The bully got whupped, as the Rev. Al Sharpton said, summing up the second presidential debate in which President Obama not only stood up to Mitt Romney but kicked his keister.
On equal pay for women, immigration, economic policy, Mitt’s pension, the 47%, contraceptive rights, Bin Laden, General Motors, Benghazi, and best of all, what Obama called Romney’s “sketchy deal” where he proposes $5 trillion in tax cuts but can’t or won’t say how he’s going to pay for them.
The Barack Obama who failed to show up two weeks ago, not only showed up Tuesday night, but he brought his best to the debate, responding to most of the questioners and then pivoting most times to warn the audience (and more importantly millions of viewers) that what Romney was telling them was, as Joe Biden would have put it, “malarkey.”
Obama recharged his base who are once again going to be fired up and ready to go.
Romney demonstrated his worst characteristic: his bullyism. He tried to shove Obama and moderator Candy Crowley around but neither of them were afraid of him. And, to her great credit, Crowley even did an instant fact-check when she pointed out to Romney that Obama had indeed called the attack on the U.S. embassy in Libya an “act of terror” the day after it happened.
When Obama was talking, the pinched, nasty plutocratic smile on Romney’s face made him look like he was smelling some rogue flatulence.
Commentators at Fox called the debate a draw, which tells us what we need to know. But the fact that Obama decisively won was borne out by virtually all the network polls of independent voters and debate watchers.
Romney’s “binders full of women” was so offensive that it sparked wild exchanges on the social media websites and, combined with his exposed stance on equal pay and contraception, will likely put a halt to whatever inroads the GOP candidate may have made with this crucial bloc of voters. (We thought only Hugh Hefner had those binders.)
Whether the debate will give Obama a boost in the polls, we’ll see in the next few days. But almost certainly, it will stop any advance Romney was seeing in national polls following the first debate.
One thing was clear – Obama and Romney don’t like each other. And worse, as our friend Chuck Todd of NBC said after the debate: “I don’t think these two guys respect each other.”