So a debate happened this week. As any serious observer will tell you, Mitt Romney totally owned the President. Conservatives across the nation cheered. Liberals are calling for Jim Lehrer’s head. And at the risk of spiking the football, here’s a compilation of the best reactions from the Left and the Right:
First up is Andrew Sullivan at his blog on the Daily Beast.
Like Sullivan, I’m a gay conservative with a moderate streak who voted for Obama in 2008, the difference being that I’m slightly ashamed of that last fact (still less humiliating than voting for McCain). This was a tough night for one of the President’s biggest cheerleaders and Mr. Sullivan was not pleased with Obama’s performance, declaring Mitt the winner. My favorite moment is when one of his readers shot him an email:
10.19 pm. A reader writes:
My wife and I are feeling the same hysteria you’re expressing. Romney, while coming off as more than a bit aggressive, is clear, authoritative, and on point. Obama is a confusing, meandering, stuttering mess.
I’m a high information voter, so I know the context of Obama’s complaints about Romney’s tax plan not adding up, or comments about Medicare, Dodd-Frank, etc. I also know when Romney is lying through his teeth or contradicting his own past statements. Most of your Dish readers are probably in the same boat. But America as a whole? I’m not so sure. And to them I’d think Romney looks like he’s creaming Obama.
And given how badly Romney’s years at Bain have played in the media and ad wars to this date, I’m truly impressed by how well Romney has been able to play up his years of business experience. I have to admit, the way he’s spinning it, not only does it sound impressive, but incredibly relevant to the issues being discussed.
The use of the word ‘hysteria’ in the first sentence is what really got me. Just imagine: this hysteria was playing out among all the nation’s liberals last night as they tried to make sense of the President’s terrible performance. These people are terrified of what “America as a whole” might take away from last night’s thumping. If only I were more of a “high information voter”, maybe I’d know better than making light of all this.
Next up is my personal favorite: MSNBC in total meltdown mode.
If you’re someone who is at all tickled by absurdest political theatre, you owe it to yourself to watch Chris Matthews rant as he argues that President Obama’s debate failure is a result of not watching enough MSNBC.
The man is right, that was not an MSNBC debate. I mean Jim Lehrer didn’t even bring up the Republican war on women!
This is like watching an episode of that campy Superfriends cartoon from the 1970′s. Chris Matthews plays Lex Luthor, demanding answers from his Legion of Doom, just after Superman Mitt Romney foiled his latest scheme.
It doesn’t get any more cartoonish than this people. This is mad self-parody happening in real time. Conservatives, you can keep cheering this victory for another day or two.
Finally, a piece from conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer. Here’s what we need to take away from Mitt the Boot-Kicker’s victory:
By the end of the debate, Obama looked small, uncertain. It was Romney who had the presidential look.
Reelection campaigns after a failed presidential term — so failed that Obama barely even bothers to make the case, preferring to blame everything on his predecessor — hinge almost entirely on whether the challenger can meet the threshold of acceptability. Romney crossed the threshold Wednesday night.
Reagan won his election (Carter was actually ahead at the time) when he defused his caricature as some wild, extreme, warmongering cowboy. In his debate with Carter, he was affable, avuncular and reasonable. That’s why with a single aw-shucks line, “There you go again,” the election was over.
Romney had to show something a little different: That he is not the clumsy, out-of-touch plutocrat that the paid Obama ads and the unpaid media have portrayed him to be. He did, decisively.
No, the race isn’t over yet. And yes, last we knew Obama was ahead in the swing states. But no one can seriously deny that the game has changed.
Man, I wonder what the Biden-Ryan debate is going to be like…