The needler in the haystack.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Obama-Romney, Round 1: What do you think?

President Obama and Gov. Romney at their first debate last night,
with moderator Jim Lehrer. (Image from NPR)

Plainfield Today readers, here is your chance to sound off!

What did you think of last night's first Presidential debate? (For a roundup of media coverage and reaction, see the CLIPS blog here.)

What were each candidate's strengths and weaknesses?

Did you hear anything that would convince an undecided voter one way or the other? (This whole exercise is, after all, about convincing the unconvinced.)

As for Jim Lehrer's performance, it was disappointing and shameful, in my opinion.

First of all, he lost control of the clock from the first question onward.

Secondly, he allowed Romney to interrupt the President, and to go on even after Lehrer tried to stop him.

But more disturbingly, Lehrer did not extend the same treatment to President Obama that he accorded to Gov. Romney, interrupting Obama repeatedly and trying harder to bring him to heel timewise.

Thankfully, the remaining debates will be moderated by others. I hope they take note of Lehrer's poor performance and learn from it.

Comment away!

-- Dan Damon [follow]

View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.


Anonymous said...

The media has been very easy on the President and, in fact, rarely challenges him. The President probably thought last would be no different.

Round 1 to Romney.

Bob said...

I think Lehrer was a terrible moderator. I slso think the President should have been more aggressive. I'm concerned that Romney is now pandering to moderates and if he is willing to compromise what he says now, he may change his mind once he's in the White House. I still don't trust him and saw some blatant lies last night. I think it was a draw or just slightly in Romney's favor, but watch out Romney for the next debate.

Anonymous said...

Romney won, let's say 53-47.

The President was surprisingly diffident in the face of Romney's aggressiveness. That might be part of some rope-a-dope strategy but I don't think so. It's who he is: a smart, thoughtful, polite guy who plays by the rules but has a hard time getting angry and calling out bullies. Unfortunately, the political world is overwhelmingly populated by bullies.

BTW, don't blame Jim Lehrer. He should never have been chosen. Moderating these world class talkers is a very difficult job that requires an ego almost as large as the principals. Twenty years ago he might have been fine but not now. And if the sponsors are going to conduct a timed debate they should insist on using visible time clocks, with bells and flashing lights, otherwise the chances are 100-to-1 that someone will abuse the format trying to gain an edge. Big surprise: Romney did just that.

Lectrcngizmo said...

I am in total agreement with your statement. Romney came out fighting,using loud langauge,and using a lot of numbers,that will be proven to his disadvantage,down the road towards the Election. Romeny won this one,but it put the President in a good position to challenge the statements he made.

Michael Townley said...

My comment is that I felt Romney was better prepared and handled himself better than President Obama, whose smirking was not presidential. Other than that, they both did point/counter point on mostly the same issues we've heard already.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your observations as to Lehrer's inability to maintain a fair approach. I don't think he was biased; but rather incompetent. What a shame!

Anonymous said...

I listened on the radio and thought the President did not sound as authoritative and in command of the facts as I had expected. He should have been able to forcefully promote his successes and explain the obstacles he had to overcome and promise more for the future. But he sounded unenthusiastic.

When I saw the clips on the news shows, I was shocked at how the imagery was of Romney taking the President to the woodshed. Perhaps looking down and writing was intended to be dismissive of Romney, but with the split screen it looked more like a realization that what Romney said was deserved. I expect someone to stand up and look back when they are being falsely attacked. The President looked like he was cowering. That can't build confidence in voters.

This week, the Courier had an article on USP- the Unique Selling Proposition every business needs. Romney has that down pat, even though I believe it is just a confidence job for the benefit of the 1%. The President didn't do a good job exposing that nor selling me on his uniqueness.

That is unfortunate because his commercials are much better. Now his debate performance creates the problem of him appearing less than what he is made out to be.
"Maybe he is not all that" is not a winning impression to make.

Anonymous said...

The debate accomplished its purpose, it showed who was equipped to be president. Gov. Romney was in command of the facts and was presidential while showing that once you remove Pres. Obama from his TelePrompTer and bubble of adoring fans in the media he is incompetent. Any neutral observer would have to say that they would rather have Romney negotiate with foreign leaders like Putin then Obama. To those who say that Lehrer did I poor job, I would say that he stayed out of the way and let the candidates speak so the viewer could decide for himself. It is very telling that according to people who actually timed the debate Obama spoke 5 minutes more than Romney.