Romney: Full of sound and fury and saying nothing of substance.
The first presidential debate (10/3/12) focused on policy, not zingers to provide fodder for tomorrow's headlines. There were big, significant topics--entitlements, taxes and spending, the deficit, and education.
I wasn't enthused about Obama's performance but I didn't find his answers rambling as some are proclaiming; he actually said what he would do and why.
Romney spoke in negatives. He stated what he was not going to do but never said what he was going to do. For example he insisted that his proposed tax cut will not add to the deficit; however he never explained how a 20% reduction in each marginal tax rate, across the board, could be implemented without adding to the deficit Such a tax cut would result in a significant reduction in revenues and Romney's proposed tax plan also includes a $3 trillion increase in military spending, an increase that the military has not requested A decrease in revenues and an increase in expenditures don't add up to no increase in the deficit or as the President said, "It's math, It's arithmetic."
By the way, the President directly challenged Romney's assertions in clear, concise language:
"The fact is that if you are lowering the rates the way you described, governor, then it is not possible to come up with enough deductions and loopholes that only affect high-income individuals to avoid either raising the deficit or burdening the middle class," Obama said. "It's math. It's arithmetic."--ObamaI found it interesting that Romney's style was to claim agreement with Obama's policy on some key issues. Romney declares that he agrees that the financial industry needs regulation but wants to promote his own plan and wants to repeal the Dodd-Frank regulatory act. He alleges that he supports the version of Obamacare that he engineered as governor but finds fault with how Obama didn't obtain any consensus and shoved health care reform down our throats. He insists that he agrees that public education must be a key focus.
The question, which the President did raise, is why is Romney keeping the details of his alternative plans on these major issues secret? Are they too good to be true?
I don't think that the President hit a homer but neither do I think that Romney won. I'd call it a tie. Romney essentially said nothing except to parrot vague generalities about the need to get the country back on track with no specifics as to how he plans to do that.
President Obama didn't go for the jugular. It's not the man's style and frankly I think that his approach is more effective in the long run. Attack and confrontation provide temporary satisfaction but folks eventually stop listening to someone who shouts a lot.
It's one debate. I'm not ready to dismiss Obama as ineffective. In 2008, he didn't walk to the same drummer as most presidential candidates. The odds were against him getting the nomination. He didn't shout and confrontation was not his style. He was measured and detailed in presenting his platform. Why would anyone expect this man to morph into the Godfather? I'm not certain as to why, but this president is often judged based more on who his followers want him to be rather than who he really is.