Romney wore a red tie. The president wore a blue tie. This is significant because both literally and figuratively, Obama saw red.
Yes, the first debate may yet be a game-changer.
Romney was focused. He was sharp. He was confident. And somewhat eerily, he sounded very much like Ronald Reagan in his victorious debates.
As the two debated, strongly but ever so politely, America saw a strong, confident, father figure emerge in the candidate that is Mitt Romney.
Even traditional Obama supporters saw it.
“I just got the sense that the president would have preferred to be somewhere else,” said James Carville, a CNN contributor and former Domocratic consultant. “President Obama came there, he wanted to have a conversation. It takes two people to have a conversation. Mitt Romney came there with a chainsaw.”
Obama was nervous. He made errors in grammar, something that he tends to do whenever he is nervous. He looked bewildered and lost, looking behind him two or three times, seemingly begging for the merciless beating to be over.
And Romney won it big with the women. “He was like a father-figure, a strong, lovable, teddy-bear,” were the words of one grad-school applicant watching the debates. Mostly they were enamored with his confidence and strength.
Obama said that currently people in business get a tax credit for moving jobs overseas. Romney responded, “I’ve been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you’re talking about.” This was vintage Reagan.
The line was devastating in highlighting Romney’s real life business experience and Obama’s lack of it.
Romney showed his comfort by looked at the crowd, by looking at the moderator, Jim Lehrer, and also looking at Obama straight in the eye.
Obama, on the other hand,constantly looked down. Nearly a dozen times he shook his head. And only so often would he look at Romney. This is not the stuff of which we want our presidents to be made.
Regarding the tax plan issue, Romney looked the president straight in the eye and courteously but steadfastly called him on every point. “Virtually everything he just said about my tax plan is inaccurate,” Romney said. “I know that you and your running mate keep saying that, and I know it’s a popular thing to say with a lot of people, but it’s just not the case. Look, I’ve got five boys. I’m used to people saying something that’s not always true, but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I’ll believe it. But that — that is not the case. All right?”
Relentlessly, Romney attacked again. Obama promised to reduce the federal budget deficit in his second term in office, Romney confidently told him with that Ronald Reaganesque tone, “You’ve been president four years.”
He appealed to the ideals that made America great. “Free market and free enterprise are more effective in bringing down costs than anything,” Romney said regarding health care. “The private market and individual responsibility always works best.”
Regarding Obamacare? “It has killed jobs,” Romney said. “Obamacare, the Congressional Budget Office has said, will cost $2,500 a year more than traditional insurance.”
A winner is slowly emerging.