Other than 'drunken uncle' John Sununununu, I don't think anyone really thinks President Obama - or his close advisors - are stupid. So what we witnessed last night had at least some grounding in logic.
I think the President was as stunned as many of the rest of us by Romney's desperate pirouetting and etch-a-sketching and, without a well-planned counter to such frothing (and likely self-destructive) idiocy, he maintained his steady (albeit un-inspiring) demeanor and presentation.
I didn't know the 'Gish Gallop' by name until today, but I recognized the technique used by Romney from dealing it coming from my ex-wife. There really is no effective counter, best to just let the person spew, pick a few items to rebut, and let the rest go.
So what I saw last night was President Obama doing what Queen Ann has been telling the Republicans do: Let Mitt be Mitt.
My take is that Romney dug so many holes, bitch-slapped so many conservative ideas, and flat-out lied about so many things that it's going to take a few days just to tally them all up.
And President Obama just covered up, hunkered down and let Mitt punch himself out.
The rope-a-dope works if you can prevent your opponent from landing any really hard blows, and for all his hyper-aggressiveness, bluster and lying, I didn't see a single solid punch landed by Romney.
And when the biggest liar in the world trotted out his ultimate zinger.... his haymaker..... you know he practiced this one for weeks......'As President, ou're entitled to a plane and a house, but not your own set of facts'..... I just laughed.
These were his best shots?
Remember, this was only round 1...... Mitt wailed away, but didn't land anything.... there's plenty of rounds left.
I'm looking forward to the next debate.