I only got to listen to part of the 2nd debate in the car and the very end after dinner. Some of it seemed awful familiar (at least there wasn't an interminable What-Would-Kissinger-Do debate this time). But thinking on it afterwards (and correct me if I missed something), I'm impressed. Both candidates have resisted considerable temptations, and I mean that straightforwardly.
McCain resisted the temptation tonight to "take the gloves off" and go after Obama's associations with Wright and Ayers. Maybe that will even cost him the election. But he kept his attacks on-topic and current, and I'm convinced he did it because it was the honorable, high-road thing to do. (Also, that is what Palin's for, right?)
Obama has resisted the temptation to talk like he can solve every problem, to give in to the more fawning end of his advisor spectrum. People have been complaining about how "cool"/"cold" he's been lately, but it's because he's admirably kept away from salvation-language and acting like he'd solve everything automatically, just by being him. No more swooning fans in the audience. The "pop star" label just doesn't stick as well anymore as a consequence.
So McCain resists the mud-slinging temptation (wrath?), and Obama resists pride.
Now they can go and prove me wrong tomorrow. On a positive note, what I'd like to see is a creative proposal to address the current economic crisis. McCain's mortgage plan may be a step in the right direction, but I'd like to hear more before concluding. Obama, what is that "economic dream team" telling you? Nothing about Charles Keating, please ...