This isn’t really news to anyone that watched the debate, but Obama really did destroy Mitt Romney last night. His performance wasn’t perfect and he still let Romney get away with far to many lies, but the format was so awkward for Romney it made him seem like a slightly angry and impatient vacuum salesman.
Obama looked more comfortable and seemed far more sincere. He addressed the people asking the questions in a much more believable (and less rehearsed) manner. Mitt seemed uncomfortable, snippy and his body language showed this. He would over thank the person asking the question and then would shamelessly dive into his boiler-plate memorized material, whether it was a good fit or not.
Unlike the first debate, Obama finally called Mitt out many of his lies. This was one of the most maddening aspects of the first debate. Apparently the term that they agreed upon in debate that he would use in this situation was ‘not true’. It was good enough. One disappointment of mine was that the moderator kept him on more than one occasion from addressing some of Mitt’s most memorized and effective lines. She would sweep him into another topic altogether.
Mitt Used to Playing by Different Rules
Just like real life, Mitt is used to playing by different rules. One thing that many people don’t know is that the candidates sign an agreement on was is allowed and what is not allowed during the debate. One of the main rules was that the candidates were not to address each other directly. Mitt intentionally broke this rule early in order to strike a strategic advantage. Unlike last week, Obama seemed to anticipate this and he answered in kind.
Over all, Mitt came off looking like he didn’t really want to be there. He was flinty, insincere, testy and at time simply rude. Cutting off the moderator and the President when he wanted to continue to speak came off really bad. In his defense, there is probably no amount of training in the world that could have erased this. That is just Mitt.
Obama came off much more relaxed and sincere. The format seemed much more suited to his comfort zone.
Obama did a fairly good job of calling Mitt on his most obvious BS. He missed a few items, but overall, a much better job than the first debate. His original content was much improved too. His concepts were much more focused, less abstract and much more to the point. He left out several hard-hitting topics that the base wanted to here, especially for women’s issues (i.e. vaginal probes, insurance costs, personhood, no abortion in cases of rape & incest, etc.), but again, a vast improvement.
Mitt really struggled with his content. He was able to use some of his new ‘human interaction’ stories, but half way through the debate he started to go back to his previously memorized material.
Romney Made an Ass of Himself Over Libya
Trying to capitalize on peoples deaths for political gain – does it get any sleazier than that? Especially when you are making up some wacko narrative only Fox News viewers could be dumb enough to believe. In short, he had his ass handed to him on a plate on this issue. The moderator Candy Crowley challenged his assertion that President Barack Obama had not referred to recent attacks on Americans in Libya as terrorism.
“The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people and the world we are going to find out exactly what happened, that this was an act of terror and I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime,” Obama explained following Romney’s suggestion that the president had been more concerned with fundraising than national security after the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
“I think it’s interesting that the president just said something, which is on the day after the attack he went in the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror,” Romney replied. “Is that what you’re saying? I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.”
“Get the transcript,” Obama insisted.
“He did, in fact, sir,” Crowley pointed out to Romney.
“Can you say that a little louder, Candy?” the president asked Crowley as the audience applauded.
“He did call it an act of terror,” the moderator agreed. “It did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea of there being a riot out there about this tape to come out.”
“The administration indicated that this was a reaction to a video,” Romney said, rephrasing his attack with a slight stutter. “It took them a long time to say this was a terrorist act by a terrorist group. And — and to suggest — am I correct in that regard?”
“I want to move you on,” Crowley told the candidates. “People can go to the transcripts.”
Women and Binders
When Romney began speaking about women, things started to get awkward. Then when he used the phrase “binders full of women” it got even worse. Not only is this a phrase that perhaps has never been uttered before, it was also highly offensive to women. Who could even think about women in this sort of way.
A good night for Obama, a bad night for Romney. Obama showed some fight, and Romney showed some of his sleazy side. Is it enough to reverse all the damage Obama inflicted on himself with his pathetic performance in the first debate? No. Not enough people watch the second debate. However, it does enough to keep Obama in the game.