If you go to the big debate thread below, you’ll see that I offer a couple theories for why Obama did so poorly. You’ll also see that Kate has one I find worthy of further consideration.
But whatever collection of explanations we adopt, Jonathan S. Tobin at Commentary offers one that feels particularly likely:
His body language and long-winded lectures betrayed not just a man who didn’t adequately prepare for the format, but also a man who has no respect for his opponent or the ideas he put forward.
This would explain why both the explanations I offered below could be right. A) his performance basically reflected the real Obama (i.e. sans teleprompter), and B) he didn’t seriously prep. There’s evidence Obama was conscious prior to the debate that he’s not a great debater (i.e., that he had some inkling of A), but it simply didn’t matter, because at all times he seriously thinks he is the One, the man with the masterful program/campaign, and perhaps is even stupid and blinkered enough to 75% believe his own spin about Romney. Thus, B). He shirked real preparation.
BTW, what could be more essentially divisive than such a contempt for one’s opponent, for 40% of one’s fellow citizens?
And non-inner circle Democrat, do you see how the contempt extends to you?