Jillian Bandes

“Americans aren’t all that interested in procedures inside the Senate,” replied Obama. “They are interested in how we’re going to move this issue along for a vote.”

That, said Phillips, made Democrats look bad.

“I thought the president looked testy, and frankly unpresidential, when he attacked McCain,” said Phillips. “McCain was making a pretty reasonable point, and Obama attacked him in a very personal way. I think Republicans played it about as well as they could.”

But Chip Hanlon, editor of the site RedCountry.com, thought there was more room for improvement on the Republican side. He noted that when Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) went on a detailed rant about costs, Republicans just sat pretty.

“Our side isn't fighting, it is actually – astonishingly – negotiating! The appropriate response to Baucus' remarks would have been to interrupt him, reminding him that our side does not even agree on the Democrats' basic premise: that government has a role in the providing of healthcare,” wrote Hanlon. “Instead, the viewer is left to assume--what?-- that maybe the Republican heads on the other side of the table were nodding right along with this assertion from Baucus?”

Jillian Bandes

Jillian Bandes is the National Political Reporter for Townhall.com