McCain spoke almost entirely about cutting or freezing government programs. It was a strange answer from a man whose military career was characterized by years of punishing patriotic sacrifice.
Obama caught the idealism behind the query, criticizing President Bush's call for Americans to shop after the Sept. 11 attacks. He spoke of the need for individual energy conservation; called for expansion of service programs, including the Peace Corps; and described the hunger among young people to serve their country. McCain sounded like a legislator, Obama like a president.
Update 2: Jon Stewart, one of the most astute political observers, reminds me of Obama's reply to McCain's "let folks buy health insurance across state boundaries" - that the insurance companies would move to the state with most lax regulations to reduce their cost and increase profits, like the banking industry does in... Delaware! Ummm.... with the help of regulations written by your VP? Ouch!