I remain the eternal optimist. I really had thought that since the first debate, Obama and McCain would each recognize the media has reality-checked their more outrageous claims about the other and would revise their rhetoric for the second debate.That was not to be the case which was a shame. I had hoped to see some personal growth and adjustments so the second debate sounded differently than the first.The town hall format, we were told, was to McCain’s advantage but in watching, I didn’t see that. He walked about stiffly, looking ill at ease, and kept saying “my friends” far too often. Unlike the first debate, he tried for some humor and spoke to the people asking questions, recalling most of their names.Still, I was visibly agitated listening to both men avoid the actual question so they could hit their prepared talking points. While Tom Brokaw gets credit for trying to make the men abide by the rules, not once did he call either on the egregious avoidance of the topic asked about.Brokaw did ask good, tough follow-up questions although I think asking both to name their Treasury Secretary was unfair.I really wanted to hear how either man would ask for genuine sacrifices and heard nothing. I wanted to know if they thought it possible to rally Congress on the environment with the same speed as the bailout and heard nothing.Heck, these guys were given a direct yes or no question and both took paragraphs to answer.McCain’s mortgage scheme sounded interesting but we heard too little about it. Instead, we now know he has a secret plan to get Bin Laden so should he miraculously make it to the Oval Office that should be asked about repeatedly.What astonishes me is that none of the coverage I’ve read or heard, picked up on McCain’s astonishing comment that some of the $700 million in bailout money will wind up in the hands of terrorists. It was a non-sequitor at the end of one of his rambling comments and has gone without examination. Deb heard the same thing I did so I’m not making this one up.Sure, neither one outshone the other, which raises the stakes for McCain in the final debate next week. One hopes both men come up with some new material or some answers that actually reflect the harsh economic changes every American is experiencing.