Wednesday night was this election cycle’s first debate between President Obama and Governor Romney, and I’m struggling for ways to place it into historical context for comparison:
- The Alamo? Now considered pretty much a draw.
- Super Bowl XXIV, when the 49ers destroyed the Broncos 55-10? A nail-biting, back-and-forth affair.
- Secretariat winning the 1973 Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths? Closer than it looked.
This was a massacre so complete, the CNN & MSNBC crews were both in full freak-out mode immediately as it ended. What else can you call it when you have James Carville saying, “Mitt Romney came in with a Chainsaw?”, and Chris Matthews is spitting the words, “What was Romney doing? He was winning”.
They saw what I saw: Romney was warm (yes, warm), highly prepared, and had an almost unnatural grasp of the facts and data. He was respectful of the President without being obsequious. Romney didn’t miss a step the entire night, and you could tell he was enjoying himself out there.
Conversely, Obama looked like the guy who can’t decide what to order on the menu.
For 90 minutes.
I admit: it was awfully entertaining.
On Twitter, the best lines were coming from the pros, and no one was enjoying himself more than Dennis Miller:
However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include these two instant classics:
Now, if you somehow missed the excitement last night (and if you did, seriously: what were you thinking?!?), here’s the debate, in its entirety:
And, last but not least, there’s this:
In CNN’s flash-poll last night, there was one stat that trumps all the rest (and the rest are pretty good, too): among the Independent voters polled, Romney juuuuust nudged past Obama by a 75-17 margin.
75–17. In favor of Romney.
Ooooof…. That’ll leave a mark.
This is all about momentum; nothing’s been decided yet. But, in a race that is statistically tied, a complete drubbing plays into the psychology of both the candidates and the voters. No question: there were some fence-sitters who are now firmly on the Romney/Ryan side after last night.
More will follow.