- Obama was a lot better tonight. He wasn't lethargic or deferential at all. Which is appropriate. He shouldn't be, since he's President of the United States.
- Romney held his ground for the most part, although he fouled off the hanging curveball at the end about Benghazi. The obvious rejoinder to what Obama said was this -- if you knew this was an act of terror and believed it to be such from the outset, why the hell did Susan Rice go on about YouTube videos? And why did you go the U.N. and talk about YouTube videos? And why did you go on "The View" and talk about YouTube videos? And why did two weeks pass before the real story came out? Obama has no answer for these questions, as far as I can tell.
- One thing to note -- during the Benghazi discussion, moderator Candy Crowley seemed to endorse the Obama version of events. She later walked it back on CNN.
- Will this save Obama's bacon? I don't know, but my guess is no. The reason is this -- in the end, this election remains a referendum on the Obama presidency. His record, especially on economic issues, is pretty weak, essentially in Jimmy Carter territory. All Mitt Romney has had to do is to appear plausible as a president. I see no evidence that he disqualified himself tonight. Perhaps he will next Monday in Florida, but I expect that the Benghazi issue will get fleshed out a lot more there and that will not help Obama. Obama needed a knockout tonight and he didn't get it.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Very brief take on the debate