The "non-verbal" part of the Obama-Romney debate

In the days before this debate, we talked a lot about the non-verbal cues associated with a Presidential debate, which tell a much larger story for those watching the debate on television. Republicans believe that not only did Mitt Romney "win" the first debate overall, but he also "won" the non-verbal aspect as well.

Most of the time when Romney was speaking, he wasn't addressing the audience, the moderator or the TV camera trained on him; instead, Romney was looking straight at President Obama and taking the debate right at him.

The President at times would look right back, but often he stared down at the podium, sometimes letting out a bit of a sigh or shaking his head.

Republicans put together a quick video about that overnight, labeling it "Smirk" - showing off some of the split-screen views of the two men as Romney spoke.

Whether it was part of the Romney game plan or not, it was obvious that he wanted to look the President in the eye at every opportunity.

While Mr. Obama didn't seem to have a Nixon moment or a look-at-the-watch moment, he usually did not return the favor when speaking, looking not at Romney but rather at the moderator, the audience or sometimes directly into the main camera that was on him.

On several levels this debate was interesting, but the question of Romney looking at Obama and Obama looking away seems likely to drive some stories in coming days, and before the next debate on October 16.