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3:20 PM ET, September 27, 2008


 Top Items: 
Round 1 in debates goes to Obama, poll says  —  OXFORD, Mississippi (CNN) — A national poll of people who watched the first presidential debate suggests that Barack Obama came out on top, but there was overwhelming agreement that both Obama and John McCain would be able to handle the job of president if elected.
Brian Montopoli / CBS News:
Poll Results Suggest More Uncommitted Voters Saw Obama As Debate Winner  —  UPDATED WITH NEAR-FINAL NUMBERS CBS News and Knowledge Networks conducted a nationally representative poll of approximately 500 uncommitted voters reacting to the debate in the minutes after it happened.
Nate Silver /
Why Voters Thought Obama Won  —  TPM has the internals of the CNN poll of debate-watchers, which had Obama winning overall by a margin of 51-38.  The poll suggests that Obama is opening up a gap on connectedness, while closing a gap on readiness.  —  Specifically, by a 62-32 margin …
Time Edit / Swampland:
What Sayeth the Undecideds?  —  From TIME's Amy Sullivan:  —  Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg ran a dial-group with 45 undecided voters in St. Louis during the debate, polling them before and after to judge how the event changed their reactions to Obama and McCain.
Noah Pollak / Commentary:
CNN's Poll vs. CNN's Spin  —  CNN's poll of debate viewers blares a puzzling headline: “Round 1 in debate goes to Obama, poll says.”  —  But the poll itself actually doesn't say that.  This is blatant editorializing on the part of CNN.  The first problem is the numbers:
Transcript of presidential debate  —  WASHINGTON (CNN ) — Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama debated on the campus of the University of Mississippi Friday night.  The moderator for the debate was Jim Lehrer of the NewsHour on PBS.  What follows is the full transcript of the debate:
Stephen F. Hayes / Weekly Standard:
TWS Exclusive: Kissinger Unhappy About Obama
Mgaffney / Democracy Corps:
First Presidential Debate: Obama Makes Important Personal …
Discussion: TalkLeft and Daily Kos
Aljean Harmetz / New York Times:
Paul Newman, a Magnetic Titan of Hollywood, Is Dead at 83  —  Paul Newman, one of the last of the great 20th-century movie stars, died Friday at his home in Westport, Conn. He was 83.  —  The cause was cancer, said Jeff Sanderson of Chasen & Company, Mr. Newman's publicist.
Discussion: TalkLeft, Times of London and INSTAPUTZ
PR Newswire:
Newman's Own Foundation Celebrates the Life and Legacy of Paul Newman  —  Remembering the life and legacy of Paul Newman, Newman's Own Foundation has issued a statement.  The statement, from Vice-Chairman Robert Forrester, follows:  —  “Paul Newman's craft was acting.  His passion was racing.
Paul Newman dies at 83  —  (CNN) — Paul Newman, the legendary actor whose steely blue eyes, good-humored charm and advocacy of worthy causes made him one of the most renowned figures in American arts, has died of cancer at his home in Westport, Connecticut.  He was 83.
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
SO ANGRY  —  McCain's unwillingness to make eye contact with Obama through the debate seems to be getting picked up by a lot of observers.  Here's an interesting exchange on the subject between Chris Matthews and the Post's Eugene Robinson ...  Here's one comment we got from TPM Reader EO ...
Discussion: marbury, Althouse and DownWithTyranny!
Tom Shales / Washington Post:
McCain's High Horse Meets Obama's High-Mindedness
Discussion: Los Angeles Times and The Caucus
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:   CONTEMPT.... After the initial dust settles on a presidential …
Roger Simon / The Politico:
The Mac is back  —  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.  —  While Barack Obama repeatedly tried to link McCain to the very unpopular George W. Bush …
Chris Cillizza / Washington Post:
The Mississippi Debate: First Thoughts and Who Won?
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
“Horses**t”: Correction  —  I've removed the original post of a little time ago because after listening to the clip about two dozen times, what sounded like McCain saying “horses**t” actually comes through as having a hard “c” at the front of it.  My husband insists that McCain said “Course not.”
Hilzoy / Washington Monthly:
“John Was Right”  —  Last night, the fact that Obama said that McCain was right on several occasions caused consternation among some liberals, and great rejoicing on the right.  I didn't agree.  It would have been one thing had Obama not also been willing to say, forcefully, that he thought McCain was wrong.
Matt Stoller / Open Left:   Mark Shields: “Obama More Than Held His Own”
Los Angeles Times:   A too-close-to-call debate
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
A Genuine and Immediate Crisis  —  What Congress has to do now.  —  I've received phone calls in the last hour from two economists I respect, one of them Larry Lindsey, the other in a position where he'd prefer not to be named.  Both have government experience, neither is alarmist by nature, and they say this:
Discussion: The Corner
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
RUNNING MATES AS SURROGATES.... After a debate, campaigns generally want high-profile figures telling the media how great their candidate did.  And as a rule, it's hard to top the running mates as high-profile figures.  —  It was pretty interesting, then, that the Obama campaign was anxious …
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
BIDEN  —  Pretty measured debate, but on hammering McCain Biden was on fire ...
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Gallup Daily: Obama Holds 5-Point Lead  —  Momentum in his favor going into debate  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Barack Obama leads John McCain, 49% to 44%, when registered voters are asked who they would vote for if the election were held today, according to the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update.
Discussion: MyDD and TPM Election Central
Noam Scheiber / The New Republic:
Obama's Emotional Deficit  —  I'd guess the CW will be that McCain won on points, with nothing close to a knockout, and I'd echo that judgment.  McCain had Obama on the defensive over earmark requests and his $800 billion in new spending, then later on the surge and those rogue-leader meetings.
Jonah Goldberg / The Corner:
The SNL Skit & Focus Groups  —  It's hard to guess what, exactly, the SNL skit will look like.  I think the press is congealing around the (erroneous) idea that Obama won precisely because that's what the focus groups seem to be saying, or at least what the focus groups are saying allows …
Discussion: Fausta's Blog and Balloon Juice
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 More Items: 
Catherine Lucey /
Palin grabs a seat at the bar
Rich Lowry / The Corner:
Palin on CBS
John Podhoretz / Commentary:
Ratings Shock — Last Night's Audience Smaller than Bush-Kerry's
Discussion: The Campaign Spot
Albert Aji / Times of London:
Killer car bomb hits Damascus
Peter Kirsanow / The Corner:
Obama and the Debate: Proud of His Country?
Discussion: Booman Tribune and Gateway Pundit
 Earlier Items: 
Jay Nordlinger / The Corner:
Points About the Points  —  Many, many readers have written …
Discussion: protein wisdom
Neocon / The Jawa Report:
Bitter Much?  —  From The People's Cube, we get a painful glimpse …
Discussion: American Power
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Debate Spinners  —  Did anyone notice that in the TV spin …
Jonathan Weisman / Washington Post:
How McCain Stirred a Simmering Pot
Discussion: Hot Air and Commentary
Byron York / The Corner:
“Senator McCain Is Absolutely Right...”
John Podhoretz / Commentary:
More Post-Debate Thoughts  —  The other spin line being dropped tonight …
Alessandra Stanley / New York Times:
Beyond Ideology, a Generational Clash
Discussion: The Huffington Post