Schieffer finally gets them to move on:
9:34p.m.: Romney thinks he nails it when he says we should be arming Syrian rebels and help them organize.
9:25p.m.: Romney says he and Obama have the same position on pushing Mubarak out of Egypt, too. "Once it exploded, I felt the same as the president did."
9:17p.m.: Romney and Obama fight over whether, as Romney seems to imply, they have a similar position on whether we should have kept troops in Iraq. Obama keeps insisting Romney gave a speech saying we should have kept 30,000 more troops there. Finally he plays the "I'm president" card, saying, "Here's one thing I learned as commander-in-chief..."
They both try to suggest with their hands that they have the facts.
9:11p.m.: Obama began the night acting a little nicer than at the second debate, smiling at Romney.
But then he slightly fumbles a canned line, which was supposed to go along the lines of, "The 1980s called, they want their foreign policy back." It was a reference to Romney saying Russia was our No. 1 geopolitical foe.
9:07p.m.: Obama promises to go after the people who killed the American ambassador in Benghazi. "I think it's important to step back and think about what happened in Libya." He says that without putting troops on the ground -- and "spending less than what we spent on two weeks in Iraq" -- an international coalition liberated people from a dictator.
9:06p.m.: The first question is Libya and the attacks in Benghazi. Romney congratulates Obama on killing Osama bin Laden and going after al Qaeda leaders. But, "We can't kill our way out of this mess," Romney says, after his adviser Dan Senor signalled on MSNBC today that Romney would be a little less hawkish tonight.
9:03p.m.: Romney begins by thanking the moderator and noting that he and Obama were at the Al Smith dinner, where they told jokes. "It's nice to be together and be funny maybe not on purpose." Or, try to be funny on purpose, and not quite succeed.
8:58p.m.: Bob Schieffer, notorious fun hater, tells the audience: "We have to be quiet as mice. We want a debate that is worthy of the presidency of the greatest country in the world."
8:52p.m.: We've paid a lot of attention to wild conspiracy theories about Obama this year. But that doesn't mean there aren't plenty exciting rumors out there about Romney. Here's one I spotted on Facebook -- for the record, this is not true.
8:40p.m: Obama's official Twitter account tweeted this pre-debate fist bump:
8:20p.m.: The Romneys are warming up by playing Jenga again, via a tweet from Romney's aide:
8:05p.m.: We are watching history tonight, you guys. Let's look back at debates of yore:
October 16, 1996
October 19, 1992
October 15, 1992
October 21, 1984
Geraldine Ferraro watching the October 7, 1984 debate between Mondale and Reagan.
Nancy Reagan gives her commentary on the performance of her husband at the September 21, 1980 debate.
The Carter family's amazing hair at the October 7, 1976 debate.
The reason men wear makeup on camera.
(Photos via Associated Press.)
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.