Poll respondents and pundits alike agreed in the hours after the first presidential debate: Challenger Mitt Romney came out ahead of President Barack Obama.
It was all a matter of priorities. Romney made it clear the driving force behind his candidacy is creating more jobs so Americans can prosper. During the 90-minute debate, it became equally obvious that what motivates Obama is using taxpayers' money - and indebtedness - to shape a liberal, socialist society.
One number did the trick. At one point during the debate, Obama attempted to justify his plan for tax increases by insisting oil and gas companies receive about $5 billion in incentives, including tax breaks, each year.
Romney explained quickly most of that money goes to small, independent producers rather than major oil and gas companies. Then he noted the Obama administration has shoveled out about $90 billion in subsidies to "green" energy companies, including massive failures such as Solyndra.
The $90 billion figure came up again, after Obama attempted to curry support among educators by saying he wants to hire 100,000 new mathematics and science teachers.
Ninety billion dollars would hire two million new teachers, Romney noted.
Priorities: Romney's is getting results for the American people. Obama's goal, on the other hand, is throwing enormous amounts of money into social engineering - while failing dismally to move the economy forward.
Desperate to prove the unprovable, Obama claimed his administration has created five million new jobs. That simply is not true. The net U.S. employment figure is roughly the same as it was when Obama took office.
Obama lost the debate. Voters saw the hope he generated when he was elected was an illusion. It's time for change.