For days in advance of Wednesday night’s presidential debate against Mitt Romney, President Obama’s team has been working on honing his answers and shooting for “crisp” answers.
As it turned out, brevity was more the soul of Mitt.
Obama showed up in his customary professor mode, prepared with lengthy walk-through replies on questions about the economy, the deficit and entitlement programs. In a forum built to provide equal time, Obama had spoken five full minutes more than Romney at the debate’s 65-minute mark. The run-on answers meant moderator Jim Lehrer had to cut one whole segment from the encounter.
Most of the night’s memorable lines came from Romney, who short-handed Obama’s approach to governing as “trickle-down government” and promised to cut government funding for things like public broadcasting even though he claimed to “love Big Bird.”
Romney characterized the decline in middle-class income as “the economy tax.”
“They're just being crushed,” Romney said, drawing out the word. “It's been crushing.”
On the upside for Obama, this is his actual personality. He gives complex answers on complex subjects — not a hard thing for his team to spin in the aftermath of the debate.