The Second presidential debate has ended and each side has declared their candidate the victor!!!!
I call it a draw and I think the loser of the night was civility and here is why.
President Obama would come out of his corner with fight from the very start, in an effort to mitigate the self-inflicted damage resulting in a seismic shift in national polls.
His objective was to deliver a seminal performance that would win on all marks; including substance and style, while still maintaining his likability. In the other corner, Mitt Romney, who had been undergoing intense debate prep. had his fight strategy: simply make the case he will improve the economy and create more jobs than his opponent has. “The middle class is getting crushed by the policies of a president who does not understand what it takes to get the economy working again,” Mr. Romney would say in one exchange.
Obama pounced on Romney each time he sniffed an opportunity to accuse him of making up facts The level of tension was at it’s highest during a heated exchange on energy production. The two candidates appeared to square up against each other violating each other’s personal space
When responding to a question posed to President Obama from a voter who supported him in the last election but expressed he was “not as optimistic” as he was four years ago, Romney landed some tough blows by reminding viewers “He said by now we would have unemployment at 5.4 percent, but we are 7.8 percent. If you do the math, the difference equals out to nine million Americans…. He says he has created five million jobs, but only after losing 5 million jobs. There were 32 million Americans in food stamps when he took office, now there is 47 million.”
On and on, Romney listed other examples of failed promises and woeful economic results to make his point. Romney landed devastating kidney punches to the gut, upper cuts to the glass jaw President Obama didn’t know he had, and finished the flurry with pounding haymakers to the face.
All President Obama could volley back at him were defensive jabs that came by way of charges that Romney was deliberately distorting his record, but the president offered no new plans or strategies to reverse the dismal economic reality other than the threaten he desires to raise taxes on those earning more than $250 thousand.
Candidates sparred over other issues that had gone unaddressed in the previous debate such as energy, Libya and women’s issues. A particular policy exchange of note was on the matter of immigration reform. Prefacing his comments by stating “first of all this is a nation of immigrants, we welcome immigrants” Romney did much to dispel the hardline the Obama campaign had straddled him with.
It was a prizefight for the ages that certainly gave the people their money’s worth. It was confrontational, cringe worthy and even petty at times. There was fast action, hostile and heated repartees, and there was even an inappropriate intervention by the “moderator” on a question dealing with Libya. In the final count, while it appeared that Mr. Obama’s performance was clearly more animated and lively, his fight was defensive – throwing shots at Romney and rattling off excuses for four bad years of economic results. The president barely offered any solutions and plans to the American voter on how exactly he would improve the economy other than to point to the same tired and ineffectual policies.
And while Romney did not score style points either by readily engaging in testy exchanges throughout the night. Mr. Romney made it patently clear there was only one protagonist in last night’s death match who understood that this election will be judged primarily on who offers real and concrete plans to increase jobs, growth and prosperity.