After his last debate performance, President Obama really didn't have anywhere to go but up. He needed a strong rebound in this debate, and he nailed it. He had his facts together, readily rebutted Governor Romney's claims, and even had a few zingers that helped sell his points, and, at times, undermine Romney. The president clearly won on women's issues (although, so-called women's issues should be issues for everyone). Romney's answer regarding his "binders full of women" was a mess, and also created a brand new meme! Romney also stated that he didn't think employers should be able to deny women contraception, which is a total contradiction from his previous stances. His comment about single-parent households is also generating a lot of buzz, not all of it good.
I do think Romney got stronger about an hour into the debate, and I know that people do respond well to his business background, which he repeatedly emphasizes. I think, due to the nature of the questions, he could not present himself as a moderate candidate as well as he did in the first debate. I also think that both Obama and Romney's answers on Libya were lacking. Obama missed an opportunity to mention some concrete facts, and Romney got trapped in a fact-check situation.
Speaking of fact checks, I have to give Candy Crowley some props for speaking up to fact-check the candidates when she could. She was also pretty good at reining the two in on interruptions (both candidates are guilty of them, but Romney seemed a little whiny).
This was a strong performance from the President, but there's still one more debate to go. Will this debate drive the momentum back to Obama? Will the last debate (on foreign policy) matter? We've got a little more than 20 days to see.
Check out my analysis of the debate is it happened live.
One more .gif for the road!