Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why I Think The Bounce Will Fade

Booman goes to town on Romney's latest blatant pander in saying he has "no legislative agenda to overturn Roe v. Wade.  Soonergrunt over at Balloon Juice talks about how he lost a lifelong friend from his time with the Marines because he talked about how he finds Romney to be without character.

The Manic Progressives that mistermix talks about are, I think, largely responsible for Obama's lackluster debate performance becoming a huge Romney bounce.  But in the cold light of day, Romney exposed again his penchant for saying whatever he needs to in order to win the audience in front of him.

The sheer amount of ammunition that the debate gave to Democrats to run on Romney being a duplicitous panderer should be enough to tilt the race back to Obama.  As I said at the time, debates are won AFTER the fact.  The polls that show Romney pulling even or ahead are based primarily on Thursday and Friday of last week.

I think the Obama campaign is doing a decent job attacking Romney's inconsistencies, but they do not have their usual brutal focus. The Big Bird ad is effective on its own, by mocking Romney, but they need to be hammering Romney's inconsistencies from now until election day.  How hard is it to juxtapose Romney saying he wants to overturn Roe v Wade with his statements yesterday?

All of that being said, I do think Obama will need a stronger debate performance.  Chait thinks he won't be able to given the formats.  I disagree.  I think the Town Hall format works best for Obama.  Romney can't filibuster or shout down the moderator the way he did with Jim Lehrer.  And Obama's biggest problem during the debate was in not personally engaging Romney (because I think he despises the man and can't even look at him).  At the Town Hall, he can engage the questioner.  The Town Hall debate with McCain was his best performance in 2008.

Sitting Presidents usually do poorly in the first debate, and Challengers benefit from sharing the stage with the President.

If the Obama campaign can continue to highlight the characterless pandering of Romney these past few days, and Obama shows up ready to engage the citizens at the Town Hall, I think the race will settle back to a 2-3 point Obama lead.

But Team Obama has to get on the stick.

UPDATE: This is exactly what I mean. But it should be the campaign that's doing it, not Daily Kos.

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