Andrew Sullivan, the Daily Beast’s designated Obama sycophant (or one of many) declared the debate for Romney early. He described the debate as a “wipe-out for Romney.” He explained that it is a “rolling calamity for Obama. He’s boring, abstract, and less human-seeming than Romney! I can’t even follow him half the time. Either exhausted, over-briefed … or just flailing. He is throwing this debate away.”
"He choked. He lost," Sullivan continued. "He may even have lost the election tonight."
In his final live blog update, Sullivan lamented:
Look: you know how much I love the guy, and you know how much of a high information viewer I am, and I can see the logic of some of Obama's meandering, weak, professorial arguments. But this was a disaster for the president for the key people he needs to reach, and his effete, wonkish lectures may have jolted a lot of independents into giving Romney a second look...
The person with authority on that stage was Romney - offered it by one of the lamest moderators ever, and seized with relish. This was Romney the salesman. And my gut tells me he sold a few voters on a change tonight. It's beyond depressing. But it's true.
There are two more debates left. I have experienced many times the feeling that Obama just isn't in it, that he's on the ropes and not fighting back, and then he pulls it out. He got a little better over time tonight. But he pulled every punch. Maybe the next two will undo some of the damage. But I have to say I think it was extensive.
When you’ve lost Andrew Sullivan and Nicholas Kristof, you’ve lost the debate, Mr. President.