October 17, 2012

Second U.S. Presidential Debate: Obama vs. Romney 2012

Hopefully President Obama will have managed to silence the commentators with his spirited performance during the second debate. Maureen Dowd won't be pointing to Barack Obama's biographies in next column pointing out how the President is averse to confrontation and how that's at the core of who he is.

I thought the over-reaction to the 1st debate had been unjustified -> I knew Mr. Obama will be in a feisty-er mood this time around since that's what the constituency demanded. Mr. Obama stood up to the pretentious and oh-so-fake Romney without appearing to be jarring or a bully -> both qualities that are the trademark of Mr. Romney.

The candidates got to almost a dozen questions with a tough-to-rollover Candy Crowley as the moderator. On Libya, Romney was particularly egregious as a foreign policy novice. On financial matters and tax issues, Romney sought to show that he had a plan -> the only problem was that this was a plan that is entirely distinct from the other plans he has presented through the campaign season.

Romney refused to even defend his own record as governor of Massachusetts -- on gun violence for example. He had signed into law an assault weapons ban there but he was not willing to stand up for that decision today.

On tax policy, Romney's proposals simply do not add up -- the math doesn't work, as President Obama pointed out. On the auto industry bailout, Obama defended his own decisions which clearly saved a million jobs. Romney meanwhile sought to distance himself desperately from W. -> and this from a candidate whose policy seems to be 'Drill Baby Drill' combined with 'tax cuts for the rich.' The voters are old enough to remember how the Bush tax cuts have worked out.

On immigration too, Romney sought to portray a 'kinder and gentler' face to the key Latino voters. Obama's record in office shows that he has been the toughest president ever with more deportations of illegal immigrants than any previous president.

Mr. Romney was harping on how he was going to be a job creator while his entire career in private business has been focused on cutting jobs. He has often been a pioneer in off-shoring jobs to China and elsewhere even when he was the Governor of Massachusetts.

Mr. Romney himself sought to distance himself from his unfortunate 47% comments and cleverly enough, the President mentioned that faux pas only in his closing remarks so that Romney had no opportunity to respond to that.

Now we move to the last debate which will be entirely about foreign policy. I wonder how Mr. Romney is going to last 90 minutes on what is clearly his weakest area.

Like I wrote after the first debate, I think Mr. Obama has the race in the bag. We know what the headlines will say on Nov. 7.

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