The Corner

Predicting Debate Assessments

Katrina,

Hope this isn’t true. Romney camp cannot afford to roll all the dice on the debates. He needs some excellent ads (some humor would be nice), and a big speech or two with an all-star cast of reform Republicans (like successful Republican governors) to change the trajectory. His NAACP speech should be the model. That was the high point of the campaign so far — honest, principled, respectful of his adversaries, and uplifting about his vision for a better country for all Americans. More of that please. And soon.

We can’t rely on the debates alone. All of the moderators are liberals, and even if they attempt to be fair, they see the world through Obama-colored glasses. If Romney kills in the debates, the lapdog Obama press will quickly reinterpret the results. If Romney is articulate and unruffled, they will say he was stiff and programmed. If Obama makes mistake after mistake, they will ignore it or explain it away. If Obama is particularly terrible, they will stress that the most important thing in presidential elections is likeability. The “fact-checkers” will continue to lie for their guy, as this Mark Hemingway piece so beautifully exposes. 

After a couple of days of “analysis,” even a Romney blow-out will be tamed into a draw, and the pundits will decree that Romney just didn’t pass the threshold he needed to pass to be an acceptable alternative.

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