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

Gergen: No Clear Winner


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. pam11

    i thought obama won the debate tonight..why didn't mcain look at obama tonight? what kind of leader is that? do not get him mad!!!!!obama all the way!!!!!!!!!!obama had 61 points & mcain had 49 points. i would trust obama over mcain anyday!!!

    September 26, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  2. R. Cooper

    Obama represented the future. McCain represented the past. He's history!

    September 26, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  3. Wendy in NC

    Wow, you guys at CNN are so in the tank for McCain, it's pathetic. I SAW Kissinger say he would negotiate with Iran last week! McCain resorted to the past, his stupid stories and nothing new. Obama looked very presidential. Why can't you give credit where credit is due. I do NOT want that old war-mongering grandpa as my next president.

    September 26, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  4. Scott Tucson

    After one speech, one trip to Iraq and now one debate, the Obamanites will say their boy is ready to be president...not!

    September 26, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  5. Honesty

    Unbelievable you guys at CNN are Gergen.....what a shame!!!!!

    Sound bite = "You do not understand"
    "You do not get it"


    McCain all the way. NObama, NO way , NO how

    September 26, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  6. cecil


    Are You Refering To The Debate They Had About 24 Hours Ago,
    Because This One Sen. Obama Won Hands Down.

    McCain Was Ok To, But He Didn't Win, He Won The First One lol!

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

    Obama is becoming more and more seasoned and I thought he was very presidential and showed great judgement, character and temperament. McCain looked angry, pouty and frustrated. I don't think he thought Obama was going to do as well as he did.

    September 26, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  8. Just Me From Kentucky

    Mr McCain could not even raise up his head to look directly into the eyes of Senator Obama through out the debate. I am just wondering if America needs a scary president. As the polls begin to favor Obama again, in spite of Madam Thanks and No Thanks, McCain now knows that the fear of Obama is the beginning of wisdom.

    September 26, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  9. C W

    I look for a leader with sound ideas and good judgement. Obama has that hands down over McCain. McCain was condescending and patronizing – and who gives a whit about his experience? If he's so bright in foreign affairs, why'd he pick a running mate who thinks living in the proximity of Russia makes her an expert on Putin?

    September 26, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  10. Susan

    Obama was intelligent, articulate and calm...clearly the winner in his ability to frame his ideas, share his vision and keep cool under pressure–qualities we need in our next leader! It seemed as though McCain was nervous, condescending and unsure at times, not seeming to stay on vote goes to Senator Obama now more than ever!

    September 26, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  11. Annette

    Oh, we have a clear winner, it Sen. Obama. The problem is. ost of the cable analysis think wining is about insults, calling out names, acting like a mr. tough guy, talking down with no substance using a the bully approach. McCain tactics were just as defensive and offensive and Obama, but McCain very much lack substance, most of McCain's remarks were about the past, as far back as Alexander the Great??

    Obama spoke with a vision and plan to go forward. Obama clearly understands our national security, McCain is in the past with national security, McCain and Bush want Iraq's oil and they are willing to gamble to get it. Obama represents not just a skin change, but a moral and culture change. The question is what do we want, to continue in the past, because we are so comfortable with McCain and the past, but move forward, Obama represents that forward move to a new frontier, when storm comes, then comes light and the rainbow. Obama is that forward direction after the storm.

    September 26, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  12. Lynda

    I can't believe that people fall for Obama's senseless words. What does he REALLY say? I haven't figured it out yet. When McCain speaks he's understandable on his issues . Obama talks to hear himself talk. God help this country if Obama is elected. He knows nothing about how to run this country. I for one want someone with EXPERIENCE. We're talking about running the country. Come ON people, wake up. Obama is articulate ONLY in words.

    September 26, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  13. Rock-E are obviously a republican homer. An independent voter would say Obama won for the fact that McCain did NOT own this debate as he should have.

    September 26, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  14. Mike, Toronto

    Clear win for Obama, who has presented about twice as many ideas as McCain

    September 26, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  15. Kyle M.


    September 26, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  16. Ann

    Bomb call that foreign policy. McCain scares me. And he was so arrogant and condescending. And if he mentions he is a POW one more time.......

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