So startling, in fact, that the Left-liberal legions in America were staggering around for 48 hours mumbling, “What just happened?” Al Gore actually suggested that Obama’s astoundingly poor showing could be blamed on the altitude in Denver, Colorado. (I did not make that up.) In fact, both the Romney and Miliband performances benefited greatly from the element of surprise: they were both so breathtakingly unexpected. Added to the genuine impressiveness of the occasions themselves, there will have been an electorally advantageous element of self-reproach on the part of the audience. (“I have been unfair to this man. He is more worthy than I had assumed.”) Not only will voters have been affected by the specific event but, in their desire to make amends for their earlier misjudgment, they will now be more likely, at least for a while, to give Romney/Miliband the benefit of the doubt.
So it would be a big, big mistake for the Obama/Cameron teams to think that these were one-off flukes that will be quickly forgotten: they were successes that will go on giving for some time, even if they are not precisely replicated. The public has had its view of Mr Romney and Mr Miliband altered in a way that is likely to stick, even if neither of them quite match those original barnstorming triumphs every time they open their mouths.
Daley hasn’t exactly been a Romney fan. Read the rest, I think she was – pleasantly – surprised at how much of a game-changer the debate performance was. (Of course, her column is directed more at British politics, that being her home). Still worth the read. It seems that the international view of Romney is being changed – and yes, the public, here and abroad, are realizing just how badly the American media has been lying to them.