Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2012 Presidential Debate – A Draw – Neither Candidate Moved the Bar - Both smacked down by Candy Crowley – Romney Points on Leadership – Obama More Aggressive

Mitt Romney Looked Directly at the President when making a point, however, the President appeared not to make direct eye contact with Romney at any point during the debate - see video below - Image the Las Vegas Sun

The second of three debates as held last night at Hofstra University in Long Island, Candy Crowley of CNN was the moderator - A poll, by CNN/ORC gave President Obama the nod by a margin of 46 to 39, among registered voters. Obama received points for being more aggressive, and a 7 point advantage on being more likable, while Romney held an 18 point advantage on the economy, “Other questions showed little daylight between the two candidates among debate watchers on some key characteristics. Romney had a 49%-46% edge on which candidate seemed to be the stronger leader and 45%-43% margin on who answered questions more directly, while Obama had a 44%-40% advantage on which man seemed to care more about the audience members who asked questions.”. The poll included 33% Democrat and 33% Republican, assuming that the balance were Independent voters, as that is not addressed in the CNN article. Of note, most post debate polls appear within ten minutes from the end of the debate, this particular poll took over a half hour to produce, giving one the impression that the pollster was hard pressed to find registered voters who were watching the debate.

Romney for his part, when answering a question and dishing up a pointed barb towards President Obama, consistently addressed the President directly – while the Obama, when taking shots at Mitt Romney, did not. Romney appeared more direct, and Presidential. There were several moments when Obama appealed directly to the moderator for help – while attempting to interrupt Mitt Romney, which may have gone Romney getting points for leadership. Additionally, Romney gave President Obama deference while he was speaking, waiting until he has completed his thoughts before attempting to rebut. That said, the style of the debate, gave no time for rebuttal, and Romney had plenty of items on the table to refute. The President, on his part, was more aggressive, and also played fast and loose with the truth. Romney’s alleged miss-speak was in noting that the President did not address the Libyan Embassy attack immediately, rather he was off campaigning. In fact, the President did, after speaking at length in the rose garden about the video, mention that acts of terror would not go unanswered. The manner in which the President vaguely mentioned terror would give Romney, as well as anyone watching transcripts of the Press Briefing, a bit of a pause. Candy Crowley, for her part, did as best she could to moderate, but appeared more deferential to the President. Crowley, but that may have been due to his consistent interruptions, and speaking over Crowley and appealing to her directly.

Regarding the Press Conference on September 12th, 2012, a video directly below from ABC News, the President spoke at length about the embassy staff, about working with the Libyan government to track down the “killers” of the embassy staff. This was followed by a statement on September 11th, and then that there was an attack in Libya, At the 6 minute mark, the President speaks about making sure that justice would be done, again referring to the “attackers”. The ABC clip below of the entire conference does not appear to show the President addressing the situation in Libya as a terrorist attack, rather that there were “attackers”. Apparently, Romney watched this version of the Press Conference.

ABC Video Press Conference Immediatly Following Embassy Attack

As to addressing women’s issues, again the President played fast and loose with the facts as they pertain to Governor Romany, and his own work for women. The Lilly Ledbetter Act does nothing to address enforcing the law enacted in 1963 by President John Kennedy, known as the Equal Pay Act. The problem with the Equal Pay Act is that it is ignored and more so by those employed in the government than in the private sector. Romney did indeed include more women in his administration than any other Governor had, nationwide. In addition, many of those in Romney’s cabinet were also Democrats. The fact that Romney worked tirelessly to balance a budget while facing down a state government that is 86% Democrat, was not noted. He also raised no taxes in four years, and although this Bay Stater may have resented fees put in place under Romney’s governance, the fact of the matter is that he accomplished everything and then some for Massachusetts, and never took a dime of salary.

When the President refers to Romney being against Contraceptives for women, he’s misleading, as Romney was against the Obama Administrations force of government over the Catholic Church, demanding that they not only supply contraceptives, but abortion as well to their staff. One might, if one reads the constitution, find that the President overstepped. The Catholic Church has brought suit against the Federal government.

Romney has a record upon which to stand in Massachustts as Governor, which lends to his overall leadership qualities, as opposed to the President, who appeared to forget that he had a majority rule for the first two years of hid administration, which led to the 2010 rejection of policies and historical leads by Republicans in the Congress. In that time, the President could have addressed Immigration, and a host of issues, but he did not.

If one were scoring the debate on opening, closing and point on point questions and answers, Romney would take the debate hands down, it is called a tie by this blog, merely because the President was, as indicated by all news outlets, at the least more awake and at the most, more aggressive. However, it comes down to a matter of trust as to who is best equipped to represent the United States. That goes to Romney, as he is forthright, direct and confident. He did not stumble when addressing audience members by name, ensuring that he was correctly pronouncing their names as he address individuals. What was evident was that Romney was irritated with the President, who on the flip side, appeared angry whenever Romney made a point that was irrefutable.

What will tell the tale in the end will be the release of final viewership for this second of three debates. The first debate drew one of the largest audiences, surpassing the 2008 debates, while the VP debate drew half the audience as the 2008 debate. The fact that CNN lagged in finding viewers to poll, also suggests people were not tuning in, perhaps watching TLC or another cable network, rather than the Debate. One might find that viewership for the second debate has declined. Those numbers will be out between today and Friday. It is also follows that most of the debate watchers both Republican and Democrat along with the Independents have already made their decisions as for to whom they will cast their vote. This may also be the reason that the Democrats appear to be in a bit of a panic and required a more “aggressive’ but not necessarily strong performance by the DNC party head, President Obama. Unfortunately he came across, once again, on screen, as arrogant and slightly petulant, especially is asking the moderator for “help”.

It was a contentious debate, which made it more interesting for those heavily vested in the political arena, however, for those who were not, one suspects the channel was changed after the first two series of questions. Neither candidate, from this point of view, performed up to par, Romney, true to character, deferred to both the Moderator as well as the President and let many a false charge go unanswered, perhaps being the more diplomatic of the two, and appeared to have to constrain himself from being overly aggressive at times.

The President’s performance can best be summed up by a quote from the Vice Presidential Debate: Joe Biden: “Who do you trust?”, from this point of view, although answering the questions at length, and aggressively, sometimes stumbling over his words, the President appeared to be trying to sell the audience a bill of goods.

Best Quote: Obama “When I was President”

The debate in its entirety courtesy of the New York Times

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