Andrew Sullivan Melts Down (Again) Over Obama Debate Performance

Andy’s latest rant is sure to raise a smile.  The great irony is that he identifies the problem with laser precision but is clueless as to the cause.

The Pew poll is devastating, just devastating. Before the debate, Obama had a 51 – 43 lead; now, Romney has a 49 – 45 lead. That’s a simply unprecedented reversal for a candidate in October. Before Obama had leads on every policy issue and personal characteristic; now Romney leads in almost all of them. Obama’s performance gave Romney a 12 point swing! I repeat: a 12 point swing.

Romney’s favorables are above Obama’s now. Yes, you read that right. Romney’s favorables are higher than Obama’s right now. That gender gap that was Obama’s firewall? Over in one night:

Currently, women are evenly divided (47% Obama, 47% Romney). Last month, Obama led Romney by 18 points (56% to 38%) among women likely voters.

Seriously: has that kind of swing ever happened this late in a campaign? Has any candidate lost 18 points among women voters in one night ever? And we are told that when Obama left the stage that night, he was feeling good. That’s terrifying. On every single issue, Obama has instantly plummeted into near-oblivion. He still has some personal advantages over Romney – even though they are all much diminished. Obama still has an edge on Medicare, scores much higher on relating to ordinary people, is ahead on foreign policy, and on being moderate, consistent and honest (only 14 percent of swing voters believe Romney is honest). But on the core issues of the economy and the deficit, Romney is now kicking the president’s ass …

Look: I’m trying to rally some morale, but I’ve never seen a candidate this late in the game, so far ahead, just throw in the towel in the way Obama did last week – throw away almost every single advantage he had with voters and manage to enable his opponent to seem as if he cares about the middle class as much as Obama does. How do you erase that imprinted first image from public consciousness: a president incapable of making a single argument or even a halfway decent closing statement?

Andy is in such a state of shock, he still hasn’t figured out what happened. We don’t have the final numbers but somewhere in the neighborhood of a half a billion -billion with a B- dollars have been spent to make Romney look like the devil. And in 90 minutes people saw the real man and realized two things: 1) He wasn’t the devil and 2) Obama will say anything to stay in power.

Barrack Obama threw away 10 months of work and a half a billion dollars in 90 minutes. Really more like 30 minutes; after that we were all just watching the car wreck.

Andy and his hard core lefty pals don’t get that nobody but them like’s Obama. Obama’s lead was artificial because people didn’t realize there was a viable alternative. When people saw for themselves there was a viable alternative -and he was far more qualified than Obama was- they understandably jumped ship. I’m really tired of hearing that Obama lost the debate. Sure he sucked, but don’t kid yourself Romney kicked his ass.  Romney proved not only is he more personable than Obama but he’s smarter than Obama could hope to be. Barrack Obama has always been a myth in the media’s mind. The only surprise is that it took the public this long to figure it out. Even Andy must know Obama is as much a media creation as any Kardashian.

Andy flails around for the rest of the piece trying to figure out how to put the genie back in the bottle, the clothes back on the emperor, Oz back behind the curtain.  I seriously doubt it can be done, people saw what they saw.

There are two other things that happened that night the media has been slow to pick up on:

For much of this campaign the Romney camp has been trying to gently persuade people that it is ok to give up on Obama; that voting for Romney didn’t mean you were wrong four years ago. Obama graciously gave them the out. They could switch to the Romney camp telling themselves they voted for the right guy 4 years ago but now he’s burned out and it’s time to move on. The other thing that happened that night was what happened the next few days, the water cooler factor. If you look at the polls closely, Romney’s bounce actually grew a few days post debate as people talked about the debate. It’s hard to be the one guy in the office voting for the loser when the rest of the office is talking about how bad he sucked.

I suppose there’s a chance for Obama to redeem himself but I’m not sure how. Even if Obama has a good night, Romney is smarter and more in command of the facts and oh by the way doesn’t have the last 4 years of the Obama record hanging from his neck.

And with this week’s Ryan/Biden debate, Obama’s chances are that much longer.


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  • GarandFan

    “Andy is in such a state of shock, he still hasn’t figured out what happened.”

    Elect an empty suit, put him on stage, unscripted. What you see, is what you elected. For the first time nationally, put his competition on stage, let people see and hear the guy you’ve been lying about all summer – and Andy’s surprised? Or just that stupid?

  • Jack Foobar

    I have no idea who this Andy guy is. Under wikipedia, it says he’s a Brit. Why do we care what he thinks. This ain’t CNN.

  • davidt

    “Barrack Obama has always been a myth in the media’s mind. The only
    surprise is that it took the public this long to figure it out.”

    All it took was for the public to see Romney without the Democrat Media’s filters and spin, proof of how important live debates are for GOP candidates.

  • Guest

    Andrew’s editorials are something I read rarely as I never agree with them–especially how he portrays himself as moderate but is actually hard left. This time it was amusing; the roof really is crashing around the liberal’s heads and they can only point to Obama for it. I agree, the Obama campaign and the complicit media has tried to portray Romney as the devil at worst and an incompetent buffoon at best–in the debate people finally saw him as a real person. What gets me is Andrew says Romney represents the “most radical party in the modern era.” Really? Take your pick among Bill Ayers, Van Jones, Kevin Jennings, and numerous other political connections or appointees of Obama as to who is radical. I honestly thought at times I was in a badly written alternate reality novel during the Obama presidency. “Radical” to Andrew is the world we knew and need to get back to, not the progressive socialist mess that has been thrown upon us.

  • Digg34

    I just can’t trust them! I keep thinking this is some kind of strategic move to make Obama look like an underdog to rally democratic support. They know they are not getting the levels of involvement they had in 2008. I just feel like its all a play to keep their empty suit/chair in the race.

    • I’m not sure.

      If there’s one thing that the Obama camp hasn’t lacked over the last few years, it’s self-confidence. THEY were the smartest. THEY were the best and brightest. THEY were the infallible ones, and any doubt was waved off. He was the bestest, coolest, smarterest, most wonderfulest President that there ever was or ever possibly could be. Everything he touched turned to gold, whether it was the economy, foreign or domestic policy – there was no way he could possibly do anything even remotely having a hint of ‘wrong’ or ‘fail’ to it. That some of his moves were incomprehensible just went to show how far above our mortal realm he was – a God deigning to come down and reign over us all.

      And have you any idea how hard that was to type without breaking into breath-stealing laughing jags?

      Anyway – I don’t think they dare make him look like an underdog. The trouble with that is that a lot of the folks who used to look on politics as a team sport have realized that the effects of who they support last a hell of a lot longer than one nail-biting day in November and a great ‘win’ party on Inauguration Day, and that great feeling when your team wins disappears when your job does.

      And that your ‘team’, which you’ve supported diligently with your donations and effort… doesn’t really give a damn about you when you ain’t paying them.

      So making him look like an underdog will probably spur a lot of people to re-examine his record over the last 4 years with a much more critical eye. And while some people might like what he’s done, there’s going to be committed supporters looking at his decisions that haven’t worked out so well and thinking “4 more years of THIS crap? No way!” And they’ll either stay home or vote for anyone else BUT Romney and Obama.

      I predict the Greens are going to do pretty well, comparatively, this year. (Maybe as much as 1 or 2% of the total.)

      I don’t think Obama will, however.

      As the saying goes, people voted for Obama in ’08 to prove to themselves they weren’t racist. Now? Well, Obama’s great for hype, lousy for substance. I don’t think he’ll be disappointed if he loses, because it’s never seemed (at least to me) like he really liked the job. The perqs and adulation, yes – but the work? Nope…

      • Conservachef


        You hear a lot of excuses for the debate- the altitude, Kerry, etc. Heck- I even heard someone claim that when Romney said something about his five boys, that using the word “boys” was a subtle racist attack!

        Personally, I have to wonder if Obama wasn’t sandbagging the first debate. Look bad in the beginning, then pull out the big performance at the end. I don’t know if it’s a good strategy or not, but I wonder if that’s what he’s doing.

        I don’t think Obama’s enjoyed the job either. The hard decisions that were above his pay grade suddenly got put on his plate (“the buck stops here”). Jetting around on AF1, golf, socializing with the world’s elite, receiving Peace Prizes for voting “present,” these things he enjoys.

        • “Look bad in the beginning, then pull out the big performance at the end.”

          In other words, he’s playing this like the World Series? Stretch it out to 7 games, for the ad revenue? LOL…

          Stupid move, if so, especially because he didn’t seem to manage the ‘big performance’ at the end of the first debate that’d draw folks in to see how brilliantly he’ll handle the next. He acted like he was bored and disengaged.

          Then there’s the Ryan/Biden debate – I think Biden’s going to have his head handed to him.

          Obama’s draw was his glamour and charm, plus he could be (apparently) knowledgeable about pretty much everything. But now that glamour’s worn off, his charm has worn VERY thin, and his knowledge seems confined to carefully rehearsed speeches and his ability to read a teleprompter (and wouldn’t THAT open opportunities if someone were to hack it…)

          Poor sap’s toast, I think. And I can’t help but wonder if he’s not going to be pleased to lose.

          • Conservachef


            I hope you’re right. IF Obama loses (and there’s still a lot of time left before the election), I do wonder how he (and the left) will take it. I would bet that they’d trot out the Racism card, but it’s too far overdrawn to work. I could be wrong, but I don’t think Obama will lose graciously.

          • They’ll scream “Racism!”, of course. But I doubt it’ll be the draw they’ll expect – except among the true believers.

            In the end, it’s about competence. Obama was able to persuade enough folks he was good enough for the job, when his record manifestly demonstrated otherwise. But now we’ve had 4 years of him in the job – and aside from him loving the sound of his own voice, there’s not a hell of a lot of reason to vote for him for another 4 of the same. The poor sap seems to think that all he needs to do is give good speeches and everything else falls in line.

            Unfortunately, that’s about the smallest part of the job.

    • herddog505

      I think that it’s less a case of strategy and more a case of (A) genuine disbelief and outrage and (B) attempting to make lemonade out of lemons. Barry has tried (as many politicians do) to some extent to portray himself as both the “outsider” and the underdog, being steamrolled by the corrupt Romeny money machine.

      The fact is that he got clobbered. If what many of us suspect about him is true, i.e. that he is a stuttering clusterf*ck of a massive failure who can’t order his breakfast without a teleprompter, then he’ll get clobbered again. The problem for the dems is how to soften the blow, to convince people that Barry lost for some other reason, and / or that Romney won by underhanded tactics.

  • Brian_R_Allen

    …. Obama still scores much higher on relating to “ordinary people ….”

    Make that “to morons.” Everyone’s “ordinary.”

    But the bulk of the folk to whom Obama has ever appeared to be other than a room-temperature-IQ Two-Bit phony comprise the slightly more than 50% of the population that used;- before the 1965 and later immigration policies and criminal alien invasion so negatively impacted the mean;- to be referred to as being of below-average intelligence.

    Plus those too darned pathological-envy-fueled enraged and/or greedy to either form thoughts and/or to love those of us who do.

  • retired.military

    But but Obama came off the stage Weds night thinking he had won the debate.