The Great Expectations for Mitt Romney’s Debate Performance

Psych. The Democratic National Committee has compiled quotes from pundits and Republican Romney supporters telling us how important this first debate is for Mitt and what a great debater he is. Mitt Romney has been working hard to lower expectations as the debate date grows near, but apparently his surrogates didn’t get the message. Now, Romney faces Great Expectations.

Watch here via the DNC:

Independent analysts and Mitt Romney’s own supporters agree on two things:

1. Romney’s an accomplished debater who excelled at debates in the GOP primary.
2. This week’s debate is a make or break moment for Governor Romney.

Either way, Romney is facing great expectations.

There’s a lot of hope that Mitt Romney’s “zingers” will be enough to carry the heavy load of rebooting his campaign. The Romney campaign is betting that Americans will be taken in by a series of one-liners over substance, yet again. Romney tells us he has a Reagan quote at the ready, and we know he keeps an arsenal of condescension handy for just these moments, when vague and silly just won’t cut it.

Additional “zingers” will no doubt replay Romney’s favorite accusation that Obama doesn’t “understand” American values. While the Fox crowd and the Wall Street Journal (employing many Romney strategists without disclosure) might love the Obama isn’t “one of us” nods, I’m not so sure this is going to go over well with the American people. Obama is much more personally popular with Americans than Mitt Romney, but he hasn’t shown an ability to grasp what it means to operate outside of the epistemic echo chamber of the Right.

I’m sure the President is quaking in the Oval Office right now, terrified by the idea of Romney Reagan redux zinger destroying the narrative Romney has clearly laid out for the American victims.

Mitt Romney is an excellent debater, so here’s to him bringing his A game on Wednesday. Can he zing his way out of a landslide loss? Can he regain the NASCAR fans, the Catholics, the white working class, the military, the women, the minorities, and the elderly with a great show? With most voters already being decided, what would it take to turn around the perception of Romney as someone who is not just playing candidate for an ego boost?

Game Changer is up. Let’s see how Romney handles the pressure.

Any bets on whether Romney gets goaded into losing his temper yet again? I have ten thousand on yes, but I won’t tell you in which debate, because I’m Romney like that.

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