Our Take: In a recent post on commentary.com, "Blame Media for Stunning Romney Victory," Alana Goodman argues that the Barack Obama and Mitt Romney we saw at the presidential debate last week are no different than the individuals we've seen the past while on the campaign trail. On the debate stage, however, the media can't meddle with or filter any responses.
Theres one thing almost everybody can agree on: last nights debate was a bloodbath, with Obama on the losing end of it. But re-watching some of the clips this morning, its hard to put a finger on exactly what was so unusually great about Romneys performance and what was so unusually awful about Obamas.
The successes and failures are more easily spotted in the contrasts. Romney was more engaged, more enthusiastic, more lucid, more relaxed, and more cheerful than Obama. He looked like he actually enjoyed being there. Obama, in comparison, came off as more detached, rustier on the facts, and slower on his feet.
But what about when you isolate their performances? Was there really a major difference between their individual debates and how theyve acted on the campaign trail, during press events, and during interviews for the last several months?