I'm going to be away from the Vine for the next couple of days, so I wanted to take this opportunity to share my impressions about the Presidential debate before I go. I have a feeling when I return on Monday, we will not be discussing it. And that brings me to my first point:
1. This debate will be quickly forgotten. Why? Because while the President was entirely himself, the real news is that Gov. Romney was decidedly not. His flipped on key Republican policies, even appeared to support Democratic positions on occasion. He has left everyone in the media wondering where his overtly animated persona came from; and his ultra conservative base concerned about the policy switches.
I think he will be forced to walk back most of his Centrist genuflections in the ensuing days on the stump.
2. I didn't get that impression at all that the President's performance "low-key" or "down-trodden", as it has been labeled. He was calm, centered, unwilling to play tit-for-tat. I actually admire those qualities in a leader; and appreciate not being pandered to. Regardless, the real complaint seems to be that no one expected Gov. Romney to be so candid and loose. How does that have anything to do with the President? I think it's a false equivalency.
3. The debate was primarily substantive, something that doesn't play well on the media. They want gratuitous attacks, blood and guts, and there was little of it during the debate. The spin cycle has little to spin from this debate and will be looking for better fodder elsewhere in the days to come.
4. And finally, I thought Jim Lehrer, the moderator, did the best he could with the format he had to work with - a very loose format. And here I will give Gov. Romney the nod: he took advantage of the format to gain more time for himself. Now what he said is subject to speculation, but, like in soccer matches, the time of possession is noted for a reason, and Romney clearly had the lion's share.
Please feel free to have a lively discussion, but mind the CoH. I'll check in a few times and will delete those comments which contain personal attacks and inflammatory content.
Have a good weekend, everyone.
See you Monday!