Peggy Noonan: Obama Lost The First Debate Because He 'Didn't Have A Teleprompter'


Even though we've had three presidential debates, Nooners is still (still!) predictably obsessing about the first one.

What he couldn't do was present himself, when everyone was looking, as smaller than you thought. Petulant, put upon, above it all, full of himself. He couldn't afford to make himself look less impressive than the challenger in terms of command, grasp of facts, size.

But that's what he did.

And in some utterly new way the president was revealed, exposed. All the people whose job it is to surround and explain him, to act as his buffers and protectors—they weren't there. It was him on the stage, alone with a competitor. He didn't have a teleprompter, and so his failure seemed to underscore the cliché that the prompter is a kind of umbilical cord for him, something that provides nourishment, the thing he needs to sound good. He is not by any means a stupid man but he has become a boring one; he drones, he is predictable, it's never new. The teleprompter adds substance, or at least safety.

Seriously, teleprompters? That's so 2009, Nooners.

Anyway, to recap, Obama wins two out of three of his debates with Mitt Romney, neither of which involved teleprompters. But the only one that counts is the one he lost.

Nice grading scale!

Oh, and polling showed that George W. Bush lost all three debates to John Kerry. But I guess that was 2004, when the debates didn't matter because the guy who lost was a Republican.

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