Fired-Up Mac Couldn't Land a Punch on Obama
Without a game-changer, Republican strikes out in third debate, and race
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2008 3:49 AM CDT
John MCain, right, joined by wife Cindy McCain, reacts to the crowd following his presidential debate against Barack Obama at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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(Newser) – John McCain turned in his best debate performance last night but couldn't turn it into the game-changer he needed, Sam Youngman writes in The Hill. McCain was fiercer this time, but he failed to score a direct hit on his unflappable opponent and didn't come up with any new arguments for himself—or against Barack Obama, Youngman notes.

Bringing up "Joe the Plumber" was the Republican's best move, but it likely won't change the course of the race. "McCain needed a decisive win," Youngman concludes. "Instead, he might have just cemented the status quo, leaving Obama with little more to do than run out the clock and turn out his voters."