence to suggest that this is a widespread phenomenon.

Debate video: Obama can’t remember the soldier’s name on his bracelet at Michelle Malkin.

  • Barack Obama’s cringe-inducing “Me, too” moment with his troop bracelet –given to him by the mother of a soldier whose name he can’t remember without having to look down and read it. The name of the soldier is Ryan David Jopek.

Who won? also at Michelle Malkin,

  • Major omission of the night from McCain: Did he say a single word in defense of conservative principles and free-market economics?
  • Obama, on the other hand, committed several gaffes:

1) I have a bracelet, too! Uhhhh, but give me a second because I can’t remember the name on it.

2) Using Joe Biden as his human shield.

3) Using that “John is absolutely right” phrase…already a McCain ad, of course.

4) And answering the question about preventing another 9/11 by babbling about “respect” and “restoring standing.”

The Mac Is Back at Politico.

  • “There are some advantages to experience, knowledge and judgment,” McCain said.
  • “I don’t need any on-the-job training,” McCain said. “I am ready to go at it right now.”

McCaub Wins Round 1 at The Des Moines Register.

  • He repeatedly put Barack Obama on the defensive throughout the 90 minutes session. Obama did little to ease voter concerns that he’s experienced enough to handle foreign and defense policy.  That was  his number one task Friday night and he failed.
  • When Obama tried his line about how McCain voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, McCain slapped back by ticking off a lit of issues where he has disagreed with Bush – like torture, conduct of the war in Iraq and federal spending and Guantanamo Bay.  McCain never got rattled or flustered, he just constantly stayed focused on the attack.

Economic Jabs, Then Punches On World Affairs at the Washington Post.

  • Obama defended his view that the United States should be willing to talk directly with Iranian leaders, but McCain mocked his rival as he imagined how a conversation between Obama and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might go.”So let me get this right. We sit down with Ahmadinejad, and he says, ‘We’re going to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth,’ and we say, ‘No, you’re not’? Oh, please!”But Obama argued that while McCain has resisted talks, many others have supported them and that isolating dangerous nations, as he said Bush has done, has only made things worse.McCain gained strength as the debate wore on, pressing his argument that Obama is naive and inexperienced and doesn’t understand a dangerous world. “There are some advantages to experience, and knowledge, and judgment,” he said. “And I honestly don’t believe that Senator Obama has the knowledge or experience and has made the wrong judgments in a number of areas.”

Foreign-Policy Exchanges Highlight Sharp Differences at the Wall Street Journal Online.

  • Suddenly Sen. McCain, widely portrayed in recent days as erratic and angry in his response to the collapse of Wall Street firms and the proposal to rescue them, was a beacon of hope.Though he departed Washington with bipartisan negotiations on a rescue package teetering, Sen. McCain said he was confident a package would be approved soon. Though the pictures of Washington in the past two days were largely of a capital gripped by partisan bickering over that rescue package, he proclaimed bipartisanship was emerging from the mess. And though the theme has caused him great grief in recent days, he returned to his declaration that the American economy is fundamentally sound despite the shock waves moving through it.

Round One at the Wall Street Journal Online.

  • As planned by the commission on debates, most of the night was devoted to foreign policy and there we give the clear edge to Mr. McCain. This is the ground where the 72-year-old is most comfortable, and you could see it in his self-confidence, as well as his command of history and facts. He showed it too in the specificity of his answers, notably on Russia: Watch Ukraine, he said, and “the Crimea,” because Vladimir Putin’s Georgian expedition is a prelude to Russian adventurism there.By contrast, Mr. Obama was well briefed, but almost in the way a Ph.D. candidate gives his dissertation defense. He knew the subject but without the conviction or detail that comes from wide experience.

McCain Won. But Will It Matter? at Newsweek.

Tonight, John McCain was the more effective performer.

There are two reasons why. The first is that he constantly–obsessively, really–spiked his responses with small but pointed jabs at Obama that unfailingly related to subjects he (McCain) wanted to talk about, whatever the original topic of discussion. This tactic had a dual effect. First, Obama couldn’t help but take the bait; he must’ve said “that’s not true,” “let me correct the record” or “I just have to respond” a dozen times over the course of the evening. Second, Obama’s defensiveness immediately shifted the conversation to McCain’s home turf–where it remained, often for minutes at a time.

The second thing McCain had going for him was a sort of optimism… Obama wanted–understandably so–to tie McCain to the catastrophes of the last eight years; McCain wanted to pretend they’d never happened. Ironically enough, this turned out to be a rhetorical advantage for the Republican. Time and again, Obama would move to lay blame for a past failure–and McCain would pivot to a better future. On the economy, Obama looked back at a “failed policy” of “shred[ding] regulations and consumer protections”; McCain looked ahead to the spending he’d cut and the people he’d hold accountable as president. On Iraq, Obama focused on how we got in; McCain focused on how we’ll get out…

But ultimately I suspect that McCain did more to reinforce his message–I’m a tough leader who will cut waste and get Iraq right–than his opponent. Repetition may bore political junkies, but it helps candidates connect with casual voters–as do memorable (if corny) anecdotes. Obama relied instead on abstractions and statistics. What’s more, McCain outperformed low expectations set by a week of somewhat erratic behavior. Whether that makes any electoral difference remains to be seen.

What They’re Saying About John McCain At Tonight’s Debate: Volume 3 at John McCain’s site.   Excellent.

What They’re Saying About John McCain At Oxford Debate: Volume 4 at John McCain’s site.  Also excellent.

I remember when good enough wasn’t good enough at No Quarter.

  • Tonight, though my rose colored glasses thought McCain won hands down, the MSM are happy, even giddy that Obama did “good enough”. He didn’t mess up, he didn’t make any big blunders. He was good enough.John McCain led every single discussion including those Obama had first. McCain drove the discussion and as usual Obama said Me Too. Not in those words but we Clintonistas remember how bambi always agreed with Hillary. Never offered anything new. He takes the safe road of agreement and the MSM let him.

“No Kool-Aid”
Image courtesy of