I was quite surprised with how the debate banter flowed last night. Romney seemed like he was on uppers or some kind of drug that made his eyes look glassy – with a serious stare as though he was suffering from OCD.
When he tried using a few zingers – he could not even muster up a smile – everything he said was forced – memorized – like he was someone from the Jason Bourne trilogy.
Yes, Barack Obama was playing possum. He was giving Mitt full rein to talk about his various plans for the economy – from Medicare to ObamaCare to taxes.
Obama lulled Romney into a comfort level where Mitt opened up and put his foot in his mouth – over and over again. Romney talked about how he would give 20 percent tax cuts to all Americans, while increasing military spending while assuring current seniors that they would not see cuts in Medicare. He also assured those watching that there would be no increase in revenues through taxes. He did hint at, however, that some loopholes would be cut to offset some of the tax cuts but there are not enough loopholes to pay for everything.
I am sure that fact checkers are scurrying today to calculate whether or not Mitts general plan would work – but while I am sitting here in my La-Z-Boy, I can mentally calculate that you cannot give away billions in tax cuts and increase military spending without offsetting those by some kind of tax increases or revenue increases.
Romney said that it would take most of his first term trying to get the unemployment rate down – and because of that there will not be additional tax revenues realized from people going back to work.
All in all, from my vantage point as an average citizen, I wish Obama took exception to many things Romney said – but he obviously had a long term game plan. I believe Obama’s campaign is putting together new commercials disproving Romney’s numbers that just do not compute.
I consider these debates like professional baseball conference playoffs. There are numerous debates, including the V.P. debate, just like there are up to five games a team must play to win a given playoff series.
In baseball, the batter watches the pitcher to analyze what kind of pitches he is throwing and how good his stuff is – speed and accuracy – then the batter finally swings at a pitch or two. Keep in mind that whether the batter hits the ball or strikes out in the first inning, that same batter will be up against the same pitcher a few innings later in the game.
Prior to last night, Mitt held his cards close to his chest – last night, however, he started to show his hand and that might lead to his demise.
Mitt was hoping to make it through the entire campaign without saying anything of substance so he would not alienate anyone.
Jim Lehrer gave Romney a lot of passes. True, Obama talked more minutes but the rules were that one candidate would answer a question and then it would ping pong from candidate to candidate – reserving the last reply to the candidate that did not speak first. Several times Lehrer let Romney start a round and finish the round.
Lehrer lost control of the debate early on and was ineffective as a moderator – he should not be used again for any debates.
Obama had more minutes of time to speak – he actually spoke fewer words and that was attributed to his style of using pauses for emphasis.
Lehrer should have made it known from the start that time limits would be strictly enforced – and if necessary, a microphone would be turned off to control the time limit.