Join me on Sunday for a brunch with some of our readers in the Bay Area; we’ll be gathering at about 1 PM or so in the Rockridge area of Oakland. Drop me an e-mail if you’d like to join us.
Last July, frustrated that our friends in the legacy media shunned scrutinizing the record of President Obama, I created the category, “Where’s the Scrutiny?” The Democrat has become accustomed to a press which downplays news which threatens the image he has crafted and refrains from asking him particularly tough questions.
The president, Michael Barone observed, “suffered” last night
. . . from his lack of scrutiny from mainstream media. As I like to say, there is nothing free in politics, but there is some question about when you pay the price. In this first debate Obama paid the price for the hands-off treatment he has received from mainstream media. His talking points, advanced by his spokesmen in the confidence that they will not be seriously challenged, were refuted by an energized and articulated and well-informed Mitt Romney. He stood there petulantly and pathetically, nonplussed by the fact that his flimsy talking points were effectively challenged.
And Romney was unfazed about doing the work the legacy media never does, exposing the president, as Michael Walsh put it
. . .as the Primo Carnera of his day, the mob-owned heavyweight champ who won a series of fixed fights — until he finally found himself in the ring against an opponent who didn’t fear him, and who was more than happy to whale on him, especially once Romney figured out that Obama couldn’t hurt him. Meanwhile, Obama kept looking over at Mitt with a “I can’t believe you know all this stuff” look on his face, while periodically casting beseeching glances at moderator Jim Lehrer, hoping to be saved by a bell that never came.
Just seen on Drudge: Gas prices in CA hit record highs…
Just snapped at the corner of Fairfax and Beverly, one of the cheapest places to buy gas in Hollywood:
FROM THE COMMENTS: V the K asks the question others dare not ask:
“Gas Prices Are Spiking to Record Highs. How will this affect the presidential race?” – said absolutely no one in the MFM.
Among the reasons conservatives cites for their skepticism about recent polls is that many show Romney winning independents, often by a decisive margins, even as they show Obama ahead overall. Bear in mind that in 2008, independents broke for Obama by 8 points, 52-44.
Yesterday, I cited two polls showing that margin flipped, both the most recent CNN and National Journal surveys showed Romney ahead by 8 among independents. Yahoo! is now headlining this report, but attempting to spin it as a pox on both political parties.
If current voter registration trends continue, both the Republican and Democratic parties may have a serious numbers problem.
Since President Barack Obama was elected in November 2008, the number of voters registered as independents or with a third party has surged in several key states, while those registered with both major parties have dropped off significantly. Among the six battleground states that provide monthly voter registration data (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania), all but the Buckeye State report more independent voters than four years ago.
Yahoo!’s Chris Moody does at least report that “A closer look at the data in these states also shows that Democrats appear to be losing registered voters the fastest.” Another reason thus to question poll samples skewed toward the Democrats.
Long and short of it is this, this surge in independents makes Romney’s lead among independents most significant.
Still, some advice from Instapundit readers is warranted: “Don’t get cocky kid.”
“Barack Obama,” Erick Erickson writes in his post on last night’s debate
at one point, interrupted Jim Lehrer and asked Lehrer to move on to a new topic. It was a brilliant metaphor for what Barack Obama did coming into office. He looked at the economy and decided to move on to Obamacare. His whole career has been one of passing the buck, shifting blame, and failing to take responsibility for tough challenges. He did the same last night.
Been seeing this a lot on Facebook, jubilant conservatives mocking Al Gore for saying something about the altitude in Denver accounting for Barack Obama’s bad performance in the debate. Now, that Sarah Hoyt has blogged about it on Instapundit, it must be news: “I mean, according to Al Gore the air was too thin for Barack up here. Also, the sun was in the president’s eyes.”
Doesn’t Mr. Gore remember that the Democrats held their 2008 convention in Denver and that Mr. Obama gave a speech there. It seems he handled the altitude just fine then. (Dan, he had a teleprompter at the time. –Ed.)
Shortly before reading Joseph Campbell yesterday afternoon Pacific Time, I had cut and pasted excerpts from Michael Knox Beran’s post at the Corner cautioning readers not to read too much into the pundits’ reaction to the debate:
No commentator can possibly know, when tonight’s debate ends, which of the two candidates appears in the eyes of a majority of viewers to be the superior one.
Nor will instant polls and focus groups be much more revealing, in part because a person’s immediate reaction to the debate will not necessarily tally with the deeper impression that forms more slowly, after the sensory data have had time to sink in and cohere in whatever mental tribunal ultimate judgments are made.
Read the whole thing. Even if Mitt Romney had dominated the debate, I did not expect any voices in the legacy media to say as much. Thus, I was shocked to see the coverage the debate got on Yahoo! Even Andrew Sullivan faulted Barack Obama on his performance. Over at Joshuapundit, Rob shares Bill Maher’s tweet about Obama’ performance, “I guess he really does need a tele prompter“. Never, blogs Hugh Hewitt, has an incumbent President of the United States “been this badly whupped in a debate.”
Calling the debate a slap down, Bruce Kesler found Romney pummeling “Obama’s generalities. . . with specifics” and telling the Democrat that he was “entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts.” (Like Bruce, I also recommend Jennifer Rubin’s analysis of the debate.)
This clearly helps Romney, but there’s no way (yet) to know how much. “This was“, as Jonah Goldberg reminds us, “the first time millions of people ever heard Mitt Romney make a case for himself at any length.” The Republican made a good case for himself while many wavering (and some Obama) voters are still open to supporting him. And he looked, well, “more like a president“.
My sense is that image will matter more than anything and we’ll see both an uptick in Romney’s poll numbers as well as his favorability. In his insightful analysis, Jim Geraghty contends that
. . . the dynamic of the race shifted tonight. (more…)
And some more Yahoo! headlines: (more…)