OK, a posting on last night's second "Presidential Debate" (in reality a "forum") held in New York (solid blue state), moderated by CNN's Candy Crowley. Obama came out swinging to satisfy those unhappy with his performance in the first debate. Romney pretty much held his own, though I thought he "muffed" his chance to KO Obama on the Obama administration's gross incompetence on Libya (Obama, Clinton, Susan Rice, et al, blaming it on an obscure YouTube video, etc.). I came away with the following impressions:
Next time (in four years) there is a forum held, it needs to be held in a state that is neither solidly blue nor solidly red. New York was an inappropriate choice--no offense to the New Yorkers--but you are not representative of the independent-minded voters who will decide this election in places like Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, etc.
Candy Crowley was awful (as I suspected she would be)--she failed to control the candidates (Obama got a lot more time than Romney), started to become "Judge and Jury" during the debate, and betrayed a partisan (Democratic) bias in other ways. In short, she's not up to the job and should be banned from further debates as a moderator.
The candidates? As I've written before--pick your poison. That said, I am starting to feel a little sorry for Obama--I think he knows there's a good chance he is going to lose the election, and now he's trying too hard to try to get the advantage back. He (and some of his campaign spokespeople) are starting to sound "desperate"--hardly "Presidential." As a result, he's losing the advantage any incumbent President always has, and allowing Romney (who always has a CEO/Mormon/Midwestern bearing) to look/sound more "Presidential." I know this is "optics," not substance, but Don Draper would tell you "optics" can and does win elections (think of JFK-Nixon where John Kennedy won the debate, and probably the election, on "optics"). So on points, it was pretty much a draw, maybe even give Obama the edge. On optics, Romney won. The "experts" say any challenger who can come out of a debate with a sitting President in an even draw, wins.
Finally, I wonder what the debate last night would have been like had the Presidential candidates been Condi Rice and Hillary Clinton? Much better, I suspect, than what we got. Much better. And America deserves better.
When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do? -- John Maynard Keynes
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