Romney obviously won the debate, so let's get that clear. Democrats will spend most of the next 48 hours trying to spin it and underplay what happened last night. Don’t believe them; but if you’re a Obama supporter, don’t panic either.
The chattering class will go overboard with their analysis of last night’s debate and, depending on what channels you watch, you’ll either think Romney had the best debate performance ever or that President Obama had the worst. There’s a lot of nuance in what was discussed and substantively, the debate was fairly even.
Performance-wise, however, Romney beat the President down. He attacked and counter-attacked with much more gusto, while the President seemed uninspired and even unprepared. Romney strategically picked the President apart and, at times, overwhelmed the conversation. He needed to show the GOP his worth and he did. For the time being, this performance will control the narrative. Until the next debate at least. Historically, incumbents tend to underperform in the first debate and usually bounce back the next time. Still, it was troubling to see the President miss a chance to really detail his policies. Especially with the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), in which he made a point to explain the specifics about it, but then, only listed two of the reforms. It was baffling.
Debates are entertaining, but often inconsequential to the election. The real moment of this week, will take place tomorrow, when the new job report numbers come out. If it’s bad, then all of you who threaten to move to Canada if the President isn’t re-elected, well, you might want to get serious about that.