Reporting Jon Keller
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BOSTON (CBS) – Who won Tuesday night’s presidential debate?
The quickie polls give a narrow edge to President Obama, and that’s a reasonable take.
Listen to Jon’s commentary:
The more aggressive debater often scores more points in one of these things, and just as Governor Romney was the aggressor in the first debate, the incumbent was in attack mode all night. He threw every known kitchen appliance at Romney and not all of them were effectively deflected.
But it’s also fair to say this was not a rout on the scale of that first debate. Romney roughed up the president pretty well on the economy, and while Mr. Obama mocked the governor for his lack of detail, he was noticeably unwilling to lay out much detail of what he has in mind for us in a second term, a chronic problem with his campaign.
So this race will likely remain close, and we’ll wait for the next debate on Monday to possibly break things open.
But there’s one thing we can say for sure – the town-hall debate format used last night has got to go.
I like the idea of voter questions being used in a debate. We use them in our WBZ-TV debates, but we take them and refine them so they are not broad enough for the Space Shuttle to fly through.
With a few exceptions, the citizen questions last night were a joke, and I’d like to know who certified that all those voters were truly uncommitted.
“What’s the difference between Romney and George W. Bush?”
Are you kidding me?
Obama and Romney on the issues: Weigh in on the Presidential Forum
It’s been an article of faith for many, including yours truly, that candidates won’t go too negative in a town-hall debate out of respect for the voters sitting right there, but you can forget about that wisdom now.
Both candidates basically ignored the citizens and their poorly-phrased questions.
And the moderator should have done more to keep them from talking over each other and preventing any exchange from ending on an unrebutted attack.
Bring on Bob Schieffer next Monday.
And please, spare us this format in the future.
I’m sure most citizens will happily limit their involvement to deciding the race on election day.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.