What’s the best way to capitalize on an opponent’s remarkably disappointing performance in a televised debate? Remind people that he has disappointed them in more ways that just rhetorically. Team Romney takes advantage of the emerging consensus to present “Melanie,” a small-business owner who supported Barack Obama in 2008 but has come to regret it. For an added bonus, Melanie McNamara argues that women with families ought to be supporting Mitt Romney rather than gender-warrior Obama in order to maximize the opportunities their children will have in the future:
“I’m disappointed in Barack Obama as my president. Because he promised to bring us all together and we’re all going to be able to prosper. I don’t see the prospering. In 2008, I voted for Barack Obama. He doesn’t have my vote this time.
“Why Mitt Romney? Being a woman, you think about your children and you think about their future. And what I want to think about is a future that has jobs. That our economy’s growing again. That’s important to women and it’s important to me.”
Whether this is planned timing or serendipity, it works well with the post-debate dynamic. Many voters who finally began paying attention with the start of the debate season had to be shocked at Obama’s performance. After having been built up as such a powerful orator and perhaps the smartest man ever to hold the office, his mauling at the hands of Mitt Romney has to have many of those re-evaluating both of those qualities. And without that edge, it will be impossible for voters to easily accept the idea that Obama is leading them out of a lengthy economic stagnation rather than extending it through his own incompetence.
After all, when you’ve lost the New Yorker …
… I’d say that the disillusionment is nearly total.