The thing I took away from this long James Fallows piece about the Presidential primary debates this cycle is what the coverage of the Obama-McCain debates will be like.
Obama will perform very well and will appear to be a very smart grounded adult with well thought-out policy positions. But some tiny meaningless issue will be blown up by the TV gabbers into a "moment that crystallizes his flaws as a candidate" and be repeated endlessly.
It will be obvious to all media types that McCain often doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. But even if he has feces streaming down his leg he will be shitting "authentically" and sages will note that "at least it's brown, not green!"
He will have "exceeded expectations."
And grading John McCain on the curve will continue apace.