Jim Lehrer looked really old, and had little or no success in keeping the candidates to time limits or "official" topics. In fact, there were supposed to be six topics, and they only covered five.
The crowd promised to behave and actually did.
Romney showed some passion, for the first time in this races that I can recall (although I skipped all the Republican primary debates). He struck me as pushier with Lehrer than Obama did. He went out of his way several times to claim that the Obama administration spent $90 billion on green energy, much of it wasted. I give him credit for saying that he'd be willing to cut everything from the Federal budget that wasn't worth borrowing the money from China for, and specifically calling out PBS as something he'd cut. (I don't agree with him on this one, but I'll give him credit for finally specifying something, even if it'll be unpopular.)
Obama seemed to miss some softballs - why not call the Massachusetts plan RomneyCare? Why not ask what other states would do differently? He did, however, note that the Romney/Ryan ticket has a pattern of saying they'll replace things but not provide any details.
There was one particularly weird comment that I heard Romney make; he said that his tax plan "is not like anything ever tried before". I haven't checked an official transcript yet to confirm that wording - but that's what I thought I'd heard, and it struck me as odd. Tax cuts and spending cuts have been tried lots of times before - what's supposed to be special about Romney's plan? (Besides the fact that he's not providing specifics, that is.)
Overall, I suspect this wasn't a "game changing" moment in the Presidential race.
Originally posted at http://edschweppe.dreamwidth.org/152387.html - comment wherever you please.