As Mike and many others have pointed out, Bill Ayers was curiously absent from last night's debate. Part of the reason may be the ever-worsening economic situation, which makes Ayers-talk sound a little dissonant. Part of it may be McCain's unwillingness to flush his last ounce of honor down the toilet. But I have to think part of it was Obama opening up his trench coat and pointing to a shiny-looking firearm--i.e., the Keating video. Jason and I were pretty down on the Obama campaign for its timing on that. But, in retrospect, it may have produced the desired deterrent effect.

--Noam Scheiber