Being neither a debate watcher nor a speech listener, I excused myself from watching the debate last night, knowing I would be inundated with the salient pieces and evaluations afterwards. And, I found myself fully inundated. Since neither Obama nor Romney suggested anything surprising, I found more interest in reactions to the debate.
According to a CNN/ORC International survey conducted right after the debate, 67% of debate watchers questioned said that the Republican nominee won the faceoff, with one in four saying that President Barack Obama was victorious.
“No presidential candidate has topped 60% in that question since it was first asked in 1984,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
As Gomer Pyle would say, “Surprise, surprise, surprise.” (But, not too great of a surprise.) Romney’s an extremely intelligent man. I believe his IQ would measure in the genius range. You simply have to look at his academic achievements to see that. Obama’s a supposed skilled orator, but he hides his grades and much of his academic record. Plus, skilled oration doesn’t always translate into good debate skills.
George Stephanopoulos tried to play it off as a tie.. Ed Driscoll suggests this type of behavior is why Stephanopoulos’ colleague, Diane Sawyer, was laughed at by other prospective jurors.
James Carville graciously acknowledged Romney’s victory in the debate. Carville added this humorous note, “My point is this — President Obama came in, he wanted to have a conversation. It takes two people to have a conversation. Mitt Romney came in with a chainsaw. He’s trying to talk to a chainsaw.” Carville’s a hard guy not to like, even when you disagree with him. He looks lika an aging ET and says funny things.
Ann Althouse wonders if if Obama had a strategy to make the debate wonky and dull. Most commenters to tha post found this question absurd. But, Ann quotes Andrew Sullivan’s, an Obama supporter, frustration, “How is Obama’s closing statement so fucking sad, confused and lame? He choked. He lost. He may even have lost the election tonight.” Ann also notes that the closing is a little speech that would have prepared before hand.
Of course, our good H.M.Stuart posted Chris Matthews and Victor Davis Hanson’s reactions. Poor Chris seems to have lost that tingle up his leg and needs it back badly. Hanson pointed out two themes:
For so long Barack Obama has assumed that he will not face cross-examination from the media that he simply has little grasp of policy details, and in exasperation seems to look around for the accustomed helpful media crutch. But there is no such subsidy in a one-on-one debate, and only now it becomes clear just how the media for the last six years have enfeebled their favorite.
Second, Jim Lehrer seemed detached and impotent, and was simply not up to moderating a rigorous presidential debate. He was not careful to allot the time equitably between the two candidates; he did not enforce the announced time limits; and he did not manage the debate to ensure it covered the ground envisioned. The next moderator will have to be far more engaged and forceful.
I later discovered this enfeebling is part of the Taranto Principle:
the press’s failure to hold left-wingers accountable for bad behavior merely encourages the left’s bad behavior to the point that its candidates are repellent to ordinary Americans.
The ungrateful AARP told Obama not to use their name any more. Ungrateful because they stand to make a lot of money off of Obmamcare. (Don’t kid yourself that non-profits don’t care about making money.)
“Thanks to its cuts to Medicare Advantage, Obamacare is expected to expand the number of seniors buying “medigap” supplemental insurance plans,” The Washington Examiner explained in an editorial. “AARP controls 34 percent of the market for such plans. According to a 2011 House Ways and Means Committee report, AARP stands to make between $55 million and $166 million from Obamacare in 2014 alone.”
My 19 year old son tweeted during the debate, “Obama looks like a kid trying to get away with coming home high #noeyecontact”. Obama’s not all that popular with the younger set in this neck of the woods. A couple of weeks ago, one of my son’s black friends told him Obama wasn’t the first black president, Clinton was. And, he meant it.
However, the loquacious Al Gore offered up one of the most bizarre excuses for Obama’s performance. The lack of oxygen at the high altitude got to Obama’s brain.
Yeah, that’s what is was. Al’s suffering from dementia brought on by climate change. As someone pointed out, if this is the case, it’s just another sign Romney is smarter than Obama because Romney went to Denver early and acclimated himself to the altitude. (BTW – the elevation of Las Vegas is 2,000 ft. It’s not a huge jump to 5,000 ft. I’ve made greater altitude gains hundreds of times in the Smoky Mountains without any mental debilitation.)
Gore’s comment reminded Ann Althouse of this moment in the Gore – Bush debates.
I was actually giving Gore consideration up until that moment. Althouse says you can always get her to laugh by saying, “What about the Dingell-Norwood bill?” Do you know anything about the Dingell-Norwod Bill?
Let’s hope the remaining debates bring as much entertainment as this one.