stumbles from Mitt Romney. This first debate was Romney’s last chance to give his campaign any hope–and Obama’s chance to put this election away. Unfortunately, Romney accomplished his goal and Obama did not.
Obama’s best point was about Romney’s vagueness. Romney wants to repeal “Obamacare,” but has no plan to replace it. He’s ready to cut taxes on the wealthy and spend more on our bloated military budget–while supposedly lowering the deficit and not harming the middle class. He wants to introduce Paul Ryan’s vouchercare while supposedly “strengthening” Medicare. He wants to replace Dodd-Frank, yet he has no plan for financial regulation. In each case, Romney continued the lack of specificity that characterizes his campaign.
Obama, though, only corrected Romney once regarding the lie that he’s cutting Medicare. Each time, though, that Obama made a point about Romney’s poor math regarding taxes, Romney countered. In addition, Romney ran all over moderator Jim Lehrer, insisting on the last word and repeatedly going over his time limit.
Presidential debates have become media events in which style matters as much, if not more, than substance. That’s unfortunate, but it’s a reality. Romney constantly looked–even smirked–at Obama when the latter was talking. Obama usually looked down while Romney spoke, occasionally shaking his head. Romney came across as hungry and aggressive, a man on the ropes fighting back. Obama was professorial. Yes, I know–he wanted to be more presidential and he’s a more composed personality. Regardless, Obama's going to have to come out swinging more in the next two debates and inject more passion. How about reminding Romney about the 47 percent? Bain Capital? The 14% capital gains tax rate Romney paid and feels is "fair"? The issues are there, the stakes are high. Obama needs to step up his game.