First though, I have to talk about the Presidential Debate and subsequent expert commentary last night. I'm not going to point-by-point the entire evening. I girl can only take so much childish behavior things turn bad. Once was enough. Plus, after the opening remarks nothing was actually accomplished.
Let's dispense right away with oft touted, "Romney won this debate." There was no debate last night. There was an introduction to a debate, and a stating of positions, then there was school yard bullying and disrespect run rampant. So there was no actual debate to win. Romney was not eloquent in speech or mannerism. He did not relay his position convincingly nor persuasively. The only thing that he did very well was to unmistakably convey his belief in his own importance and the inferiority of all others.
At the start of the night things looked good. Jim Lehrer explained the format of the debate and welcomed the candidates to the stage.
The opening question, "What are the major differences between the two of you about how you would go about creating jobs?"
Obama: Used 'we' almost exclusively. "We all know that we've still got a lot of work to do." "The question tonight is not where we've been, but where we're going." "We need to..." "We can..." etc.
- Invest in education and training.
- Develop new sources of energy here in America.
- Change our tax code to make sure that we're helping small businesses and companies that are investing here in the United States.
- Take money that we're saving as we wind down two wars to rebuild America.
- That we reduce our deficit in a balance way that allows us to make these critical investments.
He finishes by saying that it's ultimately up to the voter to decide which path they want to take. "Do you want to double down on the 'Top-down' economics that got us into this mess? Or embrace new economic patriotism that says, 'America does best when the middle class does best'? "...I'm looking forward to that debate."Oh, President Obama, Sir. I too was looking forward to that debate, and sadly I still am.
Romney: Tells anecdotes about he and Ann being approached at separate functions being asked by women if said Romney could help their out of work family. Romney's reply, "We (he and Ann, not 'we the people of the United States') can help, but it's gonna take a different path. Not the one we've been on. Not the one the President describes as top-down, cut-taxes-for-the-rich, that's not what I'm gonna do. My plan has five basic points."
- Get us American energy independent...North American energy independent. "That creates about 4 million jobs"
- Open up more trade, particularly in Latin America. Crack down on China if and when they cheat.
- Make sure our people have the skills they need to succeed, and the best schools in the world. We're far away from that now.
- Get us to a balanced budget.
- Champion small business. It's small business that creates the jobs in America and over the last four years small business people have decided that America may not be the place to open a new business, because new business start-ups dropped to a thirty-year low.
He ends with: "I know what it takes to get small business going again. To hire people. Now I'm concerned that the path that we're on has just been unsuccessful. The President has a view very similar to the view he had when her ran four years ago: that a bigger government spending more, taxing more, regulating more, if you will 'Trickle Down Government' would work. That's not the right answer for America. I'll restore the vitality that gets America working again.
So, debate wise, Romney just said that he's going to do everything that Obama said that he wants 'us' to work to do. The exception being (and this was never brought up as a point of debate) Romney wants to open up trading while Obama wants to work on winding down two wars he inherited. Instead of Jim Lehrer suggesting that Obama explain with detail, one of these points that Romney has decided are now part of his platform too, Lehrer asks Obama to respond to Romney calling his plan 'Trickle-Down Government'. ::bangsheadondesk:: Lehrer walked right into that one. Trickle-down is a term used to take away credibility from an idea. It's a pretty commonly accepted fact that Trickle-down economics didn't work. But it was a republican president's platform ideal, and Romney didn't even use it in the correct context. Government in it's structure is fairly motionless, and Obama's plans have nothing to do with federal government, affecting the next step down of state government. No, Obama's plans talk of the federal government enacting policies that will benefit the American people on an individual level. It was a bad question to ask, and Obama couldn't have answered it directly without effectively calling Romney an idiot.So Obama begins to go into more detail regarding his plans, and this is where I deviate from a detailed analysis.
Commentators mentioned Romney's passion, confidence. and relaxed demeanor as points that 'won' him the debate. Well, Romney wasn't actually passionate, confident, or relaxed. Are we honestly to a point where our professional journalists and political commentators can't read a person's expression? He's not even a good actor people!
Romney was stiff when Obama greeted him with a handshake and elbow-grab. Romney's nonverbal communications were saying, "OMG! He's touching me! Get him away from me! Oh, must remember to smile. ::tightfakesmile::" As he was making the obligatory acknowledgments at the beginning of his opening remarks, he ticked them off with a nod of his head and eyes that were dull with systematic niceties. That's not relaxed or confident. That's a child who is at the formal dinner 'final' for his etiquette class.
The debate format fell away into nothingness never to be seen again when Romney began ignoring the time constraints of each rebuttal. He wasn't stopped effectively the first time, so he went further and further over the time limit, then began talking over, interrupting, and ignoring Lehrer. He went so far as to interrupt the President and proceed to talk over him. That's not passionate. That's childish behavior. It's essentially yelling and plugging your ears so that you can't hear when you're told you're wrong. It's a filibuster in attempt to control a format that's intended to be an even ground. It's arrogance, rudeness, disrespect for the process, disrespect for his fellow candidate and for the moderator. His constant insistence that 'I will...' shows a disrespect for and superiority to the American people. That's not passion. That's raising your voice with increased agitation and desperation to control.
If you look at Romney's eyes, eye lids, breathing, and posture while he's talking about the points of his plan, you can see that he doesn't really believe in himself either. He simply believes that he deserves the job.
No, Mitt Romney did not 'win' the debate, such as it was. Mitt Romney puffed up his peacock feathers prettier than Obama did. Obama realized that you can't have a legitimate debate with a crazy person who can't even remember what he included in his platform on the campaign trail. When your opponent is effectively arguing both sides, which position do you take? Romney lied so many times and contradicted himself and shamelessly argued with the moderator about whether or not he was going to talk. Oh! I stand corrected. Romney did win that debate. He definitely beat Lehrer out for position of moderator.