So... my inexpert opinion on what I saw tonight:
Barack Obama got points for looking sharp, being handsome and having a million watt smile.
Barack Obama lost points for saying "John is right", "I agree with John" too many frickin' times. Even when John McCain agreed with Obama he didn't SAY he agreed with him.
John McCain got points for holding his own and even taking control of the discussion on the economy.
John McCain lost points for never looking Barack in the face. He was hunched over, crabbed up and irascible looking. And he looses more points for continually doing that old man, lizard tongue thing.
Barack was friendly, reasonable, agreeable, knowledgeable... a bit too agreeable, in my opinion.
McCain was grumpy, unreasonable, and knowledgeable. Then there was this one point where Obama brought up the fact that he [McCain] got confused about whether or not Spain was our ally, and McCain didn't even try to defend himself, he just immediately started talking about a fallen soldier's mom who gave him a bracelet with her dead son's name on it. What the frick did that have to do with whether or not he knew if Spain was our ally or not? And on another occasion he chose to bring up the fact that he was a POW, when he didn't want to talk about a certain subject. Even so... I think that ploy will play with some people. Personally, I wanted to throw something at him.
All in all, MY opinion is that Barack and McCain dueled to a draw. I think Barack could have done much better if he'd just given it a tad more effort. I am concerned that he is trying too hard to not seem disrespectful to a man who is his elder. Or maybe he just doesn't want the "Deliverance" type people to start calling him "uppity". I hate to tell him, but... those types ain't gonna vote for him anyway. Wouldn't if they had to make the choice between having their nuts cut off or voting for a black man. Sad... but it's true. We still have a lot of those type folks in America.
I say I think the debate was a draw, but I could be wrong. Perhaps a majority of Americans has finally come to the conclusion that what we need is a President who will treat people with respect and dignity, instead of a President who is bluff, arrogant, and "tough" and who pushes every one around.