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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments

Here’s the deal… President Obama was eaten alive in the 1st debate... I mean, he looked like a dude attacked by a swarm of killer bees or one those guys who gets drunk and decides to pet the polar bears at the local zoo.  BUT could this have been a good thing?

A lot people thought POTUS was off his game.  Some believe that he's engaging in the most daring “rope-a-dope” in the history of politics.  Either way, I believe that his abysmal debate performance is a blessing in disguise because it sets the Obama campaign up for a little "shake and bake."  That is, of course if the Obama campaign has the skill to capitalize on it...  Here’s why.

Leveling out of expectations:  Before the 1st Presidential debate the general consensus among media pundits (albeit liberal and mainstream) was that Mitt Romney was going to have his lunch handed to him by Barack Obama.  In many ways all Mitt Romney had to do was that night was show up and do almost as good a job as Obama for him to be the victor, so the burden of high expectations was working against President Obama in that first debate.  NOW, this burden isn’t only lifted. It’s reversed, putting the pressure on Mitt Romney to win the next debate and not have the pundits say “Not quite as good as his first performance.”

2) Raises the stakes of the Vice Presidential debate:  In Talladega Nights, Ricky Bobby (played by Will Ferrell) would trail behind his wing-man Cal Naughton (John C. Reilly) who sets him up to jump into the lead on the final lap of the race.  That's exactly the what I see as the function of this Vice Presidential debate.  Sure political pundits and junkies were jazzed up about seeing Joe Biden debate Paul Ryan, but to the majority of Americans? Not so much.  NOW, because of the sensationalism surrounding the first debate, this one and only VP debate becomes critical for both campaigns, but works very much in favor of the Obama campaign.  Look at the optics.  On one hand you have the older, “average Joe” guy who slips up and says crazy things.  The guy who’s image is immortalized by repeated Saturday Night Live spoofs that paint him as the zany guy, who’s more like the guy in the bar that you keep buying shots for (hoping he’ll say something hilarious), than the guy who’s 2nd in line as the leader of the free world.

On the other hand, you have the bright young Ivy League sounding policy wonk, who looks like the guy who got the job over you because you were too old and his dad has friends in high places; the guy they ask you to train, and then makes him your superior two days later. The guy with seemingly no history and seemingly little wisdom to make his policy choices seem like anything more than political theory he’s read for a college term paper he wrote a decade ago. 

If the VP debate were about policy, as opposed to destroying the guy at the top of the other teams ticket, then Paul Ryan might have the upper hand.  But it’s exactly the opposite and Paul Ryan’s “wonky” style has never suggested he’s an effective scrapper.  Joe Biden, on the other hand has and one of the unintended results of Mitt Romney’s performance is the first debate is that he’s given Joe Biden a considerable amount of ammo to use against him.  Joe Biden can say things about Mitt Romney that Barack Obama can’t say and in a way he could never say them.

3) Sets up a knock out punch opportunity on domestic policy debate:  Lastly, the first debate does for the 2nd the same thing it does for the VP debate – raises the stakes.  The 2nd match up between Obama and Romney will be a town-hall that undoubtedly revisit some of the key domestic issues that were in contention from the 1st debate.  This is the best opportunity for President Obama to attack Mitt Romney for his positions, changing positions and out right lies he told during the first debate. 

You see, had President Obama been victorious in the first debate… Had he heeded the advice of everyone of us screaming at our flat-screens for him to say this or call out Romney on that… Well if that  were the case the Romney campaign would’ve simply walked into the second debate with severly low expectations and a bunch of canned lines and defenses of his multiple positions, and you don’t want to conclude their debate on domestic policy with a Romney win. 

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