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I've played this over and over in my mind.  Just exactly how do you debate someone who will lie repeatedly and firmly, and say basically whatever they think sounds the best?  No, that's not rhetorical.  What do you do?

My guess as to what really happened after the jump.

I think the president's team decided on a strategy before tonight and stuck with it - he was going to win this debate in the upcoming weeks, not tonight.  And if I've learned anything about the president over the past years it is this:  He is disciplined and thinks things through.  So, no, tonight was not about President Obama being caught unprepared for Romney's parade of garbage.  

Now, clearly, if someone chooses to ignore every resource that is out there, chooses to do NO homework or listen to another ad, or read a paper or whatever, AND if they choose tonight and only tonight to base their vote AND they actually cast a ballot, Romney in all likelihood won their vote.

How many people like that are there? 5?  8?  It isn't many, that's for sure.  

I think there are many Romney supporters who are going to be ecstatic.  They wanted an aggressive, fact free, in your face Romney and they got one.  But that doesn't matter, they were going to vote for him anyway.

I think there are many Obama supporters who are going to be all quivery and in a tizzy about tonight too.  These folks - the target of this diary - better make sure they get their asses in gear and make sure they can support the president by knowing the facts and be willing to speak up at their place of work, and yes, volunteer for the campaign - because we have our work cut out for us.  But I doubt Romney picked up any votes there either.

I think the major impact of tonight is that the president now has the opportunity to show very clearly that his opponent will do and say ANYTHING, regardless of whether it is true and regardless of what he has said previously.  And I think that means that the theme going forward is going to be exactly what we want it to be - a choice between someone who will be straight with people and someone who will lie and cheat and steal and obfuscate in the hope that he can confuse people.  

Isn't that the campaign we wanted for the next month?  A choice between Obama the champion of truth and thoughtfulness and Romney the lying asswipe?  Yeah, I thought so.

And just to be clear, my initial reaction was the same as many folks'.  I'm just smart enough to think before I type.  Usually.

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