John McCain, in some respects, did what he needed to do: go on the aggressive, attack Obama, and “call” him on what he perceives as Obama’s weaknesses, bad policies, and distortions.
Unfortunately, McCain didn’t come across as having presidential strength. Instead, he appeared petulant and hotheaded. That’s unfortunate because he’s been criticized for being, well, petulant and hotheaded.
Obama did not need to go on the attack tonight; he’s holding a fairly comfortable lead. And while McCain’s repeated attempts to paint Obama as a tax-raiser, a terrorist sympathizer, and a liar seemed desperate, Obama (the “eloquent”) was the picture of calm restraint. Smart move, because Americans are sick to death of the negativity.
In short, McCain hammered home the same old tired points that Obama serenely (and easily) answered. It certainly plays to McCain’s base, but will this sway swing voters? Only November will tell.