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Posted at 07:47 AM ET, 10/05/2012

No excuses, Mr. President

The newest Republican National Committee ad features Mitt Romney and President Obama at the first presidential debate in Denver on Oct. 3. (Republican National Committee)
Lee Atwater used to say, "In politics, never kick a man when he's up." Atwater's point was: Don’t attack strength; wait until you have an opening and your opponent is wobbly.  Well, this Republican National Committee ad hammers President Obama while he is down and struggling.  It is a devastating reminder of one of the worst moments during the worst 90 minutes of the president's political life.

The Obama camp has been caught flat-footed and hasn't found an effective excuse for its candidate being a dud Wednesday night. The president, who doesn't take ridicule well, is getting a lot of it. And he is probably furious.

The Obama apologencia has test-flown a few excuses. Such as, the president did not want to be the aggressor or he was manhandled out of respect for the tradition of the incumbent losing the first debate.  My favorite was the use of another dark rule of politics: As a last resort, deny the obvious; it may produce a moment of confusion when you can catch a break. David Axelrod was out there saying that the debate went according to plan, that the president was great.  Good luck with that.  

Many years ago I got beat up in a mugging. When I retold the story to my young son and daughter, I told them I pounded the assailant in the fist with my head and face, and then I pounded him in the foot with my chest and stomach. It didn't work with my kids, and Obama suggesting the mauling he took was part of his plan won't work any better.

By  |  07:47 AM ET, 10/05/2012

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