4. The mistake Obama appeared to make was to paint Romney as a cretin, incompetent, dumb, rich, inbred jerk. Well, you could see, in the debate, he wasn't that. He could think on his feet. Put a good sentence together. And he had the fire that Obama lacks. If I had been on the fence (again, I wasn't) that debate might have pushed me over. If he hadn't shared the 47 percent bit, that might have made a difference. There was a moment in the first debate when a thought popped into my head that he's the real president. It wasn't something I reasoned my way to, it was a flash of insight. I imagine this is the feeling, that other people had too, that made his poll numbers go up.