Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Reaction to last night’s third and final presidential debate uniformly favored Obama.
Clearly, this was President Obama’s night.
Marc Ambinder: “Romney was betting that he did not need to take risks, and stands a better shot at winning the election the more people associate him with the economy. Deciding to let Obama once again be the aggressor carries real risks, because of the large audience, and because the contrasts in tone between the two candidates could be large enough that some voters who initially thought Romney crossed the credibility threshold might have second thoughts.”
Greg Sargent: “Tonight, America was introduced to Peacenik Mitt — and watched him take a pummeling. I don’t know how much this will impact the overall dynamic of the race — it may not matter much at all — but it’s hard to see this as a good night for Romney.”
Josh Marshall: “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.”
Chris Cillizza: “Obama controlled the third presidential debate in a way not all that dissimilar from the way Romney controlled the first one. Obama clearly came loaded for bear, attacking Romney from the jump for a lack of clarity when it came to his vision (or lack thereof) on foreign policy.”
Joe Klein: “President Obama won the foreign policy debate, cleanly and decisively, on both style and substance. It was as clear a victory as Mitt Romney’s in the first debate. And Romney lost in similar fashion: he seemed nervous, scattered, unconvincing — and he practiced unilateral disarmament, agreeing with Obama hither and yon … on Iraq (as opposed to two weeks ago), on Afghanistan (as opposed to interviews he’s given this fall), on Libya and Syria and Iran. He didn’t have a single creative or elegantly stated foreign policy thought and, indeed, seemed foolish at times.”
E.J. Dionne: “The cost of creating this reassuring presence, however, was that doing so reinforced Obama’s attack line on Romney as an unprincipled politician. Romney’s stands on issues seem related almost entirely to the political calendar: Veer as far right as necessary in the primaries, then slam on the breaks, turn right around, and head in an entirely new direction – all in pursuit of those moderate suburban moms whom strategists on both sides see as central to the election’s outcome.”