There's so much to say about the debate last night and I don't have much free time today. Here are some high level thoughts:
Romney clearly won. Flash polls confirmed that the perception of voters watching was exactly that. Romney won by a wide margin - both the debate and the polling.
Romney won because he did what McCain would not do in 2008 - he went after Obama. He was not afraid to go on the offensive. He also backed up everything with facts and he didn't allow himself to be put on defense. He was dynamic. He had 4 minutes less than Obama of speaking time and yet liberal commentators complained he ran all over the moderator Jim Lehrer. He was just more engaging when he spoke.
Obama the media is spinning, looked like he didn't want to be there. Of course he didn't want to be there - he was getting his butt handed to him. Obama was not distracted - he was flustered, and frustrated and way out of his element on defense. Look for him to come out firing at Romney, guns blazing, at the next debate. He won't hold back. He can't afford a repeat of that first performance.
The post debate bounce for Romney may be blunted by polling sampling ratios but it will be undeniable. This will bring the race back to a dead heat over the next week. Which, means that Romney will in reality be ahead. Buut he won't stay there for long if his second debate performance is not close to his first in quality. He has set himself a high bar. The media will spin anything less as Romney reverting to form and Obama as doing the same.
Liberal pundits, who have elevated Obama to a mythical status seemed apoplectic last night. They can't believe their guy lost. They can't believe he isn't infallible. Today they will be recomposing themselves and readying for the next rouund.
Romney should, and will, be doing the same.