Wednesday, October 03, 2012

A Rather Ho-Hum Debate For Me

I was somewhat disappointed by tonight's first presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney simply because there were no real memorable moments in the debate, and it's frighteningly clear that neither candidate is willing to offer straight talk to the American people about the fiscal cliff we are facing as a country and what few choices we have to avoid a complete financial meltdown--even worse than we've already witnessed the past four years. The debate, moderated by PBS' Jim Lehrer, who looks like he needs to retire, focused entirely on the economy and domestic issues. Both candidates were obviously well-rehearsed with their scripted answers. Romney seemed much more excited about participating in the debate than Obama, who looked like he would have rather been almost anywhere else than where he was. The only people who seem more disappointed in the candidates' performance tonight than me was the liberal talking heads, who were practically foaming at the mouth at how disappointed they were in Obama's performance, convinced that Romney had out slicked The One. I thought MSNBC's Ed Schultz's head was going to explode with anger as he essentially accused Obama of deliberately throwing the debate. Obama had no good lines. Romney had a couple when he did a bit of word play with Obama's trickle down economics with a new, derisive term for Obama's big government solutions-- trickle down government. Romney's retort to Obama's claim that Romney would cut education was pretty good: "Mr. President, you're entitled to your own airplane, your own house, but not your own facts." As someone who believes education is the responsibility of the state and local governments, however, it's not reassuring to hear Romney say he won't cut federal education spending. Romney also had a great line about Obama's disastrous crony capitalism loans totalling nearly $100 billion to failed green industries like Solyndra--"You don't just pick winners and losers, you pick losers."

I thought Romney missed a big opportunity to hit Obama when Obama defended Dodd-Frank financial regulations as necessary because banks had gotten careless about making loans to people who probably weren't credit worthy. Astonishingly, Romney failed to remind people that it was Obama who played a key role in creating the breach in the financial flood wall back in the 1990s with his landmark lawsuit against Citibank to force banks to provide mortgage loans to people who lacked credit and who pushed Congress to enact the Community Reinvestment Act, which is what actually resulted in so many bad loans being made by banks to people without any credit. The Bush administration tried desperately to force Democrats in Congress to tighten restrictions but got nowhere, facing opposition particularly from Sen. Chris Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank. I couldn't believe that Romney missed the opportunity to zing Obama on that one, particularly since he likes laying the blame for the financial meltdown brought on by the mortgage meltdown largely at President Bush's doorstep. Nonetheless, Romney's strong grasp of the issues tonight compared to the tired and worn look of Obama probably creates a net plus for him as the non-incumbent in the race, which is quite a contrast from what we saw in the debates four years ago between Sen. John McCain and Obama, when Obama easily outshined McCain.

UPDATE: A CNN snap poll after tonight's debate found that 67% thought Romney won compared to 25% who thought Obama won, which is quite remarkable. David Axelrod tells CNN that this was entirely expected. Yeah, right.

1 comment:

M Theory said...

I didn't waste my time watching, as it is not a fair playing field because the debates do not include all the candidates running for POTUS.

A couple of my Obama supporting friends said they felt like both the candidates are liars, yet are not planning to pull support for Obama.

I am planning to go to a reception tonight for Libertarian POTUS candidate Gary Johnson who will be in Indianapolis.

Details about the reception can be found at

It looks like many Ron Paul supporters are defecting from the GOP to support Johnson.

I genuinely believe Johnson to be the best candidate, even though he is not permitted in the debates.