NewsChannel5 political analysts weigh in on first presidential debate between Obama and Romney

CLEVELAND - Presidential candidates often go into the first debate with a Hippocratic Oath mentality for their campaigns, first do no harm.

"The president's role in this debate, in these series of debates having the lead is just to make sure not to commit any unforced errors, not to miss any three foot putts," said NewsChannel 5 Democratic Analyst Peter Lawson Jones.

That being said Jones was frank on the president's performance Wednesday night. "I'm going to be very direct and candid about this I don't think this was the president's best debate, I don't think this was his best effort. So there is going to be work to be done over the ensuing debates," he said.

Republican analyst Lee Weingart was more to the point. "I was shocked actually, President Obama struck me as somebody who didn't know there was a debate tonight and hadn't really prepared himself for the debate," said Weingart. "He's someone who hasn't debated in four years and it shows, Romney's debated 30 times in the last year and a half and that shows."

With some polls showing Obama holding an eight point lead in the state Jones said Obama will not suffer from his performance.

"I do not think however given the fact that voting is already underway and given the fact that he starts with such a substantial lead that this is going to be a game changer."

Weingart though thinks Romney was able to reach enough Ohio voters though to narrow the gap. "He was specific he had five point plans, he answered the questions that were asked," he said.

Jones thinks the Ohio race will tighten but that he says it has nothing to do with the debate. "That's what happens in Ohio, that's what happens in swing states so I think that subsequent debates are going to be critical."

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