The Final Showdown

did succeed in erasing some of the doubts about him that had begun to emerge among members of his party.

Unfortunately, those are not the people he needed to reach tonight. And according to flash surveys conducted by CNN and CBS, Obama once again won the night by 58% to 31% and 53% to 22%, respectively.

“McCain really did everything he needed to try to do but I don’t think that in the end it is enough because he seemed edgy, angry and impatient. His strategy from the very beginning was to paint Obama as this traditional taxing, liberal Democratic candidate,” said Berman. “Obama stayed on task, which was to say [McCain represents] four more years of Bush: I’m the future and McCain’s the past. I don’t think McCain did anything tonight to convince people that he’s an agent of change, and that’s his dilemma.”

While Joe the plumber, who was mentioned more than 20 times, may be tonight’s true star, Sen. Hillary Clinton concurred in a statement issued after the debate that “Barack Obama is closing the deal in this election and America is closing the door on the last eight years of failed Republican policies. The American people have now seen what both tickets are offering four times, and the choice could not be more clear: Barack Obama offers the steady leadership we need. This was John McCain’s last chance to present clear, detailed solutions to address this economic crisis we’re in and we only saw more of the same.”

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