Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My assessment of the debate last night

Obama was aggressive, but he was also condescending, childish and dishonest. He was point blank incorrect in his understanding of Romney's position on the auto bailout, he fails to understand that bayonets (and horses) are still used in the military, and ships are not out of date anyway, Obama also misrepresented his own desire to achieve a Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq. He claimed to want one, but he also said he did not want to leave any forces in Iraq. In the end he failed to achieve a SOFA, and thus there are no troops in Iraq, but he did want one, and he failed. Based on what he said in the debate last night, it didn't seem that Obama even understood what a Status of Forces Agreement is.

Romney was presidential and above the fray. Obama attacked, but failed to trip Romney up. Romney did very well in exposing Obama's failures regarding Israel and the Obama Apology Tour. As always, when the debate turned to the economy, Romney was far stronger than Obama. I wish Romney would have been more forceful in going after the failure and dishonesty of the Obama administration regarding Benghazi, but I suspect that was strategy. Congress and the media are now exposing the Benghazi cover-up, so Romney does not need to get his hands dirty and politicize the issue.

In the end, I believe that Romney is by far the superior candidate, and will make an excellent president. My primary issue for this election is the economy and jobs. Even though I think foreign policy is very important, I know that we cannot be strong abroad when we are weak at home. Romney is much more qualified to strengthen us at home, and by extension strengthen us abroad.


Anonymous said...

Oh that "battleship" line, what a knee-slapper; yuk yuk... Cue the laugh track. Maybe Obama can become Letterman's Ed McMahon after he is fired as President.

BOSMAN said...

I thought Romney was doing a rope-a-dope with Obama.

Obama came figuring Romney would attack all night. You could see the frustration in his eyes when Romney was calm, cool, and collected.

When Obama would start to relax, ROMNEY ATTACKED. He did this ALL NIGHT.

I thought he won this hands down just on strategy.

Anonymous said...

Dittos on Romney's strategy. I must admit I wanted him to go for the jugular many times in the first half--it was so deserved. I wanted him to de-bone Obama on the lack of security in Libya and the ignominious cover-up engineered (badly) by O's inner circle.

But Romney didn't fall into that trap. Obama had a canned answer for everything. He would have excoriated Mitt for every syllable of criticism on the Libya assassinations, charging Romney (as O and Biden have already done) with naively politicizing American deaths. Why invite that misleading blast in front of an audience of millions? The media would cover for O. Besides, the cat is out of the bag on Libya. A GOP Congress will ensure that the truth gets out (though probably not before the election).

The one non-political point I'd make is that the static format of the third debate was HORRIBLE. Sitting down for 90 minutes to discuss a subject that most voters don't follow in any detail was a recipe for a large tune-out factor. I don't know if that occurred.

If so, that's too bad. Mitt was on fire in the second half. "Apology tour answer," A+. China "currency manipulator," A+. Latin American trading boom (as big as China), A+. Every sentence Mitt uttered about the economy, A+++. Closing argument: Presidential, optimistic, confident, encouraging.

I think we may have just seen our next President, folks.

Machtyn said...

The tune-out did occur. But that's because we had Monday Night Football and Game 7 AL... whatever baseball.

newark hawk said...

Romney was playing it safe - playing not to lose - in last night's debate, probably because internal polls show he has a commanding lead entering the final 2 weeks of the campaign.

The Benghazi debacle seemed to be a hanging curve just waiting to be hit out of the park, but Romney didn't bite.

Why, I can only guess, but here goes:

- Romney didn't want to alienate swing voters by being too hard on Obama.

- Romney didn't want to distract voters from the number one issue in the campaign, the economy.

- Romney didn't want to sound too bellicose - like a warmonger - regarding Al Qaeda's resurgence in Benghazi, because he knows that voters are extremely war-weary.

- Romney didn't want to shine a spotlight on Al Qaeda's resurgence in Benghazi because this could SEVERELY BACKFIRE if Obama launches a successful military strike against the terrorists who murdered Ambassador Stevens and his 3 colleagues. "Let sleeping dogs lie", as the old saying goes.

Personally, I believe that in debates and other competitive events, the best defense is a good offense.

But if Team Romney believes otherwise in this particular case, I can see where they're coming from, and I certainly hope they're right.

Slick-Willy said...

Obama was more aggressive, frustrated and angry. Romney was more passive and presidential.

There is no denying that Obama landed some good blows, primarily the line about horses and bayonets. However, he followed it up with high sarcasm describing carriers and subs, which made him look petty.

Also, O's closing statement was a complete snooze that lacked soul or substance. Mitt's was heartfelt and offered a clear path out of our current mess.

Overall, I think O won the debate point battle by some standards, but Romney looked like the superior leader from beginning to end. I predict this debate's reaction will be similar to the second--a slight nudge in Romney's direction.

Machtyn said...

Actually, the horses and bayonets came across as unpresidential. And, considering that he was wrong about that, will come back to bite him.

newark hawk: I think there is one more potential reason. Mitt knew that Obama had practiced responses for Benghazi. Lines that Obama probably felt were really good zingers and that would have been accusatory of Mitt politicizing the event, etc, etc. Romney didn't give him that chance. That may be part of the reason why Obama was getting so upset, frustrated and angry. He never had a chance to use many of his zingers.

leighrow said...

Machtyn-I completely agree with you on why Romney didn't take the bait from Scheiffer on Libya. Obama was probably working all weekend with his advisers to create a response for Libya that would backfire on Romney. I wouldn't have been surprised if old Schieffer would have helped them along. I think Obama was bumming big time when Romney did not take the Libya bait. The media and the Obama campaign would have framed Romney as the opportunistic politician.

newark hawk said...

@ Machtyn

No doubt, if Romney attacked Obama on Benghazi, Obama would have feigned moral outrage about Romney "politicizing the deaths of 4 Americans".

But Romney could have replied: "With all due respect, Mr. President, this isn't about politics, this is about the safety and security of our embassy personnel, not only in Benghazi, but all around the world. Upcoming election or not, the buck stops with the Commander-in-Chief."

Nonetheless, I think Romney handled it well, considering the fact that Obama may very well order a military strike in Benghazi between now & November 6th.

Given its timing, such a strike would reek of political opportunism by Obama, and many voters would resent it.

But if during the debate, Romney had shined a spotlight on the murder of Ambassador Stevens, and Al Qaeda's role in that event, voters would be much more approving of a U.S. military response, even if it occurred right before election day.

That, IMHO, is why Romney did not make an issue of the Benghazi debacle during the final debate.

MrX said...

I heard that Obama wanted to announce a plan he had for the situation in Lybia. So Romney wanted to avoid this. Also, a sitting President will always have more information and Romney's not one to gamble with unknowns like that.

Really, he had four objectives.

1. Look Presidential for the job of CnC.
2. Not appear to be a warmonger.
3. Score points with Ohio and the economy.
4. Not let Obama get any kind of game changer.

Romney did exactly what he planned to do. This is also why he didn't go after Obama on Lybia. Too much risk of a backfire.

Slick-Willy said...

Machtyn -

I disagree. I think the horses/bayonets line worked well. It effectively countered the attack that Obama's policies were hurting our military and by itself could have worked. Unfortunately for Obama, he mockingly added the carrier/subs line to it. As a result, the first piece (effective) got tied permanently to the second piece, which was incredibly juvenile. He effectively turned what would have been a great line into a damaging moment.