Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Round 2: Obama and Romney Take On Each Other

In what seemed to be one of the most anticipated debate after a lackluster performance by President Obama in the first round, the next round saw some sharp retorts from Obama snubbing Romney time and again. Now everyone thinks Obama quelled the panic in his camp. Not a chance, I say. No one seemed to see how hesitant he was while taking the stage and fumbled for words time and again. Infact, earlier into the segment, I was groaning, "Not again"!

What I was interested in was understanding Romney's definite policies on key issues such as the current state of the economy, immigration and healthcare; for the President's part, I wanted to see him stand tall and speak as a leader of a nation who takes ownership for gaffes and is passionate about straightening the nation's problems. 

Both parties failed to impress me. 

It seemed like a repeat of the earlier debate except for a more aggressive body language and sharp choice of words hurled by both candidates at each other. They were more interested in putting each other in their place rather than answer assertively to important questions posed by undecided voters. Obama did a great job in giving non-committal responses on the specific Libya issue. Romney did a poor job of pinning down on the President on this one that has been rankling the Americans. On a few occasions,  he seemed stumped by Obama's acidic retorts. Obama's body language was a huge let down. I thought he seemed hesitant, tired and irritated. I did not see the sure shot answers  I was looking forward to hearing from Mr.President.

Obama interrupted Romney on many occasions while the latter was still trying to finish what he had to say, prompting Romney to remind Obama that he will get his moment. Obama could have exhibited better leadership skills than jump in like a frustrated teenager who desperately wanted to set the record straight.

For her part, the moderator Candy Crowley was ineffective in balancing the use of time by both candidates and jumped in to affirm or correct the stand on Libya by Obama.    I think it was a huge violation in her role as a facilitator of a key national debate. It seemed she was leading the group of undecided voters in a certain direction that seemed to give Obama brownie points. I felt she did not give Romney enough opportunity to counter attacks from Obama or answer questions to the best of his abilities, while Obama seemed to get ample stage. As a facilitator, Candy is only expected to manage time, facilitate discussions between both candidates, ensure the audience does not take sides either by clapping or making remarks that support either of the candidates. In effect, she failed to keep the atmosphere neutral.

In summary, the debate was no different than the earlier one except for the blatant unprofessionalism exhibited by the President. Romney was strong with statistics, pointed out loopholes in Obama's policies, but failed to impress us with his vision on key national issues. 

Now, I am wondering how the final debate on Foreign Policies will go. It is not Romney's natural turf, but Obama is a seasoned debater with the experience in the field to back him up. 

But we all know, a lot of surprises await around the corner.

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