Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left, and President Barack Obama, right, on stage for their first debate at the University of Denver. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Obama was right. He isn't a very good debater, or at least he wasn't last night.
Compared to Mitt Romney, he seemed listless, disengaged. Neither candidate scored a knockout punch, but Mitt Romney clearly won on points. The challenger was sharper, clearer, and aggressive without being petty or mean-spirited. Perhaps most surprisingly, he was, if not more likable, at least more relatable.
In a debate more for policy wonks than the average citizen, Romney managed to find a way to say a few complex things in a punchy and easy to grasp way, China, his sons, trickle-down government.
As for the President, he played more defense than he did offense. There was no mention of Romney's 47 percent comment, and he brought up nothing about Bain Capital.
When he did go on the attack, it seemed half-hearted.
Surprisingly, there were no real "zingers" from Romney, despite all the pre-debate talk about them. In the end, the Republican challenger didn't need them.