Stephanie Cutter and David Axelrod both said (amazing coincidence) that Romney won on “style points.” So, the most charismatic politician since Pierre Elliot Trudeau was beaten by an android — on style? I concede that Obama's reaction shots were awful. But he lost on radio too. And in print. Read the transcript. This wasn't about appearances. Romney didn't win on style. He won on an avalanche of substance, on a complete takedown of six months of Obama portraying Romney as enemy of the middle class, friend and footman of the rich.
So when Romney completely deflated that six-month “kill Romney” strategy — by looking reasonable, responsible, authoritative in demonstrating how his policies would help the middle class by stimulating economic growth — what did Obama have left?
A bit of advice
Big Bird. The stupidest ad in memory. Has any president ever run an ad so small and trivial? After an unprecedented shellacking in a debate about very large issues, this is his response?
The Middle East is ablaze, the country drowning in debt, the fiscal cliff looming — and Obama's great pitch is that only he can save the $300 million enterprise that is the Sesame Workshop?
Obama has two debates to come up with something better. If he can't, he will double down on his “Romney the menace” line. It might still work. But a word of advice: Your administration having prevaricated unceasingly — and scandalously — about the massacre in Benghazi, I'd be cautious about the “he's a liar” line of attack.
WASHINGTON POST WRITERS GROUP