John Nichols (The Nation):
It was not Romney versus Obama in the first presidential debate of 2012.
It was Romney versus Romney. And one of them prevailed.
A restrained Barack Obama, who went into the debate with a solid lead in the polls, and an even more solid lead in the battleground states, often seemed to be more of a spectator than a participant.
Obama’s reluctance handed Romney an opening that the Republican took.
Indeed, Romney took it to every side of every issue. MORE...