After much anticipation, the big Wednesday night showdown between Romney and Obama was just plain boring. Most of America was waiting for these famous zingers we had heard about, but none came.
But if you’re rating purely on style and delivery (and many Americans do), Romney won, hands down.
Most of us on the president’s side were waiting for him to go on the offensive — not like your opponent didn’t give you enough ammunition, Mr. President. Plus, Jim Leher was just table dressing when it came to controlling the candidates and molding a constructive discussion. But the buck stops with the president, and he didn’t bring his “A” game.
For those of us watching (and tweeting) everything erupted when Romney spoke about cutting funds from PBS. It was like, “Oh, no he didn’t! Bro just talked smack about Big Bird. S–t just got real!” Obama could have easily taken that now infamous meme-generating moment and revealed Romney’s stupidity. Instead, we got this very presidential yet very weak response.
Never fear though, my fellow Dems, because one debate loss does not crown Romney the winner of the White House. While I would have loved to see Obama hammer Romney, there is a golden lining to Obama’s abysmal debate performance.
First and foremost, you have to look at the big picture here. Romney’s campaign has been in a downward spin, not because Romney is a tool, but because the GOP platform is unpopular. You can ask anyone, “Are you better off now then you were four years ago?” and people will say yes. They may not feel it economically, but they understand it from a policy perspective.
Republicans are still pushing the same trickle-down economic theories that most Americans believe got us into this mess; and don’t forget that whole unnecessary war Bush fought. People still remember how it was under Bush’s eight-year watch, during which we went from a budget surplus to a deficit and saw a financial meltdown. It is still all about the economy, and the country blames the GOP for getting us into this recession and doesn’t want to try their way again.
On other issues, from reproductive rights, marriage equality and immigration, the Republican base is wearing away with age.
My prediction is we won’t see the Obama we saw in the first debate again, for no other reason than the backlash he’s received from within his own ranks. Had he come out attacking Romney in this debate, he would have been less-than-presidential. We also knew that Romney had nowhere to go but up and would naturally see a bump by merely standing on the stage with the president. This was the first opportunity for Romney to look presidential.
While each campaign is different, I can’t help but draw an analogy from Sarah Palin in ’08. She had been making one flop after another in the media and had been sinking till she debated Biden. We Dems only heard “soccer moms” and “you betcha,” but moderate voters gave her a momentary bump for the sole fact that, for the first time, she didn’t come across like an idiot. This was short lived.
Romney will lose because he’s Romney. Both as a person and on his policies, he doesn’t connect with the center. You can blame the liberal media as much as you want, but more people are talking about his attack on Big Bird then on how badly the president did. That says a lot about his views.
I’ll be wearing my PBS t-shirt to the polls in November. Till then, my fellow liberals, don’t follow the GOP lead and get cocky. Many voter registration deadlines are October 9th. Time to make sure all 0f your friends are good to go, and I’ll see you on Twitter for the next debate.
By Jose Cruz, guest contributor
Jose Cruz is the editor of OurTiempo.com worked in the Clinton White House and on three Presidential campaigns. He is the founder of ImmigrationPAC a pro-comprehensive immigration reform Federal Polical Action Committee and active political commentator.
You can follow Jose on Twitter at @josecruz2000