Despite President Obama's celebrated gift for oratory, the Obama supporters least surprised by his underwhelming performance against Mitt Romney may have been two of his top advisers.
Senior strategists David Plouffe and David Axelrod have long doubted Obama's debating skills. Their concerns date back to the 2008 presidential campaign, as Plouffe wrote in his book, The Audacity to Win. He put it plainly: "Historically, Obama was not a strong debater."
In case anyone was wondering, this week's presidential debate demonstrated why incumbent presidents and others leading in the polls used to refuse to debate their challengers.
After John F. Kennedy used the first TV debates to boost his campaign against incumbent Vice President Richard Nixon in 1960, there simply were no debates until 1976. Running again with a big lead in 1968 and 1972, Nixon declined to debate and won both times. Lyndon B. Johnson also demurred in 1964 without damage en route to a landslide.
Appliance maker KitchenAid quickly deleted and apologized for a message that went out on its Twitter account during last night's presidential debate because the comment about President Obama and his grandmother was so offensive.
The comment writer â€” who has not been identified â€” picked up on the president's mention of his grandmother and tweeted that:
"Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! 'She died 3 days b4 he became president'."