Ballot Box | NBC New York

Ballot Box

Who won? Who lost? Who knows!



    One thing was clear about the first presidential debate of the season: nobody was sure how to score this thing. Pundits were tongue tied immediately following the debate and reluctant to declare a winner. Did Obama win because he didn't lose? Did McCain lose because he didn't win? Hopefully the answers to these questions come fast. Here's more debate fodder to scramble your noggin ...

    • If America had a Parliment the debate wouldn't be necessary. David Ignatius writes of the candidates' debate performance that one was more commander-in-chiefy and one was more collegial and that neither was particularly good.
    • ... Over at the Guardian, where they know a thing or two about Parliments, Michael Tomasky is having trouble sorting it all out. "I've never been quite this confused about a debate in a long time. I think this may be one of those cases where the post-debate debate, the next 48 to 72 hours, is far more crucial than usual."
    • Score it a huge win for McCain, says Roger Simon at Politco. "John McCain was very lucky that he decided to show up for the first presidential debate in Oxford, Miss., Friday night. Because he gave one of his strongest debate performances" ever.
    • Err, I mean, Obama. New York Times columnist Gail Collins awards McCain a few points simply for showing up to the Oxford, Mississippi debate, then she immediately penalizes him points for talking about silly pork projects. "...When the wandering debater finally showed up Friday night, he just looked like a smallish, grayish, slightly grumpy guy with a grizzly obsession."

    Debate Wrap

    [NATL] Debate Wrap
    Barack Obama and John McCain maneuvered cautiously in their first presidential debate Friday evening.Both declared that fixing our nation's financial mess is critical, but neither would commit to the bailout plan being debated in Washington. The candidates agreed that the financial crisis is something Democrats and Republicans will have to work together to solve.Their sharp differences, however, were highlighted in responses to questions on Iraq and Afghanistan.McCain praised the success of the recent surge, while Obama questioned the decision to launch a war with Iraq and the way the conflict was managed during the first several years, and at a great cost to efforts in Afghanistan.The candidates will be back in washington over the weekend to work on the bailout negotiations. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008)