Exactly one week before the first 2012 presidential debate, Mitt Romney was interrupted by boos and chants as he was attempting to speak in Westerville, Ohio.

Considering this, I would be overconfident if I was the leader of the free world and my opponent was receiving this kind of treatment in the most important battleground state for any Republican seeking the presidency.

You know what, I might even be overconfident enough to lose a game-changing debate.

Of course this is no excuse. Obama lost the first debate in the 2012 presidential race and he seems to have lost it by a lot. But how much does his loss really matter in terms of being re-elected?

Mr. Romney has made obvious progress, receiving a bump in his previously trailing polls since Oct. 3, closing the gap in Obama’s meager lead. Historically speaking, however, Obama’s loss was not actually abnormal. In the nation’s entire history of televised presidential debate, only one incumbent president has won the first round of debates. Apparently having a job and being the current president of the United States can be a real distraction.

Factor in that your opponent is unemployed and has almost as much free time as he has money, and you end up with a disappointing night like Oct. 3.

But I am in no way trying to justify the president’s bad night. Because here’s the thing: when it comes to this presidential race — taken as a whole — I don’t have to.

Remember the Republican National Convention (RNC)? Remember who the Republican party asked you to vote for?

Believe it or not, that guy hasn’t changed much.

At the RNC in Tampa, Florida, Romney stood before his audience of constituents with four words etched into the background of his stage and onto the foreground of his platform.

“We believe in America,” his campaign trumpeted to a zealous crowd of ardent, right-wing patriots.

Now, if this is the platform you are running on and if you, as a candidate, believe that messages like this are what separates you from everyone else, do the rest of us not believe in America? Or do we just not believe in the specific brand of America one man envisions?

If you don’t plan on voting for Romney, an answer to either question leads to a rather disparaging answer.

Disregarding the overt insult Romney’s campaign decided to impose on all Americans not subscribing to the Romney/Ryan doctrine, there is something very important about Romney’s message — it makes no sense whatsoever.

When Mother Jones released the now-infamous “secret video” capturing Romney denigrate hard-working citizens who would supposedly not vote for him because of their indolence, this contradiction blew up.

But the 47 percent comment is old news. What isn’t old news is how a man running for president can reconcile his proclaimed belief in this country with an explicit disbelief in a big chunk of its population.

The point Romney is really missing is that his own particular beliefs and views are not what constitute the whole of this nation.

It is not possible to believe in this country if you do not believe in its Democrats, its Republicans, its Independents, and all the rest that call it home — these are what make up America. It is not possible to believe in any nation if you only believe in one faction of its people and you work exclusively to promote the interests of that one faction because you think all the rest are inferior.

So when Romney tells me that he believes in America, I reply to him, “No sir, you don’t believe in America. You believe in the Republican party. And the Republican party is not America.”

President Obama lost the first debate. But his biggest advantage is the same one that he’s had for some time. That is, the Republican nominee for the president of the United States of America is Mitt Romney.