“A stunned Obama campaign acknowledged Thursday that President Barack Obama delivered a lackluster and even ineffectual performance in his leadoff debate against Mitt Romney, mistakenly opting for a cautious approach to handling his opponent that all too often left Obama looking timid and disengaged,” Politico writes, adding, “Even more frustrating to many Obama supporters was the fact that the president’s muted tone was at least partly by design. … Projecting a calm, reasonable — some said ‘presidential’ —demeanor was the strategy during Obama’s debate-prep sessions outside of Las Vegas.”
But “one Democrat close to Chicago conceded that Obama 'was not happy with his performance.'” And: "Don't expect to see that Barack Obama again."
Obama adviser David Axelrod: “There is some strategic judgment that has to be made, and we’ll make it. I’m sure that he will consider his approach moving forward.” And: Plainly, he didn’t come as focused and intense as Gov. Romney at dropping particular lines. His interest was in honoring the American people with honest answers to serious questions.”
The Obama campaign’s up with an ad in swing states goes after Romney’s assertion that he doesn’t have a tax plan that he’s not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut. The kicker in the ad: “If we can’t trust him here…” [shows him on debate stage] “…how can we ever trust him here?” [shows the desk in the Oval Office].
Ron Brownstein: “President Obama didn’t have many good moments in this week’s first presidential debate. But it was telling that the few came when he was raising objections to Mitt Romney’s tax, spending, and Medicare plans. The president had much less to say about his own ideas for the next four years. In that way, the debate spotlighted the biggest hole in Obama’s reelection effort: the paucity of specifics he has offered about his second-term agenda.”
Obama at a campaign stop in Denver: “When I got onto the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney. But it couldn’t have been Mitt Romney, because the real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy. The fellow on stage last night said he didn’t know anything about that.”
(So, we guess it wasn’t the altitude…)
More Obama, this time from Madison, WI: “I just want to make sure I've got this straight: He'll get rid of regulations on Wall Street, but he’s going to crack down on ‘Sesame Street'? Thank goodness somebody’s finally cracking down on Big Bird.”
“The Obama campaign set a new monthly fundraising record for the 2012 election cycle, taking in more than $150 million in September as supporters rallied behind the president in the final phase of the election, according to people familiar with the totals,” the Wall Street Journal writes.