The Debate

I thought Romney had an excellent night as it was happening. But after seeing online reactions and what stuck with people, it might not have been a good night in retrospect. As I said on Twitter, I noticed that most women on Facebook and Twitter who follow politics and most men in general thought that Romney “won.” But women who don’t follow politics, for whom this was their first big introduction to Romney? They were, during the debate, using words like “aggressive,” “rude,” and “boring.” And I noticed that many of them either stopped talking about the debate or said they were changing the channel after the Big Bird fiasco.

That’s not a good first impression. And if Obama spends the next couple of weeks running ads that just feature clips of “Romney said this. [something] But during the debate, he said this [the opposite].” it seems like there will be a receptive audience for that.

So, I don’t know. I thought it was obvious that Romney did great, but I’m used to arrogant politicians. I don’t think anything of it. And so I’m not sure how to read the number of people who don’t pay that close of attention to politics who turned in and were like “Oh my god, who is this asshole blowhard?”

It’s not the impression I got, but I feel like it’s important to realize that’s an impression some women had.

7 thoughts on “The Debate

  1. I was really frustrated by the President’s inability to (1) make a coherent point and (2) call Romney out on his BS. Mr. President, if you say that Romney’s plan will result in a 5 trillion dollar budget shortage, and Romney comes back with “No, my plan doesn’t call for that” then the correct answer is, “Well, your plan has been analyzed by economists and the Congressional Budget Office, and they conclude that your plan will result in a 5 trillion dollar revenue shortage because of Point 1, Point 2, and Point 3.”

    Instead, what we got was a bunch of

    “You said X.”
    “No, I didn’t.”
    “You said X.
    “No, I didn’t.”

    I was yelling at my TV, if you can’t tell. So. Frustrating.

  2. A quick survey of my less political relatives suggests that they felt confused by all the haze of numbers and statistics, bored by lengthy discussions of insider baseball like Simpson-Bowles, and talked down to. Neither candidate really said anything that made them “feel” anything. Obama looked like he hated his job and like he’d rather have gone out to for that anniversary dinner with Michelle, so it wasn’t a great outing. However, may I point out that CNN’s snap poll (which showed such a big “win” for Romney) was conducted exclusively on white southerners (mostly male) over 50? So…call the reddest of the red state voters and see what they think! Confirmation bias much?

  3. So frustrating. I get that Obama does not want to come across as The Angry Black Man, but lord, I wish he’d done more of the charming “I’m proud of Obamacare” stuff or said something a little snarky about Romney’s steamrolling over the debate format–“Governor Romney, did you come here to debate or just to interrupt?” and then put on his charming smile.

    I think Obama’s never been a great debater, so it’s a mild relief to hear that it was experienced as Obama wishing he were out to anniversary dinner with Michelle instead. Ha, at least that’s something.

    I’m now starting to suspect that Romney won the debate and will lose the ensuing ad war.

  4. The rope-a-dope strategy of “let this guy say anything — the bigger the lie the better, as long as it’s on camera” might work, but at some point, even Ali had to punch. I doubt that the skeptical swing voter is going to put a lot of trust in what they will perceive as ObamaSpin. It’s a mistake to brand that as being compiled by a campaign-centered Truth Squad.

  5. I’m all for Obama, but he did not have a good showing. He was unsure of himself (nervous?), stumbled over his words, couldn’t come up with what he wanted to say. It was like he really wanted to make a zinger, but couldn’t quite get it out ALL.NIGHT. I don’t know that Romney was really any better, overall, but he looked good in comparison. Fortunately, the debate isn’t making up my mind. I hope Obama does better in the next one.

  6. Pingback: Big Bird, The News Cycle And The Debate – Newscoma

  7. And damn, this has given all sorts of fuel to the conservative trope of “Obama can’t speak without a teleprompter.” I hate that.

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