I watched the debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama last night, but apparently I watched a much different debate performance than the cable new punditocracy did.
My reaction was that while Romney didn't fail, he didn't nail it either.
Obama made some good arguments while Romney continued with his broad strokes short on details and heavy on bold and unfounded promises.
But then I watched the punditocracy on MSNBC get worked up into froth over how poorly Obama performed.
I thought Chris Matthews was going to have a stroke.
Matthews said he couldn't understand how Obama could let Romney "get away with the crap he threw at him tonight about Social Security."
He said that Romney won the debate, and that if the former Massachusetts governor performs this well in the next debates, he's going to win in November.
"Where was Obama tonight?," Matthews screamed.
NBC's Chuck Todd said that the Obama campaign "know they lost."
Andrew Sullivan tweeted about Obama's performance, "He choked. He lost. He may even have lost election tonight."
Over at CNN, David Gergen said of Obama, "I don't think anyone's ever spoken to him like that over the last four years. I think he found that not only surprising but offensive in some ways."
I have no idea what any of these people are talking about.
The President Obama that I saw was articulate, calm and respectful. Romney was anxious, blinking incessantly, nervous, vague and rude.
If folks were expecting Obama to come out like a flame-throwing spewing nonsense, as pundits do for a living, they haven't really been paying attention to the president for the last four years.
That's not his style. Obama is calm under pressure. His answers are measured and thoughtful.
People have been wanting Obama to act like a leftwing radical since before he was elected. Obama has always been a centrist, fairly mellow, even keel guy.
Had liberals wanted a true liberal, they really should have nominated Hillary Clinton back in 2008, but they didn't. They nominated a law professor and a centrist.