Friday night's debate between Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama and his Republican opponent Sen. John McCain has been described in many ways: anticlimactic, serious, a cure for insomnia, a study in presidential poise, a clash only a debate coach could love and a less entertaining prelude to the Joe Biden-Sarah Palin fireworks on Thursday.
A term that hasn't come up much in relation to the debates is "obscenity-laced." Sure, that may be too strong a term to describe what was, by all accounts, a mostly civil debate by senate colleagues from the far ends of the generational and ideological divide.
What happened was almost imperceptible. It could only be found by bloggers and news producers later pouring over each frame of the 90 minute debate for slips and errors that may have been missed in the rush to proclaim a winner.
It was during these tedious postmortems that bloggers and cable news producers believe they detected an example of John McCain at his, um, earthiest.
It came toward the end of the debate when Obama was slapping McCain around for allegedly not knowing, or at least not remembering that Spain is one of our European allies.
Let's face it, Obama was trying to make McCain look stupid when it comes to foreign policy - a move that must have enraged a prickly Arizona cactus like John McCain.
If we go to the video tape of this section, John McCain clearly sounds like he's saying "horseshit" under his breath. It doesn't sound like "horsefeathers" or "horseradish," does it?
Those who have followed John McCain's career are not shocked by his retreat to vulgarity when stressed. He's a two-fisted guy whose temperament may not be ideally suited for the West Wing.
I'm not mortally offended by it. There's no need to bring the FCC into this. I'm just saying that it isn't everyday that an obscenity crosses the mouth of a presidential candidate during a debate seen by millions.
Have there been other debates where obscenities have accidentally flown? Again, I'm just asking.