It is true, Save Jerseyans: Mitt Romney went through a 90-minute debate with President Obama and had no single “breakout” moment in the entire exchange.
There was no “there you go again” moment. No single sound bite for voters to take away and say that that was the moment when Mitt Romney definitively turned the tide and beat President Obama.
Because he did not need one.
Last night’s debate was one of the best political debates I have seen in a long time. Unlike the Republican Primary debates which tended to get worse and more embarrassing with each new event, last night was all about policy. It was about ideas. It was smart. It was presidential.
But somehow, through all of the professionalism and informed discussion that apparently crept into American political discourse when everyone least expected it, Mitt Romney still managed to beat up on the President, albeit politely, throughout the entire debate.
There was not a single moment, not one single exchange where Romney did not run circles around the President with examples, specifics, and effective recaps of the last four years. While Romney stayed focused and never took his foot off of the gas, President Obama looked nervous and uncomfortable. At times, I would even say that Obama looked annoyed. Bothered by the fact that he had to stand there and listen to a list of his most egregious failures explained so perfectly for an audience of nearly 50 million people.
Of course, I can understand why President Obama would feel and look that way. How would you feel if every single person in your staff and the mainstream media were constantly cheering you on, protecting you, giving you positive reenforcement, and serving as dutiful “yes men,” only to then be torn apart on stage for everything you are somehow proud of for 90 straight minutes.
I am not the only one who feels that the President, who is admittedly an incredible public speaker on any given night, fell short. Liberals like Bill Mahr and Michael Moore were tweeting up a storm attacking the President’s performance. Obama advisors stopped short of ever claiming victory in the spin room after the debate. One Obama spokeswoman attacked Jim Lehrer (who basically did nothing all night) as being biased. Even MSNBC commentators were crushed. There was no tingle in their collective leg tonight, Save Jerseyans.
Finally, a poll taken by CNN after the debate shows Americans who watched the debate say Romney won by a margin of 67 to 25 percent. It really was that bad.
Everything you need to know about last night’s debate can be summed up in one moment for sure, but it was not a breakout moment for Romney; it was a breakdown moment for President Obama.
He was so tired of being beaten on what Democrats have been saying is Romney’s weak point for months, that he simply wanted to throw in the towel and start the slow torture all over again with a new failure of his first and final four years in office.
I look forward to the first set of polls that will only include days following this debate. I predict that you will see a bump for Governor Romney. Not something huge and lasting enough to win the election by itself, but enough to get Republicans fired up again and working to elect a President.
Mitt Romney did not have a breakout moment last night. He had a breakout debate.