There was no joy in Democratic Mudville after the first presidential debate. Romney came across as energized, happy and (even when wrong) confident while, with the exception of the first and last 2 minutes ― obviously well-rehearsed beforehand ― Obama looked distracted and occasionally nonplussed.
It often seemed like Obama was having trouble connecting his thoughts into a coherent idea. He sometimes seemed so taken aback by Romney’s freewheeling statements, denials or refutations that he momentarily verged on speechless.
After the debate, the commentators on MSNBC ― Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, Al Sharpton, Chris Hays, Lawrence O’Donnell and Chris Matthews ― ranged from disappointed and visibly stunned (Maddow, Hays, O’Donnell), to freely-expressed anger (Schultz, Sharpton and Matthews).
Clearly from a debate point of view, Obama was not only judged to have lost; he was deemed to have barely shown up.
Such was last night’s unanimous verdict from all the talking heads, whether gleeful Romney-ites, woeful Obamians, or the rare objective observers (one of which was David Gergen on CNN, always a joy to hear for intelligent, balanced thoughtfulness).
There is, however, some interesting counter-thought on this whole “Obama was crushed in the debate” meme. Continue reading