Conservatives have mocked Barack Obama as “The One,” but when John McCain changed the phrase to “that one” in yesterday’s debate, he may have made a significant error.

Tina Brown’s new online publication The Daily Beast reports that a number of commentators have seized on the remark as the standout bad note of the debate:

“The harrowing moment came during an exchange about energy policy. “My guess is ‘that one’ will be the moment remembered from this one,” writes Time’s Michael Scherer at Swampland. “Why? Because it can be used as shorthand for the overwhelming mood of the evening.” McCain seethed at Obama through a tight smile, while “Obama appeared to treat McCain like a disruptive student in his law school class.” MSBNC’s Chris Matthews called McCain an “idiot” for making the remark.

Peter Fray

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