About 15-20 minutes into the first Presidential debate, I wondered what Mitt Romney was on. He was different than the Mitt of 2008 and the Mitt of the 2012 Republican primary. To me he was much more annoying than either of those guys – but Mitt Romney won the debate tonight acting that way.
Barack Obama needs to find out what Romney drank, ate, or took before the debate and try it himself next time. Maybe Obama can slam down a 5-Hour Energy drink a couple hours before the next debate.
But Romney supporters should be cautious and not spike the ball just yet. Winning the debate and being elected President of the United States of America are two completely different things. Ask Al Gore. Ask John Kerry.
Romney sometimes acted like a second-grader who had the answer and was trying to get the teacher’s attention. His facial expressions were bothersome. Then he wiped his nose with his handkerchief – on TV. Yuck.
Barack Obama acted like a casual observer or a team playing not to lose. If he was trying to be more Presidential, he came across as just trying to get through it. When team Obama reviews this tape, they will see that he missed a lot of open receivers (opportunities like 47% and Bain and releasing tax returns). I expect him to be much better next time.
Obama did seem annoyed by Romney’s aggressiveness at times. I was, but Romney annoys me most of the time by being, well, Mitt Romney.
And then there’s the third guy on the stage, Jim Lehrer. He was kind of like a substitute teacher who lost control of the class – the class of two – and he seemed to have more problems with Romney. Someone posted on Twitter that Lehrer should have closed the debate with, “Thank you and I’m sorry.”
Then we had the numbers. They both spewed out number after number in their arguments about health care, Social Security, and Medicare that had to make their former Ivy League professors proud. As for the rest of us, we glazed over. We yawned. We went to the restroom. Fact checkers will have a ball with Romney’s numbers.
There wasn’t any moment in the debate that Romney scored big to turn the race around. Obama did not come close to landing a knockout punch, either. Romney will certainly get a bump in the polls. Sustaining it is another thing.
My final observation is that for those of you who earn over $250,000 a year, Romney is clearly your man.
Follow Jack on Twitter @TheWesternWord