September 26th, 2008
10:41 PM ET
6 years ago

Gergen: No Clear Winner

CNN

Watch: McCain and Obama's differing viewpoints on the conflict in Iraq.

New York (CNN)–My bet is that Democrats will see this as an Obama victory and Republicans will say that McCain won - it was that kind of debate where there was no clear winner.

Watch: Sen. Joe Biden reacts to the debate

I would give each of the candidates an A- for the night. McCain started slow and sluggish on economic issues and then became steadily stronger as it moved into foreign affairs. He clearly has superior experience in international affairs. But Obama came strongly out of the gate, providing especially crisp answers on the bailout package, and I thought he held his own on foreign affairs.

The real question now is how undecided voters will come out. Stay tuned!

soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. RS-Texas

    obama is right.....cannot make decisions based on vague outlines....need timetables on exit strategy or at least milestones for logical steps towards exit from iraq. we need investigations into how much profit was made by haliburton and other such companies that profit from military aid / spending....have taxpayers been defrauded??????

    September 26, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  2. DemocracyNow2008

    How come Gergen McCain could not look Senator Obama in the eye when he was talking to him?

    McCain is the clear loser and Obama is clearly Presidential

    That the one thing that was clear tonight.

    September 26, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  3. Ian M

    They tied on McCain's turf. Therefore Obama wins.

    September 26, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  4. anyonmous

    New York (CNN)–My bet is that Democrats will see this as an Obama victory and Republicans will say that McCain won — it was that kind of debate where there was no clear winner.

    I would give each of the candidates an A- for the night. McCain started slow and sluggish on economic issues and then became steadily stronger as it moved into foreign affairs. He clearly has superior experience in international affairs. But Obama came strongly out of the gate, providing especially crisp answers on the bailout package, and I thought he held his own on foreign affairs.

    The real question now is how undecided voters will come out. Stay tuned!

    September 26, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  5. Informed Voter

    Why won't McCain look at Obama???

    September 26, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  6. No Bailout

    PLss tell me u are jokin man...Barack swept the floor with McCain even in foreign policy.
    I felt sorry for McCain during the debate. If this is the case with McCain's 'strong' point, i wonder how he will fare with respect to the economy

    September 26, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  7. vp

    Barack could have been more aggressive. But I like is performance.

    September 26, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  8. Cam

    McCain had a few moments of intolerance, which I think shows a lot. Obama stood his ground and defended himself when McCain took liberties with the truth. I also think it's important to note that Obama looked calm, level-headed, and ready to lead, even giving credit to McCain where it was due. McCain came across as very defensive, smug, and confrontational.

    I got the impression that Obama would run America based on finding and implementing the best ideas no matter which party they came from, while McCain would lead based on the "I'm always right" mentality that has been in the WH for the past 8 years.

    THe win has to go to Obama, no disrespect David, because you are the most bipartisan of the commentators!!

    September 26, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  9. changing times

    Don't agree Gergen. Obama won tonight. He was presidential, held his own against McCain on his supposed "strength".

    September 26, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  10. Diana NJ

    Barack Obama is too much a gentleman for a debate.... Comes through to me... he is honest... but most don't always see honest

    September 26, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  11. Maggie

    As usual, a CNN pundit not willing to give McCain the edge. I saw the debate and McCain did much better than Obama. Are we ever going to see or hear a fair report on these elections? Are you people so absorbed in Obama that you cannot see the light of day? Come on, Gergen you know McCain was much better in the debate over your "pretty boy". Are you afraid if you say so the polls are going to sway back in favor of Obama? Let's get some real reporting now and stop being your usual bias way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 26, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  12. Kamunje a'Tembele

    Senator McCain kept saying “Obama doesn’t understand…” this or that. I think I heard this at least 5 times or thereabouts.

    Actually, Senator McCain is the one who completely failed to understand what Senator Obama was saying, and at the level Obama was speaking – extremely intelligent and presidential material.

    Its either that, or McCain was desperately and deliberately trying to belittle Senator Obama in the face of being out-debated.

    September 26, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  13. O.o

    OBAMA!!!! OBAMA!!! OBAMA will take care of better than Mcchaos!!! This was a good debate.

    September 26, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  14. MarioB. from Berlin for OBAMA/BIDEN

    Well, well well. When I look at that debate now, I think, if there is a winner, it can only be OBAMA!
    I mean look. It was McCains strong topic, it should have been his thing and he should have been the clear winner. But he wasn't! Not at all!
    Obama got some upper cuts and delivered some. He did great. And truly, this was very presidential by OBAMA!

    Obama/Biden by landslide!

    September 26, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  15. America think for you

    Just say it Barack is the winner in that debate. Way to go Dems. Obama/Biden for president. next week Biden will shut Sarah up.

    September 26, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  16. Stafelle

    Tonight was no drama Obama's night. He looked very presidential. McCain couldn't even look him in the eye and he sounded angry.

    September 26, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  17. No Hillary = No Obama

    I find myself feverishly switching channels between FOX News and CNN to gain some perspective on the propaganda that both these networks churn out – FOX for McCain and the oompa-loompas at CNN on the sugar coated Obama line. For me, Obama has and always will be a wannabe – thin on specifics, thinner on experience, but loaded up with ego. McCain has the right stuff – that's all there is to it.

    September 26, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  18. Denise

    I am proud of Obama! He knew his foreign policy much better than I thougt he would. He came across as Presidential and well mannered, poised. mcCain seemed, old, tired, and condesending the whole time. He never looked Obama in the face, and seemed to have contempt for him. he also lied straight from the starting gate.

    September 26, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  19. Joh

    Slight advantage for Obamer on the economy whereas McCain absolutely destroyed him on foreign policy. If you really listened, Obama was constantly on his heels for the last hour – McCain would clearly be the better commander-in-chief.

    September 26, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  20. Dee

    Oh my god, do you people ever take a stand on anything? You are so out of touch. McCain was rude, he rambled about his stupid old war stories, he never answered a question but instead made some negative attack, and he refused to look at Obama. Get real. This is why broadcast media has NO CREDIBILITY.

    September 26, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  21. vp

    Mcmain keepsaying "Senetor Obama seems to understanding." What an arrogant comment to repeat 4-5 times in a debate. Is that how you project yourself as the knowlegible person on issue?

    September 26, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  22. beckyofthewoods

    as usual you can tell David Gergen is pro Obama.
    why was the whole panel so obviously democratic.
    Can't CNN be fair just once.

    September 26, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  23. Tim

    You're a fool if you think McCain did better than Obama. He said Pakistan was a failed regime! Completely bogus. Obama won hands down.

    September 26, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  24. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Good evening,

    to me Obama is the winner because he is talking about the present and the future! McCain's arrogance is a total turnoff and his views on foreign politices are not what american want to regain their standing in the world.

    Tonight, MCCain showed us what it is to be suffering for selfprojection...he does not understand and he does not get it period!

    September 26, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  25. anyonmous

    now that the presidential debate is over what about the vice presidendental debate i bet biden hammer mccain on not going to country for 100 day

    September 26, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
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