Romney put up a good fight, during tonight’s debate, with several deliberate remarks made to pander to the conservative wing of the party, but it was Obama who ultimately stole the show.
The president was more animated this time around, revealed by an energetic defense of his record as well as firm commitments to do more if elected. Through his performance tonight, Obama has assuaged Democratic fears that he has been losing his edge during the last leg of the campaign.
Obama came out strong tonight by reiterating his philosophy that government spending can stimulate an economic recovery. And Mitt Romney hammered home on the fact that the recovery thus far has been far too weak. But it was Obama who seized on the offensive when the debate turned toward tax reform. Obama cited the fact that Romney’s proposal is mathematically impossible; moreover he ridiculed the governor’s claims that his tax plan would create jobs as patently absurd. Romney made a spirited case against Obama’s energy policies, yet Obama took the upper hand when he pointed out that energy production in public lands has been greater during his administration than in the previous one.
Unfortunately, the discussion on foreign debate was limited, touching only briefly upon the situation in Libya. Romney attacked Obama for his handling of the crisis, but Obama was able to brush it aside and remind the public that he accepts responsibility for the events in Libya, and promises to continue to do more. And in an interesting turn of events, one of the last major discussions of the evening centered gun control. Despite his hometown having one of the highest homicide rates in the U.S., Obama tackled the problem head on, while Romney floundered awkwardly by trying to turn the question into an issue of family values.
All in all, tonight’s debate was a valiant effort by the two candidates, but only one emerged the victor. It was Obama who stood out tonight and in so doing, he has rejuvenated his campaign. It was a comeback performance that he will hope to repeat at the next debate.