You didn’t really expect GOP nominee Mitt Romney or President Barack Obama to throw any bombs during last night’s presidential debate, did you? Governor Romney’s objective: Take it to Obama, win the debate. President Obama’s objective: Take it to the people, don’t lose the election. It’s fair to say that both candidates achieved their objectives. However, saying a candidate won the first debate of three before a presidential election is like saying your team won the first quarter of the Super Bowl. Even if it’s true, it’s meaningless.
But what’s up with Romney attacking the Muppet voting block? Can you really be pro-education and anti-Sesame Street? Will a Romney administration result in lay-offs on Sesame Street? I guess Big Bird, Miss Piggy & Kermit are among the 47%–lazy non-taxpayers who feel entitled to government support. I just hope the NAACP is looking out for the Sesame Street community. If the Muppets aren’t colored people, I don’t know who is.
The fact that the debate’s most memorable moment (aside from PBS Jim Lehrer’s performance as moderator) is Romney’s promise to block public assistance to Sesame Street, if elected, tells you everything you need to know about its significance as a factor in this election. If you’re caught up in all the punditry, analysis and hand-wringing (both on TV news channels and on Twitter) over who won and who lost last night, you’re missing the big picture. No candidate ever won an election by winning a presidential debate, but plenty of them have lost one by saying or doing something stupid during a debate.
Romney came out swinging, because he had to. Obama didn’t, because he didn’t have to. No one will remember the first debate by November. Except the Muppets.