The first 2012 Presidential Debate
By W. Graham Hollywood, Fla.
Several of my friends asked me, “What was wrong with President Obama during the First 2012 Presidential Debate? My answer was, “I do not know but the following could have been factors…”
∑ The President of the United States could have been very tired. He serves as President of the most powerful nation in the Free World and simultaneously campaigns for what might be one of the closest presidential races in history.
∑ He might have been acting “Presidential”. The President of the United States is under scrutiny 24/7, especially this President. According to the media and the pundits, he cannot do anything right.
∑ He might have been reacting to accusations made in previous weeks that he was rude to a world leader so he toned it down.
∑ He obviously was not programmed, briefed, and tutored like his opponent.
∑ He could have been politely waiting for the moderator to act like a moderator and not let Romney tell the moderator what to do, waiting for the moderator to stop letting Romney speak when he wasn’t supposed to, and stop letting Romney speak longer than the guidelines. President Obama continued to look at the moderator as if waiting for him to do his job. The moderator definitely lost control of the debate.
∑ He may have been astounded by the disrespectful and “attack approach” of Gov. Romney. This is why Romney is always trying to clear up inappropriate statements that he makes. If Romney were to be elected, his aggressive manner could have this country in war within his first year.
∑ He may have thought they were actually going to follow the guidelines of the debate, and these guidelines have been criticized by the media.
∑ He may have been stunned how Gov. Romney quoted statistics that were not accurate. I must admit President Obama rarely challenged those statistics and he should have.
∑ He should have continually indicated that Romney never clearly stated what he was going to do if he were elected.
∑ President Obama might have been stunned by the fact that Gov. Romney’s answers did not answer the questions, which is what happens when you have been programmed.
I never really heard what the criterion was for “winning a debate”. If winning means taking the debate over, being rude to the moderator, not following the time guidelines, speaking when you want to, and redefining the parameters of the debate, then Gov. Romney won.
In future debates, in my judgment, the only thing that President Obama needs to do differently is study the progress that he has made, make sure of the accurate statistics supporting that progress, and get lots of rest before the debate. He will never be rude or abrasive, but he should be more aggressive in challenging inaccurate statements of Romney and pointing out the problems with the plans Romney is proposing, even if they are vague.
W. Graham Hollywood, Fla.