The MSNBC "Morning Joe" panel offered a blistering wrap-up of Wednesday's debate. Mainly, they were down on President Obama, and offered some honest theories as to why: he's too used to hearing "Hail to the Chief" with no one challenging him, and frankly he's become dependent on teleprompters.
Watch below (the harshest criticism begins at 7:45):
Here's transcript of some of the tougher points:
Jon Meacham: "To cite the person who knows most about politics in my life, my eight year old daughter, who came in and asked, 'Why is President Obama so mad. ... And I think that's a really good way of putting it. It looked as though he was either at the wrong debate, he was in parallel play, and it also looked to me as if he had the classic presidential case of, no one has spoken to him that way in four years."
Joe Scarborough: "Stop and say that again, because Chris Matthews said that last night, that maybe he's heard "Hail to the Chief" one too many times. Say that again."
Meacham: "No one has spoken to him that way -- no one has tried to interrupt him -- in four years."
Mike Barnicle: We also know anecdotally from your reporting and other reporting that we read continually that there's very little interaction between this president and members of the Senate and members of the House. There's very little personal interaction. There's no phone calls back and forth. We don't know really what happens when he has conversations about the legislation pending and stuff like that. But we do know from last night when Mitt Romney says I don't know what you're talking about, we do know the look that registered on President Obama's face was, you know, who are you to be saying that to me. There's another element here as long as we're talking about this, and Jon Meacham is right, that no one has spoken to him like this for the last four years. There's another element that perhaps should be under discussion. The president had no teleprompter last night. He speaks almost all the time off of a teleprompter. Forced now to stand on his feet after four years in the bubble, getting pushed back a little, he didn't do too well. He didn't do too well.
The irony in all this? One of the reasons the president might not be used to people pushing back is because the press has been relatively complacent over the last four years.