This is, I feel, the thing that is most important about last night's debate. At least, its the thing that is sitting with me most as I reflect on the debate. It's the one thing that this debate pointed out to us that will probably have the most impact on this last month of the campaign. President Obama has often been viewed as having a certain "star power." Let's be honest, it's because of that star power that we even know who he is today. It carried him into the spotlight, it carried him past Hillary in the 2008 primary, it's what allowed him to sweep past McCain in the general. And it's a big part of what has helped him maintain as much popularity as he has over the past years, as many Americans have placed more blame on Congress for many of the problems we face at the moment, instead of the President. The one thing we all could have been sure to see from Obama was his star power. And it's absence was the President's biggest weakness in the debate last night. It was almost shocking. It's absence is so pivotal that last night's debate does more than raise questions about the positions of either candidate. It forces us to ask: "Is something wrong with him? Is he feeling sick? Has the job gotten to him? Has he gotten tired?" The subtle yet powerful absence off Obama's star power last night certainly made a significant difference on the outcome of the debate last night and how it will be perceived by the public. But star power had and equally, possibly bigger, influence than just that. Namely, Romney has put the question to rest on the fact that he indeed has very little "star power" of his own. While Romney's performance was overall better than Obama's, it still left alot to be desired. Romney continues to lack punch, or provide a true inspirational quality. Reaction from undecided voters to the debates described Romney with phrases like, "Passionate and prepared. Knowledgeable, yet defensive. Political and non-specific.” It seems that what positive progress Romney gained with this all important group is undeniably qualified, at best. Which leads us to consider a whole new question: How does one "win" at a Presidential debate? Usually, we think of winning a debate as putting up the best overall performance. It's an often difficult feat, balancing the right blend of pure facts, with the right amount of spin to create plausible deniability when the fact checkers come at you, all while trying to maintain control on the direction of the discussion to highlight what you want the voters to see in you and your opponent, while trying to distract the limelight from those things you don't want them to see in you or your opponent. In this traditional sense, there's no doubt that Romney clearly had the better showing, even if his showing, even without producing any real star power of his own. But if we ask the question who will actually benefit most from this first debate, or who will be more likely to win over undecided voters, Romney's "winning" might be called in to doubt. Because at the end of the day, Romney didn't do anything last night that seems to have won anyone over. He hasn't earned new support, he hasn't distinguished himself sufficiently from Obama to make any previously undecided voters feel like he would have done any better these past four years or that he will do better in the next four. We might ask ourselves, "Did Romney really win, or did he just not lose?" So while Romney may have had the better overall showing in last night's debates, he still have alot to do in a little bit of time. Because in "winning" he still failed to gain any better traction than he had before, and in that way Obama's camp is probably celebrating a small victory in their own way right now. Maybe Romney is just getting warmed up, and if he comes out in the next two debates and really shows some pizzazz he could quite possibly start to really pull away with this one. But he's going to have to really turn it up a notch, because maybe Obama's just getting warmed up too. And if he comes out swinging the next time around, it could only take one misstep for Romney to seal his fate.