This article, which is about why McCain wants all these townhall meetings, includes an interesting quote from the novelist/essayist David Foster Wallace from back in 2000, when he was following McCain's previous presidential campaign:
In fairness to McCain, he's not an orator and doesn't pretend to be. His real métier is conversation, a back-and-forth. This is because he's bright in a fast, flexible way that most other candidates aren't. He also genuinely seems to find people and questions and arguments energizing -- the latter maybe because of all his years debating in Congress -- which is why he favors Town Hall Q&As and constant chats with the press in his rolling salon… In conversation he's smart and alive and human and seems actually to listen and respond directly to you instead of to some demographic abstraction you might represent. It's his speeches ... that are canned and stilted, and also sometimes scary and right-wingish, and when you listen closely to these it's as if some warm pleasant fog suddenly lifts and it strikes you that you're not at all sure it's John McCain you want choosing the head of the EPA or the at least two new justices who'll probably be coming onto the Supreme Court in the next term, and you start wondering all over again what makes the guy so attractive.
I will say that, though I'm sure it's the politically astute thing to do, I'm sad to see Obama back away from the series of townhalls idea. We're still going to get more joint appearances than any election in recent memory, but the way it was originally being discussed would have been truly historic. (It also would have given McCain tons of free airtime he can't afford otherwise, hence Obama backing away)
Feminist groups moving to support Obama
Gwen Ifill has nice things to say about Tim Russert