For the second Presidential debate this season, I have a lot to say, but I can't say it here.
I've written another review for the New Hampshire Herald, the free paper which will be out in supermarkets in the Manchester/Concord area this Friday, so I deem it only fair that I not go into details here.
I've also written an overall assessment of the New Hampshire races as they stand 20 days out.
So, extra, extra, read all about it in the Herald.
I suppose I could post my obervations of the first debate here now...since that's ancient history. Sure...here it is...
Seldom are Presidential debate outcomes as one-sided as Romney v. Obama Round One. Usually, it's like a soccer game. After two hours of watching 22 men kick a ball around in a less than scintillating manner, we look up at the scoreboard and discover a nil-nil tie.
The first debate was anything but a tie. Romney's dominance was so complete that even veteran spinmeisters and their fellow travelers in the main stream media were left in stunned disbelief.
If you're Barack Obama, you know you're not having a good night when your million dollar contributor, the ever unpopular left wing hack Bill Maher is left complaining that maybe you really do need a Teleprompter, when that thrill no longer goes up and down Chris Matthew's leg on MSNBC.
It wasn't just Fox News which declared Romney the big winner. Numbers proved his mastery over the Demagogue in Chief. In a CBS snap poll, more than two to one previously undecided voters (46-22) gave the edge to Romney. He won 67-25 (an unheard of number) with CNN, and in heavily Democratic Massachusetts, Romney was ahead 71-29 in a morning after poll on WBZ radio.
Sports analogies abound when it comes to Presidential debates. So let the games begin.
Obama had slipped into the ever dreaded prevent defense. He was like Dean Smith's four corner offense in the days prior to the 30 second clock in college basketball, trying to run out the clock.
He tried to skate around the issues for 90 minutes. Listless and annoyed were the kindest words even his Democratic supporters could think of to describe a total inability to handle Mitt Romney's constant badgering him with facts.
Yes, facts won out, and Romney hammered them home time and again. No one watching, for example, is likely to forget the specific figure of $716 billion, the number Obamacare will take from Medicare, or $90 billion (enough to have hired two million teachers!), the amount the Obama administration has squandered on its own version of corporate welfare to failed green energy companies (and Democratic contributors).
True, there was no knock out punch. The closest we came to a gotcha moment was when Romney, in response to Obama's continuing attempts to misstate facts, referred to how with five boys, Romney familiar with how people will say something that is not true and keep repeating it, hoping you'll believe it.
In other words, Romney was calling Obama a liar, but he did it in such a nice way that the point sunk home without Romney coming across as mean-spirited.
In fact, Mitt Romney did just what he had to do. While piling up points with those tricky little things called facts, Romney came across as genuinely likable.
Trailing by an average of three points in national poll averages, Romney, according to some pundits, need a home run.
In fact, he got something better than that. When you come to bat trailing in baseball, you don't need to swing for the fences with nobody on base. You need some solid base hits to set the table.
That's just what Romney got, solid hits, leading to many runs with the bases left loaded for round two (pardon the mixed metaphor).
Obama actually spent more time talking. At one point, he criticized moderator Jim Lehrer for cutting him off five seconds early and then went on for another seemingly endless 30 seconds, but even as he tried to summon up everyone from his dearly departed grandmother to Abraham Lincoln, Obama appeared clueless, a rambling out of touch pampered leader who, as Romney pointed out, has a right to his own house and his own plane, but not his own set of facts.
Perhaps most remarkably, Romney appealed to both the Republican base (his defense of American capitalism and exceptionalism was nothing short of brilliant), but those voters who remain undecided as well.
His best moment was when he referred to the founders and their quest for life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, concepts which will never become outdated, not when defined with such zest as a reinvigorated Mitt Romney.
If any debate can move the polling numbers, the first in this series was it.
The last thing Romney can do, however, is rest on his laurels. He would best remember Walter Mondale who, after clobbering incumbent Ronald Reagan in the first 1984 debate, went on to lose the second round and then to lose 49 states.
In the words of pundit Pat Buchanan, who like Romney has come back to life (he was fired earlier this year by MSNBC for telling the truth in his most recent book), "Romney couldn't have done a better job. He won 13 of 15 rounds."
Ah yes, yet another sports analogy, but what about golf? Certainly Obama blew his big lead just as surely as the U.S. Ryder Cup team last weekend. Another performance like in the first debate and Obama will have lots of free time for golf, a pursuit he clearly enjoys much more than debating...and governing.