1. To get this out of the way, both Senator Obama and Senator McCain seemed to defend their positions pretty well and scored debating points. Which means, in this climate, that the loosely-defined tie (I'm a little confused by McCain's new mortgage-buying plan that could cost billions more, but we'll see if it's an issue) goes to the guy in front. And that's Obama.
2. While moderator Tom Brokaw had control of the questions, it is interesting that no one brought up William Ayers or Charles Keating tonight. Do you think that could mean that most people are more interested with their shrinking 401K plans and possible job loss than they are with some associations from the last century?
3. Could the CNN analysis team get any closer together, or did the network just not have a bigger table? And all those laptops in front of the analysts make it seem more claustrophobic. Luckily, most of them are smart enough to defer to David Gergen for intelligent, even-handed analysis. He's the best in the business right now, although I can't see what the brilliant Jeff Greenfield is saying on CBS these days because Time Warner Cable isn't showing WIVB-TV right now. (Yeah, that was the last blog subject, but you can't blast those two sides enough.)
4. Time to give Pat Buchanan a little credit. He's a little outnumbered by liberals at MSNBC. OK, a lot outnumbered by liberals. But he defends his positions with humor and zest. It's hard not to like him on a personal level. And speaking of conservatives, for a guy who seemed to spend almost eight years in the shadows of the White House, the face and words of Karl Rove seem to be everywhere I look these days.
5. One interesting note after the debate: CNN used the space at the bottom of the screen to show results of scientific polls about the debate. Meanwhile over at Fox, it used the results of a texting poll in which viewers were invited to send in a letter of who they thought won the debate. The numbers when I saw them -- 86-12 for McCain, with 1 percent undecided. I would guess that's a little more reflective of the Fox audience than of actual public perception. But there's one bigger issue here, and it's that 1 percent of the population spent their money on a text message to vote for "undecided." The economy is in better shape than I thought.