Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Mitt Romney Takes Big Risks To Score Points In Debate #1

The Governor was certainly more energetic, and the President was definitely more scholarly. But went the dust settles and both MSNBC and Fox News both calm down what everyone will realize is:

  1. Mitt Romney made more disputable claims that could come back to bite him in the ass;
  2. Romney's people (sans Chris Christie) sold the media on low expectations;
  3. Romney essentially embraced his modern Republican self to survive.
That last point can't be stressed enough: Mitt Romney had to all but abandon his base and the Tea Party to save himself in this debate. The next few days will be important: if he just flips tomorrow, Friday or next week and says, "I didn't mean any of that stuff I said at the debates" to a crowd of conservatives, he's up shit's creek. As it is, embracing regulations like he did is bound to piss off some conservatives once their post-debate high wears off.

Obama, on the other hand, didn't really say anything that Romney or the GOP can use in a TV ad. And while some progressives/liberals may take issue with them agreeing on things, let's flip the perspective here: when a challenger agrees with the incumbent, then what's the incentive for voting the incumbent out of office?

Overall, I don't see any minds being changed. Romney did better than most Republicans expected and Obama didn't deliver the knock-out punch many Democrats were hoping for. But I don't see any fence-sitters picking a side just yet. 

UPDATE: Here is a transcript of the debate, and here is one DU poster's take on why Obama didn't metaphorically beat Romney senseless: "the backfire effect."

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