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Bills Fans Can Relate to President’s “Listless” Performance


It was like watching the Buffalo Bills play the New England Patriots in the fourth quarter Sunday. Or the Bills play the New York Jets in the first quarter of the season-opener.

Republican Mitt Romney’s debate win over President Obama was so decisive Wednesday night that even the normally play-it-safe network commentators were unanimous in declaring victory and wondering why the President was so” listless.”

You knew it was over when NBC veteran Tom Brokaw said that he doesn’t like making judgments before adding that “Gov. Romney gladdened the hearts of a lot of Republican operatives.”

NBC News Anchor Tom Brokaw.

Tom Brokaw: Made Reluctant Judgment

Earlier, Brokaw said “this is the candidate Republicans wanted to show up.”

Brokaw was pretty much joined in his assessment by NBC’s Chuck Todd and David Gregory, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and ABC’s Jake Tapper, PBS’ David Brooks and Mark Shields, CNN’s David Gergen and its entire panel and every post-debate analyst I heard.

Gregory said it looked like the President decided to play it safe because he “was decidedly unfeisty, not very crisp and coherent.”

Stephanopoulos, who worked for President Clinton before joining the news business, said “Gov. Romney was more crisp in his presentation” but added “there were no knockout punches.”

Todd said of Romney that “everything he had to accomplish he did… It was a big night for Romney. The President has to go back to the drawing board for the second debate.”

“This was the more authentic Romney,” said Brooks, the conservative New York Times columnist who has been very critical of the Republican.

Tapper, who has covered the President for six or seven years, said he has seen him inspired and seen him flat and uninspired over that time. “Unfortunately for Obama, (the uninspired), that’s the Obama I saw tonight. Not a strong performance.”

The only person who had a worst performance was the debate moderator, PBS’ Jim Lehrer, who lost control of the debate at times and acted like a NFL replacement official.

Gergen noted that “by 2-1 margin everyone thought the President would win and he lost.” He speculated the President “was so surprised that Romney was just flat out lying” (in the President’s view) about Romney’s own position on some issues.

It wasn’t only what the President said, but the way he looked and what he didn’t say.

He didn’t look happy or confident and appeared to nod several times in agreement with his challenger. Meanwhile, Gov. Romney looked confident and happy to be in the ring, throwing punches that weren’t often returned.

The president didn’t hit hard enough on Romney’s claim that he wasn’t proposing a $5 trillion tax cut, which post-debate fact checkers said he essentially has proposed. He didn’t note how silly Gov. Romney’s vow to cut the budget of PBS and Big Bird was, since the federal money going to the Corporation of Public Broadcasting is a pittance. NBC’s Gregory and Savannah Guthrie also were among those astounded that the President didn’t bring up Romney’s 47 percent comment that has hurt the Republican candidate in the polls.

Most telling, was that Democratic strategist James Carville pretty much conceded Romney’s debate victory on CNN. The best he and another pro-Obama analyst on CNN could do was question whether the Romney win will look as good when people fact check his comments and note how much his debate positions differed from his position as the candidate.

The Romney win was so decisive that one didn’t even have to go over and listen to the Republican cheerleaders over at Fox News or the Democratic apologists over at MSNBC.

A CNN flash poll of registered voters who had watched the debate scored it for Romney, 67-25 percent. That made you wonder what debate the 25 percent were watching. Of course, the big unanswered question is whether the Romney win will change voters’ minds. Interestingly, 16 members of a CNN panel of undecided voters said they were influenced. Surprisingly, half decided to vote for the President and half for Gov. Romney.

Before the network analysts even got their say, many members of the public had their say on Twitter, where the President was getting hit harder than the Bills Mario Williams is getting hit on Buffalo sports talk shows.

Some of the comments from the people I follow were pretty funny.

Ann Coulter, the conservative pundit, cracked that Michelle Obama wanted to go home with Gov. Romney on her 20th wedding anniversary with the President.

Bill Maher, the liberal pundit, even reluctantly cracked that it looked like the President really did need a teleprompter.

I can’t wait to see what “Saturday Night Live” does with the President’s debate performance.

Of course, like the Bills, the President has a few more contests to become feistier and redeem himself. He probably has less than a 47 percent chance of making voters forget his listless performance Wednesday night.


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10 responses to "Bills Fans Can Relate to President’s “Listless” Performance"

  1. Steve says:

    Alan…headlined like a true DEM. I enjoyed the debate, kind of like the first quarter of the Bills/Pats game. Why do you assume, with the misleading headline, that all Bills fans can relate to Obama’s poor performance? This is proof that Obama cannot communicate effectively without the teleprompter telling him what to say. He actually looked confused and certainly not like the most powerful leader in the world. Change is needed and I think the American public is catching on!

    • Doug says:

      The debates are entertaining, but the only person who would change their vote afterwards must not be very informed to begin with.

      Its no different than a political speech – They mean nothing. Look to the past to see what the political parties will do in the future – Dont look to some baloney debate.

      I judge based on actions not words, I vote third party. Thats the only change available. If everyone did the same, the world would be a much different place.

  2. Rob says:

    Some notes while watching the first Reagan-Mondale debate on You Tube:

    I wasn’t stunned that Romney did well but at how befuddled Obama looked. That was not the same guy who was so cool, calm and definitive when he ran in 2008. Hillary used every tactic in the book; from her husband’s race-baiting comments to her attack ads and Obama made her look foolish and desperate. You have to wonder what happened to that guy.

    With Romney doing so well there was no need to go to Fox News but MSNBC was another story. Chris Matthews acted like he was about to have a stroke and all their liberal pundits were trying to blame the moderator for letting Romney take control.

    I disagree that Jim Lehrer let it get out of hand. A debate is just that; an exchange of ideas and ideologies and for an election as important as this there shouldn’t be a two minute time limit. Lehrer was not a replacement NFL ref but a referee at a prize fight who let the two of them go at it.

    Some funny Tweets I saw: Jason Whitlock “Obama better hope a kicked ass is covered under Obamacare.” Brain Sack “MSNBC’s flag is at half-mast” “Lehrer sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher”

  3. Tina says:

    While I do think Romney won the debate fair and square it also showed his true colors. A cold, heartless bully who will step on and over anyone that gets in his way of success. He showed us why he is such a successful business man but it did not show me that he would be a great president who cares about anything but his own agenda and not what is best for our country or the 47% its called “victims”.

    • Steve says:

      Your comments get more halarious by the day…he won the debate but shows us that he is a cold heartless bully? Lol…do you even read what you write? Do winners have these traits?

      • Tina says:

        Hey Steve, here is an original idea. Go away.
        If you don’t like what I have to say then stop reading it, stop commenting on it and just ignore me. If you can’t have any sort of normal back and forth banter without being rude then do me a favor and leave me alone from now on because I don’t care about you or your opinions of me one bit. I know you are now obsessed with me but it’s time to move on.
        Thanks in advance.

  4. Bob says:

    A couple of things that I noticed while watching the debate..
    1…Why is Romney being called governor ?? He’s NOT
    a governor !! He is a FORMER GOVERNOR !!
    2… When Obama was listening to Romney talk, Obama
    was nodding up and down as if he was in
    agreement with Romney.

    • alanp says:

      It is political tradition to call people by the old office they have held. President Clinton is still called President Clinton, President Bush is still called President Bush.

  5. I had to laugh when even Obama called it “Obamacare”.

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