The Corner

Pericles No More

If last night’s debate did anything, it ought to bury once and for all the myth of Barack Obama’s silver tongue. What viewers saw last night was the real Obama — slow-witted, unable to think effectively on his feet, desultory in his pre-debate preparation, and thoroughly unimpressive without his beloved teleprompter.

Is this therefore a game-changing moment? Not necessarily. But what Mitt did was to expose the president as the Primo Carnera of his day, the mob-owned heavyweight champ who won a series of fixed fights — until he finally found himself in the ring against an opponent who didn’t fear him, and who was more than happy to whale on him, especially once Romney figured out that Obama couldn’t hurt him. Meanwhile, Obama kept looking over at Mitt with a “I can’t believe you know all this stuff” look on his face, while periodically casting beseeching glances at moderator Jim Lehrer, hoping to be saved by a bell that never came. 

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