Sage words from E.J. Dionne:
We all know that President Obama needs a better night than he had in the first debate. But the entire Democratic political apparatus and Obama’s own supporters also need a better night than they had last time. Who prevails this evening depends not only on how each candidate does but also on how their supporters react...
....watch what Obama’s supporters make of the debate. Keep an eye on the Twitter feeds and on what the more liberal commentators say in their post-debate commentaries. As the first presidential debate went on, the feeds of progressives went almost silent. After the debate, Obama-leaning commentators might have been even more critical of his performance than neutral analysts were. The negativity built and metastasized to the point where Obama’s “defeat” looked far worse 24 and 48 hours later than it did at the time. To invoke a football metaphor, it would be as if post-game commentary had the power to spin a 24-to-14 defeat into a 38-to-3 catastrophe. That can’t happen in sports, but it can happen in political debates.
My hunch is that this won’t be repeated this time.
Let’s hope not. Back with more coverage later.