In which his debate performance was so strong that the author resorts to football clichés.
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The president stayed afloat during the campaign by constantly tossing out distractions. We’ve slogged through the war on women, gay marriage, Bain Capital, allegations of tax fraud, and Romney’s alleged commission of a first-degree murder. Throughout it all, Romney’s seemed stuck in neutral, unwilling or unable to shift the focus.
But debates are naturally substantive affairs. Obama can’t respond to a question on the deficit by pointing to the side and yelling, “Look, free birth control!” (Although he did lamely bring up tax breaks on corporate jets at one point.) Instead the president actually had to address economic reality, which he’s been fastidiously avoiding for the past ten months.
On CNN after the debate, John King wondered why the president didn’t talk up his usual points about how the economic looter Romney would hurt people and communities. The answer is: that was all a façade to begin with. President Obama has run a campaign thoroughly devoid of substance. Last night, Romney came armed with substance and the difference was clear.
It’s always hard to know how people will react to debates. (Although Chris Matthews, currently strapped to a table somewhere, was pretty easy to predict.) But as our own John Tabin pointed out last night, about a quarter of voters say the presidential debates could affect their vote. It’s hard to imagine Romney not seeing a modest bounce after tonight.
We’ve still got a long way to go. But given all the recent gloom about Romney’s poll numbers, last night was a great kickoff for the last month of the campaign.
All right, no more football.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?