My initial impressions of the Town Hall debate were reflected in my guest post at USA Today, Obama needed debate blowout but didn’t get it:

The question as far as the election goes is who drove the narrative which matters. While Obama landed many class envy and “war on women” punches, Obama barely attempted to defend a brutal exposition by Romney on four years of broken promises and failed economic results. It was the issue people care about, and it was Romney’s strongest part of the debate by far ….

While Obama supporters will be heartened, Obama needed to convince people that the next four years will be more successful than the past four years. He didn’t even try to make the case.

The failure to defend his record and to explain why the next four years will be better was Obama’s greatest failure at the second debate. It was a failure which could not be overcome even by effective attacks on Romney.

My reflections the next morning are pretty much the same.  The instant polling seems to bear out that Obama “won” by a narrow margin on performance, Romney won big on the economy.

Trying to synthesize it all, consider the debate a call to action.  Anyone who wants Obama defeated should disabuse themselves of the notion that Romney’s trajectory is unstoppable.

Obama will say or do anything to win.  The best example is Libya, where Obama is trying desperately to turn the narrative from his administrations obviously false statements that the killing of our Ambassador was the result of a spontaneous protest over a video.  It has been extremely well documented that the administration was making this claim for days after it knew better.

Yet what does Obama do?  His team reminds him that he mentioned the words “act of terror” in a Rose Garden speech the day after the killing, even as his administration was in full denial mode.

The words were not used to say that the attack was preplanned or to dispute his administration line about the movie.

What did Obama say in the Rose Garden a day after the attack in Libya? ”No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this nation,”  he said.

But he did not say “terrorism”—and it took the administration days to concede that that it an “act of terrorism” that appears unrelated to initial reports of anger at a video that defamed the prophet Muhammad.

Instead, Obama was talking generally about “acts of terror“(plural)  and our national purpose:

As Americans let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained  because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it,  and in some cases lay down their lives for it.  Our country is only as  strong as the character of our people and the service of those, both civilian  and military, who represent us around the globe.

No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter  that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.

That false line of defense continued for a week.

In what certainly was one of the worst moves by a debate moderator ever, Candy Crowley did an instant ‘fact check” and sided with Obama, but she was wrong and now is backtracking.

Look where Obama has taken us:

Obama’s abject and offensive failure of leadership and political gamesmanship now is just a word game.  A term thrown into a several minute long speech is being used to defend against a mountain of evidence that Obama and his administration misled the public for political purposes.

Obama knows that by using the phrase “acts of terror” in the Rose Garden the day after the killing he was not contradicting his administration’s line that it was a spontaneous reaction to a movie.  Yet Obama stood up last night and made that claim anyway.

Let this be a wake up call, and a call to action.  We are up against, to steal a phrase, “an unusually good liar.”

Take nothing for granted.  Work even harder to defeat Obama.