In the debate tonight, while I was happy to hear Mitt Romney actually own up to Romneycare and how it improved things in Massachusetts, in order to do it he had to lie. Romney claimed that he never proposed Romneycare as a model for national health care reform, but only for states. He’s lying.
Secondly, if Romney did so many wonderful things in Massachusetts, why is it that 60% of voters in Massachusetts prefer Obama, while only 32% prefer Romney? What happened to the normal home state advantage?
I do wish Obama had been more willing to point things like this out during the debate.
UPDATE: Two interesting takes on last night’s debate:
Romney won the debate in no small part because he adopted a policy of simply lying about his policies. Probably the best way to understand Obama’s listless performance is that he was prepared to debate the claims Romney has been making for the entire campaign, and Romney switched up and started making different and utterly bogus ones. Obama, perhaps, was not prepared for that, and he certainly didn’t think quickly enough on his feet to adjust to it.
And my favorite, Electoral-vote.com:
Of course, winning the first debate is not the same as winning the election. John Kerry decisively won the first debate in 2004 but didn’t win the election. Also, the second debate is a town hall format, with questions from the audience, which has a completely different dynamic. Finally, a chastened Obama may hit back much harder next time.
Another loser last night was moderator Jim Lehrer. He completely lost control. Romney kept talking beyond his alloted time slots and when Lehrer tried to stop him, wouldn’t stop. He could have said: “Governor, we agreed to some rules in advance and I’d appreciate it if you would follow them.” Obama also spoke too long upon occasion but only once did Lehrer call him on it. Clearly Lehrer preferred being in the background. But as a consequence of his reticence, the sixth 15-minute segment (on governing) got only 3 minutes.
After the debate, Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, promised that Obama would get much tougher with Romney next time, now that he knows how inconsistent Romney is. Axelrod inferred that yesterday was the moment that Romney shook the Etch-A-Sketch and that in the future what he says at a debate will be compared to what he has campaigned on all year and inconsistencies highlighted.