Time’s Mark Halperin is The Narrative and he’s scoring the debate a tie — giving both men a B+.
But it’s what Halperin writes that should worry Obama fans.
Tried all evening to tease out for America the patent contradictions he sees
starkly in Romney’s past statements, but could not cast them in sharp enough
relief to break through for the non-expert viewer. Efforts to make Romney seem
unpresidential and unprepared failed to rattle his opponent, but did produce a
series of rhetorical moments that will get television replays. Still haunted by
his Denver failure, he stayed hyped up throughout, pleasing his base.
Significantly stronger on points, but less likely than his rival to have his
performance impact the outcome of the race.
Achieved his ongoing goal of appearing to be an acceptable alternative for
American voters. Was determined not to let the President bait him into the sort
of titanic clash that characterized the previous debate — and/but didn’t ruffle
when challenged. Performance will energize his own base for sure, even if he
expressed agreement with the President on numerous occasions. If his task was to
remain calm and present himself to the electorate as a reasonable,
peace-seeking, credible, centrist, sure-handed commander-in-chief, he seemed to
clear the bar for at least some undecideds. Completed the trifecta of appearing
as the President’s semiotic equal in every debate.
This opinion isn’t only important because Halperin’s word impact The Narrative, he also happens to be correct.