Washington, Sept.27 : A former White House Special Counsel and now political contributor to Fox News, Lanny Davis, has described the first of three presidential debates between John McCain and Barack Obama as having ended in a dead heat.
However, he said that McCain ended weaker when attacking Obama, while Obama ended stronger by staying positive.
But final conclusion: no game changing moment.
"I thought Senator McCain made some points that made him look presidential in the area of foreign affairs. But Senator Obama had more detail on many of the issues. Obama warmed up towards the end of the debate. Obama was first out of the gate with the words Osama bin Laden which was a definite point for him," said Davis.
Will the swing voter, that all-important twenty percent of the electorate- be convinced either way tonight? Most likely not. We will need more debates to find out which candidate that crucial undecided voter will move towards, James P. Pinkerton, a writer/columnist with the American Conservative magazine, said.
McCain had better emotion and perspective, but Obama looked good and spoke smoothly
Obama made a good point when he said, 'There has never been a country on earth that saw its economy decline but maintained its military superiority"-in the midst of the current financial crisis, McCain didn't have a good comeback.
McCain missed a chance to mention border security as an element of national security. Making that point would have given him a boost among swing voters.
And there are three debates ahead, including one with Sarah Palin, said syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer.
He also felt that Obama came out ahead. ... He didn't have a knock out moment. This was a draw. [But] it gets out of the way a potential liability. I'd be surprised if McCain had a bounce from this.
Andrea Tantaros, a Republican political commentator, said McCain won the debate.
"He appeared strong, seasoned, and resolute. But he was supposed to win. This was his strong suit. Obama didn't press McCain as hard as he could have."
-Tough times call for tough leaders and McCain was relentless. He did not cede one inch of ground to Obama.
-McCain went negative without seeming offensive. During a handful of times Obama seemed rattled. Specifically when it came to negotiating with rogue nations without pre-conditions and the Russian - Georgian conflict.
-Where's the eye contact, John? I'm no body language expert but you seemed snobby.
-Senator Obama showed a command of the issues, even though he's grossly off base with his solutions. Someone's been studying.
-His ability to persuade through emotion. Obama's opening statement and language during the beginning of the debate was much more relatable to the common voter.
-Obama came across as very, very likeable. I don't care what anyone says. He was polite-almost too polite-and exponentially more bipartisan, though his record indicates otherwise.
-Obama missed significant opportunities to hammer McCain, and Republicans. Big mistake.
Bottom Line: This makes the next two debates even more interesting, and the stakes even higher for both.