It looked to me like a draw. The only advantage that Romney appeared to get out of it, was that he came across as spirited. Not some kind of corporate robot. But he gave no specifics as to what he will actually do if, against odds, he gets elected next month. He sounds like a slick corporate consultant, making the pitch to the client. They always promise the pony and some cotton candy. (When the ink dries, it’s more like some cotton candy and what pony?)
President Obama came across like the event was an interruption for a guy who has a whole laundry list of issues and problems waiting for him back at the White House. He was at the debate because he has to be at the debate, and, to some extent, suffer some unfair abuse by challenger Romney with his pony-talk.
When you think back to these debates (if you saw them): 1976, 1980, 1984, 1996, 2004, the incumbent president (except Reagan in ’84) had some sense of the weight of the world on their shoulders. This is as it should be: President is a serious thing to be.
I think the mainstream media is going to mark Obama down as being too “heavy” or “grave”—the term they use is “professorial”, but that really wasn’t it. What they miss is that he has done a fantastic job of setting things wrong to be right. And maybe is tired of having to defend a serious work effort in the face of someone who offers no specifics and promises rainbows in a jar.