Who Won the Debate Last Night: Obama Wins, While Romney Discusses His Binder Full of Women

President Barack Obama emerged as the clear winner in Tuesday night's debate, deftly dodging Romney's attacks and landing punches. He shed the wonky, wandering speech style that characterized his first debate and threw Romney off his talking points. Even the moderator, Candy Crowley, helped Obama in his attack by contradicting Romney's claims about Obama's statement in the wake of the Libya attack by referring to the transcript.

All in all, Obama accomplished what he set out to do. He hit solid Democratic talking points by discussing fair tax rates, equivocated slightly on gun control, and belatedly accepted responsibility for the security breach in Libya. He even managed to work in the term "gangbanger," a first for a presidential debate.

Romney stumbled throughout the debate. He did well in distinguishing himself from George W. Bush but did not provide a convincing case for his election. He clumsily spoke of his respect for women's rights, referring to the "binders full of women" that he had aides bring him to fill seats in his administration.

For a full recap of the debate, including play-by-play and real time analysis, see here.

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Jillian McLaughlin

As a current student at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, I study public policy, take advantage of student discounts, and spend way too much time playing Settlers of Catan.

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