We look at these debates principally when it comes to effecting our vote at the attitude, tone and sense of the debate and we also look at it in terms of the specifics of the debate. Tonight it looks like while Gov. Romney may have "lost" the debate, he looked like a Commander in Chief and presented himself in a presidential way with the president's tone being much too aggressive and petulant and oftentimes times downright nasty.
The tone of the debate and how you present yourself matters a lot. The line about "they don't use horses and bayonets" -- that was a little too over the top. You could see that President Obama just doesn't like Mitt Romney and he can't hide his contempt for him. On the other hand, if Romney doesn't like Obama, he has a pretty good poker face for someone who doesn't play poker.
Romney had a very strong closing. He didn't talk much about foreign affairs, he linked it back to economy and had a very bipartisan tone. Tonight we saw the Romney strategy for the next 15 days and that is pound on the economy. There was a big contrast in tone between the two. Romney was calm, Obama was hectoring and went after him. Then there were Obama's Louis XIV moments -- "this nation - Me" and "when I took the shot." It was unusual and came off a little pompous. Like Louis XIV masquerading as the President of the United States.
Karl Rove is a Fox News political analyst and a former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush. He is the author of "Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight" (Threshold Editions, 2010) and helped organize the political action committee American Crossroads.