While I was disappointed in the President's debate performance last night, I was also surprised by the over-the-top reaction of the "talking heads" on both sides of the political spectrum. I actually thought the Democratic leaning press were more critical than the Republican leaning press who seemed elated and relieved.
Before I fell into a stupor, I perked up when Romney said the following:
He said to moderator Jim Lehrer, who works for PBS: “I’m sorry, Jim. I’m going to the stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too. But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it.” Washington Post 10-4-12
I was surprised he said this. I was surprised because it was coyly defiant; a slap in the face, really to the moderator and, possibly, many undecideds who grew up on or raised their children on Sesame Street.
While criticisms of Obama's such as "listless" and "he looked as though he didn't want to be there" are accurate, they don't address the substance of the debates. I heard a politico on NHPR this morning say he thought Romney looked "amped". A Massachusetts caller who teaches public speaking and body language, thought Romney showed "agitation" while the President appeared "calm". In the end, it was theatre.
... it seems to me Romney thrived in large part because he abandoned the pretense of honesty. And as it turns out, winning a debate is surprisingly easy when a candidate decides he can say anything and expect to get away with it.Romney told viewers his proposed $5 trillion tax cut isn't really his proposed $5 trillion tax cut. He suggested he could eliminate a $1 trillion deficit by going after Big Bird. He said his non-existent health care plan protects those with pre-existing conditions when in reality the exact opposite is true. He cited trumped up "studies" from far-right ideologues as if they're legitimate, assuming the public won't know the difference. He said a deficit that's shrunk has actually "doubled." The Maddow Blog 10-4-12
All in all, it may be best summed up with the following cartoon seen on the internet today.