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Before you could even open your eyes or read a compendium of celebrity tweets about last night’s debate, the two candidates for president were back on the campaign trail, airwaves and internet.
Here are several developments since the foreign policy debate in Florida ended at 10:30 pm EST on Monday.
1. President Obama Won, Polls and Editorials Confirm
The snap poll of uncommitted voters by CBS put the President ahead 53-23, and while that would prove to be his biggest margin of victory, he did come out on top in every metric. A CNN poll, which oversampled Republicans, put Obama up 48-40 among all viewers, while a battleground state poll by PPP gave Obama an 11-point win.
In more qualitative analysis, The New York Times blasted Romney’s debate performance, writing in an editorial that the GOP standard bearer “had little coherent to say and often sounded completely lost. That’s because he has no original ideas of substance on most world issues, including Syria, Iran and Afghanistan.”
2. But Does it Matter?
One issue the Obama campaign has had is figuring out just how it wants to paint Romney: as a scary far-right conservative, or a flip flopper with no real values? A big part of Romney’s big win in the first debate was showing a softer, moderate side to voters, and in the third debate, he may have stumbled, but he also consistently echoed the president’s policy proposals and used the word “peace.” Obama won in 2008 because he opposed the Iraq War; Romney did his best to distance himself from the Neocons that started that war. Even in a debate loss, he may have helped himself in that sense.
3. New Ads
As if voters haven’t seen enough ads, both the president and his challenger have released new TV spots, which will be blanketed across swing states. Obama’s is a direct appeal to voters, looking right into the camera; Romney’s hits Obama for what he has called the president’s early term “apology tour” across the Middle East, something he brought up last night.
4. Praise for Bob Schieffer
After the first debate, moderator Jim Lehrer was pounded by both sides for failing to, well, moderate the discussion. CNN’s Candy Crowley was generally given positive remarks, though conservatives hit her for siding with Obama on a disagreement between himself and Romney over calling attacks on the American embassy in Libya “acts of terror.” Schieffer for the most part was given the thumbs up, with no specific complaints; he controlled the conversation, but let the two men hash out their differences and speak.
5. Obama’s Bayonet Joke Riles Bayonet Makers
Obama got in a jab at Romney over his challenger’s assertion that the Navy has fewer ships now than it did in 1916, saying that the military also has fewer horses and bayonets — meaning that times and requirements change. The moment was the most-tweeted event during the debate, but it has the people over at Bayonet Inc., a major manufacturer of the sword-tipped guns, pretty hopping angry. Thanks to the ever-resourceful TMZ, we get word that all Marine trainees are required to have the weapon, and that one bayonet manufacturer named Dan Riker thinks Obama is ignorant.
6. What’s Next?
Obama will get a lot more face time this week, especially on NBC. He’ll appear on the Tonight Show on Wednesday, and will be shadowed by NBC News for segments that will appear on Wednesday’s Nightly News as well as Thursday’s Today Show, Rock Center and Nightly News. The network also requested the same face-time with Romney, but has not been granted that access as of yet.
And now, choose your own debate adventure:
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