- Gas prices: Mitt simply asked Obama that if his energy policies were so sound, why have gas prices doubled? That's all he really had to say. Mitt is at his best when he can make clear points like this. While his pressing of Obama over a lie about drilling on federal lands was amusing, it wasn't necessary.
- The Economy: about midway through, Mitt really hit his stride in naming multiple relevant statistics from this past four years. Bonus points for "buried" trolling.
- Libya: the Libya awkwardness did have a few silver linings. For one, it showed the absolute bias of the surroundings. Second, it keeps the issue in the spotlight. Third, "Vegas" was mentioned. For the downside, see below.
- He handled the Bush question well. Incorporated massive deficits into the fray.
- He cornered Obama on his investments. BTW, if the President of the United States declares on national television that he has no idea what he invests in, it's a problem.
- Romney mentioned Fast and Furious.
- Romney destroyed Obama on taxes.
- The bottle of Malbec was tasty.
- "We don't have to live like this!" I really enjoyed that statement. It tells everyone that the current situation is not the new norm, and we can recover.
- "Jeremy" asked a very important question on jobs. Mitt really didn't do a good job answering. Neither did Obama, but still Mitt could have set the tone for the evening.
- Opportunities missed. Look, Obama has a history chock full of poor decisions, so missing some key points was to be expected. However, Mitt whiffed on many issues. On womens' pay, he failed to point out the income inequalities in Obama's administration. On green energy, while he crushed Obama in the first debate, he failed to mention ,multiple green investments by this administration (like A123) going bankrupt. On the GM bailout, he got flustered. On Bush, he should have mentioned signing statements and bailouts. On taxes, he needs to hammer into the public's head that no amount of tax raises on the highest earners will bring the deficit down. On unemployment, Mitt did fine but I would have added that minority unemployment is still increasing. Every question had red meat, and the advantage was not always pressed.
- Mitt trying to talk over the moderator after Obama talked. It's fine the first time, but in this setting it seemed a little desperate. Same with mentioning the words "Five Point Plan".
- There is a difference between tax breaks and tax cuts. The President needs to be reminded of this.
- Libya: he made sure he had everyone's attention when he stated "Vegas". However, he needed to stop right there. Always leave on a high note (see gas prices, above). If he were to add anything, it should have been about inconsistent messages and how its a month later and we still don't have a clue. Further, he should have mentioned Obama breaking his constraints as Commander in Chief.
- Romney lost his temper. Mitt usually takes the high road. Of course, Obama blatantly lying to everyone will have that effect. But still.
- Michelle Obama is allowed to applaud, apparently. So are the press corps.
- Candy Crowley. I caught her blatantly cheerleading Obama's tax schpiel on a hot mic. She then reinforced Obama's lie on Libya, but then walked it right back during the post game.
- Candy Crowley's idea of undecided voters. The first two questions were fine, but it quickly degenerated.
- Crowley cutting Romney off when Fast and Furious in mentioned. Nothing to see here.
- The undecided voters were supposed to have questions for both candidates. One person asked Obama why he should vote for Obama again.
- My hangover.
- Obamas posturing/leering. While it was an improvement over the first debate, at times it was just...creepy. There were multiple instances of Obama talking and walking away from Romney.
- The arguments. While it makes good watching, it left me a bit uneasy and I couldn't concentrate on what was being said. Both men are guilty here.
- I cannot believe this guy is President. That was the most unpresidential debate I have ever seen. As predicted, Obama's "aggressiveness" confirms we have a petulant narcissist in chief who has to keep resorting to interruptions and personal attacks.
- Obama brought up the 47% thing in his closing statement knowing Romney couldn't respond. Shrewd and dickish. Also, it didn't play well among the viewers.
- Obama gets 3 more minutes of time.
Who won? I had Romney winning (am biased, obviously) based on substance. CNN had Obama winning despite their own internals:
The short of it is we needed a base clearing double, but we got a sacrifice fly to advance the runners.
For the next debate (during Monday Night Football?), Mitt needs to answers as he did with the economy and gas prices. Leave on a high note, walk away.