Obama has been there and done that, and it showed. Despite the fact Obama feigns his preference for detailed diplomatic processes concerning foreign tensions, he is still a wolf in sheep's clothing. Obama's drone strikes, aggressive pursuit of Osama bin Laden, and refusal to close Guantanamo Bay mute what has traditionally been a strong Republican talking point. Obama has been far from perfect. The lack of transparency on Libya, Syria, and Israel (though not entirely his fault) allowed him to bring up tangible examples (although not all good) of him working through various confrontations, terror attacks and even conflicts.
Romney was very successful at tying the strength of an American econmic naiton to it's actual strength abroad. While his numbers may not quite add up, he could challenge Obama in a way that was somewhat unexpected. Romney, however, was slow out of the gate, stuttering over certain countries and providing more of a country to country assessment as opposed to an actual process for moving forward.
As for the body language, the president was also much more confident and secure. After the last debate, it was clear that the president was going to stare into Romney's soul even if his eyes burned out of their sockets. Romney on the other hand looked worn, tired, and was not nearly as quick on the update as he was in the first debate.
Watching the debate with a 60 plus year-old banker who grew up the son of a naval captain, gave this viewer another interesting opinion. He was critical of Romney's passive approach, and inability to understand issues that Republicans have seemed to enjoy a victory in public perception. If he seems unconvinced by Romney, I can't imagine how independent voting viewers most feel.
At the end of the day the debate was less hostile, more conservative, and the least entertaining than the other three. It also is unlikely to affect the polls in a way that is meaningful. On a night with a game seven of the NLCS and Monday Night Football, it is hard to convince the eyes of the nation to watch a president who has been hesitant to disclose all the facts concerning foreign policy issues, and a one-term governor whose greatest international success is an Olympics held in his home country.
Be sure to check out my live blog to see how it all unfolded.