I thought Obama was very good. He spoke about his faith in a humble, convincing, personal way. He showed himselt to be neither Muslim nor a black liberation theologist (as James Dobson put it). His abortion answer was okay. His answers about welfare reform (admitting he was wrong), Iraq (casting it as an anguished decision) were both strong.
But McCain was spectacular. His sharp, direct answers were dramatic, compelling and, in hindsight, made Obama seem overly nuanced and qualified. He used his POW stories brilliantly, whacked Islamic terrorism, hit abortion hard, and gave evangelicals great cause to embrace him more enthusiastically.

To me the main reason evangelicals havent cottened to McCain has less to do with him than the Republican Party and the Iraq war. If Obama makes any headway with evangelicals it will be because of that. If Obama gains from this evening, it will be because he’s been sufficiently demonized that the man who showed up tonight (moderate-sounding, reasonable, humble) contrasted so dramatically with the caricature of him as a Muslim, elistist, black radical.
The other big winner was Rick Warren. His questions were so much better than what the journalists normally ask. I particularly liked when he acknowleged that we wanted politicians who change their minds sometimes. What a contrast with the pundits who focus entirely on flip-flop gotcha games. He did not ask about favorite bible versus, focusing instead on probing questions about their values, influences and leadership styles. This debate enhances his stature, too.
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