Pres. Obama looked like a beaten man last night before he started the first presidential debate. I don't know why. He's ahead in the polls in virtually every swing state, including Iowa, and he's slightly ahead in national polls.
Was Obama embarrassed, as Eddie Murphy would say, that Mitt Romney was "lying his (expletive) off"? Pres. Obama didn't call Romney's allegations lies, but he strongly implied they were. Obama did mention that "five weeks before the election," Romney was putting forth a different platform that the one he's been running on since Romneycare became Obamacare and Romney repudiated his own health insurance plan and promised to repeal it on "Day One" of his putative presidency.
So now we're supposed to believe that a Pres. Mitt "Mittens" Romney would not cut taxes for the wealthy and would not raise taxes on the middle class? They don't call him "Mittens" because he doesn't have claws.
Rather than call Gov. Romney a bald-faced liar, Pres. Obama said over and over again that there is no way that Romney's math of "deficit reductions" could work without savaging education, infrastructure, Medicare, Social Security benefits, Medicaid, and food stamps. The "47%" tape makes it quite clear that Romney believes the elderly, the handicapped, veterans, and the working poor don't take personal responsibility and refuse to care for themselves.
Never mind the fact that 61% of that 47% who don't pay federal income taxes but do pay payroll taxes. So they're the working poor. Do the working poor refuse to take responsibility for themselves? Does the 85-year-old woman in a wheelchair refuse to take responsibility for herself?
So Pres. Obama, embarrassed and awkward, waited for Romney to stop lying to the American people. However, Romney is perfectly comfortable lying to the American people, and he never did stop. He expressed sympathy for the middle class. We were supposed to buy that, although he's never expressed sympathy for the thousands of people he fired after gutting their companies of resources, forced them into bankruptcy, and laughed all the way to the bank.
What's a guy to do? Romney refused to fess up. He refused to recant. He never did explain to us how his plan of beefing up the Pentagon and cutting taxes for the rich would work. In fact, he denied that he would cut the effective taxes paid by the rich.
Meanwhile, Pres. Obama looked tired and like he'd rather be anywhere than where he was. Michelle Obama, his wife, looked very nervous and apprehensive before the debate. Maybe the president was tired. Maybe he would have preferred to be at a table in a nice restaurant on his wedding anniversary, October 3rd.
Robert Frost once said, "a liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel."
Pres. Obama needs us to believe in him, because he didn't look like he believed in himself. I don't know what would cheer him up if good poll numbers don't do it. Maybe he knew those poll numbers could change. He did much better when he debated Arizona Sen. John McCain in 2008. Back then Sen. McCain was the one who looked like a man at war with himself.
Where was Pres. Obama's fight? Where was his passion? Chris Matthews on MSNBC went ballistic the minute the debate ended. He was furious that Pres. Obama didn't do a better job of defending himself. So it's unanimous. Obama lost; Romney won. You'd have to have been following the campaigns closely to know that Romney lied in order to win.
The Mitt Romney I saw in the first debate was the Mitt Romney I argued with about the Iraq War in 2008 at the Hamburg Inn 2 in Iowa City. Mitt loves a good argument and he showed his claws with me.