Bob Schieffer moderates demure presidential debate
Bob Schieffer of CBS News moderated the last presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida at Lynn University. The debate was similar to the first in format but had the candidates sitting behind a table, reminiscent of the vice-presidential debate. The lively debates have proven to be critical in this close election. The first debate saw the rise of Big Bird. The second debate than birthed the infamous phrase: “binders of women.”
The last debate was far more demure in the sense it wasn’t as bombastic as the previous ones. Both candidates listened to the polls that said that female independent voters were put off by their fiery debates. I think President Obama came out strong in this debate. Governor Romney was even weaker in discussing the question on Libya than he was during the second debate. He didn’t rectify his meek performance on that segment of the debate. He allowed the president to get a “pass” on the debacle of foreign affairs.
Romney and Obama agreed many times during the debate; thus bringing monotony in their answers. There wasn’t any contrast in terms of Syria and Iranian sanctions. Governor Romney has said he wanted “stricter” sanctions on Iran (but can’t name any new ones). However, he does point out he would have imposed the sanctions much earlier. The president wrongly believes Iran is weaker militarily. Iran is getting closer to procuring a nuclear weapon. I wouldn’t state that a weaker military.
The candidates remained vague on answering most of the questions. They said they’d be tougher, but wouldn’t detail how they’d accomplish that feat. I think Romney did better in the second half of the debate, especially when he brought it back onto the economy. Romney rightly pointed out that our growing national debt weakens our national security. Incredulously the president agreed. Incredulously because the president will have added over 6 trillion dollars to the total debt by year-end. I thought the candidates talked too great of a deal on the economy. Not that the topic isn’t of great importance, but we’ve discussed domestic issues in great detail (or lack of detail for that matter) in the previous debates. This debate was supposed to solely focus on foreign policy issues.
I don’t agree with the president that as of now the Afghan army is capable of overtaking control of their country. We’ve seen a growing dissonance from Afghan soldiers turning on our military. Al Qaeda certainly was struck a massive blow with the death of Osama bin Laden, but I don’t think the terrorist network has been defeated (as exemplified with the Libyan consulate attack).
Although Romney did better in the second half of the debate (especially in talking about the economy and his well-versed closing statement) I think President Obama won this debate. There were many times I wanted to interject and debate for the Governor, because it seemed he didn’t show up to debate. He attempted to be calm, as to not turn off female voters, but I think he grew too demure in nature. I wouldn’t say his performance was a reversal of the first debate, but it certainly wasn’t great. I think Romney has done worse with each debate. I am bit surprised and certainly disappointed.
The president was able to maintain a sensible balance of suave and assertiveness. His debate style was everything Romney should have been tonight. He managed not to avoid petulance while exuding his presidential aura. I think the polls will begin to shift in his favor by a few points. I think most polls will either show a tie or a slight advantage to President Obama. Overall I think the debates were more helpful to Governor Romney in that it resuscitated his flagging campaign.
I would like to mention that Bob Schieffer was arguably the best moderator of this debate season. He did a great job and should be commended for it. I don’t see how either side could fault him.
Who do you think won the debate?
Did they sway your vote?
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate