Days after the first 2012 Presidential debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, political commentators are still talking about it. Almost all are surprised and shocked by Romney’s performance. It was not the same Romney we had seen for the past few months. At the same time, many are disappointed at Obama’s listless performance.
Is Romney’s superb first presidential debate performance a game changer? Possibly.
Undoubtedly, the majority opinion is that Romney won the debate, and the president readily acknowledged that as well at a campaign stop recently. As a result of the first debate, polls showed that Romney has gained some support, although Obama still seemed to have the upper hand, especially in the battleground states.
The first presidential debate was a must-win for Romney. Had he lost the debate, it would have been a disaster for his campaign. Therefore, Kudos to Romney! This debate reshaped the game to some extent.
But not so fast! Not long after the debate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the newest unemployment data. The new report revised the unemployment rate from 8.1% to 7.8%, the first time the unemployment number dropping below 8%. This is indeed a boost to the Obama campaign, and he can rightly argue that the economy is in fact recovering, albeit at the slower pace than we wanted it to.
Less than 30 days to go before voters head to the polls to cast their votes, these 28 some days would prove to be very critical for the two candidates as they are making the final push to the White House. We still have 2 more presidential debates and 1 more vice-presidential debate. Although Romney did win in the first debate, Obama is sure to come to the next 2 debates more prepared. While the first debate focused on the economy and jobs, the next 2 debates will focus on foreign policy, immigration issues, and other topics on which Romney might not have the most expertise.
But Romney is on the right track. This race is mostly about the economy and jobs, and he has done well attacking Obama on that. Now he just has to persevere until the voting day. As for Obama, he needs to step up with his debates and be more aggressive.
We shall see how things unfold.