Wednesday, October 17, 2012


AP photo/Charlie Neibergall
        President Obama was himself tonight. He was forceful, factual, articulate, confident, and above all presidential in his bearing.
        Governor Romney seemed to get more and more uncomfortable and desperate as the debate proceeded.  He said almost exactly the same things he said in the first debate, again short on facts and substance. He must have known that President Obama would not sit idly by and not question his statements, yet he seemed totally unprepared to deal with President’s pointed objections.
        It was almost ludicrous to hear the Republican spin doctors try to argue that their candidate had won the debate. Romney’s expression was anything but confident. His usual tactic of responding to a question by attacking his opponent was obviously not working tonight, and the Governor was clearly on the defensive, while the President was cool, calm, and collected.
        Tonight’s debate was a totally different scenario. The President had many strong moments, but he was especially good in summarizing his accomplishments, and I liked the way he pointed out the differences between Romney and George W. Bush, after Romney had fielded the same question from the moderator.

      It was to be expected that Mr. Romney would criticize the President regarding the attack on the Benghazi consulate in which four Americans were killed, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, but Mr. Obama clearly won on that issue, from my point of view. He spoke as President and Commander in Chief in faulting the Republican candidate for politicizing the incident prematurely and inappropriately, and telling him to his face that his remarks were offensive.
        The President’s answer to the very last question was also particularly effective, when he seized the opportunity to remind the audience of Mitt Romney’s denigrating remarks about the 47% of Americans who, he said, pay no taxes and refuse to take responsibility for their own lives. That could have been the knockout blow for Mitt with many viewers.
        Yet President Obama could not be faulted for bullying his opponent. His demeanor was pleasant for the most part, although he did not mask his disagreement with Romney’s remarks.  He used a stiletto not a battle axe to expose the “real” Mitt Romney, whose flip-flops and inconsistencies should have been apparent to any of those supposedly undecided voters in the audience, if thev had been following the Romney campaign.
        We’ll see how it all plays out in the polls.

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