Wednesday night's debate was an unmitigated defeat for Obama. Judging even soley based on stage prescence, the president seemed anxious and tentative, while Romney seemed comfortable, energetic, and collected. Romney seemed to think quickly on his feet, and his humor was right on track.
Romney had a clear grasp on the facts, pointing out the Obama administration's hypocrisy. The administration wasted 90 million dollars on green industries like Solyndra, showing that for all of Obama's rhetoric against the evil "big businesses," he is more than willing to patronize his pet projects.
Moreover, Obama asserted that Social Security is basically a sound system. That is patently false, with an aging population, dropping national birthrate, and a system that has resisted reform and means testing. Any program that has been around for nearly seven decades is bound to need at least some reform.
The real winning move of Romney's performance tonight was his correction of the Democratic narrative that has tried to mischaracterize Romney's plans over the past 6 months. Romney dealt handily with accusations that he wants to convert Medicare into a "voucher program" and cut taxes for the wealthy. He came across as having a solid grasp of the issues.
Obama fell back on his usual talking points. "Invest in energy and education" and "help the middle class." Keep an eye on the new "ladders of opportunity" quote.
Romney-1 Obama-0. I'll take 3 more of these, please.
For a full summary and recap of how the debate went down, with real time analysis, see here.