There's no question that Gov. Mitt Romney won last night's debate with President Barack Obama, writes Nick Gillespie.

Last night may have been the first night that many Americans - including diehard Republicans and possibly even the former Massachusetts governor himself - could really envision Romney occupying the White House and running the federal government. He was by turns charming, insistent, deferential, heated, and always on point....

But was the unexpected victory more about rhetoric than reality?

Debate moderator Jim Lehrer constantly drew attention to the notion that Obama and Romney were in fundamental disagreement over the size, scope, and function of government. That they had radically different visions for the United States when it came to the issues under discussion. The candidates gamely obliged, saying yes to each invocation of hard-core splits.

But such claims were nowhere to be found in what the candidates were actually talking about.