Quick thoughts on the debate.
Initially I was concerned about Romney's "kinder, gentler" strategy but in the end I think it worked. Maybe Obama "won" the debate if it we score it as an abstract debate, but this is about gaining trust and earning votes. I don't think Obama won over undecided voters. If any votes moved, I suspect they moved in Romney's direction.
Romney looked presidential and wise. Obama ended up looking petty, mean, and substituting attack for agenda. Obama's snarky comments about the size of the navy seemed to please the MSNBC crowd, but will not play well with pro-navy voters in places such as Virginia and Florida. In addition, Obama looked like he was ridiculing Admirals and other military experts who have expressed concern about the size of the navy.
Romney did a very good job on Obama's apology tour, especially his noting that Obama had skipped Israel on his visit to the Middle East, and that Obama had accused the USA of "dictating" to countries. That will play well with Jewish voters many of whom, at least according to some polling I have seen, seem inclined (surprise!) to vote for Romney.
Maybe I am too combative, but I would have gone after Obama on Libya. In retrospect, however, Romney probably made the wise choice by not generating a "politicized petty debate" on the ins-and-outs of Benghazi. Obama would have used the opportunity to filibuster and lie on the story; Romney can go after him on the campaign trail.
I thought that the Governor did a very nice job of tying foreign policy to domestic policy and scored some big points on the need to strengthen the economy. Romney very cleverly understood that although this was to be a discussion about foreign policy, voters are more concerned about the economy. Romney did a very nice job on China trade and North American energy independence. He also showed that he has a very good knowledge of all the other issues "out there."
Romney kept himself close to Obama throughout much of the evening and Obama had difficulty distancing himself from Romney despite past efforts to depict Romney as a wild-eyed war monger.
The Obama body language was bad; his overly aggressive crouching stare made him look like some sort of giant bird of prey or a vulture ready to swoop down. Not good imaging.
By the end of the evening, Obama looked tired and frustrated. Obama looked like a boxer who has been flailing and dancing all evening and just wore himself out.
Obama needs a BIG October surprise to win. Absent that, Romney will be the next President.