- Mitt Romney made a strategic decision to sidestep a direct attack on President Obama in regards to Benghazi. While a lot of conservatives would have preferred he make that attack, I suspect he decided it wasn't worth getting sidetracked on the issue. He wanted to keep his focus on the larger picture.
- The moment that people will remember about this debate was the exchange in which Obama tried to belittle Romney by pointing out that the military doesn't spend as much on bayonets and horses as it did in 1916. You know who really liked that answer the best? This guy.
|Thanks, President Obama!|
Yes, it's "the extraordinary story of a band of U.S. soldiers who rode to victory in Afghanistan." I think Doug Stanton really ought to send the president a thank-you note.
- President Obama brought more snark than just that line, of course, but I'm not sure it played well with anyone except people who were going to vote for him anyway. I've always thought that Obama does best when he is being expansive and magnanimous in his remarks. He doesn't do snark well, because the anger is so visible on his face. He looked angry the whole night, frankly.
- Romney took every opportunity he had to turn the discussion back to domestic policy issues, which was the smart thing to do. And since moderator Bob Schieffer decided to be unobtrusive, Romney was able to steer the discussion that way a number of times. That's always stronger ground for a challenger.
- Scheiffer was, I thought, by far the best moderator of the four we saw in this cycle. He took the same approach last night as he did in the final Obama/McCain debate; he asked his questions and then got out of the way. After Candy Crowley's ministrations, I appreciated that.
- Overall, I stand by my first view of the debate -- it was essentially a draw. Obama got his points across and took his shots, but he really didn't score a knockout blow. The momentum of the race isn't likely to change very much in the coming days and it does appear that this election will be, as it should be, a referendum on the incumbent. While there could be another surprise or two in the next two weeks, I think that Romney has to be pleased with his position. Obama, not so much.