Andrea Mitchell gave it the old Hollywood try for Obama this morning. Summarizing the debate on Today, Mitchell managed to cobble together a video clip that showed McCain's only stumble, while snipping out what many including her colleague Chris Matthews saw as the debate's most salient feature: the multiple times Obama expressed agreement with McCain.
And so it was that Andrea treated us to McCain's difficulties in pronouncing "Ahmadinejad." But the eight times Obama abjectly agreed with McCain? Not a one made it into the Mitchell editor's cut. Then there was Andrea's parting shot:
The only question is whether in some of the reaction shots [McCain] looked too angry and dismissive of an opponent who seemed determined to remain cool.
To his credit, co-anchor Lester Holt later raised with NBC News political director Chuck Todd the matter of Obama's multiple agreements, even playing the web ad on it that the McCain camp had up within minutes of debate end. Todd was agnostic as to whether Obama's serial acquiescence would help or hurt him, while wondering whether voters would approve of McCain's more aggressive tone that Todd described more than once as "disdainful."
But in Today's show-starting video summary of the debate, Mitchell made sure that viewers never saw how much Obama had to agree with McCain.