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Obama Dominates Debate With New, Aggressive Fighting Form

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After the first debate ended, it was widely agreed President Obama lacked energy and was missing some of that trademark fire and gusto he used so well during the 2008 campaign. The man is a talented orator, but somehow failed to bring forth any of that skill on a night he desperately needed to. Romney walked away the victor and his campaign gained a much needed bounce, not only in the polls, but also in enthusiasm and belief in his ability to win the presidency. But then the second debate took place.Obama versus Romney in second debate

The President Obama who showed up on Tuesday night was almost as foreign to the voting public as the version of Romney who appeared in the first debate. Obama not only brought the missing fire from the belly, but also an aggression and fighting spirit that he has never before shown in a debate setting. Romney fought back valiantly at times, but struggled to hold the floor and on numerous ocassions walked right into policy discussions that did nothing to serve him or his point of view.

Much of the buzz the day after has been about the Libya question, which should have been a slam dunk for the Romney side. The attack on the consulate in Libya is a sore spot for the Obama administration. People died under Obama’s leadership and that is always a terrible thing. Yet, every president faces the inevitability that people will die on his watch, so claiming that alone is reason to remove him is a fairly weak argument. The factor that matters is how one responds as Commander-in-Chief. As the incumbent, Obama got to show that first hand, while Romney had to play it up from outside the realm of any political meaning or power.

Obama also rose to the floor to denounce Romney strongly for promoting the idea that he or his team had tried to downplay the threat and violence of the event in order to soften the political damage. When he turned to Romney and called his statement “offensive,” the strength and anger behind it was palpable. It made Obama look like the big dog in the room and it truly hurt Romney’s standing in comparison.

Obama did also call it an “act of terror” the very next day after the attack, something Romney tried to score points on at the debate and got himself fact checked live on camera by the moderator. Sadly for him, the audience was too busy laughing at him to hear Candy Crowley’s following statement saying that Romney was indeed correct in claiming the administration as a whole took nearly two weeks to admit the attack was carried out by terrorists and not militants upset over the infamous YouTube video.

While the laughter and instant correction in front of the audience were not a high point for Romney, a review of night’s transcripts reveals, it seems to me, that they were not his lowest point.

The young women who asked about fair pay for women almost seemed cherry picked for Obama (which Fox News is already claiming). The president signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act as his very first bill in office, so he has incredibly solid ground to stand on in terms of helping women get a fair shot in the workplace. Romney, on the other hand, has never said publicly that he supports the bill, only that he will not repeal it in his sweeping desire to erase everything Obama put in place during his first term. Romney tried to weave his answer and support for women into an overarching narrative of fixing the economy, basically saying if the economy is better for everyone it’s better for women as well. Yet inside his trailing answer he failed to make any sense, inadvertently giving the political talking heads their best internet discussion point of the night when he used the phrase “binders of women”.

Romney’s last hope for the night was to make it out without Obama attacking him on the “47 percent” video, but then he left that point wide open in his closing statement. Obama walked right through the door and closed out the night out with another in his quiver of solid attack lines. Fox and the right wing are scrambling today to claim everything from question stacking to oversampled polling after the debate, but to anyone watching it was a clear win for the president, an exact mirror image to what happened in round one.
Both men have shown their tough sides and both walked out of one debate head held high, which puts a lot of pressure and expectation on the third and final round. The biggest question for that one will surely be is anyone still listening?

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About Luke Goldstein

A writer, movie junkie and political nerd. Basically anything that tells a good story is enthralling to me.
  • pablo

    Obummer is the worst president in US history. That being said I am not a Romney fan.

  • http://www.lukegoldstein.com Luke Goldstein

    Statements like that have more of a tendency to make people ignore your point than anything else. What’s your reasoning? While Obama certainly has had some failures and struggles in trying to get things done, he has also managed to push through items no other President has been able to do for nearly 40 years (the Health Care Overhaul, for one). I would never put him at the top of the list for “Best President in History”, but to put him at the bottom is basically to ignore reality.

  • Igor

    Luke is right.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Lemme see here – “worst president in history”. The day he took over, we were losing 800,000 jobs per month, had two wars going on, and had exactly 71 days in session of having a controlling majority in Congress, after which the GOP had enough to keep the Dems from overriding their filibusters…and Obama has since faced what is quite literally the most obstructive Congress in America’s history since the Civil War.

    And despite all that, we avoided another Depression, we now have something remotely akin to universal health care, and we’re down to one war (which will be done in less than two years).

    But pablo says he’s the worst president in history.

    Pablo, I suggest you learn some American history. If you did so, you might learn why I say the worst president since 1900 was without question Woodrow Wilson (a Democrat), followed by George W. Bush. But I forget – you just want to say something hateful without anything to back it up. You’re not much different from Baronius, who quite stupidly claims that if Romney wins, he’ll face an even worse mess than Obama did when he took the oath of office. I guess facts really don’t matter when they don’t support whatever it is that you’re determined to believe.

  • Igor

    Obama has done pretty good considering that the republicans filibuster leaves him with only presidential discretionary powers.

  • Igor

    I suspect that Obama will get re-elected, and if so we will head into really big economic crises because of republican obdurateness.

    Republicans are so anti-Obama that if he offered to require teaching Creationism in all schools they’d veto it.

  • pablo

    The first president in history to sign into law the apprehension of its citizens without due process. NDAA

    Now lets talk a bit about what lies Obummer has uttered. He claimed signing statements were unconstitutional,(“That’s not part of [the president’s] power,” Obama told an audience in a recorded video during the campaign, further alleging it was a violation of the Constitution for the president to attach signing statements to signed bills.) and has issued numerous ones. He said he would close Guanatanamo, he has not, and dont give me that bullshit about Congress, he is the commander and chief and can close it with a pen stroke. Or he could use that other undemocratic, unconstitutional tactic that he is so utterly fond of. Executive Order.

    He said we would be out of Afghanistan by July 2011.

    For someone that claims to be a constitutional scholar Obummer has gone out of the way to violate it every chance that he gets. There is a very clear and unambiguous section in the constitution for being a traitor, and it includes due process and the testimony of two witnesses. For Obummer to sign into law the seizing of americans without trial is a high crime and he should be impeached on that alone.

    He has sold the left out on every front, and is much more akin to Bush than most liberals would care to admit.

    He continued to use the same financial crooks in high office that Bush did as well. Bernanke, Geitner, and numerous others.

    He was an avid pot smoker in his youth yet continues to prosecute those that use marijuana, either recreationally or medically.

    He in short is a hypocrite of the worst order, and a wolf in sheep’s clothing whereas Bush was just a wolf. Thus I find him far more repugnant than Bush, and state publicly that he is indeed the worst president in our nation’s history and should be impeached.

    Is that clear enough for you Luke?

  • John Lake

    Can you link the pot claim, Pablo?

  • http://cinemasentries.com El Bicho

    “The first president in history to sign into law the apprehension of its citizens without due process.”

    Some Japanese Americans of the ’40s might disagree with that claim

  • Igor

    Pablo, charges of hypocrisy bear little force because hypocrisy is so common in politics.

  • pablo

    Elbitcho,

    I would not equate an executive order with actual law, meaning passed by both houses of congress and signed by the President.