A rather uneventful exchange, methinks. This debate was like the last debate, only more so. That is to say, nobody changed any minds. If you liked your guy at the beginning, you liked him even more at the end. It was ultimately pointless.
Which means, in the only way that matters, Romney won.
I grow weary of people who try to say one guy or the other won “on points.” What points? Who keeps score? What are the rules? The only thing that matters is how people vote. After three debates, it’s crystal clear that Romney changed millions of votes with his masterful appearance in the first contest. Those who point to flash polls that claim Obama won Debate #2 are forced to ignore the fact that Obama’s actual poll numbers have gotten worse since last week’s encounter. Those same people insist that Romney “lost” tonight, and I hope their scorecards provide them with some consolation as the momentum Romney has been gathering these past three weeks continues unabated.
The debate itself was more than a little silly. A foreign policy debate that wasted time on Massachusetts education reform really doesn’t matter much. The only thing that has mattered in these debates is whether or not Romney looks like an acceptable alternative. He does. He did again tonight. None of Obama’s barbs managed to change that, and he has no real chances to legitimately alter the dynamic of this race. He can try bombing something, and perhaps he will, but that will look so extraordinarily desperate that I can’t see it working.
Bob Schieffer moderated intelligently and fairly. I’m kinda bugged that Romney let Obama skate on Benghazi, but that was probably wise. He doesn’t need to damage Obama any further than Obama has damaged himself. He just needs to look like he’s up for the job.
He does. He will win handily. And I’m pretty both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama know it.