President Obama won the second debate. Given his dilatory performance in the first debate, there was almost no place to go but up. And, improve he did. He was more animated, connected well with the questioners, and much more aggressive. He never missed a chance to attack Romney’s positions.
Obama immediately attacked, hitting GM early, and in each question, pivoted to “Governor Romney” believes, said or did, making some references hostile to Romney. He used Joe Biden lines, like “That’s just not true.” He asked “is that fair?” and said the “math doesn’t add up.” No more Mr. Nice or Quiet Guy.
But, Mitt Romney didn’t lie down, and there were times the temperature got a little uncomfortable for all, but Romney kept his focus on the failed economy and repeatedly offered his plans for the future.
Debates are broken down into four major activities:
First, the expectations game, with both sides trying to raise the bar on the opponent and lower their own. Obama’s expectations were slightly higher (Pew: Obama – 41% will do better; Romney 37%).
Second, the event.
Third, immediately after the debate, the spin room fills with handlers and commentators. Voters’ instant opinions enter the spin and the first judging is made. Obama won, but close.
Finally, Spin Two, where the pundits keep the process going up to the next event. This is the part of the debate process that can most affect public opinion. Tuesday morning was the start of Spin Two, and both sides are fully engaged.
Romney went into the debate with momentum. Numerous polls show the race closing, and some have Romney ahead. But, the debates are now one-for-one, and Obama is back in the game.
The battle will be to the end, and it will center in the battleground states, including Colorado.
Biden brings relief and new energy to the Democrats