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Frank Sesno, former CNN political reporter, says President Obama was "AWOL" during first debate

10:30 PM, Oct 4, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- As a long-time political correspondent for CNN, Frank Sesno covered more than his share of interesting presidential debates, but none more interesting, according to Sesno, than Wednesday night's duel in Denver.

"The expectations that went in were so completely divergent from the results that came out," Sesno said.

Currently the director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, Sesno said Mitt Romney's poised performance, coupled with President Obama's lackluster performance, seems to have the changed the tone of the Presidential race.

"I cannot explain what happened to Barack Obama. He was AWOL, he was distracted, detached, defensive," said Sesno.

Sesno also said that even if the President's strategy going into the debate was to appear presidential, stay calm, and not make any major mistakes, he should have become much more engaged as Romney clearly took the reins.  

Having said all that, Sesno added that plenty of presidential candidates have rallied after a bad first debate and, with that in mind, he's very much looking forward to the next debate, on October 16th.

"Romney thinks he's on a roll now, he's going to keep that posture, I presume. Barack Obama has to have a completely different air about him.  He's got to be a combatant, not a visitor," Sesno said.

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