A couple of rapid reactions:
1. If the last 20 minutes were not a shitshow, they'll do until the shitshow gets here. They have got to find some way to effectively moderate these things if they are to be anything other than entertainment. That AK-47 question was an immediate and obvious shark-jumping point.
2. Romney is so stiff and robotic and prone to saying ridiculous things when he is not in a structured environment. And Obama's the one who needs a teleprompter? He manages not to tell half the country to suck it or say things like "binders full of women" when he's improvising.
3. Mittens did alright for someone whose primary strategy is to lie and hope it goes unchallenged, but he had two absolute shit-the-bed moments: the Libya question and the "How are you different than George Bush" thing. On Libya he ended up standing there with an "Um…" look on his face after he tried to press a "what he said and when he said it" point that he was wrong about. Bad preparation. On the Bush thing, Romney's response was not bad but Obama's rejoinder was an uppercut:
There are some areas where Gov. Romney is different than George Bush. George Bush didn't support turning Medicare into a voucher program. George Bush supported comprehensive immigration reform. George Bush didn't oppose contraception.
I believe Ice Cube said it best: No Vaseline, just a match and a little bit of gasoline.
4. The internet is getting to be a terrifying place with respect to its ability to create memes in near real time. The mad rush to register "bindersfullofwomen.tumblr.com" must have been goddamn epic, an electronic version of the chariot race in Ben-Hur. The Facebook page had 100,000 "likes" in about five minutes after he said it. Also, "I have binders full of women" isn't a very good phrase to use when fighting the misconception that Mormons are polygamous. See #2.
5. Romney really hates birds. And poor people.
6. He sounds like a total moron talking about China. All the sudden he's what, Mitt Romney the Protectionist? Bitch, please.
7. I didn't realize until last night that Mitt was a small businessman.
8. Remember, it probably doesn't matter.