I watched the whole thing. Yes, Romney did pretty well, aside from fighting with Lehrer for half the night. Yes, Lehrer was essentially useless. No, Romney didn't make any major fuck-ups, aside from:
--publicly accusing his own kids of being serial liars
--publicly stating that he's gonna kill Big Bird
--patronizingly telling people over 60 years old that they should just turn the TV off and not worry their pretty little heads about their kids/grandkids' health
OK, none of those are major flubs; if you aren't aware of how many flat-out lies he told, you'd probably come away thinking that he's a reasonable, capable guy.
However, the POTUS didn't fuck up either. Yes, he was too passive, didn't take any easy shots, and his facial expressions were a bit off (nodding/frowning), but he did quite well overall IMHO.
Basically, Obama should have wiped the map with Romney and didn't...but so what? Romney is the one who needed to wipe the map with Obama.
It's gonna take a lot more than one half-decent performance without tripping over his shoes for him to beat the Prez.
As for other items:
--First time in history that a sitting President of the United States has publicly uttered the phrase "The insurance companies can't jerk you around". As dull as the debate was, it was worth it for that alone.
--As useless as Lehrer was, I actually liked the open-ended discussion that resulted. To both of their credit, Romney and Obama actually let each other talk without interrupting, which is refreshing. I hate the "solve the world's problems, you have 60 seconds" approach. The open-ended format worked to both of their advantages, since neither one is known for giving short answers.
--For a debate that was supposed to be entirely about domestic issues, they never touched ANY social issues, which sucks. Nothing about reproductive rights, LGBT issues, etc, which is a shame since all of those the POTUS clearly has the tailwind on.
Update: Yes, the snap polls etc. seem to indicate that Romney did very well tonight. On the other hand, his "I'm gonna kill PBS" line is causing the following meme to go absolutely viral on Facebook right now:
Romney's Big Bird Statement Sparks @FiredBigBird Twitter Account
Mitt Romney made one thing abundantly clear during Wednesday night's debate: He likes firing birds, too.
In a discussion on the deficit, the presidential candidate said to host Jim Lehrer, “I’m sorry, Jim, I’m gonna stop the subsidy to PBS…. I like PBS, I love Big Bird -- I actually like, you too -- but I am not going to keep spending money on things [we have] to borrow money from China to pay for.”
Naturally, Twitter responded, and responded with vigor.
Update x2: @FiredBigBird is up to nearly 20,000 followers, and has already inspired a spinoff: @FiredGrover