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Second Presidential Debate ‘Raises Expectations’

Debate moderator Crowley seemed to favor Obama. | Photo courtesy of roberthuffstutter/Flickr.com

On Oct. 16, 2012 at approximately 9 p.m., the second presidential debate began between the incumbent, President Barack Obama, and the challenger, Republican nominee Mitt Romney.  Expectations were high after Romney’s decisive victory in the first debate, but they were unfortunately not met.  From the start, both candidates were interrupting each other like two children fighting for their mother’s attention.  There was, however, no parental presence at this debate.  Instead, the American people had to settle for just another whining child and a liberal talking-head Candy Crowley.  Crowley repeatedly lobbed softball questions to the incumbent in an obvious attempt to give him the opportunity to speak to his agenda.  At the same time, she repeatedly interrupted Governor Romney, cheating him out of equal time to respond to questions and, in some instances, moving on to entirely new questions without providing him a fair opportunity to respond to attacks by his opponent.

I observed that commentators from both sides of the political spectrum agreed that it seemed that this debate (as well as the Paul Ryan/Joe Biden debate) were “two against one affairs,” with the moderators serving as teammates to the incumbent team.   My first and second thoughts were why would Governor Romney agree to such stacked odds and how had he and Ryan done so well despite these odds?  Obama did better in this debate than is his previous debate, but failed to stop the Romney campaign’s increasing momentum that seems to be riding into the third and final debate. Why is that?  You have to wonder about the answers to these questions.  The challengers speak to the issues and seem to realize the nation is in trouble.  They seem to understand that we are looking for a path out of this mess and that we require leadership to lead us along that path.  The Obama Administration seems to believe that it can simply attack Governor Romney’s and Congressman Ryan’s ideas without announcing any of their own ideas, and the American people will fall for this tactic.  Well, it does not seem to be working, at least not very effectively.

In my eyes, the second debate came down to who could speak louder than their counterpart with the occasional inappropriate interjection from the moderator, whose assigned job is to moderate the event, ask questions, keep up with time and not force her own agenda into the fabric of the debate.  Crowley made numerous interruptions supporting Obama, most notably on the issue of whether or not Obama called the Libya attacks an attack of terror or not.  When Governor Romney pointed this issue out, she unjustly interjected, “He did, in fact, sir, call it an act of terror,” according to newsbusters.org.  Since the debate, Crowley has found herself under heavy attack for the inaccuracy of her so-called correction, and issued an apology of sorts.  Whether she was right or wrong in her statement, it was entirely inappropriate for her to make a statement on the behalf of or in defense of either candidate.  She even gave up the pretense of neutrality when she did this and Americans understood that this was a set up.  Even more, Governor Romney held his ground and fought to a tie or maybe just better than a tie against such stacked odds.

Following the debate Obama and other left wing media outlets such as CNN began an onslaught on the Romney campaign for Romney’s comment on his success of getting women into good jobs.  Romney stated that he requested “binders full of women,” from his staff in order to select qualified females for jobs.  I earnestly wish to one day understand how this can be portrayed poorly.  Applications typically go in binders to begin with, and Romney requested binders filled with resumes of qualified female applicants, because he felt women were not properly represented within the binders he had heretofore reviewed, so I don’t know how this is controversial.  I am not a woman, so I cannot comment on how a woman interprets a comment like this, but, as a male, if I was already holding my UT degree and looking for a job in government and Romney said he was looking for binders full of men applicants, I wouldn’t be complaining. I would be voting.

My beliefs lead me to typically favor conservative politicians, but I do not chain myself to the Republican Party. I would, without delay, vote for a Democrat for president if I believed he or she could save this country.  Furthermore, many of President Obama’s ideas are concrete and I agree with a bunch of them, but he has proven to the American people that ideas are just that: ideas, and they will remain just that until “someone” can turn them into actions.  Obama is a  career politician. He has not proven himself a leader.  He is an excellent public speaker, but he is not helping our country where it needs help the most, the economy.  We need a leader who understands the economy and business, and who can put ideas into action. That guy may or may not be Romney, but it certainly is not our current president.

Richard Whitaker can be reached at richard.whitaker@spartans.ut.edu

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