Opinions on who won a debate vary with toppings that include a bias flavor. However, if objective, Mitt Romney was a clear winner over President Obama in Wednesday night’s affair.
The candidates’ appearances and command stature of facts come into play in naming a winner. The president looked tired, weighed down by the demands of the office. Romney appeared fresh, clearly stating his positions and beliefs. The president was halting in some of his remarks. He was a far distance from the man who was campaigning four years ago. Romney, on the other hand, was aggressive and had a sharpness that was lacking in the president.
Immediately after the debate, there was criticism of the moderator, Jim Lehrer, a veteran television newsman, for not enforcing the rules he laid down at the beginning of the debate. He did not control the debate the way he should have.
Romney displayed confidence that was encouraging to his supporters and perhaps to voters who haven’t made up their minds.
The incumbent president in a debate has to defend his record. President Obama did not do well in his defense of his record in tackling the tough issue of the economy. While there have been some positive bounces in the economy, they don’t last long, and the jobless rate still is high. Romney was better at articulating what he would do to stimulate the economy and in lowering the national debt. The president had a hard time explaining the spending that has gone on under his watch and the increase in the debt. Health care was a subject that was debated and the difference between the candidates was wide. The president said the federal government can solve that problem. Romney said the states could do a better job. On tax reductions, and the ramifications, the topic resulted in spirited and sharp differences but the exchange didn’t point to a clear winner in which candidate has the best plan.
The president was critical about Romney, saying he has not provided specifics on his programs. However, President Obama didn’t go into detail about what he proposes to do in the next four years if re-elected. Romney hit the president hard on the lack of compromise by his administration and the gridlock that exists between the president and Congress. Romney said he was successful as governor by working with Democrats on major legislation.
Two more presidential debates are scheduled and the subject of our foreign policy will be debated. The president will try to defend our policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the controversy in Libya where our mission was attacked, and whether there was a cover-up attempt as to the initial response by our government, and whether there was a warning about the attack that was ignored. A vice presidential debate also is scheduled.
Expect the president to be more aggressive in the next debates. Romney is going to hit him hard on foreign policy because of the failures the administration has had. The president is going to direct blame on the previous administration — the fact that he inherited the wars and progress is being made in bringing our troops home and in curbing terrorism.
Romney’s performance Wednesday night has elevated his standing with voters.