There seems to be a clear consensus that Mitt Romney won the first debate. However, for conservatives the more important question is what are the consequences? Ever heard the expression, “you may have won the battle, but I will win the war”? This is a step in the right direction for Mitt, but despite bumbling around for 90 minutes, the President didn’t have any prominent gaffes that I can recall. As a staunch conservative, I was hoping for a knockout punch by Mitt Romney. It didn’t happen.
The biggest victory of course for conservatives was the fact that Mitt Romney was able to talk directly to voters without a media filter. After all, the media filter always helps Obama, and always hurts Romney. So on that account, even assuming a tie, which this was not, being able to present an unfiltered message to voters, many of whom may not be familiar with Romney, was a big win.
Again, this was a good start, but I think Mitt needs to step it up even more the next debate. More specifically, I think Mitt needs to speak in broader terms than he did in the first debate in defense of conservatism. He needs to reach the undecided voter with ideology and he needs to shy away from getting lost in the specifics. Ideological points make an impact. Winning a debate on technical points is good, but convincing people of the justness of your overall cause more broadly speaking is supremely better, and is necessary to not just win a debate, but to win over the hearts of the viewers. Romney said all the right things. He held his own, and then some. But will that be enough come November?