It is really sad that Americans place so much value in debates. I hate debates. They are not about seeking the truth or educating your audience. Rather, they are all about bullying, using verbal and other sundry vacuous tactics to "win" an argument. Debates are like other hideous sports Americans love so much, i.e. boxing, football, etc., in which we "enjoy" the spectacle of brutality that humans are capable of more than their intellect or reasoning processes. Education and learning requires work and effort, and cannot be achieved through sound bites.
The candidates provided little introspection about their own thoughts, ideas and choices they want to make or their own analysis of the consequences. Rather, they spent most of the time denouncing the other, again using vacuous sound bites.
Most pundits and the media are saying Mitt Romney "won" this first debate. He did not; all he proved is that he is an adept bully, long practiced in the art, as we already know from his past experiences and comments. I would rather have a president who is thoughtful and compassionate, not a bully who will likely force his will on others without much regard for the consequences.