Both women, as well as the third audience member, were especially emphatic about their feelings on the two men’s performance after the debate. All three said that Mr. McCain shook hands with several audience members and then left fairly quickly. Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, stuck around to shake far more hands, pose for pictures, sign autographs, and answer more questions, including from people who had been on stage but did not get a chance to ask their questions. Only when Secret Service agents told them it was time to go did the couple leave (upon which they headed for a post-debate fundraiser at Al and Tipper Gore’s house nearby).
“McCain leaving right afterward was pretty shocking to me – even some of the big McCain fans among us were really surprised he did that,” Ms. Jackson said. “I thought the Obamas came off like real people much more in the end.”
Ms. Trella added: for, “I was very impressed that the Obamas stayed til the very end, shook everyone’s hand, and just seemed very accessible. I think they won some people over by just sticking around and seeming happy to talk more.”