We had an excellent turn out for the Debate Watch Party last night. However, at the end of the debate there were a lot of subdued Democrats and not a lot of clapping. If you watched the commentary on TV or read it on the Web, everyone is saying that Obama clearly lost and that it would affect his standing.
While that’s true, I think an even more fascinating story is going on. On about five or six points, Romney completely changed his message. The caring, moderate Republican was a complete etch-a-sketch.
I’m not sure that Obama was prepared for that level of change – when he had his head down because he was writing = I wonder if it was because he couldn’t believe what he was hearing and needed to make notes.
This opens up two opportunities for the Obama campaign. First, to paint the contrast between Primary Romney and Debate Romney – can we trust him not to etch-a-sketch again? Second, in some way they have to get out the message to the Republican base: during the Primaries, you were worried that Romney would tack to the middle. Your fears have come true. This will depress the number of Republicans who will turn out to vote.