Dems Scramble to Explain Obama Debate Defeat

Going into this week's first presidential debate Democrats were confident that the most brilliant man to ever hold the office would easily trounce his challenger. However, 67% of voters who saw the debate judged Romney to have won. Only 25% saw Obama as the winner.

Obama campaign strategist, David Axelrod blamed debate moderator Jim Lehrer for allowing Romney “too much leeway. Time after time the President was left to fend for himself against repeated attacks on his policies. Lehrer failed to come to the President's aid despite numerous opportunities to do so.”

Axelrod expressed the hope that “our other friends in the media will put forth a greater effort outside the context of the stilted debate format to do the job we expect them to do. Our message that Governor Romney is a greedy, lying, cheating bastard that has been working so well in our ads needs the supporting confirmation of these widely respected arbiters of truth.”

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Chair Democratic National Committee, concurred with Axelrod's take, saying that “review of the debate transcript clearly shows an inappropriate handling of the event by the moderator. First, the actual amount of time each was allowed to speak was unacceptably allocated. Romney got almost as much time as the President did even though the President is a much more important figure in our government than a former one-term governor of a single state.”

“Second, Romney was allowed to repeatedly contradict the President,” she observed. “This disrespect went unchallenged by the moderator. Even worse, Lehrer's interruption of the President's closing statement on the pretext that he exceeded the allotted time limit was a shamefully arrogant affront to our nation's ruler.”

Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager for Obama complained that “the whole debate thing unfairly exploits the President's weaknesses. The President has said numerous times that prepping for these kinds of events is boring. Having to bone up of the issues and confront a disagreeable adversary is just not his thing.”

Cutter maintained that debates aren't a good measure of a person's abilities to perform in office. “Look, a president doesn't need to be able to think on his feet. He can hire advisers to handle the technical details and speechwriters to craft the words he uses to communicate with the American people,” she pointed out. “An inability to rebut an argument against his policies in a public forum is not a crucial skill.”

MSNBC's Chris Matthews faulted Lehrer for “not being aggressive enough. There were opportunities for him to intervene on behalf of the President that he missed.” Matthews speculated that “Lehrer may have put too much emphasis on maintaining the appearance of neutrality,” and wondered whether “a man of his advanced age should be entrusted with such a weighty task in the future when abler men like myself are available.”


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