Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A better debate

kw: politics, debates

The second Presidential debate finished a few minutes ago. I didn't stay on after the candidates finished, not wanting to hear the ABC commentators.

It was clear that both candidates were better prepared than they had been for their first debate. I am sure many will be saying the President "won" this one, because he did so much better than before. But the Governor also improved. There was a more even give-and-take.

While both candidates continued their attempts to frame their opponent, both had more to say about what they would do. As I expected, specifics were quite scarce. Mr. Romney spoke of his 5-point plan, and I suspect people are learning the points. Mr. Obama spoke of things he considers positive about his first term, and vowed to continue. He had little to say about the areas his opponent attacked, and that may be a strength; let the negatives just die away.

Both men were more combative than before, but the moderator, Candy Crowley, was much tougher than Jim Lehrer had been. I was expecting her to be more prone to cutting off Romney than Obama, but I found her pretty even handed.

I liked the questions coming from the audience members. There is no team of "preparers" who can do better than six dozen thoughtful citizens, often helped by their friends beforehand (as one questioner explicitly mentioned).

Whichever candidate you favored before, I expect you will still favor. Both did well. I wrote of the first debate that I thought it was pretty even. Lots of Democrats were shocked that the President didn't wipe the floor with the Governor, which is why there was so much buzz that Obama "lost". It was clear he would try to do so this time, but the Governor was ready for it. No floor-wiping this time, folks. Both men made points, and both absorbed a few blows. I eagerly anticipate the third and final debate in just six days.

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