I’ll have some more thoughts in a bit. Here’s my quick reaction. The first half hour was a draw, though President Obama scored by default when Romney either didn’t or couldn’t attack on Libya.
After that though Romney began to falter as Obama became more direct, organized and declarative. Romney seemed increasingly lost. Obama seemed comfortable, happy. The visuals told the story. Romney was sweating a lot and looked like he was in pain. Into the second half of the debate Romney’s answers seemed more jumbled and unfocused. There was even that rambling and generally uncontroversial digression on Pakistan. Why? He seemed lost.
Translated into Romney visuals he had what President Obama had in the first debate: that look of someone who wanted to be anywhere but on that stage.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.