So this past Wednesday night, President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney met at the Magness Arena and debated policy and politics for 90 white-knuckle minutes, and you probably only remember a couple of important points -- like, Obama was listless, Romney was shiny and sharp, and also there was some stuff about Big Bird?
But then! After the debate the two sides marshalled their spin-doctoring army and mounted excuses for why Obama wasn't a perfect debate unicorn and how it came to pass that Romney fibbed so many times. Trial balloons were launched, explanations were proffered, the Obama team briefly tried to make "Romney sure was testy last night" happen (it didn't) and by the next morning, everybody who had a stake in the goings on had offered their dollop of spin.
Some of those dollops were wallops, some of those dollops were flops. Our favorites form these week's HuffPost List.
Michelle Obama: Twenty years ago to the day, Michelle Robinson said "I do" to Barack Obama, setting in motion a chain of events that would inevitably lead to him being terrifically distracted the night of his first big debate with Mitt Romney! Or so the excuse goes. We didn't think much of it as an excuse until Jay Pharoah made it seem plausible.
David Axelrod: The president's senior campaign adviser told "Face The Nation" host Bob Schieffer that Obama "was a little taken aback by the brazenness with which Governor Romney walked away" from the positions he'd previously taken on the issues. That's a lot like giving Bill Clinton four pages of prepared remarks and being taken aback when he gives a two-hour speech that includes his recipe for jambalaya.
Eric Fehrnstrom: At the debate, Mitt Romney made an interesting claim, specifically saying that "pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan." Sounded pretty, but it wasn't true, and poor Fehrnie had to back that track on up and say so. "So Governor Romney was fact-checked by his own campaign?" Obama told a rally crowd in Northern Virginia. "That’s rough."
Stephanie Cutter: So, Steph Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager and official truth squadder, what did you think about the debate? "I think that Mitt Romney, yes, he absolutely wins the preparation," she declared, adding, "He wins the style points." Cutter might be right, but what is she doing? (She just takes that truth squadding stuff super seriously.)
Al Gore: You are not helping, former Vice President Al Gore! “Obama arrived in Denver at 2 p.m. today, just a few hours before the debate started. Romney did his debate prep in Denver. When you go to 5,000 feet, and you only have a few hours to adjust." Seriously? "I don't know ... Maybe." Yeah, okay. I mean, when did we ever start expecting our president to just be able to get off planes and, like, do stuff, right? (Also, wasn't Obama at a higher altitude when he was on the plane?)