I know that is an odd thing to think this late in the race. But up until now, I really only considered Romney as the Republican nominee. He was just the face I was attaching to the job of removing Obama from office. But, about the time Mitt was interrupting Jim Lehrer, and preventing Obama from ending the segment by mis-stating (polite word for lying) about his tax plan, the words “President Romney” came to me.
Mitt Romney looked presidential. He took control of the debate. He refused to be buffaloed by the moderator. In the first segment, Romney had to remind Lehrer that since Obama started it he got the last word. Then realizing he was not going to get an even hand from the liberal Jim Lehrer, he took control of this situation. That is the attitude I want in a President. That is the kind of tenacity and passion I want to see from the Leader of the Free World.
Then Romney also came across as the man who could bring people together. He touted his record as Massachusetts’ governor; working with the opposition majority (87% Democrat he repeated several times) in getting things done. He painted Obama as a dictator shoving his ideas and ways down the American people’s throat, and then watching as Obama feebly attempted to claim that ObamaCare was a bipartisan effort and that he listened to ideas from all sides.
Obama looked ill prepared and out of his league. I chalk this up to Obama's own arrogance, narcissism, as well as his coddling by the leftstream media. Romney has had a dogfight for the last eight years to get to where he is. He has had to face down and debate the likes of Newt Gingrich and a constant hostile media. Obama has been treated with kit gloves by most of the press since it was evident that he would beat Hillary for the nomination in 2008. He had no primaries to temper him and his debates with John McCain were against a man who had decided certain topics were hands off. Couple that with Obama’s narcissistic attitude that he always the smartest man in the room and this is the result you get.
It was evident how much Obama missed his teleprompter. Without it to feed him his words, he was constantly fumbling around for the right thing to say, stalling with pauses and uh-ums and looking down to either hide his dislike for being there or his contempt of Romney. He came across as petulant and untrustworthy. Obama was on his heals virtually the whole time, defending and parrying. Even when he tired to go on the offensive he sound like a campaign ad and not a man qualified to lead America to the bathroom, let alone out of this economic malaise.
How about RomneyCare? I was dreading that part. Obama was going to shred Romney on passing a bill that many argue is the same as ObamaCare. Romney turned it into a story of bipartisan camaraderie and had Obama wondering what the hell just happened.
Romney, on the other hand, looked calm, cool, level headed and had his facts. He belted out stat after stat, and challenged Obama at every turn. Obama says “tax breaks for corporations to move companies overseas” and Romney calls him on it, (‘I have 25 years of business experience and I have no idea what
I particularly liked when after Obama said that essentially their Medicare and Social Security plans were the same, Romney agreed, and then said ‘Oh, wait. Except for that part where ObamaCare takes 716 billion out of Medicare. I’ll put it back’ Romney hit that point several times. Don’t worry, Mr. President, I’m sure the Florida swing-state seniors weren’t listening.
I was not completely satisfied. When Jim Lehrer asked them to contrast their thoughts on what role government should play I thought it was the ideal segway from Obama’s still warm comments about his “Race to the Top” education reform. I thought Romney should have pointed out this program takes dollars from the states, and then tells them “Here, boy! Here boy! Jump through these hoops and I’ll give it back to you” Romney could have pointed out that the federal government should never have taken the money (via taxes) in the first place and let the states figure out how to spend it on their own. But maybe that would have just been running up the score.
But now is not the time to get cocky. There are two more debates and I think the second one is going to be a bear. Obama got embarrassed. He has a tremendous ego and that is the one thing that can motivate him to focus. He will be pissed. He won’t underestimate Mitt again. The town hall forum will work towards Obama’s strength of feeding off an audience. He was lost with out the adulation that he can normally count on from a partisan crowd.
On the other hand Obama’s foreign policy record begs for an even more aggressive attack. Romney can wrap himself in the flag and contrast that position to everything Obama has done or not done. Romney should congratulate Obama with great sincerity for ordering Bin Laden’s death during his first two minute speech. After that, what has Obama got left? Can he brag about his success in Middle East? He ended the Iraq war? Sorry, the timetable for US withdrawal was set up before he came into office. The war in Afghanistan is still going on. Obama orders 30,000 more troops there and then sets a timetable for when they come home. There’s a recipe to win a war. “Hey Taliban, just hang in there a few more months and we’ll go home.” Brilliant, why didn’t George Patton think of that?
Like the economy, Obama’s foreign policy has had so many mistakes and failures; the Churchill statue insult, the Obama iPod speeches present to the queen, the apology tour around the world, bowing at the waist to foreign leaders, his off mike comment to Russian Prime Minister Medved, the attacks and protest in Syria and Egypt, his continuing slights to Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel and on and on.
The big problem Obama has is that he now has a record he has to defend. He has long since lost the advantage of being able to make unfulfillable promises. Now he has to explain why the seas did not recede and he has to defend what he has actually done. And he has to do it without his friends in the leftstream media to hold him up or toss him softball questions. Last night was the blindfold coming off of the eyes of America. They are getting a good look at the real Obama. I don’t think they like what they are seeing.