Thursday, October 4, 2012
The first presidential debate was a 90-minute nightmare for Barack Obama. Republican Mitt Romney came out swinging and stayed on the offensive during the entire tete a tete. As a matter of fact, Obama looked like he had been gut-punched in the wings just prior to taking the stage.
Apparently, it was Obama's wedding anniversary and he mentioned Michelle at the outset. It seemed a ham-handed attempt at humanizing at best, at worst some pathetic form of procrastination by someone unwillig to enter the fray. Either way, Obama's popular spouse was no talisman on this night in Denver.
The President never recovered from Romney's high-energy onslaught. Obama did not challenge the challenger's statements. Obama merely meandered rhetorically. He never appeared to warm to the task. He certainly was not having fun on that stage. Skinny never zinged Mitt. The debate seemed to pass Obama by as he stood looking less than presidential and more like an annoyed recluse forced to face a pestering world.
The Obama that his supporters know -- upbeat and confident, a campaign rally rock star, never showed.
No matter how you spin it, the first debate was an unmitigated disaster for Obama.
For artist Barry Blitt's take on the debate, view his drawing "One on One" that appears on the Oct. 15 cover of the New Yorker.