Do I think Obama lost the first debate in Denver?
Do I think Romney won?
I’m a fierce Obama supporter but I can admit it when I think he fucked up.
I think Obama fucked up by failing to ready himself. I also think he underestimated two things about Romney: one was Romney’s being rehearsed (to the point of appearing haughty and over-prepared at times) and, more lethally, was Romney’s willingness to lie. Mitt’s denying the existence of his tax plan, or at least any verifiable version of it was an intolerable betrayal of the American people.
There are lots of hasty explanations being offered; the loser, whether Republican or Democrat, always tries to spin a debate loss. The rope-a-dopers say that Obama wanted to stay calm while an over-excited Romney buried himself in lies. Others point out how incumbents frequently lose the first debate and still others blame terrible moderation by Jim Lehrer and others say the president attacking Romney in that setting is un-presidential and would only end up elevating the contender. Some even claim he lost on purpose because he knew, as we all do, that the media needed to get a start on Mitt's Comeback story.
I'll wait to see how these things shake down to determine if there's credibility to any of these assertions. The bottom line is, regardless of what happened in Denver last night, if the president doesn’t pick himself up off that mat and get Mitt, he’s dead.