Romney’s aides and surrogates sprinted into the spin room to offer effusive assessments of their candidate’s performance, and Fox News contributor Juan Williams was caroling “Massacre! Massacre!” to himself as he bounded out of the men’s restroom. Obama’s team didn’t meet the press for a full 10 minutes — and one top Democrat, asked to say the best thing about the president’s performance, said Obama has been “just working to maintain cool and be reassuring” in an email to POLITICO.

“Look, Romney was always going to have a good night on style points,” conceded Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, who still judged his boss to be the winner. “I’ve been telling you guys that for a very long time, but look, we won this debate tonight because we talked directly to the American people about plans. Romney couldn’t do it. He stayed on defense the entire time. He couldn’t lay out a tax plan that made any sense. You know he spent a bunch of time trying to defend his Medicare positions in states like Ohio and Florida; that’s gonna be a real problem for him.”