WASHINGTON, Oct. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "President Obama can come back after the first debate debacle," says national Democratic strategist and former Clinton White House spokesman Robert Weiner in a Washington Times oped column just out. Weiner states, "President Obama's inexplicable silence in the first debate has led to a large bump for Mitt Romney – now slightly ahead according to the Pew poll -- and the game-changer Democrats were convinced would not happen. The Saturday Night Live parodies were predictable—Obama mute against Romney's assertions, Obama becoming the Eastwood empty chair. For all my love of the President, it was bad, really bad." Weiner says that his wife and coincidentally happened to stay at the Westin Lake Las Vegas around Obama's three-night debate prep stay. They were organizing an event in neighboring Las Vegas and wanted the away-from-it lake and mountain scenery the hotel offered, so they stayed there before and after their event. "We could not resist asking hotel staffers what they thought of the President," Weiner says. "Very nice guy," said a hotel security staffer. Without prompting, the hotel staff member added, "We relaxed him too much." Another hotel staffer, a bellman, said, again with no prompting, "We hope it wasn't the hotel's fault." That's how obvious the poor performance was. Weiner contends the performance may also have been attributable to the President's choice of debate stand-in. Weiner asserts, "If Obama wanted to learn how to win a debate, not just expound policy, he needed someone like James Carville or Paul Begala as his debate stand-in opponent, rather than Kerry, who is renowned for long, long sentences. The President learned too well. If he preferred to practice against an elected official, he could have gone against Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana, who wowed the last two Democratic conventions with punchy, pithy points." Weiner says that "President Obama let Romney get away with everything. He should have countered 'trickle down government' with 'Trickle-down economics hasn't worked since Hoover' (and should actually have used something like that first before Romney stole the 'trickle down' line and said 'government')."