Third Presidential Debate — First Impressions

23 Oct

Obama played checkers. Romney played chess. Obama played tactics. Romney played strategy. Obama went small ball. Romney went big picture. Obama sometimes went petty. Romney stayed the happy warrior throughout. Obama, especially during the last half of the debate, looked so intently at Romney (possibly overcompensating from looking down too often in the first debate which he lost so badly) that he almost seemed like a cobra coiled to strike at the first opportunity, but Romney just wouldn’t really give him one. Romney looked pretty relaxed throughout. Obama sometimes seemed defensive, whereas Romney seemed aspirational and optimistic for a restored America and her people.

I was one of those who wanted Romney to just bloody Obama about Bengahzi-gate, the security failures before and the coverup after, but Romney’s strategy of avoiding it, although Obama even tried to pull him back into it at one point, was probably the better idea. Romney probably knows that enough about Benghazi-gate will have to come out in even Obama’s liberal lapdog media now, because of Congressional investigations and Senatorial letters to Obama demanding answers, that Romney himself didn’t need to push it tonight.

So, Romney on style and, surprise, surprise, likability (happy warrior) and Obama on debate points, although some of them were small and petty. Romney also on a strong economy being the basis for projecting strong foreign policy, delivering the same devastating analysis of Obama’s failed economic policies as in other debates, for which Obama had no answer.

Romney, too, on laying out in more detail what he would have done differently, even about what Obama has already done on foreign policy, plus other measures and considerations in dealing with Iran and Pakistan, whereas Obama was left with simply stressing more of the same, much of which we know hasn’t worked.

Romney also on not allowing Obama to draw him into seeming to be some crazed warmonger, which Romney knew was part of the Obama strategy for this debate. So, overall, Romney. He did what he needed to do to sustain the momentum he gained in the first debate and sustained in the second debate.

Oh, and the post-debate fact-checkers? Obama got it wrong more than Romney and even what Romney got wrong was only partially wrong.

As to Obama’s condescending comments about Romney not understanding how our military works, that the days of horses and bayonets are gone, etc., suffice to say the post-debate tweet by one Marine, that Marines still use bayonets (as do Soldiers, by the way), shows maybe Obama also doesn’t understand all he pretends to about our military and its warrior ethos.

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2 Responses to “Third Presidential Debate — First Impressions”

  1. Invisible Mikey October 23, 2012 at 1:39 AM #

    The CNN viewer poll, the C-Span viewer poll, and I all disagree with you about who won the debate. I don’t disagree with most of your characterizations, but millions more people play checkers than chess, and they respond to simpler, more direct language, and too much of what Romney said sounded like “Me too!” To win, he needed to draw a clear difference between his approach and the President’s. He didn’t do that.

    Romney’s demeanor was good, and he didn’t make any obvious gaffes on the level of “binders full of women”, but his command of facts seemed less solid, which was somewhat expected. Iran, for example, certainly does not depend on Syria as “a route to the sea”. Iran is separated geographically from Syria by Iraq and Turkey. Obama’s had four years of intelligence briefings for practice.

    I don’t think the debates will determine the outcome of the election in any case. It was just an expensive and insubstantial diversion, only slightly better than the attack ads.

    • rmekrnl October 25, 2012 at 12:12 AM #

      Thanks for your comments, Invisible. Sorry it took me a little to get back to you — been busy cranking out more blog entries for you to disagree with.

      I think I’ll wait a few days, rather than depend too much on snap polls. Even those which aren’t snaps are often wrong. And, while I watch Fox, CNN and alternately one or the other of the alphabet networks (except NBC, which would just be a total waste), as well as several online and overseas news sources, I wouldn’t exactly take CNN, or its snap poll, as my standard to go by.

      It may be that more people play checkers than chess but I was referring to Romney’s strategy to stay above the fray and not be drawn into a fight with Obama, knowing that Obama had practiced to make Romney out to be some kind of scary warmonger. Romney didn’t need to contrast himself with Obama as much as he had to show he was reasonable and moderate, which is exactly what he did. Remember, it’s the independent swing voters who are up for grabs at this point. And, don’t sell the American voter so short about needing things broken down into simple terms for them. Most of them quite easily can understand more than mere sound bites or zingers, which is something Obama could learn. But, no wonder Obama looked pissed most of the debate — he had prepared for a fist fight, and probably a lot more “explanations” about Benghazi, and Romney, using ju-jitsu instead, didn’t give Obama anything to go after on either one.

      All that prep time wasted — damn! Just like the first debate, in which it took Romney less than the allotted 90 minutes to wipe out millions of Obama’s campaign funds spent on months of personal attack ads, as soon as the American public saw Romney, unfiltered and unmischaracterized by others, not to have horns, cloven feet or a pointy tail.

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