How Did Obama and Romney Do In The Debate?
Game on! The debate raged for 90 minutes and President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney came to battle with one another.
But, how did they do? Who was the most effective and who came up short? Here's my view:
From the top of the debate, it was clear that the President still had his campaign talking points in place and wanted to accuse Governor Romney of things that he disputed repeatedly. He came out and created a straw man and then did battle with it, while a clearly amused Governor Romney looked on. The problem that the President faced as he continued his assault on Mitt Romney was that Mr. Romney had repeatedly debunked what the President was saying.
The President also seemed to have trouble reading a clock. He continued to think that this was a campaign speech. When Jim Lehrer tried to reign him in, he looked like he didn't care and continued to blow through the limits. Mitt Romney tended to blow through limits too, but most of that was in response to a group of things that the President claimed about Governor Romney.
For Governor Romney, he came across as a man that is prepared to be President of the United States. He talked about what he plans to do to bring revenue in and cut spending for the government. He also managed to get talking point after talking point across that showed the President as weak on jobs and the economy. He got the point about unemployment across in clear fashion and the President really had no answer.
Mitt Romney had a little trouble with some of the questions about getting into specifics. While I understand that he is saying that he wants to work with people on both sides of the aisle, he didn't get that across clearly in the plans he has. He has a vision and that is good, but the President was correct when he said that you have to have a plan to start with when you come with an idea.
Jim Lehrer has clearly come to an end when it comes to managing these debates. I thought four years ago that he lost control of the debate and he lost control of this one as well. He tried again and again to reign both men in and his efforts largely failed. His efforts did show that the President ignored his direction just a little more than Governor Romney did.
As to body language, Mitt Romney showed that he was confident and relaxed and made it clear that he was talking with the President and the American people. President Obama made it clear that he was having a conversation with Jim Lehrer, his podium and the camera. He never once looked at Mitt Romney during the debate and had trouble when Mr. Romney was making a point of looking like anything other than something like the Cheshire Cat.
The best line of the night had to be from Governor Romney when he said that the President was entitled to his own plane and car but not his own facts.
In the final analysis, Governor Romney did what he came to do and came out the winner of this debate. President Obama came off as fussy, angry and defensive. He also came off as being deeply in love with the sound of his own voice.