Liveblogging the Debate

One more time.

I have to admit I’m nervous, but I can’t actually imagine what could happen tonight that could change the pattern. In retrospect, the first debate may turn out to have been McCain’s last clear chance to get back in the game.

At reception earlier today, someone said to me, “All Obama needs to do to win is keep calm.” And someone else added, “And he’s pretty good at that.” Right.

If you can keep your head when all about you,

are losing theirs and blaming it on you …

your name is probably Barack Obama or David Plouffe or David Axelrod.

Candidates enter. McCain actually looks at Obama as they shake hands, gives a reasonable facsimile of a smile.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: