Romney was very energetic and he did well for himself, considering that he was 'down' going into these debates; only in flashes bit more 'eager' than warranted and a ting of 'over selling' the pitch. But I guess people can understand this excitement on his part being a challenger.
President Obama was definitely 'down' and 'grim'. I think more important is he did not have 'required lucidity' to make the points pitch perfect on many occasions and overall failed to 'structure' the argument well.
President Obama had a good defense of his policies about Medicare while Romney did make his criticism of ObamaCare vivid and clear. Other than that both were able to stick to their positions about taxes - Romney saying that he would not increase deficit while reducing rate while Obama clearly saying there is no way to balance 5 Trillions of tax cuts by just closing loopholes.
Being an Obama supporter, I remember couple of points from President in particular (I am sure Romney supporter would bring equally memorable lines):
- For 18 months Romney has been talking about tax cuts but now he wants to talk about no tax cuts to rich and no further increasing of deficits for tax cuts.
- When Romney talked about how he got partisan support for his medical reforms President rightly quipped that may be Massachusetts Democrats (Romney's opposition) should talk to Congressional Republicans about the co-operation.
- In the end President Obama said Leadership is about 'saying no' at appropriate points; that was a good point too.
On Romney's side his forceful articulation of Republican 'talking points' will make the base happy (Rubin of WaPo is already saying it is a 'blowout'...). We will see if this all actually helps Romney to add more votes.