This was not about who knew what when, nor even about winning an argument: the Republican candidate simply proved unfit for the job, and certainly not credible as a potential Commander in Chief. Barack Obama was not just "presidential", he was The President, the man in charge, a world leader strong on principles, doubtless about what he stands for, confident in his ability to cope and to deliver.
Romney blindly persisted in the very role he was asked to distance himself from: a partisan, non-presidential candidate, barking where national unity is required, positioning himself at a lower level than his rival, and ultimately losing face when moderator Candy Crowley delivered the independent verdict: I checked the facts, and the president is right on that one, you just lost the elections.
After the debate, I shortly switched to Fox News. Somebody obviously died in the family, they all looked like they were at a funeral.
|Only 20 tweets during the debate? I'm getting rusty|
I presume the former BCG exec heard about the Peter Principle but today, he faced his own incompetence. And body languages spoke volumes: a 65 year old businessman without a vision for the future and without a clue about what public service means, facing a strong, consistent, wise world leader leagues above him.
From the start, Mitt Romney didn't seem on a good day: when he came forward to answer the first question, he did it a bit awkwardly, then he shot his rehearsed story too fast for it to seem natural. The former Governor fared better later in the debate, but remained mostly on the defensive, even on his supposedly own turf.
And this time, Barack Obama was there, and enjoying the debate.
Yes, again, he missed easy opportunities, juicy, low hanging fruits any trained debater would die for. Again, he wasn't the one who raised the 47% issue. And sticking to economics when it came to similarities between George W. Bush and W. Mitt Romney... how about values and contradictions, how about foreign policy? Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize, restored America's honor worldwide, and got Bin Laden. The overwhelming majority of Romney advisors on foreign policy worked for Bush-Cheney, and last summer, Romney himself almost provoked a war with England!
But Barack was there, back with his mojo, his bright eyes, his firm coolness.
And there was the defining moment when Romney detonated himself.
Who cares what happened before and after? Who cares if Romney persisted in his outrageous sales pitches? Who cares if Obama oopsed a "when I was President"? Who cares if the NRA supports Romney more than ever after that chat on gun control?
By the way: I must praise Candy Crowley for her choice of questions from the audience. Without her, this kind of critical issues would have been obliterated from the campaign.
There was a moment when I thought the moderator lost the control of the debate, and when both candidates where getting at each other at close range in an inaudible non-dialog, I was hoping she'd come up and say "hey kids, recess is over, back to work". But she eventually stood up and won the day.
Now back to work, indeed. Everybody. Barack Obama in the White House, where he belongs. Mitt Romney back to Bain and the Caymans, where he belongs. And the Republicans back to the drawing board, as far from the White House and the Congress as possible, where they belong until they - at long last*! - reform the GOP into a party fit to govern.
Since 2003, nonsensical posts about noncritical issues in nonenglish (get your blogules transfusion in French)
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* see "Grand Old Parting: fix your party before causing more damage to your country"
(UPDATE) illustration: twitter posts during the debate (@stephanemot)