Thursday, October 4, 2012

Post-Debate Thoughts

Due to a random error in Time Warner Cable's software, DVR boxes across the city are simply 'forgetting' to record shows that have been set to record.  Nice.  After a month of abysmal service and 'signal' problems with TWC, we've had enough.  The U-Verse people are coming for an install next week.

Unfortunately, that means I wasn't able to watch the debate as I had planned.  I did catch about the last half of it on a C-Span online re-broadcast, but I confess to feeling pretty ripped off about the whole thing.  I'll offer up a few of my own thoughts, and probably post some more commentary from the professionals over the next few days.

I've never been a big fan of Mitt Romney.  I thought that Romneycare was a HUGE stumbling block to his campaign, given the persistent urgency of the American people to repeal Obamacare (which was clearly modeled on Romneycare).  There's no doubting Romney's business acumen and credentials, but you'll never convince me he's a genuine conservative.  I'm still skeptical that he'll actually do what he's been promising if elected (though I'd love to be proven wrong on that).  Full disclosure: for me, this entire election boils down to turning out Barack Obama and as many Democrats as possible (for reasons I'll get into in depth before the election but not right now), and I'd vote for a tree stump if that was my only option.  Whoever the Republican nominee was* had my vote no matter what, but I'd rather vote for someone because I actually believe in him than simply against someone because I don't.

The part of the debate that I saw tonight made me think -- for the first time EVER -- that Mitt Romney just might be someone I can vote for.  I think he was on top of his game.  He spoke with clarity, with confidence, and poise.  He seemed genuine, and he seemed enthusiastic, especially about America and the American people.  He didn't strike me at all as a disconnected rich white guy, but rather someone who knew who he was, knew what needed to be done, and had a plan to get it done.  He held his head high while Obama spoke, and he refrained from head-shaking or displays of displeasure.  Most importantly, he said what I wanted him to say on most issues.  It infuriates me when Republicans choose the cowardly route and refuse to call a spade a spade, and there has been far too much of that especially in the past few years.  I don't think Romney did that (much) tonight.  He tied the current difficulties to the current President as a result of current policies, he pointed out the true statistics that normal people (not political junkies like myself) probably haven't heard before, and he made sense.  He respectfully made it clear that the root problem was standing on the stage opposite him, and that things needed to change.

Barack Obama did none of these things.  When he wasn't speaking, his head was down all the time.  He spoke with assertiveness but no confidence, as if by repeating the same lines his government and campaign have relied upon thus far just one more time, they might actually come true.  The few times he praised the private sector or the positive tendencies of the American people, it seemed forced rather than genuine.  He tried several interjections or quips that -- without exception -- fell flat.  He looked lost without his Teleprompter.  He was clearly on the defensive, and he seemed utterly unprepared.

The only legitimate points I thought Obama scored were in regard to the lack of details in some of Romney's proposals.  I've heard that from other places, and I think it's a fair criticism.  The devil is, as they say, in the details.  Obamacare is proof positive of that.  However, on balance, the portion of the debate that I saw was clearly controlled by Romney, who repeatedly landed graceful but forceful verbal body blows.  I'm sure that liberal pundits will still call this one for Obama, or maybe offer a grudging 'draw' verdict, but I think that this was a fantastic first debate for Romney.  Let's hope he can not only build some momentum on this performance, but repeat it two more times.

PS - I cannot express how much I'm looking forward to the debate between Paul Ryan and Joe Biden.  That will absolutely be pop-the-popcorn must-see viewing.

* Except for Ron Paul. If he had been the nominee, I think I would have simply given up on politics altogether, as well as any hope for the future of America.  I might be booking tickets for Australia by now...

No comments:

Post a Comment