From “Peacenik Mitt gets pummeled,” Greg Sargent, The Plum Line, WaPo:
“I was genuinely surprised by the Mitt Romney who showed up tonight. Conservatives had been yearning for Romney to finally swing the Libya cudgel at Obama’s supposed national security glass jaw — the one they’ve persuaded themselves Romney is always on the verge of shattering for good. But for most of the night, Romney studiously avoided attacking Obama aggressively. Perhaps Romney feels out of his depth on these issues and decided to tread carefully, to avoid major mistakes. Perhaps Romney thinks he’s on track to win. Perhaps Romney decided his most important imperative was to appear reassuring and presidential, rather than go on the attack. He clearly decided he needed to head off perceptions of himself as a throwback to Bush-era foreign policy adventurism, again and again stressing his desire for a peaceful world.
“Tonight, America was introduced to Peacenik Mitt — and watched him take a pummeling. I don’t know how much this will impact the overall dynamic of the race — it may not matter much at all — but it’s hard to see this as a good night for Romney.”