Did Mitt Romney win the first presidential debate between him and Barack Obama? Did Sitting Bull win at Little Big Horn?
You would have been surprised, if you had been the proverbial man (or woman) from Mars, to guess which candidate—the incumbent president of the United States or the former one-term governor of Massachusetts—had a better command of either the details of public policy. Obviously Mitt Romney did. And you would have gotten the sense that one of the two candidates had a sense of command and the other was hugely on the defensive. Romney was looking confident, with consistent smiles; Obama was constantly looking downward, on the defensive, irritated and—astonished.
Astonished, because during most of his public career Obama has been received by his audiences with undiluted adulation. He has been totally unused to being challenged on his talking points.