Mitt Romney won tonight’s first Presidential Debate fairly handily, I thought. He looked energetic, sounded smart, articulated well, and contrasted with a professorially desultory President Obama.
But I think Romney’s victory will prove more costly than its real long-term value for three reasons.
First, he all but abandoned the Right on their hot-button issues. He “moderated” his stance on regulation, on tax policy, on Obamacare, and several other topics so far that he came off sounding reasonable. Which the Tea Party will not tolerate.
Second, he lied while flip-flopping on his 18-month-old economic plan and claiming he doesn’t plan to implement any tax cut that increases the deficit.
Third, he came off like a bully in his shabby treatment of moderator Jim Lehrer and the rules of debate.