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The great debate

October 17, 2012 - John Stack
I realized a few things from the second presidential debate of 2012. The biggest would seem to be that it doesn’t matter what I think. Or, more correctly, it doesn’t matter what those of us who are somewhat partisan thought. As I watched, I was reminded why I am voting for Obama, not voting against the GOP (how many of you conservatives out there can say that about Romney?). To me, it was a strong victory for Obama. Scoring it as a boxing match, it seemed like Obama won at least 7 or 8 rounds and maybe drew a couple rounds. After the first 2 questions, I thought ‘ Obama ate his Wheaties today, Romney’s already down 2-0’. Then I check my RWNut friend Jason’s FB page. He posts something about Obama being hammered by Romney. Huh? What? He had reposted something from a friend which was a link to Rush Limbaugh’s blog. To read it, you’d think it was Drago beating the stuffing out of Apollo Creed. Then I realized that for many in Fox Nation, short of Romney falling into a heap and crying ‘make the bad man stop’, they would claim or feel Romney was winning the debate.

I admit its possible I am biased towards Obama. My brother used to mock Obama and his supporters saying we all flocked around Obama like he was some Rock Star. For me, watching last night, I can see why he feels this way. Obama is a great orator. No one on the national stage has been in his league since Reagan. Calm. Cool. Composed. Presidential. Responded to Romney jokingly, quickly, wittily, and brilliantly. But never condescendingly or mean spirited. He acted strong and defiant when he should when talking foreign policies and deaths of Americans. On many of these, its tough to argue (Although having your guy get stung like Romney was, might leave others to feel Obama was haughty or mocking). But, great oratory skills isn’t what makes a president.

Why doesn’t it matter what I think or my brother thinks or my friend Jason think about the debate? Because we all had our votes in stone months ago. I don’t think I have a friend or family member who will vote who doesn’t know right now who they are voting for in 3 weeks. The debate was for the undecided voters. When Romney went on his whiny ‘Obama’s apology tour’ – exactly what effect was that supposed to make? It was obviously a bone to his base, but it has the same opposite reaction for Obama voters, for a zero sum game. As an undecided, would you look at that and go ‘WOW! Four years ago Obama went around apologizing to everybody? Man! I gotta vote Romney!’.. Probably not. More like ‘Nice condescending sound bite Mr Politician’. Some of the big points were when they hit specifics. Romney claimed that during the Obama administration, oil drilling actually decreased on federal lands. I thought. Huh, Mr pres, if that’s true, not looking good for the old energy independence argument. But of course it wasn’t true. Oil drilling increased every year except 2010/2011, and overall is up well over W’s years in office. Romney cherry picked ONE YEAR of decreases, based almost entirely upon the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. I guess Romney must feel that as president, he would have superpowers that could prevent such a mishap.

I also picked up things most didn’t think about may be why I saw it for Obama. At one point, Obama used the term ‘jerking them around’ or something close to it. My girlfriend who was working on her computer perked up and said ‘Did he just say…?’. Probably not a term in Romney’s vocabulary, but a subtle reminder that one of the two candidates can talk with the masses. On another seemingly innocent remark, where Romney must have felt he made points, was when he talked immigration reform. He said his own father was from Mexico. True…but…why was his father in Mexico? Oh yeah. His grandfather fled the US because polygamy was outlawed in the US and Grandpa Romney moved to Mexico to start a polygamist group. He RAN from the US and his son repatriated back! Is that the story the undecided voters want to be reminded of?

I was shocked at his terrible response when asked about what he would do to about inequalities for women in the workplace. First he stumbled about letting his chief of staff off early so she could cook dinner for the kids. Really? Fathers can’t make dinner? Or is that what women are supposed to do? When he was talking about getting more companies to give flex hours (like he so magnanimously did) his response was that his strategies (as yet unveiled) would lower unemployment so far that all companies would basically be forced to do everything they could to retain each of their employees. Like the economic stimulus afforded by the Romney plan would be like jobs falling from trees like so many autumn leaves. Really? After Obama hit that one out of the park with his signing of Lily Ledbetter on his first day on the job, you had the feeling Romney might be panting ‘cut me Mick, Cut me!’ in order to go on. And that wasn’t even including Mitt Romney’s ‘Binder of Women’ turned out to be Ukraianian mail order brides.

On a down note, the Trailrunners lost a squeaker to his college roommate 110-109.3 on 4 rotten intercepted passes thrown by Phil Rivers…Still leads the Frostbite League with a 5-1 record…


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