My Two Cents on the First 2012 Presidential Debate

“We know that the path we are taking is not working.  It’s time for a new path.” — Mitt Romney

(individual photos via Associated Press)

I admit it. I didn’t watch the debate on Wednesday. (I was busy reading/studying for my Oracle SQL class.) So, I had to wait until this weekend to watch the full 1.5 hours on YouTube. As thrilled as I am with Romney’s performance and with the apparent boost it has given him in the polls, I just didn’t feel particularly inspired to write. Not sure why. Maybe the excitement has already started to wear off a little. Nevertheless, I felt at least a brief commentary was due, so…

Romney was aggressive (but not harsh or overbearing), confident, well-prepared, and generally quite articulate. Obama wasn’t. Romney kept hammering the President with the inconvenient truths of the nation’s downhill slide in many areas under his watch and the additional chunks out of everyone’s wallets that Obamacare is bound to take. Obama either muttered “OK” or responded with “Oh, yeah! Well, you did Romneycare and you want to cut 5 trillion dollars in taxes without paying for it!” (Or something like that.) The Governor explained why Romneycare was valid and Obamacare is not. He also denied the 5 trillion dollar charge, which the President couldn’t prove, and explained what his real approach will be for reducing spending, overhauling the tax code, and reducing the deficit. Romney showed that he understood the plight Americans face and that he has substantive plans to fix it based on proven, conservative principles. Obama promises more of the same failed, “progressive” agenda. Romney also connected with the audience — or, at least, his Republican base and a whole lot of independents and undecideds. Obama was his usual, distant self, with vague platitudes of support for the middle-class and small businesses, often in opposition to his actual record.

Obama didn’t want to be there. (It was his wedding anniversary, so I don’t blame him.)

Obama probably thought he shouldn’t have to be there. (He’s the Obamassiah, after all. Haven’t you been listening?)

Obama likely wasn’t used to having anyone else set the agenda. (Not that that stopped either debater.)

Obama wasn’t used to not being able to blather on with empty promises and truth-twisting without being called on it. (As Romney pointed out, you can’t have your own facts, dude!)

And, Obama was probably quite uncomfortable without the security blanket known as TOTUS. (Not totally lost, like some commentators have stated or implied, but he definitely seemed less sure of himself. And his final 2 minute statement was pathetic.)

Romney, on the other hand, appeared rather comfortable, enthusiastic, and in his element. Well done!

Oh, and Lehrer was practically a waste of space, as both candidates rolled right over him. On second thought, I take that back. He did get the audience’s pre-debate agreement to keep quiet; and the questions posed to the debaters were substantive. Still, there’s gotta be a better format and a moderator who would command enough respect from both candidates for them to stick to the rules. Too bad Abe Lincoln’s not around.

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