Watching the debate on CNN, it amazes me that they felt it necessary to employ 10 people to analyze the results of the debate. If perception is reality, and in most cases it is, Barack Obama just appears to be more presidential than John McCain. McCain really is a reincarnation of President Bush, and we see where that's got us after 8 years.
The Slate and Newsweek offer opinions on the debate and Politico's Ben Smith provides the following opinion:
The mild consensus in the press file was that McCain won, if not in particularly dramatic fashion. The two insta-polls out -- from CBS and CNN -- found the opposite: That Obama won by a wide margin. CBS had it 39% to 25% for Obama, CNN 51% to 38%. Maybe the difference was expectations. People covering the campaigns think of Obama as a much-improved debater, and McCain as at times a weak one. McCain, by that standard, overperformed. But people tuning into the race now now think of McCain as an experienced hand, and Obama as a newcomer. Obama more than held his own, and McCain failed to expose him -- as he tried -- as out of his depth.
Sen. Barack Obama performed just fine in his first Presidential Debate, and with just over 6 weeks until the election, time and conditions are on his side.