Poor Barack Obama (and even more so, Michelle). This is a 20th wedding anniversary celebration that they'll most definitely want to forget.
That was about as bad a debate performance as one could imagine from this man. How his campaign managers could have thought that their advice to him was wise--to play defense and play out the clock (assuming that was it)--beats me. Of course that's assuming he followed their advice. Knowing how strong-willed and self-assured he is, it's altogether possible that this was totally his decision.
So if he loses the election, it will be totally his fault. Not Dinesh D'Souza, not Sean Hannity, not even Mitt Romney. No, Barack Obama will have lost it all by himself, with no one to blame BUT himself. And that is probably a good thing, given what is at stake in this election.
So now the election clock has been reset to zero, it seems. Prior to this debate, Obama looked like he was developing an almost insurmountable lead. Now, that is gone. If he comes back and does well (or at least okay) in the next two, he could pull this election out. If he does poorly, it goes down the tubes, and the Republicans take over. It's amazing how the fate of the nation rests on the questionable debating abilities of one individual. (As I think about that, that may say more about the nation than about this candidate, actually.)
Those of us who support Barack Obama do so because of what he stands for and what he's trying to accomplish. Our support is not, in general, 'personal' to him, at least not anymore. Whoever the nominee of the Democrat Party was, we would support (assuming that they embodied the general principles of the party). So if he loses the election because of his exceeding poor performance, thereby forfeiting most, if not all, that he has tried to do over the past four years, most of us are not going to be very sympathetic. At all. He will, unfortunately, have joined the ranks of Jimmy Carter as one of the Presidential failures. We'll not be very sympathetic, but we will be very sad.
Ps. It occurs to me after mulling this blog post over that, come the next Presidential debate, we're going to see one of two things. Either we'll see a new Barack Obama, who has decided that he really does want to be President for a second term, or we'll see simply an extension of the Obama we saw in the first debate, at which point we'll know that he has decided that he would rather be a writer and professor (and sooner rather than later).