Roger Ebert is freaking out, to the same degree as Andrew Sullivan. The problem is that Obama has no-one to blame but himself for his horrible debate performance. But it still begs the question, can one debate torpedo one’s chances for reelection? It shouldn’t but people are still iffy on both candidates given the fragile, but slowly improving state of the economy.

It is a sad commentary that the bar has been set so low and any fool with the right amount of money and financial backers can be on the verge of winning a presidential election in this country, no matter how many Etch-A-Sketch moments he has had or the fact that he is bullish on stashing his money overseas to skirt tax laws. Believe me, Mitt Romney isn’t my first choice for president, no matter which version we are seeing — Moderate Mitt or Severely Conservative Mitt.

Obama wasn’t my first choice either and still isn’t.  Mitt Romney is one of the worst presidential candidates we have seen in a long time in my opinion. How do you make the case of one who flip-flops as the wind blows, from as far back as one can remember. Like Ted Kennedy said in 1994, Mitt Romney isn’t pro-choice, he’s multiple choice.  He’s all over the place and he can beat Obama.

A depression has descended upon me. I look at the blank screen, and those are the words that come into my mind. I do not believe for a second that Mitt Romney will win the election. I do believe that at this moment he is tied, 50-50, in various national polls. Many of my fellow Americans have at least temporarily disappointed me. It is clear to anyone in either party that in last week’s debate Romney cast aside all of his principles and reversed himself on everything he has said he believes. As Hendrik Hertzberg worded it in the New Yorker:

“By the end of ninety minutes, Romney had retrofitted himself as the defender of Medicare, the advocate of Wall Street regulation, the scourge of the big banks, the enemy of tax cuts for the rich, and the champion of tax relief for the middle class. All these claims are spectacularly false.”


The rich men in that room presumably pledged a fortune to the Romney campaign chest. Were any of them offended that Romney no longer agreed with what he told them? We haven’t heard from them.

Obama continues in the Presidential campaign in possession of his own lifelong principles. Romney now seeks the luxury of running on both his principles–and Obama’s. What depresses me is that the polls suggest the electorate isn’t alert enough to realize that. What allows me hope is that, given a little time, I trust the American people will figure this one out. Source

I don’t quite know what to make of Roger Ebert’s meltdown, but all I can say is it’s time to take a step back and let Obama fight for his job if he wants to keep it. No amount of moping and bellyaching can fix this at this juncture. It would be an awful shame if Obama helped torpedo his own reelection by having an empty podium night. Kinda makes Clint Eastwood’s empty chair ramble not so ridiculous now, does it?