Last week’s debate was probably the most hands-down intense, pull-no-punches, and for all intents and purposes bloody debate I have ever seen in the realm of politics. And for good reason: if Barack Obama were to “redeem” himself from his weak and lackluster performance the first time… he’d have to compensate— and that meant being more confident, more comfortable, and more in control than Mitt Romney.
Was he? Well, it depends on who you ask. Ask a Leftie: “Yeah, Barack kicked butt! He did what he needed to do— he’s back, baby! Mitt didn’t know what hit him— he finally got called out on all his lies… and the 47% remark! Obama finally brought up the 47% remark!”
Ask a Right-winger: “Yeah… well, I admit, I wished Mitt would’ve hit harder on some things— but all in all, I think Mitt still won. He was cool, collected, and professional, while Obama was snide, desperate, and all-over-the-place.”
Now… let’s look at the Independents. A CBS poll taken right after the debate had results divided by thirds: just over a third said Obama won, around a third said Romney won… and almost a third weren’t sure. But… if the Gallup poll numbers revealed at the end of last week are any indication, that third of undecided folks eventually went to Mitt.
For further proof, look no further than the focus groups interviewed in the debate’s aftermath— taken by Fox News and MSNBC. Fox’s group, hosted by the great Frank Luntz, was made up of ’08 Obama voters— and all but a scant view made it clear: after the night’s clash… they’re going for Romney.
“Oh, but that’s Fox News, Blake! That channel’s just a bunch of right-wing shills for the Military Industrial Complex, whatever that means, but it sounds great, so I’ll just keep on saying it, and hope that it sticks!”
Okay… let’s look at the Left’s favorite news channel, aside from Comedy Central: the MSNBC focus group was very telling. As I went over the clip of the reactions of the formerly undecided voters, I saw one who was more impressed by Obama. The rest basically went, “Uhm… well, I’m not entirely sure who I’m going to go for, but I think Romney had the better answers, the better performance, etc.”
And the guy interviewing them? At the end, he turned to the audience and said with a straight face, “As you can see, we have one Obama supporter, one Romney supporter— and the rest are still undecided!” Yeah….
So, the Leftists in the media were desperate to spin the debate, no matter how it went, into an Obama victory. It was probably easy for them, considering how Obama seemed pretty big on acting as a “red meat” thrower. Alas… it sometimes came back to bite him.
Here’s my favorite moment from the debate: Obama was on a roll, accusing Romney of being a typical Evil Greedy Capitalist who invested in companies who shipped jobs overseas to China. Mitt would have none of it, and shot back in a verbal clash reminiscent of a David Mamet screenplay: “Mr. President, have you looked at your pension?” “Well—” “Have you looked at your pension?” “Uh, look—” “Mr. President, have you looked at your pension?” As it turns out… Obama’s pension plan invests in “China-job” companies, just like Romney’s blind trust does.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up Candy Crowley’s frankly bizarre performance as moderator. Responding to the above smack-down (and many others), Crowley promptly declared a need to change the subject— as she did the occasional instance before Mitt could respond to an absurd series of accusations by Barack. And of course… there was her effort to “correct” the governor on whether or not the president had called the Benghazi incident an “act of terror” on 9/12. Her jumping in was cause for elation for both Obama and his supporters in the audience (who broke into applause despite their promise not to do so). Of course… Candy later ate her words after the debate, admitting Mitt’s point was in the right. Still— her rampant activism in the debate was decidedly not helpful… especially to viewers around the nation. (This was more “compensation”, for Jim Lehrer’s sitting back and allowing the candidates to carry on, the first debate.)
Next week— my thoughts on tonight’s debate. See you, then….