"It is unlikely [Obama] convinced many swing voters to 'unswing,' but he certainly generated greater voter enthusiasm among Democrats, which—when combined with Biden's performance in his debate—will begin to show up in polls, will change 'Likely Voter' models, and will result in the president picking up a few points," Hudak told ABC News.
Obama made his intentions clear from the outset. After Romney responded to a student's question about his post-grad job prospects by pointing to "a five-point plan that gets America 12 million new jobs in four years," the president jumped up to respond.
"Governor Romney's says he's got a five-point plan?" he asked, a hint of mocking disbelief in his voice. "Governor Romney doesn't have a five-point plan. He has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules. That's been his philosophy in the private sector, that's been his philosophy as governor, that's been his philosophy as a presidential candidate."
Obama also took an aggressive tack in combating Romney's accusation that the administration had done too little to prevent the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
"This was Obama's biggest weakness and he turned it into his finest moment," Hudak said. "He balanced taking responsibility with deflected blame. He praised Secretary Clinton, rather than throwing her under the bus and changed the conversation away from what happened in Libya and toward Romney's politicizing the issue and scolded him for his response."
During a particularly dramatic exchange about mid-way through the encounter, Obama stood up, took a place at the front of the stage, then addressed Romney over his shoulder.
"The suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the secretary of state, our U.N. ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we've lost four of our own, governor, is offensive," Obama said, a severe look in his eyes. "That's not what we do. That's not what I do as president, that's not what I do as commander-in-chief."
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