No doubt about it: Romney won the debate

Mitt Romney (REUTERS/Michael Reynolds/Pool)

Republican Presidential contender Mitt Romney needed to accomplish three things to emerge as a clear winner in Wednesday’s Presidential debate:  Not screw up, stay on message and throw President Barack Obama off his game.

Romney accomplished the first two with ease.  He was aggressive, in control and dominant.  He stayed on message.

Obama gave him the third without a fight.  The President was off his game from the beginning, appearing distracted, often confused and seldom on message.  He came into the debate surprisingly unprepared, perhaps overconfident in his abilities to wing it without preparation.

Jeff Greenberg may have put it best:

There was barely a moment when Obama offered any sense that he was prepared to challenge Romney on his weakest point: who does the Republican presidential nominee speak for? How much (or little) does he understand where the country is, how it got here?

Even on the most basic political points, Obama seemed clueless. When you argue as a Democrat that you and your Republican opponent share wide areas of agreement on Social Security—especially when recipients make up a chunk of Romney’s “47 percent” of indolent spongers—you have thrown in a fistful of high cards.

Romney came into debate prepared for a fight.  Obama clearly did not.

Will the President’s lackluster performance reset the race and put Romney back into the game?

Worried Democratic strategists told Capitol Hill Blue privately following the debate Wednesday night that the President’s performance was — at best — a debacle.

“This was the worst performance I have witnessed by an incumbent President,” grumbled one.

While the “official” message from the Democratic spin room tried to characterize Romney as “testy,” the Obama faithful admitted to each other that the President “blew this one.”

Early indicators suggest voters — who for the most part had made up their mind — may reconsider.

An instant CBS polls of undecided voters gave the debate win to Romney.  Many said they were rethinking the GOP Presidential nominee and seeing him in a different — and better — light.  Other polling says those who leaned towards Obama may now take a second look at Romney.

“The President single-handedly put Romney back into the race,” said one Democratic strategist.

Obama’s listless performance suggest a President who is not only tired and off his game but also one whose arrogance has left him vulnerable.

The first Presidential debate was Romney’s to win or lose.  He won handily.  Obama could have avoided disaster by simply holding his own.  He failed.

Adds Greenberg:

Yes, it wasn’t the best atmospherics for Obama to look down, purse his lips, appear distracted, while Romney was attentive, engaged, relaxed. But this was much more than atmospherics. This was about one candidate who came with a frame for the evening, and who was prepared to engage on every question; and another who, perhaps because of his documented faith in his own abilities, felt he could wing it with snatches of familiar verbiage.

With little more than a month — and two more Presidential debates — to go, the early indicators suggest a race that will tighten and become more interesting.

Score round one for Romney.

And show Obama as a loser.

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10 Responses to "No doubt about it: Romney won the debate"

  1. Keith  October 4, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Perhaps the reason Mr. Romney “won” the debate last evening is that he has a far better understanding of business and economics than the President does.

    Which is perhaps also why the country is in the deepening economic mess that it’s in.

    Granted, Mr. Obama is a great politician. He talks a good line and he knows how to stroke people’s emotions.. But when it comes to understanding what it takes to actually run a trillion dollar economy, he simply has no clue.

    Remember, Mr Obama, never ran a business or had to balance a budget (other than perhaps the one for his family). His background is law and as a Chicago political hack. He “fell into” his US Senate seat largely because his opponent in the race self-destructed.

    I think many people who voted for Mr. Obama last time will now be taking a second look at Mr. Romney.

  2. Bill Cravener  October 4, 2012 at 9:56 am

    That’s nonsense! I clearly remember President Bush losing the 90-minute prime time 2004 debate skirmish with John Kerry where he made Junior look like an imbecile and yet GW went on to win re-election.

  3. Walter F. Wouk  October 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Remember, Willard — vis a vis Bain Capital — was in the business of destroying companies for profit

  4. larry  October 4, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    While Mitt did a performance, to bad he doesn’t deal with actual facts. And I wouldn’t brag about his business performance. Hec if you want a business guy – get Bill Gates. He actually created something and not just a dealer.

  5. Willie Buck Merle  October 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Larry & Walter – yes
    Keith – Oh where have you been, pussy-willow?

  6. therealraven  October 4, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    The community disorganizer got smoked. Is he really that bad? Maybe Obama can do better in the next two rounds but if this was a boxing match the towel would have been tossed in. Even the CBS and CNN polls could not shine a light on this. That’s what happens when you have John Kerry step in as “Mitt.”

  7. brian ski  October 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Romney won because he lied, and he’s a good liar. The man who whored himself out to the tea party right to get the nomination lied about being a moderate. The etch-a sketch has been shaken. This election is going to get really nasty now, but Obama should be able to crush him with video of his own prior statements.

  8. JerryG  October 4, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Yep, “winners” and “losers”! That’s so American! Drown out the noise of the media. Hear what the candidates said. If you did, you’ll realize Romney thru caution to the wind and flip-flopped repeatedly on numerous issues. While he may have “won” he certainly wasn’t the consistent rightie that he’s been trying to sell to his base. What we saw last night was the chameleon candidate in action and on top of his game!

  9. blutodog  October 5, 2012 at 12:15 am

    If I remember correctly in 2004 Kerry was said to have easily won all three debates and yet it didn’t translate into a victory for him and today were seeing something similar happening. The difference is that most of the M$M is owned by people that hate Obama and will try and make this one RMONEY victory look like the election is in fact over. It’s not and I doubt that RMONEY will find the same listless unprepared debating partner as he did last night on the next two outings. The problem for Willard now is the extremely high expectations now riding on him going into the next two debates. He needs a triple crown going forward and like Secretariat in 1973 he also needs to win debate 3 ( the Belmont stakes) in 31 lengths to go into the last weeks tied or gaining with Obama. What are the odds of that happening given his overall performance up till last night? At best last night was a do or die moment for the RMONEY campaign and Willard sucked it up and saved himself for the moment. I think we just might look back on last night as his last hurrah not the beginning of his Victory parade in Nov. In other words put away the champagne folks this isn’t over till the fat lady sings.

  10. bryan mcclellan  October 6, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    How does one rehearse for the truth in it’s perfect spontaneity and still keep a strait face whilst screwy truth-ing in an internationally broadcast forum?

    Pop said, dare not disparage,
    grease the carriage,
    it’s only a four year marriage

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