Report: Obama initially thought he won the debate

posted at 7:21 pm on October 9, 2012 by Allahpundit

I keep telling myself that this is unlikely, that even a guy with a galactic ego who surrounds himself with yes-men, cultists, and a very friendly media couldn’t possibly have thought he won that debate. At best, his inner monologue was Kevin Kline at the end of “A Fish Called Wanda”: “It was a tie.”

But then I remember that his grand answer to Romney’s national poll surge was a Big Bird ad, and I don’t know. I just don’t know.

When President Barack Obama stepped off the stage in Denver last week the 60 million Americans watching the debate against Mitt Romney already knew it had been a disaster for him.

But what nobody knew, until now, was that Obama believed he had actually won.

In an extraordinary insight into the events leading up to the 90 minute showdown which changed the face of the election, a Democrat close to the Obama campaign today reveals that the President also did not take his debate preparation seriously, ignored the advice of senior aides and ignored one-liners that had been prepared to wound Romney.

The Democrat said that Obama’s inner circle was dismayed at the ‘disaster’ and that he believed the central problem was that the President was so disdainful of Romney that he didn’t believe he needed to engage with him.

Not the first time we’ve heard that his team knew even before the debate was over how disastrous it was. But what about the man himself? Could he have been so intoxicated by the smell of his own rhetorical flatulence that he thought he had won? According to the NYT, maybe:

Mr. Obama walked off the stage thinking he at least had gotten in some of his points. “This was a terrific debate,” he said in the closing minutes.

“He knew that Romney had had a decent night as well,” Mr. Axelrod said later. “But it’s very hard when you’re standing there. It’s hard when you’re up there to judge it completely.”

Is it? If the entire Twitterverse, which includes partisans of all stripes and IQs high and low, could reach a consensus in real time that Romney had demolished him, we should expect the Lightbringer to have had some inkling. And if you believe this Politico piece published a few days ago, he did:

Nobody had to tell President Barack Obama he had whiffed when he walked off the stage in Denver Wednesday night — nor was he in the mood for a lot of advice.

“You could tell he was pissed,” said a person close to the president, “But it wasn’t like the end of the world. It was like, ‘That wasn’t good. The next one has to better.’ No apologies. No hand-wringing.”

That night, after a brief, terse chat with his advisers backstage at the University of Denver arena — “He had real clarity about what had happened,” one of them told POLITICO with a chuckle — Obama hopped in his limo, “The Beast,” and sped off to a nearby DoubleTree with wife Michelle.

Not sure how to square those NYT and Politico pieces except to assume that campaign staffers are spinning in different directions due to disagreements over how best to help him. If they admit that he knew he was losing, the question from their base then becomes, “So why didn’t he adjust and try harder?” If they say that he didn’t know he was losing, the question is, “How can any sentient being not have known?” Maybe Axelrod figures it’s better to invite the second question and play it off with a glib “it’s hard to judge when you’re in the moment” than to invite the first question, the answer to which is either “he didn’t care enough to rally” or “he wasn’t intellectually agile enough to adjust.”

Speaking of lame, glib, laughable spin, your exit quotation: “[T]hey feel just as good about where they are today as they did two weeks ago.”


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If he thought he won the debate, what happens when everyone but him realizes he lost the election?! Obama leaving the Presidency is not going to be a pretty sight.

Jurisprudence on October 10, 2012 at 12:30 AM

Double “Dude”

FlaMurph on October 10, 2012 at 12:35 AM

Could he have been so intoxicated by the smell of his own rhetorical flatulence that he thought he had won?

AP, you are a snarkmaster.

redmama on October 10, 2012 at 12:38 AM

Obama won the more important debate, to him.

The one between Barack and reality.

And Barack triumphed.

profitsbeard on October 10, 2012 at 1:25 AM

We are merely seeing the grand result of the total and absolute failure of an agenda driven media (inarguable they were but hacks for the leftist agenda) putting up an attractive (foam pillars and Photo-shopped halos) but shallow and inept black candidate, who thus was politically untouchable(political correctness wasn’t a manners movement –it is a deadly political weapon)
The result was disastrous for them, their movement, the black community, America, and truth itself.
In fact,the entire political process has been defamed for its vulnerability, the go-along white liberal community, the manipulative capitalists, the banks, Wall Street, AARP, (for Obamacare)are at fault, but not blameless is an embarrassed populace who now realizes that they have been suckered big-time.(Regardless of what they say or how they vote)
Maybe now we can grow-up with our voting and stop looking for tin-horn heroes riding in white horses, or phony messiah wings, to save us, but after watching the Sandra Fluke celebration, and the public booing of God(the source of all goodness and truth–as well as all our rights), I doubt it.
I just hope that we’ve come to our senses and ask…well, maybe in this secularist society, Big-Bird to save us from ourselves….

Don L on October 10, 2012 at 3:19 AM

For anyone who saw the picture of her giving Romney the hairy eyeball as she walked off stage, it was quite clear that Mooch knew exactly who won the debate. She had the look of a woman watching her BMW get repossessed.

tommyboy on October 10, 2012 at 6:10 AM

For anyone who saw the picture of her giving Romney the hairy eyeball as she walked off stage, it was quite clear that Mooch knew exactly who won the debate.

You are absolutely correct. HE may have been unconscious and unaware, but SHE certainly wasn’t. Those were “daggers” coming out of her eyes as she looked at Romney.

RADIOONE on October 10, 2012 at 8:01 AM

Politico got in a great dig at Obama in this piece that is being overlooked:

That night, after a brief, terse chat with his advisers backstage at the University of Denver arena — “He had real clarity about what had happened,” one of them told POLITICO with a chuckle — Obama hopped in his limo, “The Beast,” and sped off to a nearby DoubleTree with wife Michelle.

He had had enough of politics for the night.

Like he does almost every time something goes wrong, Obama eschewed the mea culpas — he’s not big on apologies in front of his staff — and shut down to think things over with the adviser whose company he values most in times of trouble: himself.

The advisor whose company he values most…..”Himself.”

Too funny.

This commenter nails it at Twitchy:

“Obama thought he WON the debate? How can anyone trust this man’s judgment?”

http://twitchy.com/2012/10/09/president-squee-believed-own-hype-thought-he-won-debate-citizens-think-bless-his-heart/

mountainaires on October 10, 2012 at 8:55 AM

I watched the debate on GBTV (now The Blaze TV). They did not have a split screen. Not having a split screen concealed the disaster that it was. I didn’t see Obama constantly looking at the floor.
I thought that Romney had won but not nearly as decisively as I had hoped.

Then I watched the commentary and analysis after the debate. Oh my was my impression off. At first I thought that the folks at GBTV were seeing something I had not. I don’t know if they had a split screen or not. I think not.

When the liberal universe started to collapse around Obama, then I knew that it was really way too good to be true, but true it was.

The Rock on October 10, 2012 at 9:14 AM

This is Obama’s pea-brain on Affirmative-action. Any questions?

Remember Anita Hill? Jocelyn Elders? How about sleazy Eric Holder? Gwen Iffill? Cornel West? Charles Ogletree? Tavis Smiley? Skippy Gates? Ray Nagin? Kwame Kilpatrick? David Dinkins? Marion Barry? How about Kurt Schmoke? Charlie Rangel? Sheila Jackass-Lee or Maxine Waters? and many, many more…
Then think of how much damage they’ve caused civilization from “advancement” on anything but merit, character and genuine achievement.

viking01 on October 10, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Could he have been so intoxicated by the smell of his own rhetorical flatulence that he thought he had won?

That’s beautiful, man.

kalel666 on October 10, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Of course Obama thought he won the debate, he showed up didn’t he?

Axion on October 9, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Same compelling style that won the Olympics for Chicago.

Barnestormer on October 10, 2012 at 9:50 AM

When you’re unbalenced & stupid you can tell yourself anything. That goes for the overrated Axelrod as well as the totally delusional, big time, Obama.

arand on October 10, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Far more narcissistic then intelligent…

Pest on October 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM

He did think he had won. After the debate and they walked around to shake hands, the Won actually said to Mitt, ‘good job’, as if he was talking to a child or someone of less intellect. What a dolt! I’m surprised the emperor with no clothes didn’t hold his hands in front of his private parts instead.

Kissmygrits on October 10, 2012 at 10:10 AM

The One thought he won.

Is the choom gang back in town?

locomotivebreath1901 on October 10, 2012 at 10:29 AM

“…intoxicated by the smell of his own rhetorical flatulence…”

Dude.

Catahoula on October 10, 2012 at 10:35 AM

…intoxicated by the smell of his own rhetorical flatulence…

Do they give Nobel Prizes for stuff like that? If not, they should. I’m putting that one in my pocket. Thank-you.

Tomolena1 on October 10, 2012 at 10:41 AM

I watched the debate on GBTV (now The Blaze TV). They did not have a split screen. Not having a split screen concealed the disaster that it was. I didn’t see Obama constantly looking at the floor.
I thought that Romney had won but not nearly as decisively as I had hoped.

You missed a lot by not seeing the split screen. I watched the debate on Fox News, which did have split-screen, and when Romney was speaking, most of the time Obama was either looking at the floor or grimacing when Romney said something Obama disagreed with. When Obama was speaking, Romney looked at him attentively with a half-smile, which never changed no matter what Obama said.

When the debate was over, the very first comment from Megyn Kelly was that Obama spent half the debate (when he was not speaking) “looking down”, which was seconded by Brett Baier.

Romney won the debate partly by being a good speaker, but possibly more by being a good listener–looking his opponent in the eye, paying close attention to what he says, and preparing his rebuttal without flinching. Then when it was Romney’s turn to speak, he always had three or four “bullet points” of issues to address in his head, to which he offered a clear and concise rebuttal.

A President needs to be a good listener. No single man can know everything about this great country, so he will need to surround himself with expert advisors, and LISTEN to what they say to make well-informed decisions. If a President wants to get 60 votes in a divided Senate, he will need to listen to the Senators’ concerns to negotiate bills that can get 60 votes (and Paul Ryan can help if elected VP). And if a President needs to discuss foreign policy with the likes of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad or Vladimir Putin, he must be willing to look them in the eye and rebuke them when necessary.

Anyone who watched that debate on split-screen could clearly see that Romney was paying attention, and Obama wasn’t. Voters like a President who pays attention to his bosses–THEM!!!

Steve Z on October 10, 2012 at 10:55 AM

So when he loses next month will he still show up for work at the White House in January?

sdbatboy on October 10, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Has anyone mentioned the darkest possibility? Obama’s poor performance and his views on who won the debate may reflect someone who already knows how the election will turn out – BECAUSE THE FIX IS IN ??? Colour me cynical.

dkeppner on October 10, 2012 at 12:48 PM

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