Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Debate: Romney

Quick thoughts on the debate.

Initially I was concerned about Romney's "kinder, gentler" strategy but in the end I think it worked. Maybe Obama "won" the debate if it we score it as an abstract debate, but this is about gaining trust and earning votes. I don't think Obama won over undecided voters. If any votes moved, I suspect they moved in Romney's direction.

Romney looked presidential and wise. Obama ended up looking petty, mean, and substituting attack for agenda. Obama's snarky comments about the size of the navy seemed to please the MSNBC crowd, but will not play well with pro-navy voters in places such as Virginia and Florida. In addition, Obama looked like he was ridiculing Admirals and other military experts who have expressed concern about the size of the navy.

Romney did a very good job on Obama's apology tour, especially his noting that Obama had skipped Israel on his visit to the Middle East, and that Obama had accused the USA of "dictating" to countries. That will play well with Jewish voters many of whom, at least according to some polling I have seen, seem inclined (surprise!) to vote for Romney.

Maybe I am too combative, but I would have gone after Obama on Libya. In retrospect, however, Romney probably made the wise choice by not generating a "politicized petty debate" on the ins-and-outs of Benghazi. Obama would have used the opportunity to filibuster and lie on the story; Romney can go after him on the campaign trail.

I thought that the Governor did a very nice job of tying foreign policy to domestic policy and scored some big points on the need to strengthen the economy. Romney very cleverly understood that although this was to be a discussion about foreign policy, voters are more concerned about the economy. Romney did a very nice job on China trade and North American energy independence. He also showed that he has a very good knowledge of all the other issues "out there."

Romney kept himself close to Obama throughout much of the evening and Obama had difficulty distancing himself from Romney despite past efforts to depict Romney as a wild-eyed war monger.

The Obama body language was bad; his overly aggressive crouching stare made him look like some sort of giant bird of prey or a vulture ready to swoop down. Not good imaging.

By the end of the evening, Obama looked tired and frustrated. Obama looked like a boxer who has been flailing and dancing all evening and just wore himself out.

Obama needs a BIG October surprise to win. Absent that, Romney will be the next President.


  1. Good point on the Navy voters. I think Obama lost Virginia tonight.

  2. "Obama['s] . . . overly aggressive crouching stare . . . "

    Yes, I noticed that a lot. It shouldn't bother his core supporters, it will cause Romney supporters to believe that he is a jerk. But, most importantly, it will cause those "undecideds" to think less of him. THAT is a good thing.

  3. I said to my wife that the President should have an advantage since presumably he has all the data and reasoning used to develop his military, diplomatic and economic policies while the challenger must develop at best a shadow program. Obama shows how little he has been involved in the direction of US policies. I would say it is rudderless but that is not correct. It has a clear direction that cannot be broadcast to the US voter.

  4. Has Obama visited Israel while president? He sarcastically chided Romney for taking his daughters (did I hear that correctly?) and holding a fund raiser while in Israel. Then, went on to describe his own visit while campaigning before the last election. I do not recall hearing of a post election trip to Israel by Obama. Seems he was interested in Israel when seeking votes but after the election he has been hostile and dismissive toward Israel's concerns.
    Aside from that, I wonder if Obama is even capable of speaking truth. He is a small and dishonest man who is going to leave the country in terrible shape. Ironic considering how he likes to blame everything on his predecessor.

  5. From your fingertips to God's ears, Diplomad! (re: Romney winning)

  6. I only tuned in for about a minute of the debate and caught Ø's snarky comments about how we also have fewer bayonets, and we now have this ships called air craft carriers... I turned it off at that point, though I loved Mitt's face, looking like a patient father waiting for his misbehaving child to finish providing all the rope necessary to hang himself. (Sorry for the weird metaphor mix.)

    I gather from someone's comment on another site that he also brought us subs, calling them ships that go under water. As a submariner's wife, I loved that commenter's response which was that ships which go under water are called SUNK. Submarines are boats. Which just goes to show how little Ø knows about the basics of the military force he purportedly commands.

  7. Given the audience location in Boca, which I hear has a large Jewish population, I think Romney should have put more emphasis on the facts that the Israeli PM was forced to use a back door during his last visit to the Whitehouse, followed by being completely ignored during the NYC meetings at the UN last month.

  8. @Library- I loved that commenter's response which was that ships which go under water are called SUNK.

    Now that right there made me laugh out loud!

    Mother of a Lt. in the Navy...

  9. obama was snide times ten with his comments and body language. mitt played it well overall with decorum. obama handled himself like the choom bus driver and community agitator that he is.

  10. So much the vulture that Valerie Jarrett's Administration has been prefigured in a cartoon (leaving to your imagination the assignment of roles and geo-political analogs)