The Washington Post

Final debate: What bugged you?

(Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)

Another meaty exchange, this one with its own peculiar personality. Was Romney too passive this time, or did he look presidential? Was Obama too aggressive, or did he score points effectively? Did Romney's grin make him look silly, or was it ok? Did both candidates use too many of the arguments, even the words, they used in the first two debates, so it sounded sometimes like a retreaded event? And what about the accuracy of what both men said?

I was stunned, I have to admit, that Romney repeated the statement that Syria provides "access to the sea" for Iran, when Iran has its own access to the sea (the Persian Gulf) and does NOT have a shared border with Syria.

Did you see any misstatements that bugged you?  I really look forward to your reactions tomorrow at noon when we will chat about this debate.

My very tentative bottom line: I bet the audience for this one was smaller, and that it got smaller as the debate went on. Having a good baseball game on Fox couldn't have helped the ratings, of course. But this one seemed less compelling to me. I thought Obama was closer to his second-debate performance than Romney was to his first-round win, but I don't expect any big poll movements as a result of this encounter. Please join us tomorrow at noon, Eastern U.S. time. Leave your thoughts and questions below.

For more analysis, see Chris Cillizza's Winners and Losers here.

Robert G. Kaiser is a former managing editor of The Washington Post.



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David Beard · October 22, 2012

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