Liveblogging the Second Presidential Debate

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BindersWomen.jpg

Some concluding points:

1.) Having watched Obama's conduct a master-class in debate, my thoughts haven't much changed from Monday. To wit:
Over the past four years Obama has proven to be very slow, but very deadly. I doubt that's changed.
2.) One thing that should be revisited is the notion that Obama isn't a very good debater. That was a really solid win against an opponent who was tough--up until Libya, where Romney promptly went all Vinny Testaverde and threw a pick six. That was big, but Obama was winning before the Libya question.

3.) The word is that Jim Fallows isn't on the grid tonight, but, again, I think this point should be highlighted:
When the subject is one he's prepared for, he rarely falters. When it's not, or when an exchange goes on longer or in a different direction than expected, many of his ad-libbed responses turn out to be mistakes ("I'll bet you $10,000!").
The Romney team said they were preparing for Libya but it did not look like they did. And then when he claimed Obama hadn't called the Libya attack an act of terror he got into trouble.

4.) I have no idea what this will do for the polls. 

--

10:39 Obama pulls out the 47 percent. The dagger on an text-book debate performance. Masterful. No idea what it will do with the polls.

10:30 Heh. Romney's got "Binders Full Of Women."

10:25 Also to be clear, Romney had his facts wrong when he claimed Obama took two weeks before he called a terrorist act. Via Andrew:
No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.

10:18 Sorry I'm still a little blinded by the sonnage on that Libya question. It's been a long time since I've seen a Democrat look as solid and comfortable as Obama does on foreign policy. I expected Romney to be much stronger on Libya.

10:15 Obama just ethered Romney on Libya. Did not expect that.

10:14 On Libya--"Secretary Clinton's done an extraordinary job. But she works for me." Obama says buck stops with him.

10:12 OK, so maybe no pinning. Romney utterly lost on Libya. Should have been a gimme for him.

10:10 Obama solid but didn't answer the Libya question. Romney will almost certainly trying pin him on it.

10:07 Romney asks Obama if he's looked at his pension lately. Obama says I haven't lately, "Mine isn't as big as yours." I feel like Romney  is on really unfriendly territory. 

10:04 Mitt goes all Awkward White Dude on immigration rebuttal.

9:51 Obama with the jujitsu move on George Bush points out the differences between Romney and Bush on Planned Parenthood etc.

9:48 Also. "Binders full of women." @lulzmittens

9:46 Wow. Obama goes back to gender and contraception with a fat whopper. Obama should follow up on that. Don't let him off.

9:45 Romney really glad to get off gender issues.

9:43 Obama going for the kill shot on women's issue. Puts out that contraception is not just  health issue but an "economic issue." Running hard on his record.

9:42 Irrelevant point--Mitt Romney looks like Reed Richards. 

9:39 Obama killing on gender equality. Connects his own biography, reframes "women's issues" as a "family issues," goes from pell grants, to fighting discrimination, and does it seamlessly.

9:36 Obama looking much more confident and now over-running Romney. And now it turns to gender...

9:33 Obama attacking, attacking, attacking on taxes. Cites Romney's tax rate. 

9:28 Obama running against Republic Congress on tax question. Much more solid. Where the hell was this guy last debate?

9:26 Romney utterly loss on this tax credit question. Just meandering.

9:23 As soon as I say this Romney starts overplaying his hand. 

9:21 Obama swinging swords on energy.

9:20 Romney is still a really impressive debater. It's a fight this time, at least. But he's very skilled.

9:18 Watching debat with a bunch of MIT kids on Fox News hilarious. "It's a debate, not a rap battle." 

9:11 A much more focused Obama. More impressed by that than his aggression. Aggression will come in the right places if he's focused.

9:10 Fighting on the auto bailout is good ground for Obama. "Governor Romney doesn't have a five point plan,. He has a one point plan."

Let's do it guys.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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