The first presidential debate has just ended, and now the analyses will begin rolling in from the various other media sources. Here, it has to be said that Romney was aggressive, and forceful. If you take out the obvious repetitions of talking points, then Mitt Romney effectively controlled the conversation and effectively rolled right over Jim Lehrer, the moderator.
Now, while it is apparent that Romney dominated the conversation, lets look at the total picture. Obama hit Romney really well on two points. The first one about defending Medicare, and pointing out Romney’s desire to turn it into a voucher program. Secondly, he was effective in pointing out the difference in actually having a plan to deal with revenue issues. Romney made a great deal of his remarks about taxes, and brought the issue back up in a different segment.
President Obama played it pretty cool, and answered in his usual way. He showed so much restraint, too much for this format. He could have nailed him on the auto industry during the segment in the role of the federal government. This and other sharp barbs were left on the table.
And I would be remiss if I did not mention the most glaring thing of the night. During the entire 90 minutes, Jim Lehrer did not raise the issue of the 47 percent remarks. Not even once? That should have been mentioned. How a president sees the country matters. President Obama could have raised it just to see what Romney would have said in rebuttal. This being a major point of discussion for the past three weeks, it seems like Jim Lehrer was softballing by not putting this question out there. All around a missed opportunity.
While Romney established himself as a competent debater and a person who can bully a moderator something awful, he fell short in terms of a vision of what he has planned for the American people. My assessment? Mitt Romney held his own, but as far as a win? Um. No. President Obama could have been more forceful, but his calm deflection of many of Romney’s talking points means that this was really a tie. Don’t agree? Lets get your comments in. Who won in your opinion? Was it Romney or Obama?
Marc W. Polite