Post-debate analysis: An election now on the verge of getting very interesting

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This campaign – derided generally for its fixation on gaffes, regarded widely as nihilistic and unproductive – is about to get good, maybe even really good.

Here’s why: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney delivered a muscular performance in Wednesday night’s debate, clear command of policy and a willingness to critique Obama’s performance without coming across as hostile. President Obama, even according to some Democrats, has had better nights.

That means two things. Romney, already feeling a bit of a recovery in the polls and despite spending ample time during the debate on areas like Medicare and tax policy that aren’t his greatest strengths among independents, should draw some confidence and momentum. Furthermore, the governor’s partisans await eagerly a hailstorm of Republican advertising sorties.

And let’s not forget that Obama, arguably the greatest vote-getter in the history of American politics, is a competitive fellow who doesn’t like to lose. And, electorally speaking, it’s a feeling he hasn’t had to confront in quite some time. If he appeared a little heavy-footed in Denver, go put some money down on Obama bouncing back when they meet next again on Oct. 16.

After a policy-rich duel, both campaigns, for different reasons, now get to feel the adrenaline that can sharpen the senses and bring out the best in both. With 34 days to go, maybe just in time.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.