Last night’s debate is the gift that just keeps on giving — including giving me the gift of sleeplessness. I couldn’t stop thinking about Mitt’s achievement and it’s consequences. Here are six more thoughts:
1. Mitt accomplished the near-impossible by delivering the debate thumping the entire conservative base has been longing to see since 2008 while still appealing to independents. He did it by confronting President Obama with his own failure while presenting conservative ideas simply and clearly.
2. Obama was so “uncool” — smirking, unsure, angry — that I wonder how the pop culture world will react. After all, if pop culture hates anything more than conservatives, it’s losers.
3. There is now a good chance that some in the media will suddenly start doing their jobs. It’s one thing to sacrifice your integrity for a winner who will grant continued access and favors in a second term; it’s another thing entirely to spend an entire campaign season in the tank for a potential loser. After all, these guys want to have careers long after the Obama administration ends.
4. Could one debate appearance have blown away hundreds of millions of dollars in negative ads? Obama has spent a fortune defining Mitt in a way that was completely opposite of the person that fifty million Americans just saw with their own eyes — and opposite of the person that even more Americans will hear about it water cooler conversations across the country this morning.
5. There’s no substitute for knowledge. Mitt knows the economy.
6. BUT BUT BUT . . . President Obama is a masterful politician, his campaign is led by masterful politicians, so watch for a furious counterattack, including a much, much improved Barack Obama in debate number 2. The media will be eager (desperate, even) to proclaim a comeback, so Mitt will have to come on to the stage in a suit of (metaphorical) armor.
The battle is now joined.