Editor’s note: President Barack Obama met his challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Wednesday night in Denver for the first of three presidential debates. CNN contributors and analysts offered these assessments of the evening:
(CNN) – Reihan Salam: Romney scores, but does he have time to turn around campaign?
Mitt Romney pressed the reset button last night on his campaign. He presented himself as a compassionate centrist, deeply concerned about the fate of the unemployed and low-income households struggling to climb the economic ladder in a stagnant economy.
At every opportunity, he made reference to kitchen-table issues such as the difficulty of securing a mortgage and the rising cost of medical insurance, gasoline and electricity. Had Romney been running this campaign since securing the Republican presidential nomination, it is easy to imagine that he would be in a much stronger position in the polls.
What remains to be seen is whether the larger public will embrace Romney’s reset.
With just a few weeks to go before the presidential election, and with Democrats gaining momentum in key swing states, it is possible that the Romney campaign simply doesn’t have enough time to change the narrative of the campaign. And of course President Barack Obama will have two more debates in which to regain his footing and to take the fight to Romney.