You know it's bad for your case when you're the most liberal president in history and even Bill Maher says you needed your teleprompter.
At least President Obama didn't break into a flop sweat, but it could hardly have gone worse for him in last night's debate.
Mitt Romney managed to get under Obama's skin by simply repeating the truth. I especially loved the first portion of the debate where Obama kept uttering the lie about Romney's plan increasing the deficit by $5 trillion (and a couple of times he tried to push it to $7 trillion) but Romney just kept coming back with clear statements about why what Obama just said was wrong.
Romney came across as poised, clear-thinking, relaxed and knowledgeable. Obama, on the other hand, kept sounding like he had read all his flash cards and was desperately hoping there might have been something more written on the other side.
Romney's plain talk clearly grated on Obama, who at various points started dashing from topic to topic looking for something salient or even just witty to say. At one point, he practically begged moderator Jim Lehrer to move on to a different subject.
Romney even called Obama on his unfocused responses, saying, "There are a lot of issues there."
Every time Obama tried to launch into one of his airy excuses about why he hadn't fixed the economy, Romney brought him back to earth with simple, personal observations like, "You've been president four years. You said you'd cut the deficit in half. It's now four years later. We still have trillion- dollar deficits."
Romney didn't let Obama get away with mangling facts, either, telling the audience at one point, "Virtually everything he just said about my tax plan is inaccurate."
Romney also got in a number of digs at Obama's non-economic policies, including a line about the Middle East. Then Romney brought up God several times, poking Obama for leaving out the word "Creator" whenever he cites the Declaration of Independence, along with subtly pointing out Obama's war against Christianity and support for Islam.
Polls after the debate found two-thirds or more viewers acknowledging Romney as the winner. Obama would have been better off doing what he does best, sending an empty chair to stand in for him and watching the proceedings on his iPod.