Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The First Round – Debate in Colorado – Mitt Romney vs. President Obama – Bring on the Popcorn or - Not

The first debate between GOP Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney and Incumbent President Barack Obama will be held tonight in Colorado. The media offers this primer: “Five things to watch at First Debate”: A Q&A of sorts from Politico via NJ.com The list in this article includes: “Can Romney win the first half-hour?”, “How hard will Obama attack?”, “How do "47 percent" and Libya play?”, “Who brings up Bill Clinton?” and finally: “Is Obama ready for prime-time?”.

On the first question posed, suggests Mitt Romney must not be overly aggressive for fear of appearing to attack the President. In reviewing all previous GOP primary debates, of which there were, one might think, too many, Romney never seemed to attack at all. His style is one where he weighs a statement, then answers – all without fiery rhetoric, but more to the point. A debate can be won or lost at anytime in the process. One memorable comment in the last 10 minutes may set the course not only for the debate win, but for the balance of the election. The second question is answered by the fifth, following the logic of the 5th questions response that the President may be a little Rusty, (which one cannot fathom, given multiple appearance and a continual debate with Congress and the campaign stump (which to this mind is a debate prep it itself that goes towards both men), would make one believe that the President is incapable of a debate attack. Perhaps the article is referring to the 2008 DNC debates between Hillary Clinton and the Senator Barack Obama. Clinton appeared to be the fire-brand, while Obama more “laid back”. On the “47 percent political strategy of Mitt Romney’s, and Obama’s foreign policy fiasco in Libya”, one can hardly compare the two, and to do so, show’s a great disconnect, between what one might consider a “gaffe”. In the case of Romney’s “47%” remark, he was speaking to a group regarding political strategy – which demographic he would focus on (the Independents), it is much ado about nothing more than a sound bite used by the Obama campaign in order to sway the electorate – (a fair play in political terms). As far as having full knowledge of an impending attack on U.S. interest, weeks before they occurred, and then blaming that attack on the outrage against America in the entire Middle East, for weeks after the world was aware that these attacks were pre-planned by Al Queda is, simply put foreign policy negligence. When the buck stops here, regardless of who dropped the ball in the administration, the narrative of the “movie” at fault, should have been dropped immediately. It is the press comparing apples to oranges, not that a great percentage of the population even is aware of either occurrence, due to lack of interest in watching news. The question of who brings up Bill Clinton first – does it matter? It depends, but one might guess not overly much. The focus will be on the way which both men handle themselves on the stage and the content and delivery of their answers and rebuttals.

The question hat is not asked: How hostile will the moderator be towards one candidate over another? Regardless of what plays out live during the debate, what small segment with opinion by the media will be shown on the evening news cast? Will anyone but a slim majority of the voters actually watch or will it be those who are interested in politics and have no access to alterative programming that will view the first of three debates?

The debate between Incumbent President Jimmy Carter and then Governor Ronald Reagan may have been a factor in Reagan’s sweeping victory in 1980 however,it was considered a victory over job approval in the end game, even though the polls were tied. Reference: Reagan Win Bigger than Prediction from The Evening Independent, November 5, 180. One has to understand that in 1980, there were millions more viewers of the only three available networks, and no alternative stations – viewership of 25 million per network was the rule not the exception. Now, those are entertainment numbers, with major news outlets vying against cable and other sources, including other non-news networks.

In winning the debate, one must not duck a question, answer straight forward, and throw in a zinger (for lightening the mood) and compare and contrast. Calling out one’s opponent for embellishing the truth is also not out of bounds, and worth points. This is criteria, of course, is personal, however, to win over this independent conservative, one must be able to offer more than pat answers, or party lines and deliver policy with conviction and honesty. One might not always agree with the individual standing at the podium, but if the candidate scores on well (by following) the above criteria, then that will indeed be a win. It may or may not matter to those actually watching, one might get the impression that if one is watching this debate, one has already settled on a candidate, despite polls and debates and the media. (Refer to prior paragraph).

1 comment:

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