I'd call it a draw. Either side could justify calling it a win for their campaign. As far as the campaign goes, Obama actually helped himself more. But, his case was so much more in need of help. So any progress for him looks golden.
The thing Romney supporters dread is Romney stubbing his toe. Considering the fact that his views stem from his genuine goodness, such a hiccup could only originate in a semantical faux pas (says one thing, but means the opposite) and lets it go uncorrected, or gets pounced upon. None of that, of course, happened.
What Romney did do, that I disliked right away, was ask Obama questions. That gave scoundrel Obama an opportunity to claim more time and attention, regardless of his answers. Hint to Romney camp: If you know the other guy is imminently capable of lying, and particularly good at it, give him as few opportunities as possible to do so.
What I hope to hear some criticism of today is Candy Crowley's questions that she picked for questioners to read. Seriously? What do you plan to do about gender inequity in the workplace? Can it be true that that question beat out, say, Is Iran a legitimate threat to Israel? Or perhaps, Who's policies would enhance America's standing & image in the rest of the world, yours or your opponent's?
Wasn't this debate supposed to center on foreign policy?
Of the two, Romney's language and presentation was much more coherent. Obama probably won't get much flack for all of his stammering and fumbling, but it's readily apparent who misses his teleprompter the most. Romney sounded more presidential...Obama sounded whinier. But neither by much.
And the blame for their lack of etiquette falls squarely on Crowley. Her promise to inject her manipulation on the debate had both candidates ready for a fight, and she did nothing to foster rational discourse. She also did nothing to keep Obama on topic vis a vis Fast & Furious. And then she also completely rescued Obama for his "I told America it was terrorism in the Rose Garden" lie. What a shameless tool she was.
Romney's biggest error? Getting too caught up in the style, and dropping the substance regarding a number of opportunities to hammer Obama. Again, this likely does not happen if Crowley isn't helping push the fistfight environment.
We knew that Obama couldn't just turn it into a mudslinging, on his own, without alienating voters. So, doesn't it make sense that Crowley knew that, and fostered/promoted that circumstance for his benefit?
I hate the