Watch the video again. Maybe skip around and check out random moments. You'll probably notice that Romney stammered a lot, too. You'll notice that Herky-Jerky Romney emerged several times. You'll notice that the president did, in fact, call out some of Rommey's lies. And you'll probably find that Kevin Drum's assessment today is about right.
Even after rewatching parts of the debate and listening to several days of apocalyptic doomsaying from liberals and conservatives alike, my take remains about the same as it did on Wednesday: Romney chalked up a modest victory. That's about it.
Drum writes that group-think has unfairly diminished the president's performance and inflated Romney's. This is pretty spot on:
People who were polled during the debate thought it was about even. People polled after the debate thought Romney won. People polled a little later, after the media feeding frenzy, thought Romney crushed Obama in an epic rout.
Yes, we all hope the president turns in an ass-kicking show next week. But we shouldn't allow the increasingly prevalent Chris Matthews Reaction to obscure what actually happened.