Look: you know how much I love the guy, and you know how much of a high information viewer I am, and I can see the logic of some of Obama's meandering, weak, professorial arguments. But this was a disaster for the president for the key people he needs to reach, and his effete, wonkish lectures may have jolted a lot of independents into giving Romney a second look...From your computer to God's ears, sir.
The person with authority on that stage was Romney - offered it by one of the lamest moderators ever, and seized with relish. This was Romney the salesman. And my gut tells me he sold a few voters on a change tonight. It's beyond depressing. But it's true.
And poor Michael Moore's Twitter feed gets more and more depressed and concluded with this lovely comment: "This is what happens when u pick John Kerry as your debate coach." Bill Maher also was whining about Obama's performance. I never before was interested in reading these people's Twitter feeds, but today it was lots of fun to feel their pain.
Romney was substantive, self-assured, and informative. Obama seemed arrogant, smug, petulant, unsure of himself, and professorial. Even though he spoke for five more minutes in the debate than Romney did, but it really didn't seem that way. I bet most people would have thought that Romney spoke more, because he was more to the point and covered more ground when he spoke.
Obama's spinners were reduced to saying that Romney won because he had prepared more. I guess being president isn't preparation for meeting an opponent one-on-one. He's too used to being met with adoring crowds or sycophantic aides and journalists. Perhaps if he spent more time doing his job instead of hanging out with his Hollywood pals or on Letterman or Jon Stewart or The View, Obama might have been prepared also. Instead he made Clint Eastwood's empty chair routine seem quite prescient.
When they weren't whining that Romney was better prepared than Obama, they were blaming Jim Lehrer. What Lehrer did was get out of the way and liberals are too used to MSM journalists making their arguments for them. What this debate did was leave the moderator to the side so the candidates could discuss policy on their own. The moderators aren't there to score points off the politicians. Basically, Lehrer asked how they differed and got out of the way. I liked this format.
The man is the President of the United States. And his aides have to defend him by saying that Jim Lehrer should have done more to help him out? That kinda makes our argument, doesn't it?
I guess all their poor-mouthing of all the President would do in the debate was for real. Maybe they recognized how poorly he would appear. No wonder he told an audience that debate prep was a "drag."
You know the last time Obama looked this weak and helpless? When Paul Ryan used six minutes to utterly take Obama apart at the health care summit. Obama is just not used to being challenged on the facts. That is what years of a pliant media does for a man. In both times, all Obama could do was change the subject. And since he wasn't the moderator last night, he was forced to beg Jim Lehrer to "move on to another topic."
As Jeffrey Lord writes, Obama was done in by the Taranto Principle that the liberal media weaken liberal politicians because they're not used to being challenged.
I like Mark Hemingway's summary the best:
That wasn't a debate so much as Mitt Romney just took Obama for a cross country drive strapped to the roof of his car.For years since he first appeared on the scene, the media and celebrities have been telling us metaphorically that Barack Obama is the best-dressed politician out there. Last night we got to see that Obama has no clothes.