Obama’s Uphill Climb

Oct 8 2012 @ 12:32pm

Chait concedes that Obama has missed his best opportunity to KO Romney. He thinks it unwise to expect clear wins at the remaining debates:

The next debate is a town-hall meeting. Obama’s campaign is talking up its plan to roll out a new, tougher Obama who will challenge Romney’s slick evasions. But a town-hall meeting is a whole different animal. In a one-on-one debate, you can fillet your opponent. A town-hall meeting consists of undecided voters pressing the candidates for answers. The focus of the event is on answering the questions of the voters. Using their questions to assail your opponent is bad form — indeed, the Regular Voters who ask the questions, and serve as proxies for the public, can be counted on to implore the candidates to stop attacking each other so much. Romney will use the town hall to proclaim his deep and abiding concern for all of America, and Obama will have little chance to disprove it.

And then the final debate centers on foreign policy. Obama can try to use some of the questions to turn to domestic policy, but that risks a scolding from host Bob Schieffer.