lowstudent: Obama was Obama, this is Obama without the spin. He is a decent pol, he never was really more than that. He threw out his spin and did what he really always does. Obama was prepared, he ignored questions and plowed into talking points. Things fell apart when Lehrer did not stop Romney from actually shredding the strawmen. I also think this is just a natural problem for Democrats because they are so used to being coddled. The media rarely pushes them on anything, and usually covers for them without even requiring the candidate to do anything. Last night, at least once and maybe more, Lehrer tried to help 0bama along by leading him in the right direction with a comment. But that was about it. Other than that, Lehrer let both candidates talk on and on. I didn't like this early, because I thought both candidates tended to run into their campaign talking points. But I thought it turned out to lead to a much more substantive discussion than what you normally have when there are these arbitrary time limits. That 0bama actually had 3 minutes more speaking time pretty much sucks the air out of the Democrat whine that Lehrer let Romney run wild. But what liberals are used to in this debate is the moderator actively helping them. And except for one minor instance that I can recall, that didn't happen here. I think it puts Democrats at a disadvantage that they don't have to develop good thoughts or arguments. In fact, that may be the primary reason why many thought 0bama appeared unprepared. He was prepared for a debate led by Tom Brokaw, who would spend as much time talking as the candidates, and jump in to help the Democrat candidate out whenever possible. No doubt liberals are hoping that the next several Democrats who moderate these debates will know their place, and get in there and help the team.
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