Last Night’s Debate

I know you are all anxiously awaiting my analysis of last night’s debate (that’s a cue to most of you to stop reading now – this will be boring and probably piss you off), so… Here we go…

Romney – Was very effective hitting the following point: Whatever Obama’s plan is, he’s had four years to implement it, and has achieved no results. This, in a nutshell, is how Romney wins the election. It is a great argument, largely because it is simple and it is true. He landed some solid blows with it last night. Going forward the heart of his campaign should be focused on that one thing and one thing only – the ineffectiveness of Obama.

As for the rest of his performance, he did exactly what he needed to do – look presidential, and don’t say anything stupid.

Obama – Missed some key opportunities last night. The only way Obama wins is by countering the “ineffectiveness” argument. Obama has to point out exactly how he has been effective. There are three topics where he can do this:

1) The trajectory of the economy. Yes the economy is still down, but when he took office it was heading down and heading down rapidly. Obama has to make the argument that he stopped the downward spiral, that the economy has not only leveled off, but is now, at least marginally, headed back up.

2) GM. This has been potrayed as a bailout of a single company that deserved to fail. He has to present this as the saving of an entire industry. There is an argument to be made here, the failure of GM could have crippled the auto industry in this country, especially in light of the competition from Europe and Japan.

3) Obamacare. He has to own this, and own it in a big way. He staked his entire first term to it, a huge risk (arguably a huge mistake), so he has to explain why it was so important. He has to do what he failed to do in the first place – he has to sell it to the American public. Granted, a difficult task to be sure, but there is a case to be made there.

On all three points, Obama touched on each one briefly, but utterly failed to make a case with any of them. Swing and a miss. To make matters worse, he had no response, none at all, to Romney’s “ineffectiveness” argument. This I don’t understand – how did they not see that coming?

So… Round One goes to Romney.

It will be interesting to see how the candidates recalibrate for round two.

Swing State

One of the “benefits” of living in a swing state is we get to see all of the campaign commercials. Two in particular have been making the rounds, one featuring Obama, and the other featuring Bill Clinton for Obama, both basically suggesting we need to continue on the same path, and eventually it will all work out.

This reminds me of that little kid at the party who keeps trying to do the magic trick, but never quite gets it right. “Is this your card?” “No wait, here, is THIS your card?” “No, hold on, let me do it again, is this your card?” “No?” Eventaully his mommy will come along and tell him that’s enough, and to go play in his room now.

Now let me be clear, I don’t think Obama is the Devil. I don’t think he is the anti-Christ. I don’t think he is a Socialist. I don’t think he will plunge this country into a thousand years of darkness. (Really Chuck? A thousand years of darkness?). But, I am getting tired of waiting for his magic trick to work, and I think maybe it is time for him to go to his room.

Only problem is, then we have to talk to creepy Uncle Mitt, and he always calls us “sport” and “champ” and rubs our head and asks how our lacrosse team is doing this year, and I don’t know what to say ’cause I don’t even know wtf lacrosse is.