John McCain was able to get a last-minute permission slip from his mom – or President Bush, or whomever – and came to Mississippi. By all accounts, Barack Obama slaughtered him in the first presidential debate – all accounts except mine, that is.
Sure, polls of undecided voters immediately following the tête-à-tête showed Obama winning the day by roughly two-to-one. Sure, Obama was smart, confident, well-mannered, and “presidential” while McCain continued to speak petulant nonsense, displaying the same loose understanding of the concept of a “failed state” as he has of the “fundamentals of the economy”. Sure, the talking heads unanimously called the win for Obama. These were sweet accomplishments for the Illinois Senator, who certainly had the more difficult challenge on the evening. After all, what can be tougher than debating a guy for whom language has no fixed meaning.
Still, Obama failed to do the one thing he absolutely had to do to win this election: assure America that he is not black.