Many conservatives are ecstatic over Mitt Romney's debate performance. They use as validation the disappointment expressed by liberals over the president's lackluster 2012 debate debut. The playing field has been leveled, they are screaming from the roof tops or at least on Fox News.
Of course they are excited, this is the first bright spot that their campaign has experienced in a few weeks. It does seem a bit premature however, to think that President Obama should just turn over the keys to the White House. Once again, Republicans' natural bent for arrogance and overconfidence knows no bounds.
Mitt Romney won the debate. He won the debate not on substance, only in performance. In no way did Romney's "win" validate his vision for America, nor does his new-found love for regulations and education ring true. His magic revenue neutral tax plan still represents a departure from reality. His job creation program still has no meat on its bones and is little more than hocus pocus.
Indeed, Mitt Romney sounded much like that proverbial candidate for senior class president who promises pizza every day in the lunch room, but once he achieves the coveted position can do nothing to change the grilled cheese and spinach platter on Monday.
The fact checkers have been kept busy after the first debate, and it is my sincere hope that they will play as big a role in this election as Citizens United or Republican voter suppression efforts.
We must accept that a lie is just as effective as the truth if enough people believe the lie and reject the truth.
After a Democratic National Convention that was so successful largely because of an amazing display of passion and conviction, Democrats were upset that their president displayed little of either and the opposition in the form of Mitt Romney displayed both.
There was little to be disappointed with on the Republican side, but they would be wise to remember that Sarah Palin's coaches accomplished the monumental feat of enabling her to appear Vice-Presidential during her only debate. Republicans would do well to remember that Ronald Reagan's first debate performance as an incumbent president was worse than dismal. Republicans would do well to remember that Obama's first debate performance against John McCain was lackluster as well.
President Obama has always demonstrated a predilection towards the long game and the big picture, displaying remarkable resolve in order to win the war and not each and every individual battle. He is the political Peyton Manning who often appears lackluster in the first half of a football game, but picks apart the defense in the second half. During the first half of the game he is learning and paying very close attention. By the end of the first half he has learned their strategy and picked up on their blitzes and stunts. He adapts accordingly in the second half which often yields excellent results. I do not think it would be wise for anyone to predict the results of the second and third debates at this juncture.
Republican politicians and pundits have never had a problem being confident, their problem is being over-confident and the false sense of security that this provides.
Am I so bold as to suggest that this debate went exactly like the Obama camp wanted? No, but I am willing to suggest that this performance is not exactly uncharacteristic of the president.
Is this analysis more spin? Am I just rejecting the obvious because I love "my guy" so much? Am I displaying sour grapes? I ask myself those questions every day, but I do so because I view the truth as vital. Making decisions on misconceptions or bad information can be fatal to achieving your goals.
The first debate was an unknown. We know a great deal more now and so does President Barack Obama and his team.
Republicans might want to wait to see what he does with that information before they declare his demise imminent and Democrats might want to wait before they declare their president impotent.