CBS News' Bob Schieffer had perhaps the most subdued time of all the debate moderators in the 2012 campaign cycle.

Schieffer played a muted role during the debate. Jim Lehrer, who was criticized for his stumbling attempts to control the first debate, actually seemed to be more of a presence, because he tried to intervene more. Schieffer seemed to disappear for minutes at a time. The host's first question focused on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. After both President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney, Schieffer let the Republican presidential candidate respond to Obama without interruption. Schieffer rarely interrupted or interjected, but managed to maintain a nearly equal amount of time between the two candidates.

Unlike previous debates, the chatter on Twitter seemed to focus primarily on the candidates and content, as opposed to the moderator. Lehrer's moderating performance was savaged on social media sites, and users were quick to comment on ABC News' Martha Raddatz's confrontational performance. CNN's Candy Crowley drew intense criticism and praise after her controversial live fact check.

But Schieffer did not initially garner such attention. Perhaps due to the subject matter, or his demeanor, Schieffer stayed primarily out of the debate fray. He dutifully guided the conversation from question to question. His follow-up questions did not seem to draw any notable criticism or praise.

However, trouble came calling about a half hour into the debate. Both candidates started pulling the debate back to the domestic issues that voters are overwhelmingly focused on during the election. Teachers' unions, balanced budgets, Obamacare — it all went a bit off-topic. Schieffer seemed to be unwilling or unable to move the conversation back to international issues for some minutes.

"Schieffer is good but it will take mighty powers to keep this debate on foreign affairs," New York magazine's Frank Rich tweeted.

"Bob Schieffer is at the salad bar," The Nation's Jeremy Scahill chimed in.

"Uh-oh, Bob Schieffer's been Lehrered," Guardian writer Emma Keller wrote.

"Let me get us back to foreign policy," Schieffer finally said. Romney interrupted the CBS host asking to respond to Obama's education criticism. "OK," Schieffer said.

"I want to try to shift it, because we have heard some of this in the other debates," Schieffer said of the debate. He then asked the Republican presidential candidate how he will fund increases to the military's budget. Romney responded by saying he would cut domestic policies including Obamacare.

Schieffer managed to wrest the proceedings back to foreign policy, at one point firmly thwarting Romney's attempts to talk about a different topic. At certain points, he showed a tart wit. "I think we all love teachers," he said as he cut off a Romney stemwinder about education.

He also made an all too familiar flub, calling Osama bin Laden "Obama bin Laden."

Schieffer did get praised for asking about drones, a subject that had not appeared in any previous debate. But he was also criticized for keeping the focus almost entirely on the Middle East. MSNBC's Chris Matthews, for instance, said there was "far too much" focus on Israel (he added that the candidates "pandered" to voters on the issue) and the Middle East, at the expense of the rest of the globe. There was no mention of Europe and only glancing mentions of Africa and Latin America.

"I thought it lacked any kind of originality and importance," Matthews said.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gestures beside his wife Ann following the third and final presidential debate with US President Barack Obama at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, October 22, 2012. The showdown focusing on foreign policy is being held in the crucial toss-up state of Florida just 15 days before the election and promises to be among the most watched 90 minutes of the entire 2012 campaign. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gestures following the third and final presidential debate with US President Barack Obama at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, October 22, 2012. The showdown focusing on foreign policy is being held in the crucial toss-up state of Florida just 15 days before the election and promises to be among the most watched 90 minutes of the entire 2012 campaign. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Barack Obama, Michelle Obama,

    President Barack Obama, left, gives a thumbs-up as he is joined on stage by first lady Michelle Obama, right, at the end of the last debate against Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney smile during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)

  • President Barack Obama greets members of the family of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)

  • Barak Obama, Michelle Obama

    President Barack Obama kisses his wife Michelle after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Ann Romney, Michelle Obama

    President Barack Obama, right, and first lady Michelle Obama wave as they walk off stage as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and his wife Ann, say goodbye to the crowd before departing after the third presidential debate on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • President Barack Obama and First lady Michelle Obama kiss after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Michael Reynolds)

  • Mitt Romney, Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama greets members of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's family after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • President Barack Obama and First lady Michelle Obama wave to the audience after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Michael Reynolds)

  • Barack Obama, Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, and President Barack Obama, left, greet members of the audience at the end of the final debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama shakes hands with the audience after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Win McNamee)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, right, and President Barack Obama shake hands with audience members following the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • President Barack Obama and Michelle wave to members of the audience following the third presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Barack Obama, Mitt Romney,

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama walks past each other on stage at the end of the last debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Ann Romney, Mitt Romney,

    Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, laughs as she pulls her husband away from the edge of the stage after the third presidential debate with President Barack Obama at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney meet family members after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Michael Reynolds)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, left, shakes hands with President Barack Obama following their third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • President Barack Obama, left, hugs his wife Michelle while Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney kisses his wife Ann following the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Barack Obama, Mitt Romney

    President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney pass each other after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • President Barack Obama, right, and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney shake hands following their third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US President Barack Obama (R) greets Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) following the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, October 22, 2012. The showdown focusing on foreign policy is being held in the crucial toss-up state of Florida just 15 days before the election and promises to be among the most watched 90 minutes of the entire 2012 campaign. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, left, shakes hands with President Barack Obama following their third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • President Barack Obama makes his closing argument during the third presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) speaks during a debate with U.S. President Barack Obama as moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS (R) looks on at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (not seen) at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US President Barack Obama debates Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, on October 22, 2012. The final debate before the November 6 election is focusing on foreign policy. AFP PHOTO / Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during the third and final presidential debate with US President Barack Obama at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, on October 22, 2012. The showdown focusing on foreign policy is being held in the critical toss-up state of Florida just 15 days before the election and promises to be among the most watched 90 minutes of the entire 2012 campaign. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • President Barack Obama, right, speaks to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Mitt Romney, Barack Obama

    Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama react to moderator Bob Schieffer during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, left, and President Barack Obama laugh after being interrupted by moderator Bob Schieffer during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a debate with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (not seen) at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney makes a point during the third presidential debate with President Barack Obama at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • President Barack Obama speaks during the third presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • President Barack Obama smiles as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)

  • Mitt Romney, Barack Obama

    Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama answer a question during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Win McNamee)

  • President Barack Obama listens as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) debates with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Rick Wilking-Pool/Getty Images)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama (L) listens as moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS speaks during the debate with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney debates on October 22, 2012 during the third presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. The final debate before the November 6 election is focusing on foreign policy. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney listens during the third and final presidential debate with US President Barack Obama at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, on October 22, 2012. The showdown focusing on foreign policy is being held in the critical toss-up state of Florida just 15 days before the election and promises to be among the most watched 90 minutes of the entire 2012 campaign. AFP PHOTO Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • President Barack Obama speaks during the third presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney participate in the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, on October 22, 2012. The final debate before the November 6 election is focusing on foreign policy. AFP PHOTO / Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US President Barack Obama debates in the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, on October 22, 2012. The final debate before the November 6 election is focusing on foreign policy. AFP PHOTO / Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • President Barack Obama speaks during the third presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a debate with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during the third presidential debate with President Barack Obama at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, left, listens to President Barack Obama during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)