Thursday, October 4, 2012

Presidential Debate: Round 1

I wanted to give a run through of the Presidential debate last night, but let me start with this:

It was set up to be the clash of the titans... ended with the Hulk smacking Loki around the floor.

Romney won, big time. 
I can’t say I agreed with everything he said, of note was his comments on the education system, but he impressed me, and the audience agreed.

He not only came off as more human and relatable than Obama, (something that has been challenging for him) but he was funny. I found myself cracking up at some of his lines and other than disbelief or straight up frustration Obama wasn’t able to connect with me.

Let’s look at the differences:

Romney: He had strong body posture; he communicated his disbelief at Obama’s comments without being mocking.  He presented a commanding presence showing himself as a legitimate choice as Head of State for the USA.  Excellent eye contact.
Obama: He didn’t seem to want to be there, his knees were regularly bent, head bowed. He looked a bit like a wet cat that couldn’t wait to leave.

Romney: He established command of the stage right from the get go and never let go.  If Obama stated something about his campaign or plan that wasn’t true, he didn’t let it go.  He wasn’t scared of attacks, and he was ready with his own, yet he delivered them in a way that still respected the fact that he was debating the President of the United States.
Obama: If he had it, he seemed to have forgotten it back stage.  I looked for it, but any time he started to show some spark it fizzled.  It seemed odd to see the President of the United States looking for help from the moderator and presented Obama as weak. 

Command of Details:
Romney: Romney likes details, almost too much.  His ability to recall vast amount of information and distribute it was impressive.  He did not address a lot of policy details, but I’ll grant to each of them that there wasn’t a lot of time to do so.  He came across a bit wonky at time, but that seemed to underline to me his grasp of the material.  It wasn’t a question of if he knew what he was talking about, it was a matter of choosing what to say about it.  He was a tad repetitive, but nothing compared to Obama. 
Obama:  Obama new some details, Romney’s tax plan and the Exxon subsidy for example, but each of those only seemed to get him further in trouble. By the end of the night it was clear to me that Romney was far more knowledgeable about both the current administration’s policy/domestic law, than Obama, and Obama couldn’t afford to give Romney that ground. 

Romney:  He came across human, granted it was like a boss you would like to work for and would be scared to mess up in front of, but he seemed more relatable than any time I have seen him thus far. 
Obama:  I’m going to reference the wet cat comment from earlier; he didn’t want to be there and he seemed annoyed that he had to descend to deal with Romney as an equal.

I loved the question about the role of government, I would have liked to be about the purpose of government but the questions was close enough, the answers were striking.

Obama gave the Government two roles:
  1. “The first role of the federal government is to keep the American people safe.”           
  2. “I also believe that government has the capacity -- the federal government has the capacity to help open up opportunity and create ladders of opportunity and to create frameworks where the American people can succeed.”

Romney went a different route:
  1. “The role of government is to promote and protect the principles of those documents. First, life and liberty.”
  2. “I believe we must maintain our commitment to religious tolerance and freedom in this country.”
  3. “Making sure that those people who are less fortunate and can’t care for themselves are cared by -- by one another.”
  4.  “We also believe in maintaining for individuals the right to pursue their dreams, and not to have the government substitute itself for the rights of free individuals.

Personally I thought each candidate made the differences clear.

By Joel Grewe

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