Cliff Notes on Second Presidential Debate: Obama Stopped the Bleeding

YouTube screen grab

  • Without question, Obama did much better tonight than in the first debate.  He also did much better than Smirky Joe last week.
  • In addition to the comeback award, Obama gets points for tactical cleverness, for waiting until his closing statement to mention Romney’s dreadful 47% gaffe — leaving Romney no opportunity to respond.
  • I got REALLY tired of all three of them talking at once.  I don’t know whether to blame Candy Crowley (whom I generally admire) or the “town hall” format.  Actually, I just decided while typing that sentence — “town hall debate” is an oxymoron.  A true town hall features one candidate, not two.
  • Romney stepped on his own foot on the Libya issue, arguing about what Obama did or didn’t say in the Rose Garden, rather than emphasizing that the administration continued to maintain for two weeks that the attack was caused by a YouTube trailer for a non-existent movie.
  • Romney certainly hammered home his resume, and the fact that the top earners will continue to pay a disproportionate share of taxes. I liked his “we don’t have to settle” mantra in his closing statement, talking about high unemployment, high gas prices, 47 million people on food stamps, 23 million “struggling to find a good job”, etc.
  • If tonight’s debate had occurred first, we’d all be talking now about Romney being toast.  But between Sleepwalking Obama and Smirky Biden, the Democrats were in free fall after the first two debates.  Tonight certainly slowed that momentum, but I don’t think it reversed it.
  • We may be up late on November 6.

(The image is a screen grab from YouTube.)