I concluded Obama played rope-a-dope but missed a big opportunity. A CBS News poll found Romney won, 46% to 22%, while a CNN poll found a similar verdict for Romney, 67% to 25%.
Here are some other reactions:
Andrew Sullivan: "Look: you know how much I love the guy, and you know how much of a high
information viewer I am, and I can see the logic of some of Obama's
meandering, weak, professorial arguments. But this was a disaster for
the president for the key people he needs to reach, and his effete,
wonkish lectures may have jolted a lot of independents into giving
Romney a second look."
Glenn Reynolds: "Romney was channeling Reagan. Obama was channeling Biden."
James Fallows: "If you had the sound turned off, Romney looked calm and affable through
more of the debate than Obama did, and the incumbent president more
often looked peeved. Romney's default expression, whether genuine or
forced, was a kind of smile; Obama's, a kind of scowl. I can understand
why Obama would feel exasperated by these claims and arguments. Every
president is exasperated by what he considers facile claims about what
he knows to be impossibly knotty problems. But he let it show."
Brad Phillips: "This debate is an easy one to call: Romney won in a landslide, while Obama appeared flatfooted, tired, and somewhat detached."
Nate Silver: "My own instant reaction is that Mr. Romney may have done the equivalent of kick a field goal, perhaps not bringing the race to draw, but setting himself up in such a way that his comeback chances have improved by a material amount."
Greg Sargent: "Romney took steps towards reversing his image as an out of touch plutocrat. During the extended jousts of numbers crunching, he humanized himself in an unexpected way -- by converting his boardroom aura from something cold and aloof into an aura of earnestness. He skillfully played the part of the technocratic centrist he used to be and whose balanced approach to policy and government he has completely abandoned."
Marc Ambinder: "This first debate shows why it's so tough to be an
incumbent in an economy that, frankly, is anemic and barely growing. It
didn't really matter that Romney didn't present a plan; it did matter
that he presented a vision that cohered. A lot of people watching the
debate will see Romney's energetic performance, remember his theme, look
at a halting Obama, and say, OK, well, there ARE two people running."
Ezra Klein: "Mitt Romney won the debate tonight. He was more focused, specific, energetic and prepared than President Obama. The Obama campaign's silver lining was in what he Romney specific about. Expect, for instance, that Romney's admission that he will voucherize Medicare to make its way to ads in some swing states near you."
Joe Klein: "Did the President send out his body double tonight? Because if that
was the actual Barack Obama out there, I'm not sure he can communicate
well enough to be an effective President in a time of trouble, to say
nothing of winning a second term."
Chris Cillizza: "There's a fine line between sober/serious and grim/uninterested when it comes to the optics of these debates, and the incumbent was on the wrong side of it Wednesday night. Whether it was his habit of looking down for the majority of Romney's answers or the pique he displayed when debate moderator Jim Lehrer interrupted him, Obama looked like he'd prefer to be somewhere else."
Taegan D. Goddard is the founder of Political Wire, one of the earliest and most influential political web sites.
Goddard spent more than a decade as managing director and chief operating officer of a prominent investment firm in New York City. Previously, he was a policy adviser to a U.S. Senator and Governor.
Goddard is also co-author of You
Won - Now What? (Scribner, 1998), a political
management book hailed by prominent journalists and politicians from
both parties. In addition, Goddard's essays on politics and public
policy have appeared in dozens of newspapers across the country,
including the Washington Post, USA Today, Boston Globe, San Francisco
Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer and Christian Science
Goddard earned degrees from Vassar College and Harvard University. He lives in New York with his wife and three sons.
PRAISE FOR POLITICAL WIRE
"There are a lot of blogs and news sites claiming to understand
politics, but only a few actually do. Political Wire is one of them."
-- Chuck Todd, NBC News political director
"Concise. Relevant. To the point. Political Wire is the first site I check when I’m looking for the latest political nugget. That pretty much says it all."
-- Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report
"Political Wire is one of only four or five sites that I check every
day and sometimes several times a day, for the latest political news
-- Charlie Cook, editor of the Cook Political Report
"The big news, delicious tidbits, pearls of wisdom -- nicely packaged, constantly updated... What political junkie could ask for more?"
-- Larry Sabato, Center for Politics, University of Virginia
"Political Wire is a great, great site."
-- Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC's Morning Joe
"If I were on the proverbial
desert island and had only one web site to access, Political Wire would
-- Dotty Lynch, CBS News political consultant
"Taegan Goddard has a knack for digging out political gems that too
often get passed over by the mainstream press, and for delivering the
latest electoral developments in a sharp, no frills style that makes
his Political Wire an addictive blog habit you don't want to kick."
-- Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post
"Political Wire is one of the absolute must-read sites in the blogosphere."
-- Glenn Reynolds, founder of Instapundit
"I rely on Taegan Goddard's Political Wire for straight, fair political news, he gets right to the point. It's an eagerly anticipated part of my news reading."
-- Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist.
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