With the first presidential debate over, the fair-weather conservatives that had all but written off Mitt Romney as a legitimate contender are back in full force to discuss the overwhelming victory of Romney in the debate. I suppose it’s better late than never…
As I’ve discussed before, I have taken exception in recent weeks to the cries of “the sky is falling” from gullible conservatives that believe heavily-manipulated polls that have concluded that the Romney Campaign was falling too far behind to bridge the gap in battleground states. While that is certainly possible and I will not claim that Romney’s success is certain, I have been honestly baffled by the negativity surrounding what I consider to be a superbly-run campaign.
Much of the conservative criticism has been aimed at Romney’s unwillingness to thoroughly define his platform. However, the strategy has worked to disarm the Obama Campaign, who’s best chance at re-election rests in their ability to poke holes in their opponents’ statements as neither Obama nor Biden can honestly tout any real accomplishments. More and more people wondered when we would see a proactive Romney, willing to define his campaign. There wish was granted Wednesday night as Romney unleashed point-after-point, enumerating on his fingers the step-by-step ways he intends to get this country back on track.
If the debate was a boxing match, it was a match where Romney won all 15 rounds, but never delivered a knock-out punch. Obama was evasive and did not fully engage, his tired talking points coming up short against Romney’s inspired point-by-point plans and effective communication. When not speaking, Obama spent his time staring downward or grimacing under the pain of not doing what comes naturally to him- lashing out at whomever is criticizing him.
As the thinnest-skinned president since Nixon, Obama is not used to having his ideas challenged. Furthermore, Obama is used to an adoring crowd that does not expect him to actually defend his policies. More comfortable on The View than taking questions at a press conference, Obama is not accustomed to speaking to a crowd that is unwilling to fawn over him and his rhetoric. Meanwhile, the private-sector powerhouse that has, undoubtedly, commanded his fair share of boardrooms seemed to thrive in the environment of ideas.
From the beginning, Romney had control of the pace- politely demanding his fair share of response time from the moderator and holding Obama to account for each misrepresentation of Romney’s proposed policies. In terms of debate strategy, it is undeniable that Romney had the upper hand by controlling the pace and general direction of the debate. Obama, on the other hand, spent the majority of his time playing catch-up and by the end, seemed resigned to Romney having the upper hand.
The best description I heard of the debate was from a friend who said, “Obama sounds like me when I’m trying to get off the phone with someone. ‘Yeah, okay, I’ll get on that… mmm hmm…okay.’”
However, Romney’s first third of the debate was, admittedly, a bit rushed. His cadence was off and his nervousness caused him to hurry through his responses. However, in this time of national crises, having too many ideas of how one would fix things is not the worst thing. After a half-hour or so, Romney found his stride, slowed his tempo and conveyed his ideas in a more articulate tone.
In terms of likability, Romney knocked it out of the park. As Obama fumed and bit his tongue, not wanting to lash-out at the criticism he so loathes, he came across as stand-offish and smug. While he was almost certainly prepped by aids that reminded him to not sigh and huff and puff like Gore in the 2000 debate, he seemingly did everything but. Certainly, I’ve seen him more smug, but he certainly was not likable.
Conversely, Romney, who has been seen as somewhat dull by some independents, tested well with focus groups of undecided voters who have said that they found the former governor compassionate and very relatable.
Absent from this debate were the “zingers” that the liberal media claimed Romney had been working on. As a forced joke at an inopportune time would have sent the wrong message, Romney, evidently sensing that these debates will be a marathon, not a sprint, held back any overly-witty criticism of the president, instead setting the stage for a debate that revolved around ideas- the Achilles heel of an Obama-Biden Campaign bereft of meaningful solutions to our nation’s problems.
While I am, admittedly, partisan, I am willing to give credit where credit is due. However, Obama has little that he can honestly pat himself on the back for coming out of this debate. While he was not delivered a knock-out punch, he lost on seemingly every front.
I am not alone in my analysis; I am receiving back-up from some incredibly unlikely sources. While the theme of every major news outlet seems to be, “…But Obama did well, too…,” almost every news source, independent or mainstream, calls Romney the clear victor. While they still try to heap praise on Obama’s performance, the liberal media’s willingness to concede the defeat of their Messiah signals a true upset by Romney. Even partisan hack George Stephanonopoulos stated, “I think Governor Romney was definitely more crisp in his presentation tonight….he was able to be aggressive without being offensive.” This is high praise coming from the liberal puppet that has called 8 out of the last 9 presidential debates for the Democrat.
Hopefully, this debate will boost morale with the more fickle conservatives and overcome the effect the laughably skewed polls are having on conservatives that have lost focus.
There are two more debates to go, and I sincerely hope Romney keeps up this momentum. However, if I’m being truthful, I honestly cannot wait for the Ryan-Biden debate. As Biden can’t keep from getting rattled and saying crazy things when he’s just speaking to a crowd, I can only imagine what hysterical nonsense will come out of his mouth when the pressure is put on him by a tenacious Paul Ryan. It will be like Ali in his prime beating up a fourth grader.