12:21 AM, OCT 17, 2012 • BY JAY COST –
Some quick thoughts on the debate:
a.) Obama was aggressive on debating/rebutting/getting points in. It was a big improvement over last time. In particular, Obama had a lot more facts at his fingertips this time around.
b.) Romney was not as aggressive as Obama, but was by no means passive. I do not think he came in with a strategy to attack Obama intensely, but Obama came in with a strategy to attack Romney.
c.) Romney prosecuted the case against Obama’s record very effectively and got things back to jobs again and again and again. That was extremely effective. He also came across as empathetic with the audience questioners. All of this was good for Romney insofar as it addresses weakness in his numbers.
d.) I did not hear much of a vision from Obama. I heard little talk about jobs from him, and he totally botched two questions from people on why they should vote for him when they are now so bummed.
e.) I was impressed with how Romney turned around some obvious left-tilted questions to his advantage. Equal pay for equal work — an obvious tee-up for Obama, but Romney did very well with it. He also nailed the question of why he is different from George W. Bush.
f.) All in all, Obama spent more time attacking Romney than Romney did Obama. Romney spent more time laying out his own resume, plan, and vision.
g.) Wild card: The contentious section of the debate on Libya. Candy Crowley corrected Romney that Obama didn’t call it a terrorist attack at the Rose Garden speech day of attack. She’s wrong. This looks like it will play moving forward. Nevertheless, Romney has to sharpen his attack on Libya for the next debate.