Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Mitt Romney Kicks Ass In First Presidential Debate Against Barack Obama; Obama Appeared Tired And Lacked Confidence

The first Presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama held on October 3rd, 2012 is now in the record books, and the consensus among many people is that Mitt Romney basically kicked Obama's ass. This comes on the heels of an appearance by Alaska's Congressional delegation at the state chamber of commerce meeting, where Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Congressman Don Young reiterated their support for Romney, while Sen. Mark Begich chose not to endorse either Romney or Obama. Don Young seems more enthusiastic about Paul Ryan than Mitt Romney, though.

Just found a video of the full debate:

They confronted each other at the University of Denver, standing on a stage with the texts of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence over their shoulders. Although cordial towards one another, from the beginning they sparred over their competing visions of government; should government lead their way, or get out of the way in order to heal the economy. Each candidate also repeatedly accused the other of promoting detrimental policies on such issues as taxes, spending, health care and business regulation. Alaska Dispatch noted that Romney twice referred to Arctic oil drilling. First, he mentioned that most new oil development under Obama's watch over the past four years has occurred on private land, adding that he'd make sure oil development happened in Alaska and the Arctic. Second, Romney said he supports clean coal technology; the lack of prior support for this technology helped kill a state-owned coal plant in Healy.

But perhaps the most interesting analysis of the debate was published by KSL Channel 5 in Salt Lake. First, this news video:

KSL graded the candidates in several specific areas, and for those concerned that Romney has been too passive, those concerns can be laid to rest. Romney clearly overwhelmed Obama in delivery and presentation:

-- Did the candidate answer the question? Obama "B", Romney "C+"
-- Were their statements based on fact? Obama and Romney both graded "B".
-- How was their delivery? Romney "A", Obama "C".
-- How did they present themselves? Romney "A", Obama "C".
-- Did they appear genuine? Romney and Obama both graded "A".
-- Who was the overall winner? Mitt Romney. Romney has more recent experience in the debates and seemed well prepared. President Obama did not bring his "A" game. Romney did what Republicans wanted him to do. Obama seemed tired, subdued, uncomfortable, and lacked confidence and enthusiasm.

Even Obama's supporters conceded that Obama was subpar. Gay blogger Andrew Sullivan, a notorious Trig-truther, wrote "Obama looked tired, even bored; he kept looking down; he had no crisp statements of passion or argument; he wasn't there. He was entirely defensive, which may have been the strategy. But it was the wrong strategy. At the wrong moment. The person with authority on that stage was Romney - offered it by one of the lamest moderators ever, and seized with relish. This was Romney the salesman. And my gut tells me he sold a few voters on a change tonight. It's beyond depressing. But it's true".

MSNBC's Chris "I Wish I Wasn't White" Matthews also criticized Obama's performance, writing "I don't know what he [Obama] was doing out there. He had his head down, he was enduring the debate rather than fighting it. Romney, on the other hand, came in with a campaign. He had a plan, he was going to dominate the time, he was going to be aggressive, he was going to push the moderator around, which he did effectively, he was going to relish the evening, enjoying it". Matthews also openly admitted that his network had their knives out, trying to defend Obama and his policies.

But the Washington Post lauded Romney as being energetic, but sounding more moderate than he does in campaign appearances. The Post characterized Romney as being well prepared and aggressive as he hammered the president, and noted that the contrast with Obama seemed striking as the president appeared less energetic even as he rebutted some of Romney’s toughest attacks. The candidates will debate again on October 16th in Hempstead, N.Y., and on October 22nd in Boca Raton, Fla. Vice President Joe Biden will debate Republican nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin on October 11th in Danville, Ky.

However, the Romney campaign cannot afford to rest on their principal's laurels. This is still the same Barack Obama who seduced millions of voters, particularly impressionable, emotional females, with his mellifluous, Barry White-style "Hope and Change" mantra in 2008. Obama will learn from this performance and is quite likely to bring his "A" game to one or both of the next two debates. Fortunately, we have someone much more vigorous than John McCain to carry the Republican torch this time.

Alaskan Reaction: Good discussion thread on Mudflats. However, the leftists who congregate there didn't think Obama won the debate, although they highlighted a few favorable moments for the Obamessiah. Zach Roberts panned Obama's performance, writing "Obama lost this one. Never mentioned killing Osama once. That’s your calling card".

Over 200 comments have already been posted to the Anchorage Daily News story; not all are from Alaskans.

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