Post-debate analysis: An election now on the verge of getting very interesting

By on October 3, 2012

This campaign – derided generally for its fixation on gaffes, regarded widely as nihilistic and unproductive – is about to get good, maybe even really good.

Here’s why: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney delivered a muscular performance in Wednesday night’s debate, clear command of policy and a willingness to critique Obama’s performance without coming across as hostile. President Obama, even according to some Democrats, has had better nights.

That means two things. Romney, already feeling a bit of a recovery in the polls and despite spending ample time during the debate on areas like Medicare and tax policy that aren’t his greatest strengths among independents, should draw some confidence and momentum. Furthermore, the governor’s partisans await eagerly a hailstorm of Republican advertising sorties.

And let’s not forget that Obama, arguably the greatest vote-getter in the history of American politics, is a competitive fellow who doesn’t like to lose. And, electorally speaking, it’s a feeling he hasn’t had to confront in quite some time. If he appeared a little heavy-footed in Denver, go put some money down on Obama bouncing back when they meet next again on Oct. 16.

After a policy-rich duel, both campaigns, for different reasons, now get to feel the adrenaline that can sharpen the senses and bring out the best in both. With 34 days to go, maybe just in time.

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