Debate Notes


I didn’t hang out on twitter because I didn’t want other people’s reactions to skew my own. I also knew I couldn’t multi-task nearly well enough to read and listen closely at the same time!

So, I watching while texting with my very a-political boyfriend who follows nothing other than receiving classic chain emails and opinions from a very conservative friend and then whatever he hears from me from the left.

His first text?

“Romney is getting burned right now”

Followed by:

“It just seems like Obama makes more sense”

“POTUS is very calm and collected”

“Romney has a little sarcastic humor!”

I think he fell asleep after that since he’s traveling for work in the Midwest.

Anyway – here are my own notes written into a notebook:

Blue and red ties? Really? How predictable.

Obama uses his “new economic patriotism” line again. It had been mentioned that Romney had been practicing some “zingers” and early on that seemed to be true.

“Trickle down Government” was Romney’s response to New Economic Patriotism. Jim Lehrer picked up on that quickly and asked Obama to respond to it.

“Economic Tax” was thrown out there which you could tell was intended to land something but didn’t land as well as the first.

“You only picked losers” was another one on the topic of investing in new energy companies.

After that he seemed to move away from any zingers until much later on the topic of the role of government specifically in education when he dropped the “You are entitled to your own plane and house, but not your own facts” ha ha.

Outside of the zingers – Marcus was right about their demeanors. Mitt appeared with agitated or amused or most often as if he was lecturing people who Just Don’t Get It. His tone was one of impatience and sometimes exasperation. Obama was his usual cool self. He did scowl and smirk in response to some Romney statements and took notes.

Most though, Obama used Math. He took a note from the Bill Clinton DNC speech and dazzled with facts and arithmetic. You could see it frustrated Romney a few times because he couldn’t answer to those.

Obama gave more detail not only about his own policies he has already put into place, or about his own plans for a second term, but he also gave more detail about Romney’s plans! It truly seemed like he knew much more about them than Mitt did. And, if he didn’t he frequently pointed out that the reason he didn’t is because Romney *hasn’t* put out details on a lot of key topics.

Romney continued to dodge any request for details. He would lean on vague promises with no actual plan on how he would achieve them.

Obama remained hopeful and positive about the country.

Romney, as challenger had to tack more pessimistic about the direction.

That makes sense in the framework of any Presidential election so I don’t necessarily blame Romney for that.

I’m writing this before looking at any other reactions of seeing if any fact checks have come into place BUT –

Did it seem as if Romney was presenting an entirely different tax and healthcare plans than he has ever mentioned before? I swear he was making all new claims about his never properly detailed plans.

Romney also railroaded the moderator and often corrected him or derailed the format as planned.

I thought it was a little insulting that Romney told people over 60 they could stop listening when they started talking about Social Security and Medicare. As if people that age don’t care how policies will impact their kids or grand kids.

I would also like to know what planet he was on when he stated that private insurance companies have ALWAYS covered young adults over age 19 and people with pre-existing conditions?

My disappointment with Obama is perhaps that he was, again, too nice. So many times when I was screaming responses at the TV to nonsense Romney was stating, he just ignored it. So many times he had opportunities to bring up many of the truly extreme things Romney has said in the last few months and he never rose to the bait. I know people can react badly to candidates directly attacking each other but many times Romney attacked and Obama *never* responded and certainly never counter attacked.

If you are a policy hound or, wonk as they say, then Obama was much stronger since he actually laid out specific details and math and facts. If you like mud-slinging and combative battles, then you probably thought Romney did a better job.

Of course, he has a lot of ground to make up. He needed to be aggressive and domineering and he was. It will probably tighten up the race in polling, but polling doesn’t matter one hoot. Voting matters. And I truly doubt any actual voters who are now or intend to cast their votes in the next 30 days had their minds changed. What this might drive is fund raising since it has been rumored that Romney’s big donors have been hesitant to go all in any more. So he might get a poll boost and a money boost. But there are two more debates and one VP debate and I truly doubt that Obama is going to remain this careful and professorial.

Fun stuff! I love Presidential election cycles :-)

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