This may seem like a cop-out, but I have to say tonight's second presidential debate was a virtual tie.
Barack Obama came out swinging from the start, and he was much more aggressive and assertive than he was the first time around. Almost angry at times. Romney fought back hard and didn't back down at all.
Obama portrayed Romney as some free-market capitalist deregulator, and Romney ran away from that (false) caricature every chance he could get. Even from someone like me who honestly sees virtually no difference between the two, even their rhetoric was very similar.
Both of them talked about "closing deductions," cutting taxes for the middle class, attacked outsourcing, went after China, defended protectionism, limits on gun ownership, restrictions on immigration, and "energy independence."
They really are struggling to keep this interesting. I can see why there are so many "undecided" voters. Predator R or Predator D?
Finally, I have to point the biggest lie that each of them told.
President Obama claimed that he ended the war in Iraq and is "winding down the war" in Afghanistan. Obama repeats this lie a lot, and it's a shame Romney is such a warmonger himself that he can't hit him on it. President Bush negotiated a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with Iraq before he left office, and Obama simply abided by it. In fact, Obama has been slowly sneaking in as many troops as he can into the region, especially in the lower Arabian Peninsula.
As I pointed out in my pre-debate coverage, Obama is not winding down the Afghan war in 2014 like he claims, but rather negotiating to keep U.S. troops there until 2024. Do I even need to mention his wars and drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, etc?
And as for Mitt Romney, the biggest lie that stood out for me was his claim that "China is manipulating its currency" and his general belligerence and hawkishness toward China. The first thing that comes to mind is: what about the manipulation of our currency by the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve? The Fed has created over $16 trillion in money in the last few years, distributed it discreetly around the globe to foreign banks and foreign governments, and price-fixes interest rates. What about that "currency manipulation," Mitt?
And finally, as I expected, the Fed, Obama's wars overseas, the National Defense Authorization Act, the war on drugs, inflation, America's growing police state, and our vanishing Bill of Rights were not mentioned at all. The ultimate winner is the status quo of the welfare-warfare state and the perpetuation of the One Party System, and the loser was the American people, liberty, peace, and sound economics.