Full disclosure. I’ve only watched the first presidential debate once. Last night when after returning from work before I could turn on the DVR and watch the recording, CSPAN had already begun their replay. I enjoy watching CSPAN’s version of most any political debate because they don’t have as much hype and sensationalism with their programming. This is why I never watch anyone’s pre-debate shows either. I would rather go into the debates and listen to the way things play out without anticipating anything in particular, and let the partisanship bullshit slide by the wayside.
While winding down both mentally and physically I took in the show. And these are my observations:
1) Mitt Romney was as feisty as a horny young teenager. He was so excited and wide-eyed, that if I didn’t know better, I’d say he sniffed a few lines before coming on stage. The look on his face said from the beginning he was prepared, had a game plan, and was confident he could execute it. Since he’s had plenty of time to prepare, he had his talking points queued up. The second portion of his strategy was to bulldoze his way through the moderator, filibuster, redirect the narratives and keep the POTUS on the defensive. This was a clever strategy and it partially worked. Sure he lied about a shitload of topics, but that’s besides the point. Folk like me and every other politically astute viewer noticed the many lies he told regarding the policies he has campaigned on for months. Romney fork-tongued his way through his presentation as if he were Lord Jeffrey Amherst, and the 47% of us Americans were actually the original Native Americans he was offering a nice set of blankets to in the winter of 1763. Of course he was going to leave out that little thing about the smallpox.
2) To the novice, much of the this strategy worked. However, part of it was because the narrator Jim Lehrer got owned by the ‘Mittster!’ Every time Lehrer even suggested that Mitt’s time was up or that it was time to move on, Romney told him to STFU and let him talk. Lehrer was bitch-slapped to biblical proportions. I’m sure Lehrer had way more questions on his little cue card than he got out. In the words of Lauryn Hill, Romney defecated on his Lehrer’s microphone rendering him huddled in the corner naked and in the fetal position. Lehrer need Mackenzie from The Newsroom to call upon his inner Will McElroy giving him instructions and direction to move him along. But alas, instead of the microphone of an executive producer, all that we could see in Jim’s ear was Mitt’s dick! Plain and simple. Romney even threatened to put Lehrer out of job by cancelling funding for PBS. How gangsta is that? Lehrer was all but tossing Romney’s salad as if he was some old felon on Oz looking for protection. This was really obvious as at one point when Lehrer actually tried to press on the time, it was when the president talked at 1:55 of his two minute time limit. I just shook my head.
3) The president looked tired in my opinion. Some of this is understandable in that he does have shit to do being the president and all. The last time we saw Obama in a debate, it was between he and Senator McCain and neither of them were president. Therefore they both had ample time to prepare their talking points. Obama’s moonlighting as a debater came through. Not that he didn’t make his points and tell the truth. But in that he often stumbled over his words while doing so. He wasn’t so professorial as some have said in my opinion, he just wasn’t terribly passionate. So while he wins on the facts, again his target has to be the people who aren’t astute; Who don’t pay attention to the day to day but are tied up in their own lives until the election comes around.
As an Obama supporter, I ain’t mad at him. If he’s going to pick a time not to shine then the first debate is definitely the one to do it in. There are still two more to go. No one knew how Romney would perform or what his game plan would be coming into the debates, other than him lying and flip flopping. The president has seen Romney’s best shot. There is no doubt in my mind about that. The next time Obama will definitely have his fight face on and be ready for battle. No way I believe this next moderator is going to be the p#ssy that Lehrer was. Otherwise, it’s like boxing; you see what the opponent is doing, adjust and fight the fight the way you trained in the first place. I’m confident that is what we will see in the next two debates.