Obama blew the chance tonight to be the candidate who inspired a nation in 2008.
His too-pat attack lines fell hideously flat, and his weird laser stare into Romney's cranium made for an odd split screen image the entire night. Once again, Obama was playing for points with the MSNBC demo and trying to score what I call "squee points" with his base.
Romney was playing for big, Presidential, knowledgeable. He didn't let Obama rattle his cage, and didn't drop the ball. It was another night where Obama needed a knockout punch, but after a few dozen wild, missed haymakers, he didn't get there.
Not a particularly edifying or informative exercise, but Romney walked away from it with a performance that won't alter the terrain...and he didn't need one. Obama needed a big kill, and missed the mark.