It's hard to catch a greased pig, but Obama let one get away.
Mitt Romney made a number of claims over the last year that he disavowed on Wednesday night. Obama should have been able to point out where and when and subject Romney to the lawyer's question: "Are you lying now or were you lying then?" Obama did not and looked pained and frustrated that Romney was able to lie his way out of his own history.
Jim Lehrer stunk worse than Obama in this debate but not by a whole lot. Lehrer looked like my grandmother trying to separate fornicating dogs. How many years has it been since he has felt his own testosterone?
Romney wasn't great in the debate but he was good enough. He kept on message, hammering again and again even falsehoods like the $716 billion in cuts to Medicaid. The president addressed the issue once but let Romney repeat the claim without rebuttal a second and a third time.
A simple message is effective, even if false, because it is simple. The response has to be simple and forceful. Being forceful is part of the message. Obama failed to deliver either because he assumed that Lehrer would establish control or he felt that he had made the case and could let the facts speak.
He was wrong. Romney won the debate because a lie told over and over with passion does become true. It is the package, Mr. President, not the content. It doesn't matter if you have distaste for that, it doesn't matter if Romney changes the content and the package every time he speaks, it doesn't matter if he says he will do the impossible and you have to defend what you have done.
Take off the gloves, Mr. President. No more Mr. Harvard Law Professor.