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I’m going to vote for Obama, again. I’ll explain why in a future post. I’m not head-over-heels like I was four years ago, but I’m relatively comfortable with it.
However, like others — but not to the extent of some — I was truly disappointed by BO’s debate performance in Debate #1. He was flat, disinterested, unengaged.
I speak publicly on a regular basis, so I know what’s it like to have an off day. It’s not the end of the world, you tell yourself. No one can be “on” all the time.
But I’ve also done some debating, and I’m never uninterested in those. Those are exciting and engaging and get me totally pumped. Debates are fun. And debates demand that you bring your A-game. Everyone who debates know that.
Which is what makes BO’s performance in Debate #1 so odd. I’ve heard all of the explanations and the one that seems the most likely to me that that BO has so little regard for Mitt Romney — even disdain for him — that it was everything he could do to fight back a sneer. And he’d been coached not to seem arrogant or aggressive, so he avoided picking fights. That was bad advice, and it backfired.
But, for all my disappointment with BO’s performance, there’s something that make me very glad. It’s the the debates seem to matter to the American public. Since the debate, many polls show the race to be neck-and-neck. That is, BO’s poor performance hurt him — and Romney’s good-but-not-great performance helped him.
And 67 million people watched.
So for all the moaning and gnashing of teeth that many of us do about the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on negative ads, they don’t seem to matter nearly as much as 90 minutes of the candidates talking to and arguing with one another.
I say, “Kudos to the American people!” If debates matter, then at least something about politics in America works.