Did either candidate want to debate tonight? Obama seemed tired of it all, wandering through his talking points on the economy and listlessly responding to McCain's attacks. And McCain seemed spastic and grouchy, throwing everything he could in Obama's direction: ACORN, Ayers, negative advertisements, John Lewis, Hugo Chavez, etc. McCain wasn't just throwing the kitchen sink at Obama. He was throwing the dish-washer, the blender, the cutlery, the laundry, the flatware, anything he could get his hands on. All to seemingly no effect. You got the feeling at times that McCain wanted to lunge across the table and slap Obama silly. McCain may not have looked at Obama during the first debate, but throughout tonight he kept giving his opponent this laser-death-ray stare that could melt iron ore.
Meanwhile, there was Joseph "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher, whose exchange with Obama in Ohio earlier this week was apparently the most important encounter of the 2008 presidential campaign to date. Wurzelbacher kept popping up so much that by the end of the night I was wondering why the McCain campaign hadn't flown the Wurzelbachers to New York and had Joe debate Obama instead of John. Now that would have made for some interesting exchanges. Expect Wurzelbacher to get a cabinet appointment if McCain wins. And if McCain loses, Joe the plumber has easily established himself as the frontrunner for Sarah Palin's running mate in 2012.