I will confess that last night was like Christmas for me.
Not only did Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney mop up the floor with incumbent President Barack Obama in last night’s debate, it did just what New Jersey Governor Chris Christy promised it would. Romney’s performance in Denver last night re-set the election cycle and began to shake up the conventional wisdom. When Christy told us the “entire narrative of the election will change” he wasn’t kidding.
I must also confess that I wasn’t at all confident going into the evening. Mitt Romney was still too much an unknown quantity for me to count those particular chickens. I was afraid that he might succumb to the Presidential charisma and lose sight of the real issues around this election when forced to share a stage with the dazzling Presidential Persona. Mea culpa. Mitt Romney kicked the first butt over and over and over again. In spite of all my doubts, he behaved precisely as a President should and left many of us with an enormous sense of relief.
Fox news – which I watched alternating with CNN – had a focus group watching the debate. The group was made up of independent voters who were, at the beginning of the evening, undecided about which of the candidates would get their vote. With two or three exceptions, the participants were Romney supporters at the close of the debate. They used words like leadership, strength, and confidence to describe Romney’s performance. They had other, less flattering, words to describe the performance of the incumbent.
The democrat faithful including Ragein’ Cajun, James Carville, were stunned by the Obama showing and admitted that Romney won the night.
When it was all said and done, I couldn’t even go to sleep. I did stop short of dancing in the street which might have gotten me arrested or sent to the hospital for sanity testing. That said, allow me to tell you that I have no delusions about how the next debate will play out. Barack Obama is far too smart to be blindsided twice. Last night he caught on to the fact that he’s been sheltered and coddled by the main-stream media and the press corps for so long that real, serious questions leave him with that ‘deer in the headlights’ look. It won’t happen that way again.