President Barack Obama (R) listens as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during the first presidential debate in Denver October 3, 2012.
(Photo : REUTERS/Jim Urquhart (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS USA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION))
President Barack Obama's game plan for the first debate should have been clear. Bring his trademark soaring rhetoric, his passion, and remind everyone that he was the President of the USA with authority and confidence. But he failed to do any of these. In fact, he looked like he was upset that the debate was interrupting his anniversary plans with Michele.
Like Us on Facebook
From the get go, the President looked tentative and stuttered consistently to get a sentence out. His phrases were marred with pauses and breaks that indicated a man unsure of his words. He refused to smile often, he didn't look at Mitt Romney as he spoke, and he lacked the aggressiveness that made Romney looked confident and energized. In fact, he looked like the older and wearier of the two men.
Worst of all was his lack of substance. While Romney tied up his policies with tales of speaking to the common folk, Obama failed to bring his humble beginnings into the proceedings. An unknowing viewer would have though Obama was the rich guy who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth while Romney was the humble guy who grew up poor.
Obama lacked confidence and composure even as he defended his own points and consistently reasserted the same points again and again: The $7 trillion deficit, Romney's favoring the rich, etc. Nothing new; nothing exciting. He didn't even go for the opportunity to call Romney out on his infamous speech in which he bad mouthed the 47 percent of Americans who want everything handed to them. This lack of awareness emphasized the fact that Obama looked unprepared. He even threw out a silly unbelievable line stating that Romney considered Donald Trump a small business which fizzled.
When dreadful moderator Jim Lehrer brought up social security, Obama was handcuffed by the question and resorted to focusing on Healthcare. Romney fell into the same trap, but Obama's lack of assertiveness was more evident.
When asked about what he would do to end the partisan gridlock, Obama took a quick shot at Romney but failed to supply any reasoning aside from the fact that it is essential for a good leader to say "no" on occasion. The negative response likely won't get many people thrilled about his leadership abilities.
Obama was at his worst during his closing statement where he meandered and failed to deliver a clear message as to why re-elect him. He embellised for a few minutes about what great things he did during his Presidency, but it was distracting, boring, and uninsightful. His message? He will continue to work hard. Romney's closing statement was clear, concise, recapped all his points, and made it clear that he wanted a different America from what we currently have.
Romney did answer most questions directly and was aggressive throughout, but lacked any real substance. He never outlined the specifics on closing loopholes and when asked how he would replace Obamacare with a better plan, he simply resorted to attacking the "unelected board." He constantly repeated the same points time and again (his successes as governor for example). When asked how he would fix social security, he also resorted to talking about Healthcare and answered the question with a vague phrase that he would help keep it for the youn and old alike. However, the reason he won the debate was on the superficiality that will no doubt bring a great number of less sophisticated Americans to his side. Tons of viewers are not judging the substance but the superficial. After all it is a televised debate; the visual is almost everything. I don't believe the radio would have necessarily benefitted Obama more since he was hesitant and dispassionate in his responses, but it certainly would not have shown off his stern stare that while serious, also made him pale in comparison to the smiley Romney. Romney played extremely well to the TV and a radio broadcast would not have hurt him since Obama lacked any real passion or intensity in any of his speaking.
Obama has a lot of work to do for the upcoming debate as he has clearly lost round 1 and in all certainty will watch running mate Joe Biden get trampled by Paul Ryan in the Vice Presidential Debate next week.