Least Relaxing Pre-Debate Ritual: Jenga
Number of Times the Name "Bush" Was Mentioned: One, in a reference to the Bush tax cuts
Number of Times the Name "Clinton" Was Mentioned: Three
Number of Times the Name "Reagan" Was Mentioned: Three
Number of Times the Name "Biden" Was Mentioned: Zero
Number of Times the Words "Middle Class" Were Uttered: Nine (seven by Obama, two by Romney)
Best Unacknowledged Borrowing of a Bill Clinton Line: "It's math. It's arithmetic." — Obama, echoing Clinton's DNC speech
Worst Anniversary: The Obamas, celebrating their twentieth tonight
Number of Transparently Self-Serving Swing-State Shout-Outs: Seven:
- “It means that the teacher that I met in Las Vegas...” — Obama
- “I was in New Hampshire. A woman came to me...” — Romney
- “I met a couple in Appleton, Wisconsin, and they said...” — Romney
- "The auto workers that you meet in Toledo or Detroit..." — Obama
- "At Cleveland Clinic, one of the best health care systems in the world..." — Obama
- "I was in Dayton, Ohio, and a woman grabbed my arm..." — Romney
- "Because of the woman I met in North Carolina who decided at 55 to go back to school..." — Obama
Least Popular Proposal Among Toddlers: "I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too. But I'm not going to — I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it." — Romney, creating instant internet hilarity
Sexiest Line: "This is the biggest kiss that's been given to — to New York banks I've ever seen." — Romney, on Dodd-Frank
Most Shocking Absence: Any mention by Obama (or Jim Lehrer, but mostly Obama) of Romney's highly unpopular 47 percent remarks
Top Three Zingiest Zingers:
3. “I had a friend who said, you don't just pick the winners and losers; you pick the losers.” — Romney
2. "And at some point, I think the American people have to ask themselves, is the reason that Governor Romney is keeping all these plans to replace secret because they're too good? Is — is it because that somehow middle-class families are going to benefit too much from them?" — Obama
1. “Mr. President, you're entitled, as the president, to your own airplane and to your own house, but not to your own facts." — Romney
Number of Hours Obama Seems to Have Slept Last Night: Negative 50
Number of Times Obama Pointed Out That He and Romney Agreed on Something: Five:
- "One of the things I suspect Governor Romney and I probably agree on is getting businesses to work with community colleges so that they're setting up their training programs."
- "When it comes to our tax code, Governor Romney and I both agree that our corporate tax rate is too high."
- "On energy, Governor Romney and I, we both agree that we've got to boost American energy production."
- "It appears we've got some agreement that a marketplace to work has to have some regulation."
- "I suspect that on Social Security, we've got a somewhat similar position."
Two Least Bold Romney Stances:
1. "Expensive things hurt families."
2. “I love great schools.”
Most Amazing Scientific Breakthrough: Moderator Jim Lehrer somehow introduced the debate and then made himself completely invisible for the next 90 minutes.
Biggest Lie: “You’ve done a great job.” — Obama to Jim Lehrer
Most Insulting Depiction of Romney's Family: "Look, I got five boys. I'm used to people saying something that's not always true, but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I'll believe it." — Romney, referring to his fully grown sons as compulsive liars
Most Awkward Small Talk: When the Obamas and Romneys mingled onstage after the debate
Winner: Mitt Romney
Losers: Barack Obama, Jim Lehrer, Big Bird