Blog: Signs of Post Debate Depression
Have you been feeling sad the past two days? Have you avoided all media coverage of Wednesday night’s presidential debate? Do you find yourself getting angry every time someone mentions the name Mitt Romney? If so, you might suffer from PDD (Post Debate Depression).
It’s okay. Embrace it. Accept it. Then move on. It was one debate. One night. So what if Mitt Romney got the better of the President? So what if the President came across as unprepared and disinterested? Wait, what? You think the President won the debate? Oh, dear. Your case of PDD is worse then I thought. You’re in the denial stage, and that’s okay too. I understand you love the President and plan to vote for him no matter what. But let’s call a spade a spade. Mitt Romney won the debate.
Hours before the event, I interviewed a debate coach, Isaac Allen with Debate Kansas City, and he told me some things to look out for during the debate. He expected Romney to be on the offensive. Check. He expected Obama to be defensive and stand by his principles. Check. But he also wanted me to watch their body language. That says a lot about who is controlling a debate, and in that category, Romney won all the way. He looked the President in the eye. He rebutted all the President’s comments and backed them up with facts. Were the facts true? It didn’t matter. It made him sound really smart, and Obama didn’t refute any of the facts he offered. Unless you mean the three times Obama mentioned Romney’s plan to cut $5 trillion in taxes only to have Romney repeatedly say he wouldn’t cut $5 trillion in taxes unless he cut $5 trillion in spending. I kept waiting for the President to acknowledge what Romney said and then offer an intelligent response, but instead, he stuck to his notes, stayed on his talking points, and refused to acknowledge Romney’s responses refuting his facts.
Basically, the President seemed ill-prepared to debate. Why?
Okay, he’s running the country. There’s one excuse. Maybe Michelle was mad at him for scheduling the debate on their anniversary. Maybe it’s a strategy – come off as defensive in the first debate and grow gradually more aggressive to win over the public vote. The most obvious answer?
He can’t defend his economic policies.
The economy is in the tank. He can blame the Bush administration all he wants, he can blame Republicans in Congress for stalling his efforts, but the fact remains he hasn’t been able to reach across the aisle and get something done in regards to improving this economy quick enough. Sure, signs are pointing to a recovery, but it’s sluggish at best. Unemployment is still way too high. How do you stand on your record when there isn’t much to brag about? I think the President knew he was going to get hammered on his economic policies and he just braced for the blow. The next couple debates will focus on other topics, like international relations, and I expect him to be much more aggressive in defending those policies.
I’ve talked to many Obama supporters since Wednesday and they are so down right now. They know Romney put on a better performance, and they don’t know how to feel. They don’t like Romney, so they will still vote Obama,but they desperately want the President to inspire them like he did four years ago. They want to be proud of his plan to turn around the economy, but they didn’t hear anything to excite them.
One friend, looking to save face, is even claiming that Romney called Obama “boy” during the debate, as in when Romney said Obama was like his five boys who try to argue he said something he never said, hoping he would eventually believe he had said it. Uh, that’s a bit of a reach, don’t you think?
The fact is most everyone had really low expectations for Romney and he blew them out of the water. His performance was top notch. I relate it to a football game. You see it all the time. Home team takes a huge lead in the first half, goes in the locker room and begins to relax, the opponent raises their game and comes back to make it a game. Will Romney be able to complete the comeback with a win on the first Tuesday in November? We have two more debates and a lot more analysis before we find out.