In the latest round of the Democratic Party's "where to lay the blame game" as a result of the Presidents lackluster performance during the first presidential debate against challenger Mitt Romney, John Kerry is the latest to take the blame. WHAT? Exactly! And now the Democrats are looking to Joe Biden to turn things around. Oh woe is me.
In the debate’s aftermath, Michael Moore began the blame game over Obama’s bloodless performance by honing in on Senator Kerry. In truth, one does have to wonder what possessed the White House to select the guy who lost to George W. Bush as their “debate coach.” I suppose if the Obama campaign really expected Thurston Howell III to show up on stage last night—the rich and oblivious character they’ve created in their campaign ads—than Kerry is as good a choice as any. This after all, was the guy who praised the Ohio State Buckeyes in Michigan, managed to call our troops in Iraq “uneducated,” and made one of the biggest political gaffes of all time (“I was for it before I was against it”).
Of all the lame excuses given for why Obama faltered so much during the debate, Al Gore's was the most hilarious. He wrote off the President's performance to the high altitude. Here is a short list of other excuses given for Obama's poor debate performance:
He’s not used to being challenged: Obama seemed to vacillate between flummoxed and annoyed that Romney was contradicting almost every assertion he tried to make. Sidebar: That “Well, I am the president” tendency goes a long way to explaining why incumbents — George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter — tend to be regarded as losers in the first general election debate.
He was tired: Obama looked world-weary at best and downright grim at worst during the debate. And, his inability (or unwillingness) to go after Romney’s record — or rebut some of Romney’s claims about his own — gave off the impression that Obama just wasn’t well prepared enough to do so.
He’s not that good a debater: Over the weekend, Obama told a crowd in Nevada that he was only an “okay” debater. At the time, the political world rolled its eyes.
Turns out, Obama might have been giving an honest assessment of his debate abilities. As last night’s debate was unfolding, we thought back to the 2008 general election debates where Obama was solid but far from spectacular. Or even to the 2008 primary debates where, for the most part, then Sen. Hillary Clinton outperformed him. Obama is, without question, the most gifted speaker in politics right now. (Bill Clinton is not, technically, inpolitics at the moment.) But, as a debater, he is not in that same elite class.
He got screwed by Jim Lehrer: On the morning after the debate, the most prominent talking point on the left was that moderator Jim Lehrer had aided and abetted Romney’s victory by refusing to enforce the rules of the debate or inject facts when the Republican was clearly straying from them. While the debate was clearly not Lehrer’s best moment, it’s hard to lay all the blame for Obama’s poor performance at the moderator’s feet. If Obama felt like Lehrer wasn’t doing enough to fact-check Romney in real time, why didn’t he take it upon himself to do it? (insert boing sound effect here)
So why do YOU think that the President wasn't "all there" during the first debate with Mitt Romney?