DENVER -- This blog will be but one of many places where Slatesters will demystify, deride, and -- well, I guess thoughtfully analyze the debates. I won't liveblog every little moment, but feel more than free to comment here, and spend lots of time at our debate landing page, which has the whole thing live, accompanied by tweets.
9:48: Early thoughts? I thought the president took forever and a day to rev up, though my watch told me that this only amounted to 18 minutes. He made no mistake. He just repeated the Bush 2004 strategy -- stick glumly to talking points until the other guy shuts up. Romney's managed to blend the Kerry 2004 strategy with the Reagan Classic -- just insisting that the president is constantly lying, and that nothing he says about the record is true. He's not dumb enough to just repeat "There you go again." But Reagan's use of "There you go again" was a response to a factual Carter statement, that Reagan had opposed Medicare in 1964.
One theme I'm seeing: Romney, not wanting to unload a long "things are rotten" statement, making small, subtle references to Obama failure. "You've been president for four years!" "It's been two years" since Dodd-Frank. And so on.