Here's another take on the debate. Obama simply was the guy (me) who is shocked at the behavior of a loud-mouthed bully. He (as I would) expected there would be rules, but the "cop on the beat" didn't enforce any rules at all.
To me, Romney came across as the bully he is, not letting the moderator moderate, talking too fast, taking up most of the time, underhandedly slipping in all kinds of the dog whitles you mentioned yesterday, Thom. Romney looking at the President so much made me think of a robot programmed to look at the heat source on the other side of the stage. (I'm a sci-fi fan.)
I'm very sorry about the science report you mentioned this week that people react more to the coverage of a debate than to the substance. (By the way, I love your geekie science reports.) But this is part of the pattern that our fellow American's have shown in many areas. Walmart junk looks pretty and is cheap so quality and durability or substance don't matter.
Probably many of those 80 million watching then listened to the newzak and feel Romney "won" the debate (again with the sports connection).
Like most of us 47% and many in the other 48% I have a very full , demanding life. It gives me little time to think, much less think about the politics of our country. That is why I treasure you and all of left-wing talk radio. You keep me informed as I wash dishes and clothes, and sweep up the mess on my floors.
Thanks for letting me talk.
Sincerely, Patti Martin (Portland, OR)