Mr. Electric was unplugged last night. Wow. Mr. Obama. The paint drying channel called. They want their boredom back.
Telegraph- Last night was a good example of what happens when you take President Obama off an autocue. He falls to pieces. Obama’s performance during the first presidential debate was a mess. The subject was domestic policy – passing through economics, the debt, healthcare and the role of government. Through it all, the President looked distracted and tired, his eyes often drifting to the notes on the podium as if he might be sneakily answering texts. He directed his answers at the moderator, rather than his opponent, and only looked the camera in the eye a handful of times. Perhaps the goal was to appear statesmanlike, but the result was somewhere between bored and superior.
His debating technique was no better. The President started and finished on the defensive, refusing to hit out at Romney and preferring to deliver stuttering apologias for his four years in office. He missed at least two chances to wound Romney. On the first, he conceded that there was little difference between the two men when it came to Social Security (it’s typical for Democrats to claim that Republicans want to privatise it and use old people for firewood). On the second, he answered a question about Obamacare by outlining all its provisions – waiting until the very last line to point out that Romney implemented a similar reform in Massachusetts. Romney’s biggest weakness is his reputation for flip-flopping, yet Obama gave him the opportunity to rebut the u-turn charge and focus all the energy of the debate back onto the White House’s controversial programs.
Constantly, Obama tried to articulate a centrist message. But that message committed the greatest crime you can commit on live TV: it was boring. There was no passion, no class rhetoric and no personal stories. He seems to have had the hope and change drained from him. Obama closed by promising to fight “just as hard” in the second term as he had in the first. That translates as, “More of the same.” To anyone unemployed, under-employed or struggling to get by, that’s a miserable prospect.