No one won the first 2012 American presidential debate on October 3rd 2012 between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. They were both terrible.
I thought Obama was going to destroy Romney. Because Romney over the past few weeks seemed lost. Swing states were slipping away from him – even Tennessee was weakening! On the night before the debate Fox News stepped up the race-baiting, which smelled desperate.
I forgot that Romney did well in the debates earlier in the year against Republicans.
I forgot that Obama has never been a great debater. He gives great speeches but that is not the same thing: you can spend hours or days getting a speech just right. In debates you have minutes not hours or days to think of the right thing to say.
I also forgot that Obama does not like to go in for the kill. He likes to remain calm and cool and play nice with everyone. He avoids direct showdowns – even when he knows he can win. This helps him to avoid the Angry Black Man trope.
But even given all that, Obama still did terribly:
- his head was down much of the time,
- he bored us with too many numbers,
- he talked like he was still in Washington, not like he was talking to undecided voters who have no idea what Simpson-Bowles or Dodd-Frank are.
Maybe his mind was elsewhere – it was his 20th wedding anniversary. That is the best face I can put on it.
But while Obama did not win neither did Romney. Unless you count boldly telling lies with confidence as some kind of victory. Unless you count disrespecting the moderator as some kind of victory. He was like someone who cheats at a game and then tells everyone he won. Wow. If I am allowed to lie and not listen to the moderator, if it is all a matter of confidence and not content, then I could “win” too.
I was never a huge fan of Romney, but now I trust him even less. Apparently the ends justify the means for him – which means he is evil.
I know that does not sound “fair and balanced”, but I have lived long enough to tell when someone is a bad apple. Romney is a bad apple. Remember, this is the man who went to France and lived in a mansion rather than serve his country in war. This is the man who hides his money in the Cayman Islands rather than pay his fair share of taxes. And then has the nerve to say he “loves” America.
What a complete slimeball.
Just the kind who would fire Big Bird.
Plenty of interesting things have been said about this debate but I will put those in the links below and go with my emotional rant instead – in most cases that turns out to be truer in the end.
- TWIB Radio – excellent discussion, all 49 minutes of it. Covers the Angry Black Man trope.
- Angry Black Lady Chronicles: The Gish Gallop and the Backfire Effect – a good breakdown of Romney’s debating style (the Gish Gallop – flooding the debate with lies) and why any attempt by Obama to call him a liar would have backfired!
- Mother Jones: Why Obama Didn’t Mention the 47 Percent Video
- Obama’s Other Race Speech - which Fox News aired the night before, setting up an Angry Black Man trope for the debate
- The Sarah Palin Kool Aid Drinking Society - the VP debate in 2008
- Romney 2012
- The second debate
- The third debate