As anyone who follows me on Twitter knows, I have been very tough on Mitt Romney and very critical of his missteps as a candidate. So I am pleased to report that tonight, we saw the Mitt Romney Republicans have been waiting for, rooting for, and hoping would emerge somehow, somewhere.
Indeed, it was a tour de force and arguably the best debate performance by a presidential candidate that we have ever seen. Romney was poised, confident, articulate, and on the attack. He was visibly kind and graceful, and spoke always with a sense of urgency about America and the future. He was the hard-charging businessman trying to rouse his company (America) to action.
Obama, by contrast, was listless and detached, professorial. He looked down, away and defeated, both literally and figuratively. And he fell back on tired clichés about the need for "some regulation" and "some government help," which no one -- and certainly not Romney -- opposes.
Yet, through it all, as he endured perhaps the most lopsided defeat in presidential debate history, Obama remained calm, cool and collected, and seemingly unperturbed.
But make no mistake: This one cannot be spun. No serious- or fair-minded observer could have watched tonight's debate and conclude that this was anything other than a big win for Romney, an inevitable game-changer despite (or perhaps because of) what the polls might say.
In short, one man tonight was brimming with ideas and impatient about an America that is standing still and in decline; and that man is Mitt Romney, who tonight, sealed the deal and got himself elected president of these United States.