Thinking through Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012

Thinking through Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012

Atlanta : GA : USA | Oct 07, 2012 at 9:55 AM PDT
Views: Pending
US President Barack Obama speaks during his debate

ATLANTA - The past week kicked off a month of general election debates that are sure to further polarize an already fairly opinionated electorate. By most early accounts, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney handily defeated President Barack Obama in Denver on Wednesday.

Romney was indeed a force to be reckoned with, as debate moderator and long time PBS NewsHour correspondent Jim Lehrer found out. Lehrer had a hard time establishing himself as Romney ran ramshod over his (Lehrer's) attempts to keep the debaters within the alloted talk times. There were times when I was sure Lehrer was going to say something like "Mitt, this really is a debate and both sides have to be given a chance to speak."

Obama, for his part, was much more respectful of the elder journalist, though time seemed to get away from the president as well. As is his way, Obama stayed away from getting into a yelling match with Romney, opting instead to focus on the issues. While perfectly logical, he came across as weak to many, unable to hold his own against the Republican challenger.

Did Romney actually win the debate though? The knee-jerk response is yes, because Obama obviously looked sheepish and too willing to compromise. According to Fox News' Juan Williams (shocking) that's not exactly what happened.

"I saw a serious, substantive policy debate in which neither candidate slipped up or neither candidate delivered a knockout punch. I saw a match that basically ended in a draw," Williams said in an article the day after the debate. Granted, Williams is, well, Williams, but he makes a good point nonetheless.

What most Americans, on both sides of the political aisles wanted so badly was a bloodbath. We wanted either Obama or Romney to tear the other apart. We wanted talking points and zingers and ad hominem attacks on the candidates personalities or character.

Unfortunately (for the bloodthirsty) there were no remains to scavenge, no bones to pick their teeth with. What we saw, in spite of Romney's aggressive style, was a debate founded on policy issues and each candidates ability to effectively address those issues. Neither candidate, in hindsight, was able to land a knockout blow.

In the days since, the army of fact-checkers have come out in force, a predictable response to Romney's loud(er) claims. Some, like his assertion that he has no $5 trillion dollar tax cut planned during his inaugural term, have proven to be false.

"He specified $5 trillion in tax cuts, a 20 percent cut in income tax rates, a 40 percent cut in the corporate tax rate, repeal of the estate tax and alternative minimum tax and elimination of taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for households with incomes below $200,000," Bill Gale said in an article on

There are issues with Obama's debate performance as well, but these have less to do with substance and more to do with style. Again. Many left-leaning politicos want Obama to more assertively, aggressively and forcefully defend himself and his policy decisions. That's to be expected; we live in America. Strength is directly correlated with volume and apparent conviction. It seems to me however, that Obama is fine with letting his work speak for itself, and letting his opponents talk themselves out of contention.

I can't help but be reminded of Sun Tzu who said "All war is based on deception." A good maxim to keep in mind.

Written by Benjamin Burton Jr.

If you like to write about U.S. politics and Campaign 2012, enter "The American Pundit" competition. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and November. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded after the November election.

1 of 30
Logic Homework
Photo - Courtesy of
Benjamin Burton Jr. is based in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
Report Credibility
  • Clear
  • Share:
  • Share
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear

News Stories

  • Gibbs: Mitt Romney delivered ‘dishonest' debate performance

      The Hill
    Gibbs said President Obama ended up debating against "a clone that looked a lot like Mitt Romney, that had walked away from fundamentally every position he has taken." "If you're willing to say anything to get elected presidenthow can they trust you...
  • Politics 2012: Debate boosts Team Romney

      United Press International
    Debate boosts Team Romney Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney (L) effectively used last week's presidential debate in Denver to lay out his objectives, besting incumbent President Barack Obama...From the get-go Romney was on the attack,...
  • Fox News poll: Romney erases Obama's lead nationally after first debate

      Fox News
    Mitt Romney now holds a narrow advantage over Barack Obama in the race for the White House -- 46 percent to 45 percent, if the election were held today, according to a Fox News national poll of likely voters released Wednesday .   That's a six-point...
  • From words to deeds: Why election matters

    Associated Press When you vote for Democrat Barack Obama or Republican Mitt Romney in November, you'll be voting for more than a president. You'll be casting a ballot for and against a checklist of policies that touch your life and shape the country...
  • Romney shrugs off Big Bird attacks as a distraction

      Los Angeles Times
    Iowa Big Bird has gotten a lot of attention from the Obama campaign in recent days the president's supporters have shadowed Romney in Big Bird costumes and his campaign cut a spot criticizing Romney for vowing to cut funding for public television (...
  • Taxes Are Certain, But What About Romney's Cuts?

      National Public Radio
    October 7, 2012 Republican Mitt Romney started his campaign calling for big tax cuts, but now he has changed course. He's warning middle-class families not to raise their hopes too high. Mitt Romney couldn't have been more emphatic than he was last...





More From Allvoices

Related People

Report Your News Got a similar story?
Add it to the network!

Or add related content to this report

Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use Agreement and Privacy Policy.

© Allvoices, Inc. 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Powered by PulsePoint.