Pundits On Second Debate: Obama Came Back

There was widespread agreement among the pundit class that Barack Obama came back swinging from his desultory first outing in Tuesday's second presidential debate.

If commentators weren't saying Obama won the debate, they were calling it a draw -- an improvement over Obama's clear loss at the debate in Denver.

Speaking immediately after the debate ended, Wolf Blitzer said Obama "did today what he avoided doing, what he failed to do during the first debate -- namely, go on the offensive. He came out swinging and he didn't stop."

Romney, he said, "had his moments."

Anderson Cooper said Democrats would be "a lot happier" after Obama's performance. "Most improved," David Gergen said, though he hastened to add that Romney was "solid" and had had two good debates.

Ari Fleischer called the forum a "flat out draw" on Twitter.

"I think the Libya question was not a good one for Governor Romney," John King said.

On Fox News, Megyn Kelly said that the questions asked might have appeared "pandering" to women because contraception and equal pay were mentioned.

"Obviously, we saw a more aggressive, assertive President Obama," Brit Hume said, adding that Obama would "probably be declared the winner on most cards." He said that Obama had carried the "burden" of incumbency "about as well as he could."

Fox News also put up a graphic showing that Obama had spoken for longer than Romney.

Chris Wallace, though questioning Obama's narrative on Libya, opined, "I think it certainly stopped the bleeding in the Obama campaign, and, for that, they're going to be very happy."

Charles Krauthammer said Romney missed a "huge opening" to trap Obama over the attacks in Libya. He added that Obama had probably won "on points."

On ABC, conservative columnist George Will called it the best debate he'd ever seen. He gave the win to Obama, saying, "Barack Obama not only gained ground that he had lost, he cauterized some wounds that he inflicted on himself by seeming too distant and disengaged.”

The hosts of MSNBC were, unsurprisingly, gushing. "This was probably, I think, the best debate of Barack Obama's career as a national politician," Rachel Maddow said.

Chris Matthews said Obama won the vast majority of the exchanges.

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