On October 3rd, Mitt Romney gave an epic performance at the first presidential debate in Denver. According to Gallup, Americans, by a 52-point margin–the most ever recorded–said Romney won the debate against Obama. In the aftermath, Romney has taken a steady lead in most national and state polls. There is no need to dissect here the details of the debate or the candidates’ performance. More interesting to me is what didn’t happen after the debate. There wasn’t the usual push-back from the Obama campaign. That is highly unusual.

Since the first campaign in 2008, in the face of any setback, the Obama campaign would quickly deploy a coordinated push-back or distraction to change the subject. The media, whom Glenn Reynolds calls Democrat operatives with bylines, would immediately comply and the campaign would suffer, at most, one or two days of bad press.

Today, we’re ten days after the first debate and there has been almost no push-back or changing the subject with a new attack line on Romney. The Obama campaign has allowed over a week of “process” stories in the media; dissections of Obama’s performance, expectations for VP debate and Romney’s rise in the polls. The only “new” issue that has been raised has been serious questions about the administration’s handling of the crisis in Libya.

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