Quick Notes on the Debate

Last night Mitt Romney tore down the idea of Obama’s invincibility. He did it methodically, precisely, smoothly and decisively. If anyone thought Obama was a sure winner or leader last night they saw his path to reelection is not inevitable.

The Obama of 2008 didn’t show up. The Obama who did seemed petulant, stumbling and evasive. I’m not a fan of body language, but his last night was like a school boy called to the principal’s office. At times he glared. He tried to look calm, but seethed quietly. Obama didn’t want to be there. You get the impression that he resented having to answer criticisms.

He avoided Romney by looking down about half the time the camera went to him. His smiles were forced. That was quite odd as not looking at your opponent telegraphs weakness and insincerity. Confidence? It was more like manufactured bravado.

When Obama started stuttering and started up his repeated “and…and” that is really a stalling mechanism because he didn’t know what to say, Romney clearly was succeeding.

I noticed when the two of them walked on stage Romney was the taller one. Silly? The tallest candidate always wins the election, for some odd reason. O’s makeup was bad. He almost looked as white as Romney? Purposeful?

Did you notice Obama never mentioned the 47%? Did he forget? I expected he’d get that in frequently, but he didn’t.

After Romney had said he would meet with congressional leaders the day after his election, Obama smugly said something like “that first day will be a busy one, Mitt, with repealing Obamacare, too.” Did our “genius” confuse election day and inauguration day? Surely he knows the difference. Mitt can meet with leaders post election to plan all he wants, but he can act legally only after he is sworn in. I believe that is January 20, not November 7, O.

After awhile Jim Lehrer began to creep me out. Did you notice his eyes? The more you looked at them (eye pennies one twitterer called them) the worse it got. He would ponderously announce that we are moving on to the next segment – segment 3, 4 or 5. Where are we? A play? A game? It stopped the flow of the debate and was juvenile. When Lehrer attempted to stop Romney, I was glad Mitt just ran over him. A candidate can’t let the moderator cut him off from his main points. But when Obama lashed out at him to the effect that he had taken five seconds away from his time by interrupting him, well that was the wrong way to do it. I bet even old Jim was taken aback.

The heavy handedness with which Obama said things was off putting. For example, he began by congratulating Michelle on their 20th wedding anniversary. Who didn’t get that he was trying to get an “oh, isn’t that sweet!” from the women in the audience? Captain Obvious.

When he talked about high tuition costs for students (wink, wink college kids); hiring more teachers (get it union people?); entitlements (“I think of my grandmother and her need for Medicare and Social Security, seniors!); MIDDLE CLASS – I’m all about it!; I love small business!; he might as well have held up Vote for Me posters. Pathetic. And obvious. Painfully obvious.

Obama also tried to convince us he was Bill Clinton. I bet Slick Willie did a spit take when he heard that. Come on, O! You can do better than that!

Mitt Romney enumerated way too many times. He used point 1, point 2, etc. I thought it was bad until Obama started doing it, too. What do they say? Imitation is the highest form of flattery?

Obama ended by declaring he would like to keep fighting for us. That’s a term the Democrats love to use. Cohen does it here. I don’t need someone to fight for me. I need someone to lead and guide fairly. Fighting implies I am at war with my fellow Americans. I don’t like it. It’s a low tactic.

When I looked at Twitter last night, someone noted that Obama was sliding on Intrade. That’s the betting that goes on with the presidential race. That may be the most interesting indicator of all.

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