2nd Presidential Debate Review
October 17, 2012 Leave a comment
Last night we got to witness yet another in a long like of fake townhall debates, this one hosted by Carnie Wilson look alike Candy Crowley. The questions ranged from acceptable to absolutely ridiculous. We’ve gotten to the point where “please tell us you’re not a Republican” is considered a good question for Mitt Romney. Both sides did what needed to be done last night. Obama appeared more aggressive and engaged which boosted his performance. Meanwhile Romney delivered an equal performance and hit Obama hard on the eeconomy. In other words, we have a tie.
We have to start with Candy Crowley, whose performance was nothing short of outrageous. She let Obama speak 4 more minutes than Romney. She cut Romney off consistantly, especially when he was obviously about to make a major point. She didn’t do the same to Obaam, thus the time difference. She decided to interject her viewpoint into the Benghazi discussion, siding with Obama when he claimed that the attack was a terrorist attack 0n day 1 in the Rose Garden. That simply isn’t true and the moderator had no business declaring that one candidate was right and the other was wrong. It isn’t the duty of the moderator to play fact checker, especially when her own facts are flat out wrong. None of this is surprising, it’s what happens when Republicans agree to debates moderated by people who call their ticket a train wreck.
As for Romney, he had a pretty decent night. He hammered the President on the economy, which according to CBS’ instant poll 64% believe he won the issue. He made several tactical mistakes though. On Benghazi he failed to mention how the President sent his UN ambassador on 5 talk shows to claim the attack was due to riots over a stupid You Tube video, thus politicizing the issue. He also failed to point out that if the President called it a terrorist attack on day 1, why did he tell the UN that the attack happened due to riots over the video? Romney could have won the issue, instead he lost it after becoming flustered by Crowley’s ridiculous Obama defense. That’s no excuse though, Romney should have been on the ball.
Romney also asked a series of questions of Obama, which he must think set the President up. It seems to me a huge mistake for Romney to ask questions of Obama on a regular basis because he’s just setting the President up to shine. Never ask a question for which you are not absolutely sure of the answer. Romney should have stuck to broad points and themes like he did in the first debate. Focusing on minutia loses the audience. That’s not to say he didn’t do a fine job, he was nearly as good as the first debate. Just a few tactical errors last night which cost him an outright victory.
As for Obama, he certainly came out more aggressive and energetic. He has one problem facing him though and that’s his own record. He talks as though he isn’t the sitting President, as though the last four years haven’t happened or are someone else’s fault. It’s why he lost overwhelmingly on the economy, he just isn’t believable on taxes, spending and economic issues. He isn’t even believable on equal pay for equal work, his own White House pays women less than men. Obama talks big about gender equity but if he can’t even have gender equity over that which he directly controls it just isn’t believable.
The last question of the night about summed up the two candidates. Some guy asked the candidates to tell him something about themselves that has been distorted or otherwise isn’t known about them. Romney launched into a defense of himself and his character while Obama spent his time attacking Romney. It became clear at that point, if it wasn’t already, that Romney is seeking the White House because he has a vision for the country and wants the country to share in that vision. Meanwhile Obama wants to be re-elected by default because Romney is scary and evil. I wonder whether undecided voters caught that at the end, did they even stay up to watch?
Last night’s debate was just like the VP debate, it was a good example of why people hate politics. The questions were dumb, the candidates looked ready to exchange blows at one or two points and there was a lot of finger pointing. The reason why the first debate was so much better than the last two is because the candidates were able to engage in an exchange of ideas that wasn’t limited to two minute memorized answers. They actually had a discussion. Last night they just pointed at each other and yelled. Obama didn’t win many voters last night, he may have stopped the bleeding but he didn’t win anything. Romney probably didn’t win anything either. The debate was a tie, what that means in swing states is up for its own debate.