Debate 1: My Take

Well, the first Presidential Debate of the 2012 election is in the history books. I took notes of things that stood out for me, and then tried to summarize them at the end. I also tried to write my thoughts before I start reading other stuff from the punditocracy. Only the FAILS are bolded. So here you go…

– 1st impression: really struck at how strong of an opening Romney displayed… sounds like Obama ’08! First time I’ve heard the phrase “Trickle Down Government”. Obama didn’t respond to it at all.

-Wow Romney said “High income people are doing just fine in this economy.” Great… doesn’t that mean they can afford to pay higher taxes? Economic Patriotism, right? Umm, Mr. President… where are you?? O-FAIL.

-Romney: And BTW I like coal.

-Romney’s tax plan is a lot of pie-in-the-sky. How can you lower all of these rates and not add to the defecit without cutting HUGE chunks of Government? The new rates won’t add to defecit just because you say so??

-Obama: too much explaining, not enough reacting. Needs to be more primal.

-Obama: ENOUGH about pointing out what you and Romney share!! And less explaining.

-Both are going round and round about taxes… just throwing numbers and promises up in the sky. Either find some substance and relate to us or GTFO and move on!

-Obama called Romney’s plan a “sales pitch”. That was a good line, but then he inesthitized it with more rambling. Of course Romney rambled right back at him. Only effective line from him in this bit: “going forward with the status quo is not going to cut it.”

-Romney calls out PBS as one way to cut the defecit, but Big Bird references aside, this is really eating around the edges when compared to Entitlements and Military. Right-wing pander.

-Ah, ok… Obama has peaked his head in the door. Glad for the defense of MediCaid and calling out Romney from the Primary debates. Never raising anyone’s taxes for any reason is complete and total nonsense. We need more of this.

-Romney flat-out lied on taxes… they are historically low, and government is now starved for revenue. Obama refuted with corporate taxes, but did not defend the role of government. Back on MediCaid, Romney starts spouting Conservative principles about states’ rights, and Obama didn’t counter. O-FAIL.

-Why is Jim Lehrer not asking any specific questions? Too topic-based. Feels lawless.

-MediCare: FINALLY Obama gave a credible counter for Mitt Romney’s VoucherCare plans. Romney’s only response was pie-in-the-sky rhetoric. Romney even said “I’d rather have a private plan.” Umm, you do… it’s called being RICH!!

-Wall Street Regulation: OOPS! Mitt Romney “You have to have regulation” and then he goes on to defend not only Dodd-Frank, but also Obama’s position on why Dodd-Frank was needed. After all of this, THEN you want to repeal and replace it? Can’t have the cake and eat it too, Governor. R-FAIL.

-Obamacare… Sheesh, this is not going to work for Mitt Romney. Obama is now using your state plan against you. Clear points to the President for schooling you on your own plan. BTW Mr. Romney, which is it… do you want states to develop their own plans (knowing some will just continue to leave lots of people uninsured) or do you want them to develop more sustainable care methods? Can’t take both positions. OMG did you really just respond to the repeal quagmire with “Reagan, Reagan, Reagan”? R-FAIL.

-Romney came back strong on role of government (in the broad sense). Eventhough I disagree with some of it, his explanation and conviction is amiable. This would have been a good time for Obama to get primitive and at least HINT at the infamous ’47 percent’ remarks. He needs to call up Professor Clinton and get a quick lesson on how to jab within the bounds of Southern Hospitality. Or just watch Designing Women.

-Congressional paralysis… President got an ok line in here. “Romney hasn’t been successful saying no to his party during the campaign.” True but he also has a record as Governor that he has COMPLETELY papered over. If Romney’s gubernatorial record is so stellar, then why didn’t he run for a second term? Where are all these lawmakers that are lining up to say how great of a “uniter” he is? And umm… why isn’t his home state VOTING for him?? O-FAIL.

In summation…

Neither candidate destroyed the other tonight, but Romney walked away with a slight advantage. I’m a Liberal, but I don’t believe in trying to spin something that doesn’t need any spin. Obama has been riding quite high, and after the debate he’s back on the ground, and in the real campaign to be President. Mitt Romney had to climb from an increasingly deep hole, and most of the way he was able to do it.

On one hand, I am glad for a debate that mostly stayed on policy issues, and at times got into the very weeds of the candidates’ tax plans, and healthcare legislation. The ‘college professor’ in my was happy for that. I was also happy that both men strayed from the constant spin of personal attacks that we see on the campaign trail.

On the other hand, we are a very “baseline” electorate this year… information gets thrown around left and right, and sometimes it’s very difficult to disseminate the truth. The sometimes “fact-free zone” in itself is in Romney’s advantage, especially if his statements go unchallenged the very second they are made. It “legitamizes” them. Obama certainly knows the facts, but he tried to keep the debate “serious and real”, and that’s NOT what the American People want right now. We want more neolithic action… someone that can give the facts, but also FIGHT for their position. So as hard as Mitt Romney worked to find the openings he needed to repair his character, Obama sure helped him by creating a few and leaving most of his pandering history unchallenged. But a word of caution to the GOP… Mitt Romney tied himself in knots tonight with a few of his promises. Those statements could come back to haunt him later.

Final tally: Romney 2 FAILS. Obama 3 FAILS. Advantage ROMNEY

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