I remember watching the first debate eight years ago and being pumped: Kerry was behind but close in the polls and he came in blazing. Before or since I never saw Kerry so commanding, and the contrast to President Bush was remarkable, who looked like a deer in headlights. I remember feeling SURE that the debate was a game changer, and most people who watched it agreed it was a route.
Needless to say the debate did not change the basic dynamic of the race and Kerry went on to lose. Tonight Romney gave the best performance I've ever seen from him. For the first time he actually looked Presidential (aside from those reaction shots). The difference with eight years ago is that Obama did not seem clueless. He did, however, come out looking a little nervous, wonky and (most importantly) passionless, especially at first. Obama's performance improved over the course of the debate, but it would certainly be hard to call it a win, and I expect the media will call it a loss for him and a win for Romney.