I’m writing this post in the early AM, but that’s not soon enough for one of my friends, who wrote me on Facebook and said, “You know, I hardly slept last night in anticipation of the debate post. I think you just lost my write-in vote!”
While I’m flattered that I was ever in contention for the write-in, I need to point out that I already analyzed this debate in advance. To wit:
The next two presidential debates will have no decisive winner.
Obama is too smart and too savvy to repeat the catastrophic performance of last night in his next two outings, and now, with a major drubbing behind him, expectations play solidly in his favor. Romney will be stellar, but Obama will push back, and in the end, it won’t be enough to convince Chris Matthews to put the noose back around his neck.
“Everything is proceeding exactly as I have foreseen.”
– Emperor Pumpernickelface
This debate was actually what I expected the first debate to be, and, indeed, was typical of what most presidential debates have traditionally been. In other words, both guys did well, and both sides could walk away thinking their guy won. So it’s unlikely this had a major impact on the trajectory of the race, which is good news for Mitt, since the trajectory continues to favor him.
The Obama that showed up wasn’t the lackluster Obama from Denver, which heartened his supporters. The problem for the president, however, was that the Romney who showed up was the Romney from Denver, a Romney radically at odds with the greedy outsourcing granny killer that has been showing up in hundreds of millions of Democratic ads all summer long. Those who were startled to discover that Romney is an acceptable alternative to a failed president saw nothing last night that would have dissuaded them from that position.
For Obama to get traction from this debate, it wasn’t enough for him to do well; he needed Romney to do poorly. Thankfully, Romney didn’t oblige.
I’m deeply disgusted, however, with “moderator” Candy Crowley “fact-checking” Romney on Libya mid-debate, only to be forced to correct herself afterward when it was pointed out that Mitt got it right. And was anyone else bothered by the fact that the so-called “undecided” voters burst into applause as the biased moderator took a cheap shot at Romney? The upside to this, of course, is that now Libya will dominate the news discussion until next Monday, which is not helpful to the president’s cause.
Interesting sidenote: Frank Luntz on FOX had a focus group of undecideds that swung overwhelmingly to Romney after the debate. I was more than willing to wrote that off as a strange outlier tainted by FOX’s conservative slant, but this morning, I find out that MSNBC had a focus group that did the same thing. That surprises me, as I didn’t see anything in that debate that would have changed any minds one way or the other. Perhaps a second strong Romney performance, however, was necessary to persuade true undecideds that Mitt is the real deal.
Those who don’t already know that probably won’t realize it until sometime after President Romney is sworn in next January,