I know this is long overdue, but the thoughts have been rolling around my mind all week.
Neither President Obama nor Gov. Romney really showed up for the debate.
Much of the talk was about Obama’s lackluster performance, saying that he was barely tolerating the debate rather than actually engaging in it. I listened to the debate rather than watching it, and I have to say that I did not get the impression of apathy from Obama. I did wonder why he didn’t attack certain points made by Romney, but I think he was forced off balance when he realized that it wasn’t Romney that he was facing.
Who was this centrist who looked like Romney? Obama had probably rehearsed answers to the points that Romney had been making for the past year. Imagine his surprised when he found a Romney who rolled back a lot of his more right wing ideas, seemed very comfortable in the centre, and even agreed with major parts of Obama’s own policies (although he said that he would still repeal them). I was shocked when I heard some of the things uttered by Romney, who once again seemed to have turned the Etch-a-sketch upside down to start with a new slate. As I said, I wasn’t watching the video portion, but I could almost see Obama shaking his head in disbelief and surprise at some of the Romney statements.
The Romney who was standing on that stage did not represent the Romney who has been presenting his views for the past year. It was a Romney who wanted to seem closer to Obama’s attitudes in order to appeal to independent voters.
Neither candidate showed up that night.