Last Presidential Debate

Thank goodness.

Yeah, I know; I don't have to watch. And I actually didn't start watching until 9:30. A National Election at this point enters the realm of everyone simply waiting for a train wreck. There really isn't much more that can be "revealed" through a debate. And I don't much like waiting around for people to mess up.

I'm watching CNN despite the Daily Show's extremely astute and hilarious comments on the pointlessness of the "analysts" ("Ryan looks annoyed. You need a face analyst to tell you that he looks annoyed?!")

Obama is doing much better. But it makes me wonder, Where was he in the first debate?

Romney is holding his own. And so far, he is doing a good job coming back to his main points. Obama is much more on the attack. It's hard not to read petulance into his behavior. Both Romney and Obama's bases like their candidates to get aggressive, but the bases will vote for their candidates anyway. Middle voters don't find aggressiveness as attractive.

An Israel question--I've mentioned that I'm a hawk. I'm also pro-Israel. As far as I'm concerned, the United States would be a fool to back anyone in the Middle East except Israel.

Obama spun the question towards Iran. So did Romney. I guess that is what the question was really getting at. But it underscores my point. By this point in the election, the candidates are simply giving mini-speeches: "Oh, you mentioned chocolate. That reminds me of my position on the military."

The moderator isn't as interesting as Martha Raddatz.

Obama keeps saying, "That's not true." And he keeps needling Romney. I don't like this. I decided at the beginning of this year that Obama was not the gentleman I thought he was. And nothing has happened yet this election season to change my mind.

Romney is doing a good job saying, "This is what I did/will do." He does have a better track record than Obama.

But then, Romney did just refer to Obama's international tours as "apology tours," which is a fairly sharp needle.

"Nothing Governor Romney said is not true. Every fact checker said . . . "

I greatly dislike this type of generalized ad populum attack. It makes Obama sound less credible to me.

Especially since, instead of responding to Romney's criticism of his performance as president (skipping Israel), Obama is using a trip he made before he was in office. It is actually a smart response. But man, is anyone noticing that the president completely avoided Romney's main point?

Obama claims, "[The American people] can look at my track record." Uh. He seems to be using the "if I say it enough times, it must be true" approach. This approach can be effective, but it makes the skin crawl. Romney, at least, is trying to use specifics.

Obama keeps avoiding the issues by attacking Romney: "You've been all over the map." From the point of view of pure efficiency, this is not a bad approach. But I despise it.

It is one thing to say, "You are wrong and here's why." It is another to say, "I'm not going to talk about how to make the United States look strong in the eyes in the world; I'm going to mock the other guy instead and talk about how much people don't like him."

It also has a forced feel. I feel like Obama's advisers said, "Every time Romney stumps you, just attack him as wishy-washy." Obama's statement, "Everything you said isn't true" came after he went, "Uhhhh."

Obama is taking more time. Romney asked for an opportunity to catch up and was turned down. He took it like a gentleman!

Romney is doing a good job praising the administration when he agrees with things Obama has done. See, this is how a gentleman acts. 

Obama just made a point by saying, "This nation, ME . . . uh, this administration did accomplish . . . "

I dunno Obama. I think the ME was more honest.

Let's talk about China! Obama played the "keep jobs at home" card. Hey, I know what it is like to lose a job because I'm not willing to edit material for $1/hr (seriously). But I still think open borders is the future of the world. So call me Star Trek. But I don't see any real alternative.

Obama is "playing" quips. I know this sounds biased. But that's how his little digs at Romney sound. They are quite different from "I knew Jack Kennedy, and Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy," which was swift, cruel, and apropos. Obama's "quips" sound fed ("hey, Obama, make sure you get in that nasty crack!").

It's childish.

Romney has finally discussed the idea of "managed bankruptcy"! Good for him. I personally think that companies that are doing badly should not be "rescued" by the government. It is not the government's job to invest in privately owned companies. Like it or not, the United States is not a socialist state. Capitalism can work--not flawlessly but reasonably well--if it is allowed to work intelligently. Governments getting in bed with big business does not help capitalism work intelligently.

Obama kept interrupting Romney during Romney's time. Obama is taking more time. Have I mentioned the inability of Obama et al. to let other people talk (and think) for themselves?

They did end with only a 30 second difference (Obama took the extra 30 seconds).

Closing arguments: Obama did make me chuckle with "you've now heard way too many television commercials." Romney also laughed.

And . . . Obama is playing the populist argument. Oh, he has a plan! To bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States. Blah, blah, blah. I just don't think that's the future. 

Romney is going to make the future better. Everyone is going to make the future better. Romney promises he can work across the aisle. I actually believe he can more than Obama. But that's because I believe that Romney is ultimately a kindly man who listens. I think Obama is a nice man who doesn't listen.

It was a better debate (overall) than the first debate! I thought Romney came across as much more stately than Obama, but Obama did (barely) hold his own. They ended on a much more civil note.The Obama Family did a better job mingling with the Romney Family. Interestingly enough, I think the one time Obama broke stride in his little digs was when Romney said nice things about him. I do think that Obama is a good man at heart.

But Romney has the strength of believing that he can "learn" the office. And I believe he can. 


Mike Cherniske said...

I missed the debate, but read the full transcript, and watched some clips.

I think at this point in the election, it's becoming harder and harder watch these debates from a neutral point of view.

For example, as I lean the opposite way than you, I found the opposite candidate offensive. After reading your posts, it helps me realize that I am no longer unbiased.

At this point, we all like who we like, and our reaction to the other candidate is shaded by that.

I can say, it's going to be an interesting election.

Kate Woodbury said...

At this point, we all like who we like, and our reaction to the other candidate is shaded by that.

That is so true! I think that's one reason it gets harder to watch anything political as Election Day looms. I know that I find Romney easier to take than Obama (and I just like Ryan). But really, the most important thing in my life right now is making sure my youngest cat doesn't have to go back to the vet's!

And no candidate is promising to pass some "PAY FOR ANIMAL CATHETERS" bill, so the only thing political events do is remind me that on November 6th, 1/2 the country is going to be very, very unhappy.

I do believe that no matter who gets elected, we will all survive. I'm not one of those who thinks the world will come to a screeching halt, the sky will fall, the sun will go dark, and the seas will spit up blood. I'll still go to work November 7th. I'll still go home and watch . . . well, lately, Person of Interest afterwards.

Mike Cherniske said...

I'm definitely in an interesting spot, living here in Idaho, because there's really no question who the state will vote for. The same party has won the last 12 elections, and I have no doubt it will happen again this year. As I lean opposite of the majority here, I face two undesirable situations: Either the candidate I like wins, and I get to hear 4 more years of complaints from the people I interact with, or Idaho's preferred candidate wins,giving me a break from hearing complaints, but making me spend four years keeping my opinions to myself.

For me, it's kind of a lose-lose situation, especially when my only real political belief is that the American people need to work together to get the country on the right track.