I don’t think I’ve ever watched a Presidential debate before. There was basically nothing Bush could have said the last time ’round to make me vote for him, and also, I didn’t have a TV.

I’m not in the US now, but ABC has generously made their coverage of the debate universally available.

First thought: ABC needs more than one commercial. GODDAMN. I have seen the ad for Life on Mars at least 10 times over the course of this debate.

This was so irritating, I actually left feedback on the ABC website.

I feel like McCain is being less accurate – Obama has had to say “That’s not true” several times, and correct McCain’s statements. I also feel like McCain is dwelling overmuch on things that happened in the 80s and 90s, and while these things are important, the world has also changed a lot since then.

I mostly like the things Obama has said.

There were times I could spot both of them stretching the question to get to topics they wanted to talk about, but they mostly didn’t do it too egregiously. They both did some dodging of questions they didn’t really want to answer – or deliberately answered in ways that avoided negatives. (I’m thinking particularly of their answers to the “What spending will you cut to pay for the $700B buyout plan?”)

I was seriously annoyed at McCain’s little tearjerker story about his bracelet with the dead soldier’s name and the way he sort of shot his cuff a little like he was showing this special bracelet to us – which I didn’t see anywhere on his wrist, incidentally – and the way in which he deliberately implied that he’s been wearing this bracelet for months when I suspect it’s been sitting in a drawer until tonight. I did like Obama’s response.

I don’t think the moderator has much control over them at all, but given that we’re getting a pretty decent debate – and given that McCain backtracked and showed up – I’m happy.

Assuming nothing atrocious happens during the last question.