Romney’s Gutting of Obama Leads to New Momentum, Liberals Still Delusional
posted at 7:28 am on October 8, 2012 by Matt Vespa
Yes, I’m still ecstatic over Romney’s victory. George Will, who also wrote about Romney’s “trifecta” win, noted that the results of the debate have changed the narrative. After all, President Obama was left bruised, bloodied, and bewildered – leaving left-wingers hurling excuses while the Romney bounce commenced. About 70 million people tuned in to watch the epic smackdown Mitt Romney delivered to the president. Although Obama talked more than Romney, he said hardly anything of substance and seemed to reiterate slogans from his campaign ads dating back to the spring as he began to ramble. The corporate jet jab – if you could call it that – was the most amusing of the president’s flaccid attempts to counter Romney. These were all indicators that the president, for all of his infallible political acumen, was out of ideas. As Ronald Brownstein of the National Journal wrote on October 4, what was explicitly clear during the debate was:
Obama’s inability… to enlighten voters about his second-term agenda. To the extent the president outlined goals during the debate, they were largely defensive. He wants to restore the tax rates for upper-income earners established under President Clinton, protect Medicare and Medicaid in their current form—and, above all, implement his health care plan. He didn’t talk nearly as much about what he might do in a second term to accelerate job growth. “You didn’t hear anything about how he is going to get the economy going,” jibed Stuart Stevens, Romney’s chief strategist, after the debate. Other than blocking the GOP’s initiatives, Obama didn’t seem to be burning to accomplish much of anything over the next four years.
However, Team Obama, after probably going through an entire CVS stock of Alka-Selzter, put their spin doctors to work. On The Ed Morrissey Show last week, Ed and Duane Patterson went through all the lame liberal excuses for Obama’s poor performance. At the time, I thought Al Gore’s “altitude” excuse, which supposedly lead to Obama’s hypoxic performance, was the most ludicrous – but then Allahpundit posted about “hankeygate.” Yes, Mitt Romney is not only a liar, but a cheater. He had ninety minutes worth of notes written on a hankey to eviscerate the president. Pundit wrote that:
…this’ll still get some circulation on lefty blogs — and maybe not just blogs — for the simple reason that the Lightbringer was roundly humiliated on Wednesday and it’s easier to cope with that failure if you think something sinister and extraordinary was afoot in causing it. That’s why Jim Lehrer, who’s moderated endless presidential debates, is somehow now being treated as the X factor that caused President Uhhhh to have a bad night. All partisans use those defense mechanisms sometimes; the left thinks our side is using them right now. But yes, in case there’s any doubt: It was indeed a handkerchief in Romney’s hand.
The rest of the excuses were posted by Ross Kaminsky at The American Spectator on October 5.
David Plouffe*: It was the media, secretly wanting a Romney win.
David Axelrod* (Obama adviser): It was just good acting by Romney. And Romney is a liar.
Stephanie Cutter* (Obama adviser): It was the moderator.
Bob Woodward: Obama was distracted, maybe by his personal life.
James Carville: Talking to Romney is like talking to a chainsaw.
Michael Moore: It was John Kerry.
Andrew Sullivan: It was the moderator.
Juan Williams: It was liberals like Michael Moore and Andrew Sullivan on Twitter.
Darrell Delamaide: The moderator asked questions biased toward the Republican agenda.
Brad Woodhouse*: Romney is a liar.
(Intermission for a shred of honesty)
Marc Ambinder: It was the format, Obama’s cautiousness, a bad memory, tiredness from dealing with Turkey and Syria, and (honesty!) that “Obama just doesn’t have a very good affirmative argument to make.”
Then, there was the spin.
DNC*: It was Romney dominating the moderator.
DailyKos: Romney is a liar.
Michelle Goldberg: Romney is a liar.
Susan Thistlethwaite: It was the moderator and Romney is a liar.
Howard Kurtz: Journalists aren’t doing their jobs… by not calling Romney a liar.
Chris Matthews: Obama doesn’t watch enough MSNBC.
George Lakoff: Obama didn’t say what he believes.
Jen Psaki*: Obama was too busy to adequately prepare.
Kevin Baker: Romney is a racist (because of the story about his five boys).
Jamelle Bouie: It doesn’t matter.
Joe Klein: It wasn’t the real Barack Obama.
Barack Obama: It wasn’t the real Mitt Romney.
Joe Biden: Obama did a great job.
Of course, Obama good, Romney bad because for those affected by liberal delusion – there’s no way that Barry could be so “off his game.” He’s absolutely brilliant!
However, there’s the new job numbers that the Obama campaign claims will “turn the tide” of the 2012 election. That is if “President Uhhhhh” decides to ‘man up,’ like Romney, and hold a press conference – which is an event he hasn’t participated in since June. On the other hand, he has been able to make time for Entertainment Tonight and People magazine this past summer. As a result, some are blaming Obama’s fast and furious evasion of the White House press corps for his utterly insipid performance in the debate.
in the hours after the Republican challenger Mitt Romney embarrassed the incumbent in their first meeting, Obama loyalists expressed puzzlement that the incumbent had done badly. But Obama has only himself to blame, because he set himself up for Wednesday’s emperor-has-no-clothes moment. For the past four years, he has worked assiduously to avoid being questioned, maintaining a regal detachment from the media and other sources of dissent and skeptical inquiry.
Obama has set a modern record for refusal to be quizzed by the media, taking questions from reporters far less often than Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and even George W. Bush. Though his opponent in 2008 promised to take questions from lawmakers like the British prime minister does, Obama has shied from mixing it up with members of Congress, too. And, especially since Rahm Emanuel’s departure, Obama is surrounded by a large number of yes men who aren’t likely to get in his face.
This insularity led directly to the Denver debacle: Obama was out of practice and unprepared to be challenged. The White House had supposed that Obama’s forays into social media — town hall meetings with YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and the like — would replace traditional presidential communication. By relying on such venues, Obama’s argument skills atrophied, and he was ill-equipped to engage in old-fashioned give and take.
As Duane Patterson said on Ed’s show, “who is this man – and what has he done with Dana Milbank.” Agreed. He might have been replaced by the pod people. Nevertheless, as Obama flounders, Romney reaps the rewards of success.
The American Spectator’s Robert Stacy McCain, who wrote from a Romney/Ryan rally in Fisherville, Virginina last Friday, stated that “the massive turnout was proof that Mitt Romney’s stunning victory in Wednesday’s debate struck a spark of excitement, reviving a campaign that had sustained a month-long battering of negative media coverage.” It’s Mitt Romney 2.0!
However, at the time, “no new polls have yet measured the size of Romney’s post-debate “bounce,” but if the enormous crowd that turned out Thursday here is any indication, it will be sizeable. Polls have shown a tight race in Virginia, and the Republicans will continue campaigning Friday morning in Abingdon, in the southwest corner of the state. Romney closed his speech at the Fisherville rally with a confident proclamation of victory in the election now only 33 days away: ‘When Paul Ryan and I get to Washington, we will begin a real recovery that will put Americans back to work.”
However, Reuters’ Patricia Zengerle wrote on October 5 that:
President Barack Obama’s lead over challenger Mitt Romney has narrowed to just two percentage points since the Republican’s strong performance in their first debate, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday.
In more bad news for Obama, one in five voters said the Democrat’s performance in the contest in Denver on Wednesday made them feel more negative about him and almost a third said they felt more positive about his Republican challenger…
Obama had led Romney by 6 percentage points in the poll released on Wednesday and the edge narrowed to five points – a 48-43 percent lead for Obama – in polling up to Thursday. That was the first including a day of interviews after the meeting in Denver…
More than 9 out of 10 registered voters – 91 percent – said they had seen, heard or read something about the debate, and 54 percent said they thought Romney had done a better job.
Remember, in 2004, George W. Bush was leading John Kerry by seven points before the first debate, which became a one point race after closing remarks. In Ohio, Florida, and Virginia, Romney has seen a bump in the polls. While not having a commanding lead, he’s recovered the ground he lost during his campaign’s slump in the final weeks of September. Guy Benson broke down the polling in these three key states.
Rasmussen reported that Obama was up one against Romney (50/49) in Ohio, up two in Florida (49/47), with Romney up one against Obama in Virginia (49/48) – all of which are within the margin of error. Ace of Spades posted on October 4 that since the debate Republican absentee absentee voting has surged.
Champaign County: Was +3% GOP, now +23% GOP – 20 point shift.
Columbiana County: Was +9% DEM, now +9% GOP – 18 point shift.
Crawford County: Was +3% DEM, now +12% GOP – 15 point shift.
Cuyahoga County: Was +36% DEM, now +30% DEM (GOP already has 6,000 more requests than in 2008 – 6 point shift.)
Erie County: Was +24% DEM, now +7% DEM -17 point shift.
Franklin County: Was +5% DEM, now +5% GOP – 10 point shift.
Greene County: Was +4% DEM, now +19% GOP – 23 point shift.
Harrison County: Was +22% DEM, now +5% DEM – 17 point shift.
Hamilton County: Was +7% GOP, now +13% GOP – 6 point shift.
Licking County: Was TIED, now +16% GOP – 16 point shift.
Montgomery County: Was +29% DEM, now +5% DEM – 24 point shift.
Muskingum County: Was +1% DEM, now +16% GOP – 17 point shift.
Pickaway County: Was +12% DEM, now +15% GOP – 27 point shift.
Seneca County: Was +1% DEM, now +13% GOP – 14 point shift.
Summit County: Was +33% DEM, now +6 DEM – 27 point shift.
Wood County: Was +10% DEM, now +1% GOP – 11 point shift.
Benson commented that “the five largest counties in the Buckeye State have all shifted toward the GOP by at least six percent (and as much as 27 percent) since 2008. While the polls show Obama ahead in Ohio, these ballot request numbers suggest that Mitt Romney is in a much better position there today than John McCain was four years ago.”
Lastly, Public Policy Polling reported on October 6 that their:
newest Wisconsin poll finds a big debate bump for Mitt Romney in the state. Two weeks ago he trailed Barack Obama by 7 points there, 52-45. Now he’s pulled to within two points, with Obama’s lead now just 49-47.
There’s not much doubt it was Romney’s strong debate performance on Wednesday night that’s given him this boost. Voters think he won the debate by a 61/25 margin, including a 60/19 margin with independents. 95% of Republicans think Romney won the debate, while only 50% of Democrats claim to think Obama was the winner. Romney’s image has seen significant improvement over the last couple weeks with 49% of voters now expressing a positive opinion of him to 48% with a negative one. That’s up a net 8 points from a 44/51 spread on our last poll.
As the Obama team will claim that the new job numbers shatter the Republican narrative on the economy, Mitt Romney’s incontrovertible trouncing of Obama in the debate showed conservatives that Mitt is energetic, hungry, and won’t back down in framing the president as anathema to American enterprise. He was branded as robotic and inauthentic, but as Ed noted the Romney we saw last Wednesday night showed many ‘low-information voters’ that he wasn’t a job killer, a dog abuser, a harbinger of cancer, or a tax evader. It showed a man who was in command of the facts that exposed Obama’s miserable tenure as president. It showed that he was more articulate and more alert to the needs of the American economy. It showed that he could easily replace the man who misses half of his intelligence briefings and has the temerity to call himself commander-in-chief.
As I’ve mentioned before, along with other conservatives, the left is paper-mache. If you press them hard enough, they’ll crumble. That’s exactly what happened to Obama during the debate. For all the speech-making, he was incapable of offering an alternative direction that (a) hadn’t been taken before and (b) ended in disappointment or abject failure. He didn’t have Bill Clinton, who has propped up him up countless times, to save him.
As Romney regains his momentum, he should focus on maintaining his narrative. Liberals are doing everything they can to trivialize his win. Concerning the distractions, like Big Bird and PBS, they should be dealt with by John Sununu. In the meantime, Romney should be prepared for, as Brownstein noted, a more “aggressive” Obama on October 16, but one who will have to successfully balance pushing against Romney’s narrative and “convincing Americans that he has a plan to make their lives better.” However, for now, we should all be fairly entertained with the Vice Presidential debate on October 11. I’m fairly confident it’ll be a back-to-back train wreck for the Obama campaign.