Obama 1, Romney 1

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and and President Barack Obama answer a question during the second presidential debate at Hofstra University on Tuesday in Hempstead, N.Y.

Obama and Romney duke it out (courtesy of the Associated Press)

In the first presidential debate, Barack Obama seemed disinterested and lethargic. And there was little doubt that Republican candidate Mitt Romney was the clear winner. I’m a Democrat and Obama supporter, and even I thought Romney levelled the President the first time out.

Such was not the case in last night’s town hall debate.

This time around, President Obama was forceful, aggressive and more like the man we elected in 2008. He challenged Romney’s views on a host of different issues, pointed out discrepancies in his opponent’s rhetoric and supported his own record with more detailed explanations than he offered up in their first meeting.

There were even times when the candidates seemed they might drop the microphones and turn their verbal sparring into real fisticuffs.

Throughout the debate, Romney interrupted both Obama and the moderator, spoke much longer than he was allotted (which Obama also did to a lesser degree) and continued to repeat the same ideas over and over again.

If I have to hear Romney’s five-point plan again, I may become physically ill.

There were even times when Romney accused Obama of something, only to be shot down by the facts. A perfect example involved Obama’s initial response to the attack on the American embassy in Libya. According to Romney, Obama took two weeks to classify the attack as a terrorist act rather than a protest of the anti-Muslim film “The Innocence of Muslims.” Obama claimed that the day after Ambassador Stevens was murdered, he addressed the American people from the Rose Garden at the White House and referred to the attack as terrorism. Romney disagreed until the moderator confirmed that what Obama said was true.

The moderator also had to remind Romney repeatedly of the debate procedure. Mitt kept thinking it was his time to speak and that he could respond to everything Obama said. And every time Romney was reminded of the process, Obama simply sat back and patiently waited for his turn to speak.

Obama in the Rose Garden after the attack in Libya

Personally, I could not be happier with the President’s performance. Romney looked uncomfortable the entire evening, but Obama seemed perfectly at ease. When it was time to be aggressive and attack his opponent, he did so with verve and enthusiasm. When it was time to sit back and let Romney self-destruct, Obama patiently waited on the sidelines.

Sure, Romney got some decent jabs in and won a few rounds, but Obama dominated the fight and came out on top. Republicans might disagree, but we all know the truth. In the same way I felt Romney won the first debate, I felt Obama won this one. And a lot of people seem to feel the same judging from some of the news stories I’ve read online today.

The final round of the debate battle is scheduled for Monday and will focus on foreign affairs, which should give Obama an edge. Granted, the unrest in the Middle East may cause him some difficulty, but at least he has solid foreign affairs experience. Romney, on the other hand, has almost nothing to his record beyond some media gaffes and a mistake-riddled trip abroad earlier this year. As long as Obama stays the course, he should come out on top again.

Regardless of what happens next week, one thing is for certain: the race to the White House is heating up and there is no telling who will be victorious. Polls will continue to fluctuate and political pundits will try to predict the outcome, but none of it will matter until a winner is crowned in November.

I only hope it’s Obama who crosses that finish line.

Posted on October 17, 2012, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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