Rush Limbaugh said it on his show yesterday (October 16, 2012):
If Obama shows up tonight and successfully breathes, he's going to be declared the winner tomorrow.
Rush was correct. Obama showed up and didn't flounder. He at least managed his talking points. He even had a few good rhetorical decisions. (The one that made me say "SONOFA!" was waiting to bring up the 47% non-story until Romney couldn't respond, using his final statement in the debate.)
What Obama didn't do was he didn't successfully present Romney as a a bad candidate or, more importantly, himself as a good one. At all. He told more tales about "increasing oil production," but Governor Romney pointed out (and Obama ducked the question) that it was entirely on private lands, which the government has zero say over. He lied about the Libya crisis and refused to answer the direct question asked by a voter of what happened. He just blamed Romney for giving a statement.
The Drive-By Media is predictably hammering Romney's strength in the
debate. Their spin is "Romney was a bully" or he was "disrespectful."
These are the same people who glossed over Joe Biden being a legitimate
bully a week ago, by the way. If you doubt media bias, pay attention to
the difference between how Biden's legitimate bullying was presented vs.
Romney refusing to let Obama lie. They are telling you what you saw, but let's stop and think about what we ACTUALLY saw, shall we?
What we actually saw was President Obama having to lie to cover his tracks or just ignore questions. For example, why is he telling a college student who has asked about his job prospects after college about increased manufacturing jobs. (Please tell me the President realizes that the goal of a college degree is not to be a knob turner at a factory.) He also refused to answer Governor Romney's point about his "increased drilling" coming not from public lands but private lands.
I also still heard stammering and stuttering from the President in a lot of the debate. He wasn't quite as bad as last time. But he still was searching for the truth throughout the debate. The only thing is he seemed LESS ridiculously incompetent, so he looked better by comparison. Like Rush said, it's all about exceeding expectations.
So what precisely happened, in terms of this debate? Well, I'll tell you. I watched a Frank Lunz focus group from Nevada after the debate. The lion's share of the people in the group were Obama voters in 2008. The lion's share of those same people said they had now decided to vote for Mitt Romney.
Friends, here's what really happened at the debate: Obama couldn't answer legitimate questions. He couldn't answer Governor Romney's legitimate questions. The Drive-By Media is telling us that Obama "won on points." Let's make pretend that it matters if someone "wins on points" in a debate. Debates are not reflected on points. This isn't high school Debate Team. This is a Presidential Election.
Obama did not move the meter. Even if the Drive-By Media brings out skewed polls that claim it did, trust me, it won't matter on Election Day. Mitt Romney is about to win the Presidency in three weeks. And that's what really matters.