I agreed with multiple focus groups last night, and not with the narrow margins pro-Obama in the straight polls, that Romney emerged from the debate last night in a slightly better position than he went in.
In short, he won. He is now in decent shape to eke out a victory.
That said, I think he and his campaign have committed serious political malpractice by not repeatedly and effectively attacking Obama on ObamaCare, either in the debates or in commercials or in TV interviews. It should be especially easy to blast the dozen-plus taxes on the middle class within ObamaCare (including the quasi-tax of the individual mandate, which remains deeply unpopular) — and not just easy but downright simple to blast him on the medical device tax, to which I keep referring in multiple posts and columns here and elsewhere. Of the many, many, many, many opportunities and issues the Romney campaign has left lying on the table, unused, this is the one with the least complications, the most levels of upside, and the least (meaning zero) downside.
Again, I do think Romney has won both debates. I do think he has a slightly better chance now than Obama does to win this election (my last “forced count” had him at 272 electoral votes to 266 for Obama, but that changes every other day). I think his campaign overall is far sharper than it was a month ago.
But Lord Almighty, how can he fail to take advantage of such a big Obama weakness?
Repeat after me: “ObamaCare puts a major punitive tax on pacemakers, asthma inhalers, insulin pumps, and prosthetic limbs like those that make such a difference to our wounded warriors. Even former Democratic Senator Evan Bayh has written that the tax already is costing hundreds of jobs, not to mention all of the negative health effects on people the tax will hurt. Where’s the compassion in that?”
Come to think of it, maybe the wounded warrior aspect of this will give Romney an opening in the “foreign policy” debate……