Helaine knows me well.
“So I guess you’re looking forward to watching Jon Stewart tonight.”
She was talking about my mindset after last night’s presidential debate at Hofstra University. I was in a very different place two weeks ago after the first debate.
You remember that debate, the one Bill Maher characterized by saying, “It looked like he took my million and spent it all on weed.”
Everyone has missteps. Part of a debate is defending yourself when confronted with your own actions. I thought the president handled himself well in that regard.
Most of Governor Romney’s problems were unforced errors. The wording of his question on Benghazi allowed the president to sidestep Mr. Romney’s intended point.
His own answers on women’s issues were clumsy and brought the iconic and embarrassing takeaway phrase of the night, “binders full of women.”
Finally, as the debate was ending, Governor Romney indirectly referred to his 47% comments, allowing President Obama to strongly respond (and at a time when there would be no follow-up).
Did this debate undo President Obama’s unforced errors from their first meeting? No. It stopped the bleeding and that’s probably enough right now.