John McCain seemed personal, clear, and passionate. Barack Obama seemed nuanced, composed, and competent. So who won? Dueling Washington Post op-eds come down on either side. Consummate Washington insider Sally Quinn argues that Rick Warren's serial interviews weren't a debate, meaning there can't be a winner. But the candidates presented dueling visions of the world.
She’d rather live in McCain’s world, a place of moral certainty and easy solutions. Unfortunately “I believe we live in Obama’s world,” she writes. Obama took a professorial tone, adopting a style that "smacks of chalkboards and campus ivy," writes Michael Gerson. McCain carried the night, he argues, giving hope to supporters not convinced of his strength: "Of such small hopes are large upsets made."