Another debate that ended in something of a draw is over. Neither candidate has developed a line of attack that so characterizes the other one that it sticks. Attacking, of course, isn't the point. The vision of where the country needs to go is what matters. The embodiment of change vs. a record of reform.
Did anyone notice that social issues were off the table? Nothing about marriage or abortion.
Still, there were some juicy points tonight. Let's play the superlative game again:
Most authentic personal example: Obama when he talked about his mother dying of cancer. It was real and it connected.
Most surprising economic plan: Oddly enough, McCain. Buying up bad mortgages. Who knew? It's a gamble. We'll see whether it flies.
Most effectively delivered zing: Obama, who didn't seem nasty even when he said that the Straight Talk Express had lost a wheel. He has a natural confidence that is attractive even in moments of rebuke.
Best interaction with a questioner: McCain, who got a dream question from Navy man Terry Shirey. McCain was at his best in that moment.
Most guest stars: McCain again. Warren Buffet, Meg Whitman, Ted Kennedy, Joe Lieberman, Russ Feingold, Ronald Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt.
Foreign policy: Obama gave context to world problems without seeming professorial. He was clear when he talked about how we got into situations and where we went wrong. He did something that is hard to do in a debate--making context clear and meaningful.