Why Obama Lost (Last Night’s Debate)

David Frum:

“In Denver, Romney executed his long-awaited pivot to the center. Obama by contrast neither talked purposefully about his record nor effectively attacked Romney’s proposals.”

President Obama was far too conciliatory throughout. There were a number of points at which he could and should have pointed out contradictions in Governor Romney’s oratory. Opportunities missed.

I’m in agreement with Frum’s final comment (click through for the article). Romney has long been a moderate Republican, which is why he succeeded in Massachusetts. His tone changed after a resounding defeat at the hands of his own party base in the 2008 GOP primaries. As with Frum, I like the Romney I saw last night, though I’d like him better if he could effectively answer the criticisms Frum claims the president should have made.

Yet there-in lies my problem with modern Republicans in general. As with George W. Bush in 2000, what you hear during the campaign isn’t what you get for the next four years. Remember compassionate conservatism? Bullshit. Remember “no nation-building?” Ditto. Remember the balanced budget he was handed by the Clinton administration? Never to be heard from again.

At least we have a four-year track record from Barack Obama to go by. Like or dislike his politics, there’s no doubt about the overall direction of his next administration.

If you think the Republican base will allow a President Romney to govern as we saw him debate last night, I have a bridge to sell you.