Obama needs to step it up

President Obama’s first debate against Governor Mitt Romney was disappointing, to say the least. After trying so hard to illustrate Romney as a disconnected candidate, Obama appeared disconnected from the debate.

Given the chance to open the debate, Obama mentioned that he had a lot of points to make – and then brought up his and First Lady Michelle’s anniversary. It’s wonderful that they’ve been together for so long, but when you’re in front of America present why you are the best candidate, it doesn’t hurt to stay on point.

During the debate, Obama’s performance was lackluster. Romney was much more aggressive. Some say Obama’s debate strategy is to play things safe, hold onto a secure lead, and maybe Romney would even slip up again. That will not work. This debate launched Romney from trailing behind to within striking distance. This debate put Romney back in the running.

If this keeps up, Obama won’t be able to play it safe and hold a lead. He needs to work for it, in the second and third debates. How can he do that?

Be more engaged. Obama spent a lot of time making sure his podium wasn’t going anywhere. Podiums don’t move. Obama should take a leaf out of Romney’s book and look at the person he’s debating, at the moderator, or at the camera.

Call out Romney’s facts. Both candidates have reworked the truth concerning choice issues, but during the debate Obama didn’t hold Romney to his claims. Romney’s five studies that supported his tax plan? One article and two editorials from Wall Street Journal, one from a conservative think tank, and one from Princeton University.

Remember that health care and the economy aren’t everything. Obama has been the first president to support gay marriage, and is much more popular than Romney with women for a reason. He needs to bring his strong points into play.

If Obama can’t shape up his debate performance, he can’t expect to be doing too well going into November.