Another Republican Smart Washington Guy, on Obama:
If I was Obama’s people, I would stop doing traditional debate prep, and start sitting around and just talking with the Senator about issues. Let him be who he is, and stop trying to turn him into a “presidential candidate.”
I talked to a Democratic operative who agreed – you get the sense that he isn’t all the way there yet in terms of his comfort with the issues, and it shows. But rather than getting him ready to debate, they need to get him comfortable with the issues.
I largely concur. Obama wasn’t really bad last night, he just looked less comfortable than he usually is on the stump. You get the feeling he would better after spending a week at the Brookings Institution or CSIS or Rand (or Heritage!) talking to experts and asking every question he could think of. He’s not a dumb guy, but he doesn’t come across as fluent in the issues.
I would also note that Obama seemed to know he was going to have problems with the time limits. It’s hard to be eloquent and inspiring in thirty seconds.