If the debate we just saw were a boxing match, Barack Obama would have been staggering all over the ring. He was the fighter who hasn’t had a tough opponent in a long time, and he didn’t know how to handle the blows he was taking. This was a unanimous decision for the challenger, Mitt Romney. Even the lefties on MSNBC were unhappy with Obama’s performance. Enough said?
What struck me is that President Obama seemed tired, even stunned — because, I suspect, no one has ever talked to him the way Mitt Romney did. No one has ever stood up to him the way Romney did. Not when Obama was the coolest kid in high school, not in college, and not since he’s been surrounded by adoring fans in what passes for the mainstream media.
If journalists had been tougher on him maybe he would have been better prepared for the debate. Instead, he entered the ring believing he had already won the fight And all he had to do, he seemed to believe, was throw a few jabs and run out the clock. All he had to do, he must have figured, is stand there, be his usual cool self, and he’d not only win the debate, but once and for all he’d put an end to Romney’s chances of unseating him.
He was wrong. And the tide may have turned. Though I suspect we will see a different Barack Obama in debate number 2. Stay tuned.