While there were a few additional things that I wish Obama had hammered Romney on and I think he'd have done better without starting his closing remarks with that silly "government doesn't create jobs" thing (really? You mean the U.S Federal Government isn't the single largest employer on the planet?) I understand that it just isn't possible to rebut every little bit of nonsense that Mitt was spewing and that the government creating jobs thing is probably a nuanced bridge to far to work into a 60 second closing remark.
On every other issue that mattered Obama demolished Romney. Further while Romney tried to act assertive and commanding he came across as an entitled whiny douche.
Honestly I think the only reason that Romney came across halfway competently in the first debate was because Obama was simply worn out and dog tired from trying to keep the world from blowing up and obviously hadn't had sufficient time to do any substantial debate prep so he wasn't prepared for Romney pulling an etcher-sketch on live television. I don't think it was any kind of 11th dimensional chess to intentionally lose I think it was simply a poor performance from a tired President who hadn't taken/had the time to properly prepare.
This failure actually made the Romney campaign look halfway competent for a week but the cracks in that competence were exposed once again during the VP and second Presidential Debate.
The VP and second Presidential Debates once again demonstrated just how B team the Romney campaign is. The blunders were obvious and stunning in their ineptitude. For example Ryan's decision to insert an anecdote about car crash victims in response to questions about the Auto bailout. I was in utter shock, I mean didn't the guy watch the 2008 debate between Biden and Palin? Yet there was Ryan opening the barn door for Biden to revisit the most heart wrenching and humanizing event in his life in order to say that Romney cares enough to help one family out of a financial mess, Gee is Romney going to visit every victim of personal tragedy and personally pay for their kid's college?
I really just can not figure out what the thinking behind going for that was, it was such a sloppy pivot and so in-artfully inserted into the discussion that it had to have been a canned response, I can't decide if it was a case of Ryan trying to ad lib and just being so crappy at thinking on his feet that he was like "car stuff, oh yeah I know an anecdote that has cars in it and shows Romney cares about people" or that someone in his prep team was like "Now if you think Biden is really pounding you and you don't have a decent response pull out this story to try and psych him out". Neither option reflects well on Ryan or the Romney ticket.
Romney wow... what can one really say? That is going to go down as one of the most brutal take downs in debate history. 100 years from now people will be watching that debate just to see the contrast between a political master and an entitled neophyte. What we all witnessed was what happens when someone with a consistent world view and a solid grasp of the nuance and facts around important issues debates an unprincipled opportunist.
That is of course Romney's fatal flaw as a candidate. He either has no real principles or his principles are so vile that he doesn't dare articulate them to the public, thus he has to try and mimic the behavior of others, However since he doesn't have a good grasp of any principles that are palatable to the general population he ends up making obvious head scratching errors that leave the audience trying to figure just what the hell he was trying to say. The debate also showcased the fact that he really is horrible at thinking on his feet. The way he walked right into the "act of terror" thing despite Obama telegraphing the counter punch with the whole "Proceed Governor" was particularly telling. How could he not know at that moment that he was in trouble?
This lack of ability to adapt to changing circumstances and think on his feet as well as his shallow grasp of the problems that face our country was demonstrated repeatedly from his women in binders response to the question about fair pay to his blaming gun violence on unwed mothers punctuated by his getting fact checked by the moderator and culminating in his sticking his chin out with the "I care for 100% of the people" in his closing remarks practically begging Obama to nail him with the 47% attack.
What we watched last night was what happens when someone who really cares about helping people and trying to be effective in the job of the president, who has taken the time to learn about the issues in some depth and really ponder life's difficult problems debates a shallow hack who's only real desire to be President is that it's the next step in his personal story, where he finally drives a spike into the shadow of his father by accomplishing that one goal that eluded George Romney.
That's the real difference I see between the two candidates. Obama sought power to help others while Romney sought it to help himself.
In a just world that should be the race, of course we all know that it won't do much of anything.