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October 03, 2012

Reaction to the First Presidential Debate

President Obama spent much of the debate acting like he was in trouble because he didn't take his wife out on their 20th wedding anniversary. He was bored and clearly wanted to be someplace else.

Mitt Romney did considerably better and was more aggressive but never really landed a big punch. He hit Obama regularly but the president played rope-a-dope and just waited for the bell to ring.

Romney's major misstep in this debate -- and in this campaign -- was being factually untrue about his plans and denying his own record. But Obama didn't push back very hard at all.

Jim Lehrer mostly stayed out of the way which allowed a much more substantive debate than we've seen in the past. He'll take a lot of criticism for this approach, but the moderator should be invisible in a good debate.

Overall, Romney was better prepared, stayed on message and was even more personable than the president. Obama missed a big chance tonight. While the fact checkers may ultimately side with the president in the end, Romney did a better job. His performance should calm many Republicans who have doubted him in recent weeks.


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