Most observers and pundits seem to feel President Obama came out slightly on top -or as Charles Krauthammer says: "Obama won on points". I don't think I agree and here is why:
First of all, President Obama was clearly spoiling for a fight. He was aggressive and repeatedly tried to bait Romney into reacting to his comments. The majority of his attempts failed. As a result he appeared sarcastic and condescending -not Presidential. In fact, he looked a little like a politician that is getting a bit desperate.
Mr. Obama failed to make his points or back up his statements with facts. In fact, he made several important statements which have subsequently been proved false. He did manage a few 'zingers'. But those were really not much more than cheap shots and I think that kind of 'zinger' turns a lot of people off.
As for Romney, well, like many of my friends, I was disappointed that he did not come out swinging. He had several opportunities to hold Obama's feet to the fire on issues. He just did not seem interested in doing that. He did, however, come across as calm, knowledgeable and really rather Presidential.
Many Conservative pundits have now said that was his objective all along. His strategy was to win over the undecided independent voters by looking more moderate and more likeable. If that is true, I think it worked. By-the-way, he did manage to get in a few good lines, like when he said "Mr. President, America does not dictate. America liberates people from dictators."
As for the effect on the overall election. Most of the voters have already made up their minds and I doubt if anything in this debate changed those peoples votes. There are, however, 6% of people still undecided -and that can be critical in a race this close. I think Romney's performance may have gotten more of those voters than Obama's performance did. That may very well be critical. We'll have see wait and see. In the end, I think I'd have to give the debate to 'Romney by a nose'.
It's just over a week until the election -and anything can happen. Don't be surprised if the Obama team does not try to pull out an October Surprise at the last minute. Maybe something like sending a SEAL team in to take out the militants that killed our people in Libya...
Live Long and Prosper...