I think John McCain actually scored some points with the Joe Plumber thing early in the debate. Up until now, McCain's harping on Obama's taxation of rich business owners hasn't gained traction because McCain wasn't able to make the theoretical rich people sound like poor people or, more to the point, highlight the potential for these business owners needing to lay off employees because of those taxes. Which takes the debate to the fundamental difference between left and right (these days)--to put money in government to help the people, or to leave money with the people to help the people. On the face of it, the latter path might seem more reasonable, and it's why so many people have overlooked Ron Paul's racism to get on the Libertarian boat. But Obama regained ground when McCain mentioned government programmes to assist people with special needs. This made McCain's "spending freeze" look truly foolish, and made McCain look, again, inconsistent and incoherent. This tangible example added fuel to the fire on Obama's side with regards to the economic crisis. I think people understand the necessity of taxes now, and I think Obama's proposed plan of only increasing the taxes of the rich sounds pretty good to middle-of-the-roaders. It's only people whose eyes have fully glazed over who're still in with the right-wing Libertarian trend.
Overall, again, Obama was more consistently able to respond to questions with answers that made any kind of sense, while McCain trailed off into truth challenged stump speeches, though slightly more aggressively this time. McCain's a man treading water with all his strength. What good does it do to accuse Obama of fining Joe Plumber or of having an intimate relationship with Bill Ayers when Obama can time and again say, "It's simply not true" and McCain has no evidence to back up his claims? It just makes him seem punch drunk.
The only mistake Obama made, I think, was referring to Fox News and The Chicago Tribune as right-leaning. It's true, they are both right-leaning, but faithful viewers and readers of both don't like to see them that way. Obama risks alienating them for no real gain.
I'd better get back to drawing. Chapter 11's been really complicated so far.