I only heard the first half of the debate, on the radio. But, here are some thoughtful – although harsh – initial reactions.
The one you must read is this live-blogging of the debate. These excerpts just nail it:
9.42 pm. We have just seen the unraveling not of Obama’s foreign policy – Romney backs it – but of Romney’s mathematics. Romney’s claim that he can balance the budget in eight years is another massive lie. Obama has just made a real advance in this debate. By ripping Romney’s absurd proposals to build ships just because he thinks we should have more ships was devastating. Obama is exercising mastery in this debate, and more clearly exposing the shallowness of Romney’s grasp on the world.
9.31 pm. Romney went very soft on Israel; some difference that “existed” – past tense – was merely “unfortunate.” Watching this man shape-shift in front of your eyes is staggering. I’m fascinated by the purity of the cynicism. Seriously, I’ve never seen any human being up close like this – a mechanical, unstoppable machine of say anything, forget everything in the past, refuse to take any responsibility for anything he has said in the past, and just smile and golly-gee smile his way along. There’s a a machine-like quality that chills me. I have no idea what he would do in office on anything. I believe nothing he says.
[Obama is] …flawed; he’s made mistakes; but who hasn’t? If this man, in these times, with this record, against this opposition, does not deserve re-election, then I am simply at a loss for words. I have to believe the American people will see that in time.
- Doubtful that this will help Obama much.
- The biggest global issues were not discussed at the debate.