President Obama showed up this time and battled Gov. Mitt Romney to a bloody draw in the second presidential debate.
Romney had the edge most of the night, I thought. Pinning Obama down on the cuts in permits to drilling for oil on government land got Romney started and he kept the edge through jobs and gasoline prices. Then came the Benghazi question.
There, Romney should have mopped the floor with the president. His administration has looked horrible in its response the death of our ambassador in Libya. But he played his hand poorly on whether the President called it an act of terror on Day One. In the end, the moderator, a lefty from CNN, bailed out the president. Unfairly, I thought.
The truth of the matter is that the president did use the word "terror" on day one, but it was not clearly in reference to Benghazi. It could have gone either way. Then for 14 days the Obama Administration tried to sell the idea that the assassination of our ambassador was more due to a B-grade Hollywood movie on Islam than anything else.
Had Romney played that question better, he would have won in a clear decision. But Obama won that round and he had a clearly better close when he told Americans that he is not a government-first guy, but a capitalist who believes in self-reliance.
So, from where I sat I'd score this debate a draw.
PS: It will be interesting to see how the polls rate the performances.