If you study the effect of Obama's stunningly bad debate performance, all the sound and the fury is coming from Obama's supporters. They are electrified, galvanized... to use Samuel L. Jackson catchy phrase they finally seem to have awakened "the f**K up".
Take a look at this video from Jon Stewart and you'll see how electrified and awakened they may have become.
Thinking this all over and being a firm believer in the Occam's razor, I am left with only two possible conclusions:
One. Either Obama doesn't care whether he loses the election or not and didn't prepare for the debate at all, or...
Two, that he gave exactly the performance he wanted to give in order to generate exactly the response from his heretofore apathetic base that he desired them to have.
The third possibility, that the President tried his best and that was all he could come up with is really too troubling to contemplate at this stage.
Since Obama is known to be obsessively competitive at even the most petty levels, I find it impossible to believe that he just let Romney walk over him. My opinion is that he threw the first debate in order to fire up his dormant base. They are now begging for him to draw blood in the next debate. If he comes out aggressively, nobody, but perhaps Fox News and Matt Drudge, will ever accuse him of being an "angry negro".
Certainly if Obama gives a sharp and aggressive performance next time, nobody is going to feel sorry for Romney and Obama's campaign will catch on fire.
The only votes that count in elections are those that are actually cast, apathy is the greatest enemy of the 2012 Obama campaign. Now the possibility of a Romney victory becomes a reality and perhaps that will finally "wake" those 2008 voters up.