We have to give credit where credit is due. Conversely, we have to give criticism where it’s due as well. President Barack Obama lost his first debate to the challenger Mitt Romney. It wasn’t so much that Mr. Romney won, but Mr. Obama lost. I didn’t watch the debate but I have seen and continue to watch clips from the event. In my humble opinion Mr. Obama looked somewhat confused and off his game. On the other hand, Mr. Romney looked like he was enjoying the occasion. And why not? Right there on stage he changed his policy on just about everything he was asked. He said he cares about every American even though we know he wants to get half of America to self deport because as President it’s not his job to care about them. He says he wants to make sure every American has access to affordable healthcare if he is fortunate enough to become President even though he’s on record saying that people with preexisting conditions have to deal with the cards they were dealt without government stepping in. He changed his mind on every subject to make himself look more appealing to the vast majority of American voters. And Mr. Obama acted as if he was helpless to expose Mr. Romney for the charade he was playing.
I can sympathize with Mr. Obama. He can’t come off as too confrontational against Mr. Romney or people would be more than happy to label him as nothing more than another angry black man. One of the things Mr. Obama has going for him is his likability. A lot of people like Mr. Obama as a person and he wants to protect that image. Constantly reminding people that his opponent was a liar or that he was lying wasn’t a good tact to take if you want to look like one of the good guys. When Mr. Obama had the audacity to offer a word of condolence to a black mother who just lost her son, when Mr. Obama said that if he had a son he would look like Trayvon Martin, he was soundly criticized by his political opponents as trying to inject race into a tragedy for political gain. What criticism would fall his way if he called the liar a liar on stage before the American people? It was a chance he wasn’t prepared to take and so he chose to let Mr. Romney continue with his lies. So the end result is Mr. Obama appeared to have an off night and Mr. Romney is all but unanimously considered the winner of their first debate.
Mr. Romney has enjoyed the best bounce in poll numbers since he won the conservative primary. He couldn’t do it with his running mate pick. He couldn’t do it with his coronation at the Republican National Convention. He couldn’t do it with his campaign speeches or on his policies. He did it with the first debate. And the people who support him are invigorated like they never were before. Conversely, Mr. Obama’s supporters are discouraged. The champion of liberals was trounced on national television and things look pretty bad.
But the thing that people forget is that Mitt Romney looked like a political bad joke before the debate. People were ready to write him off because of his dismal performance. He was caught on tape telling people he doesn’t care about half of America. He couldn’t go to London for the Olympics without putting his foot in his mouth. He was so gung ho to criticize the President’s administration after the attack on the United States consulate in Libya that resulted in the death of four American citizens including Ambassador Chris Stevens that he didn’t bother to stick to facts and assumed that Mr. Obama was apologizing to terrorists for attacking our people. His campaign was in disarray and his policies were all over the map. But at the first presidential debate, he was able to pull a rabbit out of his hat and reverse his downward spiral and now people are saying he has a chance to win.
Mr. Obama never said that it wasn’t his job to care about almost half of America that refuses to take responsibility for their selves. He wasn’t the person who went to London and insulted one of our closest global allies. The only thing he did was have a bad debate performance and now people want to write him off? That really doesn’t make a lot of sense. If that’s all it took for Mr. Obama’s supporters to give up their hope and faith in this man then his reelection is doomed. However, if Mr. Romney can go through all of the muck he went through and come out that debate smelling like roses then it is a fair bet that Mr. Obama can recover from a bad debate performance and put his reelection campaign back on track as well.
Like most people, Mr. Obama is bound to make mistakes. He’s bound to have a bad night. He’s bound to follow a bad strategy every now and then. If he did everything right every single time then there wouldn’t be much of a need to have a reelection campaign. People would recognize the perfection of his performance and his reelection would be a given. Instead, like most people, when he has a stumble he needs to pick himself up, dust himself off, and then continue with his best shot from there. It worked for Mitt Romney. If he gave up every time he was down we would not have been the conservative contender facing the President today. It would’ve been Rick Perry or Herman Cain or Michele Bachmann. Mr. Romney has been down so many times that he’s used to clawing his way back to relevance. And if Mr. Romney can struggle back from all of his bad performances and self inflicted mistakes, it’s a sure fire bet that a better man like Mr. Obama can do the same thing as well and do it better. Election day is not so close that Mr. Obama won’t have time to recover from a stumble or two.