It was very good to see. President Obama did a very good job last night. Mitt Romney did not.
CNN says more Republicans watched the debate than Democrats, and yet Obama still won.
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) October 23, 2012
Here's our post-debate swing states poll, which found Barack Obama as the winner by a 53/42 margin: publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2011/1022P…
— PublicPolicyPolling (@ppppolls) October 23, 2012
I think that EJ Dionne wraps it up well:
The cost of creating this reassuring presence, however, was that doing so reinforced Obama’s attack line on Romney as an unprincipled politician. Romney’s stands on issues seem related almost entirely to the political calendar: Veer as far right as necessary in the primaries, then slam on the breaks, turn right around, and head in an entirely new direction – all in pursuit of those moderate suburban moms whom strategists on both sides see as central to the election’s outcome.
Obama seemed confused in the first debate by the New Romney (or, depending on how you want to count these things, the New New Romney). He wasn’t this time. “I’m glad Gov. Romney agrees with the steps we’re taking,” Obama said at one point, and then catalogued how it has not always been thus. Obama was particularly tough after Romney praised the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Obama noted that Romney had once said, “We shouldn’t move heaven and earth to get one man,” thereby using one foreign policy matter with which all Americans are familiar to illustrate Romney’s habit of altering his positions when doing so is convenient. In a foreign policy debate especially, a Democrat wants to convey toughness. That’s what Obama’s demeanor did.
NY Times editorial:
Mitt Romney has nothing really coherent or substantive to say about domestic policy, but at least he can sound energetic and confident about it. On foreign policy, the subject of Monday night’s final presidential debate, he had little coherent to say and often sounded completely lost. That’s because he has no original ideas of substance on most world issues, including Syria, Iran and Afghanistan.
During the debate, on issue after issue, Mr. Romney sounded as if he had read the boldfaced headings in a briefing book — or a freshman global history textbook — and had not gone much further than that. Twice during the first half-hour, he mentioned that Al Qaeda-affiliated groups were active in northern Mali. Was that in the morning’s briefing book?