The New York Times did a real-time fact-check during the debate. Since I know you're not super-impressed with either candidate, this might highlight some of the differences between what they said and what's actually verifiable.
Here's my sum-up:
I feel like both did a better job at answering the questions than they did at the last debate. There seemed to be less dodging of issues and more coming back to the point from both people. I agree with Obama's policies more than with McCain's in every area I can think of at the moment.
I believe strongly that Obama is right when he says that despite the economic trouble we're in, we have to invest in healthcare and education, because keeping people healthy is economically sound and lowering higher education costs is critical if enough American kids are going to attend college to keep the country running.
I disagree with McCain when he says that he knows how to win the war in Iraq, that he knows how to find bin Laden, and that he is a "cool hand at the tiller," as he said in the debate.
-Firstly, in Vietnam he crashed FIVE planes before he was captured as a POW, and despite his heroism we obviously didn't win the war. And is Iraq even a war we can "win"? The contrast to winning is losing, and in my opinion, there's neither victory or defeat to be extracted from the war in Iraq. We just need to get the hell OUT of there and let them run their own damn country.
-Second, if he knows how to find bin Laden, why hasn't he done it already? He has never put forward a plan to find the man, nor told anyone in government where he is, and he has been on record saying *literally* "I know where he is." That's messed up. If he knows, he shouldn't wait till he's president to go find the bastard.
-and Third, I think he's not a "cool hand at the tiller." Crashing a bunch of planes already qualifies him for a full psych evaluation, much less his horrifying experiences in Vietnam. His insistence that if we don't claim victory in Iraq, we come home in defeat shows - in my opinion - his unwillingness to see things in anything less black-and-white than win or lose.
In short, McCain scares me. Economically speaking, I don't understand how buying up people's bad house loans and then re-negotiating with the banks will help us in a crisis. Isn't buying bad debt what got us here in the first place? He kept harping on how the government is going to buy the bad loans and fix the problem, but as far as I can see that just creates more government housing.
There are other points, but this is getting longer than I think it should be. Suffice to say, I believe more in the experience and willingness to dedicate themselves to renewing America's respect level in the world when it comes to the Obama/Biden ticket. I want my president (and VP) to be smarter, more educated and more experienced than I am. I don't have head-scratching moments when Obama speaks, and I do when McCain says things like "I know how to win the war."
Obama said something tonight that struck me deeply. When asked how America can be a peacemaking nation, he said that in order to maintain peace around the world, we need to have good connections with other countries; that we can't do it alone; that we have to be willing to globalize our efforts for peace, and therefore for prosperity for everyone. At the heart of my being, I concur.
That's why I'm going to Nevada this weekend to sign people up to vote: because I believe that being involved in the process is important, and that we have to own our values and our decisions. It's also why Obama gets my vote.