Analysis of media issues, politics and current events.
In you are on the right or a pre-Romney fan, the debate was a masterbatory experience. I’m pretty sure, by morning. Conservative-leaning blogs and media outlet will have operatives boasting a comeback. Or, at least, a great save.
I wouldn’t go that far. But what I mean by a masterbatory experience is two fold. One: though re-worded, Romney kept to the GOP platform religiously. Everything he said in that debate that would make fiscal conservatives happy: No taxes. Cut government. Repeal Obamacare. Give more to the states. All with Romney’s one addition, “How? Trust me, I got this.” And probably better than he’s done most of the campaign, he looked like a capable salesman for those policies. I’m sure the GOP hopes that continues.
Two: Romney was aggressive. For those who fantasize about telling off the president, Romney’s more pit bull debate style was a political wet dream.
Because the two factors really re-converted the converted, for president Obama, the real wounds from the debate seem more self-inflicted. He didn’t suck. But he didn’t sizzle. Personality and demeanor is what hurt him. I know his personality, I’m like it. I look down to think – listening to the question and going inside my own head to formulate an answer. That’s fine – just not for TV. It makes him look disconnected, a little submissive and disinterested.
Also, except for a few lines about lack of details in Romney’s policies (the best, “is he keeping these details secret because they are so good?”), the president didn’t land any punch hard enough to set Romney back on his heels. In fact Romney’s continual aggressiveness with the president made him look unfazed and impervious to comments. Plus his constant brush off of narrator Jim Leher in order to never leave any of the president’s rebuttals unanswered helped Romney look like he dominated the debate. And I do think for media, dominant will come off as winning.
The left is mad and opening pouty at places like MSNBC because President Obama didn’t match Romney aggressive punch for punch. Many wanted the same debate blood drawn as the right. Or, at least, the liberal whack off fantasy of clearly articulated policies bitch-slapping Romney in his place. Progressives aren’t as caught up with the president actual policies, just the anger stemming from the fact Obama didn’t bludgeon Romney with Clinton-like zingers.
Though I do think Romney aggressiveness helped win over the media. I don’t think it won over the public so easily. Yes it will close the poll numbers a little. Though Romney was a better salesman of GOP policies than ever before, it also means he really didn’t distance himself from parts of those proposals that scare some voters outside the GOP base. Watch the debate again and you’ll notice Romney talks about Medicare and education business solution focused with very little effort to reattach his policy or plan to the benefit of the public or soothe concerns of the changes he’ll make. In fact there are many times in the debate he seemed be more vocally protective of small business and business than people because he forgot to translate protecting small business into create economic prosperity. A remnant of his habit to sound like a plutocrat.
Is this a complete reboot? Though Fox & Friends will start the day with a line of pundits saying that it is, no. But Romney, who had little rope left in his campaign, has a little more to work with.