No doubt, last night was what we call a ass-whooping of a Presidential debate. Romney was sharp, clear and concise in his delivery. Obama was confused, hemming and hawwing, and generally disengaged during the debate. A Clear victory for Romney. But…..
Obama knew going into this particular debate that he was going to lose. The topic was the economy, jobs and national debt and Obama is an abject failure on that front. I think his plan was to stand and take the punches hoping that Romney would say something stupid that could be used later in the campaign. Through out much of the debate Obama stood with his head down, nodding almost as if to be a scolded child. His only defense for the onslaught was to start the evening seeking sypmathy because it was his anniversary. Luckily, Romney made no fatal errors in his delivery of criticisms on Obama.
The remaining debates will be different. Obama will be back in his comfort zone as he will get to talk more about abortion and healthcare, and women’s rights. He will play a stronger second debate as a ‘comeback’ kid moment and he will be the underdog. It is a risky strategy, but if executed properly an effective strategy. People like to root for comeback kids and Obama will play up that image for the next two weeks. He will get to talk about ‘how he got beat, but he is not giving up and neither should the voters’. People’s perception of Obama will be sympathetic from now until the next debate.
The problem for Obama is that Romney came off very likeable in last night’s debate. People saw thru the misperceptions attributed to him from Obama and the liberal press of Romney being like Gordon Gekko. I think he was surprised. Romney was likeable, using anecdotes about family and people he has met along the way to illustrate his points for the change he seeks. Romney did not come off as lecturing and imperialistic in any way.
Beware Mitt Romney, because Obama will be ready for the next debate.