Well, curiosities abound.
The Obama campaign seems to have an internal bit of chaos going on. Inside reports (which may have been deliberately leaked to the press) indicate that the President was a tad...oblivious, perhaps?...to the debate fallout.
Basically, the gossip is this:
President Obama actually believed (or may still believe) that Mitt Romney was a doddering, gaffe-prone fool who would be inarticulate at best during the debate. As a result, the President skimmed through the prepwork, even though debate assistants were warning him not to do so. The intent was thatno matter what Mitt Romney saidthe Obama campaign was going to dismiss everything Romney said as lies and flips in his position. This would give them the ability to cut off anything Romney said that might win popular appeal.
During the debate, Romney threw Obama for a loop. In responseand we talked about this a few times alreadyObama was momentarily surprised but simply stuck to the original strategy: mention the five trillion dollar thing, mention Obamas bipartisanship, and attack Romney on tax cuts for the rich. When Romney countered each of those things, Obama assumed the campaign would collapse them as mere lies over the next couple days, and simply went on with the rehearsed talk track.
At the end of the debate, sources close to him revealed, Obama believed he won. In fact, he thought he nailed it...so much so, that he did not bother hitting Romney on the 47% comments. He didnt need to.
As Obama staffers rended their clothing and gnashed their teeth, Obama went on his way, believing that the death blow was done: Romney could not possibly recover, given that he was an inarticulate, doddering, gaffe-prone old fool.
The President did not understand, and required considerable convincing the next day, that he had blown the debate. Allegedly, and understandably, the President was pissed at the news. He berated John Kerry for failing to be Romney enough. He blasted his aides for not warning him enough that this new Mitt Romney was engaged. NBC News believes there could be a serious reorganization of the Obama campaign as a result.
But no worryas scheduled, the campaign began to hand out the bullet lists attacking Romneys statements as lies and flipflops. Spokespeople talked about Romneys lies and flipflops. Fellow Democrats talked about Romneys lies and flipflops. Commentators on websites typed dismissals of Romneys lies and flipflops.
The media...well, not quite. The fact checkers began to point out that Romney pretty well stuck to the truth, and that the President was hit with some pretty big fibs. And as far as the flipflops, yeah, well, it turns out that Romney was pretty consistent with his claims there, too. The two biggest flipflops, cap and trade and abortion, were not even brought up. Indeed, Romney had already disproven the major accusations during the debate had the President been paying attention.
Okay, fine. Was there anything at all Romney said that can be used against him? Seems he made a crack about Big Bird. And within days, letting just enough time go by to convince the public he still doesnt get it, the President has made numerous references to Romneys intent to kill Big Bird, even though Romney said something a little different. Indeed, some long-term Democratic pundits are advising the President to stop with small ball topics like Big Bird, and get serious about the second debate.
But the President may not listen. As you know, he is convinced that his ideas are overwhelmingly popular. We just need a smarter audience.
This Thursday, as you know, we will witness another debate; this time, though, it will be between Paul Ryan and Joe Biden. Surely the President must be upset, right? Doubtless the Obama campaign is wringing its hands? And shouldnt Gallup pollsters be pre-emptively moving Obama further down in the polls?
Ah, no, actually. Rumors from inside Obamas sphere is that Joe Biden is going to whup Paul Ryans ass. Why?
Look at the facts: Biden is seasoned and mature; Ryan is some punk kid. Biden invariably connects with the middle class; only the wealthiest 1% like Ryan. Biden is an expert on foreign policy; Ryan knows nothing about that stuff. Heck, Ryan is smart, but Biden is most assuredly smarter. Did not Joe Biden trounce Sarah Palin in their debate? Biden will butcher Ryan like he did Palin.
Frankly, you might disagree with that assessment. And high ratings are guaranteed, as most Americans are also expecting something quite different. But make no mistake: the Obama campaign is very much looking forward to the Biden/Ryan debate.
The problem is of course that this intense over-confidence has yet to be redeemed. Paul Ryan has decades of experience, is wildly popular with independents and the middle class, is surprisingly fluent in foreign policy issues, and has far more recent debate experience than Biden. In fact, Ryan has an apparent gift for winning doubters over to his side, and for expressing complex math and economics in easy-to-understand terms.
But it seems that the Obama campaign does not know much about Paul Ryan. But rather than find out, they will assume they know everything already and stick with the plan that has served them so well.
Conservatives would be wise indeed to expect a more lethal Joe Biden, but once again, the all-consuming arrogance of the Obama campaign will probably result in an easy Ryan win, a few more points for Romney in the polls, and another round of disbelief followed by small-ball videos released by an ever-despairing Obama campaign.
Sun Tzu said it. 知己知彼, 百战不贻. Likewise, if you know nothing about your opponent, dont be too surprised when he wins the election.
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