If you’re to believe recent polling, President Obama went into last night’s presidential debate with a sizable lead. Pundits opined that all Mr. Obama needed to do was appear presidential, utilize his superior oration skills and avoid a knock-out punch from Mitt Romney. He clearly accomplished those three goals, but it’s just as clear that those three objectives weren’t nearly enough.

Romney demonstrated neither visceral debating skills nor a kill-or-be-killed attitude. Romney was calm, collected and well armed with facts. The tenor of Mitt’s approach showed a sharpness of the issues and energy that often seemed lacking in his early primary debates; last night Romney simply “out-presidented” Mr. Obama.

Obama loses first debate to Romney

While Obama has spent months defining Romney as a wealthy guy disconnected from the everyday folk, it took only single two-hour debate for Romney to define Obama as a big government Liberal.

“Spain spends 42 percent of their total economy on government. We’re now spending 42 percent of our economy on government. I don’t want to go down the path to Spain,” Mr. Romney said in the presidential debate in Denver.

Romney kept beating the drum that getting control over the nation’s debts must be accomplished through reductions in government spending and not tax hikes.

“The problem with raising taxes is that it slows down the rate of growth and you could never quite get the job done,” Romney said. “I want to lower spending and encourage economic growth at the same time.”

Obama could only echo the talking points of past failures by arguing for public investments to generate economic growth.

“The magnitude of the tax cuts that you’re talking about, Governor, would end up resulting in severe hardship for people, but more importantly, would not help us grow,” Obama said to his opponent.

Unfortunately for President Obama, at least 23 million Americans are already suffering severe hardship under his stewardship.

Obama appeared tired and perhaps over-prepped, often exerting more energy in facial expressions than sharp retorts. While Romney came back at Obama for each charge he made, the president seemed either unable or unwilling to challenge Romney on his assertions.

In one of the many telling moments of the debate Obama argued that the $2.8 billion in oil company subsidies were unnecessary and that the money would be better spent on hiring additional teachers; but Romney was prepared for the president’s charge snapping back that the president had wasted $90 billion on green energy, picking winners and losers, that represented 50 years of oil company subsidies and $90 billion would have hired many more teachers than $2.8 billion; the president was clearly caught flat-footed by Romney’s response and stood by quietly as if scolded by the principal.

In the “no publicity is bad publicity” moment of the debates, Mitt Romney told moderator Jim Lehrer of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS,) famously known as the home of Jim Lehrer and Sesame Street, that he would not support any further subsidies to PBS, even though he likes Big Bird and Mr. Lehrer. Within minutes the “Twitterverse” exploded, generating more activity than ever previously recorded in a one-hour period of time.

After the debate Obama was savaged by the left-wing press giving him far worse reviews than conservative pundits. Overnight polling by CBS showed that the viewers, nearly 67 million, believed, by more than a 2-to-1 margin, that Romney had won the debate.

The president will have two weeks to recoup after his beating and with his base so disappointed by his performance you can be sure he’ll come out swinging in the next debate; Mr. Obama’s problem is that Romney’s crew did a stellar job preparing him for the first debate and are likely to prep him for a full frontal assault. How Romney handles a pit bull Obama may be the deciding factor in a hair’s-breadth election.


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