This post was up while the debate was still underway…just to be clear…
This was not the finest night for President Obama.
While it is true that President Obama has not had a debate of this type for four years, one might have thought there would be more energy and passion and punchy style for the first presidential debate. There is no way to describe Obama other than passive and slow at swinging back. Mitt Romney was allowed to strike hard, walk over moderator Jim Lehrer, and make some outlandish statements that did not get smacked down.
As an example I kept waiting for Obama to challenge Romney about what deductions he would eliminate to balance off reductions in tax rates. There were some openings such as Romney seeking out a new accountant that deserved a response. None came.
President Obama failed to state when given the chance that corporations actually get a tax break for relocating manufacturing overseas. Romney stated he was not aware of that. Obama should have instructed him as to the facts.
Where was the Democratic punch about the 47%?
The harsh views that Romney holds about the federal government were not rejected by Obama with the passion it needed during the debate.
Romney had no reluctance to continually interrupt Lehrer. All day there was the argument put out by analysts that Obama might allow Lehrer to challenge Romney. When that did not happen it was vital Obama step in.
Sadly, President Obama failed to do that tonight with the skill and energy he has demonstrated in the past.