Salon editor at large Joan Walsh said Obama was "subdued, deferential, (and) over-prepared." Romney shook his "(E)tch-a-Sketch and lied his way through the entire debate with no challenge from moderator Jim Lehrer" or Obama.
The New York Times headlined "An Unhelpful Debate," saying:
Wednesday night "sunk into an unenlightening recitation of tired talking points and mendacity." Voters perhaps walked away saying a pox on both candidates.
Romney avoiding discussing anti-populist policies he endorses. Obama failed to challenge the worst about him. He's got plenty of his own crosses to bear.
Viewers weren't helped by moderator Jim Lehrer's pathetic performance. He never challenged either candidate on vital truths. Expect debates two and three to be painful repetitions of Wednesday night.
Why anyone bothers to watch shows the deplorable state of the US electorate. Most are uninformed, out of touch, and indifferent.
A Chicago Tribune editorial said Obama "skipped this debate. (He) slumped his shoulders, smiled mostly to himself, and for some reason kept staring mostly down." Hope and change were gone. They never were there in the first place.
USA Today said both candidates "avoid(ed) reality in debate." Key issues were unexamined.
The Washington Post said they "evaded the hard truths." Canned talking points substituted. It didn't surprise. It's always that way.
Both candidates "studiously maintained the evasions and omissions at the heart of their policies. The debate was wonky (but not) honest." Issues most important weren't discussed.
Obama and Romney "were strikingly complicit in failing to confront the magnitude of the fiscal challenge the winner will face immediately. The overriding feature of the debate was a tacit conspiracy of avoidance."
Russia Today (RT) called the evening "tepid." Arguments and accusations heard before were repeated. Same old, same old doesn't wash.
Domestic issues were stressed. Slogans and one-liners substituted for solutions. "(M)any Americans may well be confused as to what exactly the differences are between the two candidates."
They're in lockstep on issues mattering most. Overall, barely a dime's worth of difference separates them. Duopoly power allows little wiggle room. What it says goes.