Stewart: Er, the president isn't looking quite as brilliant as he used to

Here are a couple more reactions to last night’s debate proceedings from the liberal crowd for you, just because it’s fun — first, comedian Jon Stewart on Good Morning America, acknowledging that the president had a “very difficult night.”

Listen, I’m sure President Obama now realizes, ‘Oh, pre-season’s over. I should probably familiarize myself with my presidents, and learn some of the various numbers and things that go along with…’ Yeah, I thought he had a very difficult night. I’m concerned that he may not reelect us. He may, he may walk away. … It wasn’t so much his body language, as the mouth-language that he was using, the pauses in-between. You know, I used to think the pauses, he was just trying to think of smaller words for the little brains to figure out what he was saying. This time, I really think the pauses were just, ‘I like food.’…’My children are nice.’ Just different, he just didn’t seem present in the same way.

Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (an Obama-surrogate who’s gone off the messaging-reservation before, heh) echoed Stewart’s sentiments on MSNBC, with more on President Obama’s general manner and body language.

You’ve gotta’ draw the line on perception and what people get viscerally out of a debate, and substance. And the first take is always what people get out of it. Governor Romney was engaged, he was energetic… he was in command of the facts, he was personable. He was all those things, and for some reason, the president was clearly off his game. He looked annoyed to be there, he kept looking down at his notes, he didn’t even look at the camera. He failed Debate 101, what we tell fledgling candidates — always look at the camera, particularly when you’re delivering your closing. He was delivering his closing to Jim Lehrer, not to the American people.

Anybody else seeing an emerging consensus here? President Obama doesn’t tend to do too well in non-teleprompted, high-pressure confrontational situations, the irony being that he’s been so softened by a media establishment that hasn’t dared to even think of questioning his supposedly formidable intellect for years. Oh, the nerve of Mitt Romney, having done so much darn practicing and preparation before last night’s debate — and it’s a damn good thing he did, too. As Tom Brokaw put it on MSNBC, if Romney had performed as badly as President Obama did last night, “it would have been over.”

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