By most accounts, Republican nominee Mitt Romney won the first presidential debate on Wednesday (Oct. 3) night, but according to former vice president Al Gore, President Obama may have had Denver’s mile-high altitude to blame for his less-than-stellar performance.
Afterwards Chris Matthews asked, “Where was Obama tonight?!,” which summed up the feeling of lots of folks on social media following the debate, many of whom thought Obama was “asleep” at the podium. So could the effects of Denver’s altitude have had an impact on Obama’s performance?
“I’m going to say something controversial here,” Gore says on CurrentTV (per the Washington Post) during a post-debate analysis, “Obama arrived in Denver at 2 p.m. today, just a few hours before the debate started. Romney did his debate prep in Denver. When you go to 5,000 feet, and you only have a few hours to adjust, I don’t know … Maybe.”
“It’s really different. The first time I ever did stand-up in Denver I had the same exact effect,” comedian John Fugelsang adds. “I flew in that day and when your lungs aren’t acclimated to that kind of air, yeah, it makes you drawn, it makes you off. The president had an off night.”
According to WebMD, altitude sickness typically affects people going to altitudes above 8,000 feet (Denver’s altitude is 5,280 feet), and more than 20 percent of people visiting the western mountains get it. Symptoms can include headaches, nausea and feeling dizzy.
Do you think Obama was affected by the altitude?