Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Thoughts on the Second Presidential Debate

I just finished watching the second Presidential Debate and I have to say that I'm disappointed.  Not with the contenders - they both went at it with gusto and I would probably call it a narrow win by Romney (but I'm a Romney fan so that may not be entirely objective).  I guess I'm disappointed with the whole political process.  The debate seemed to focus more on showing up the other guy, on spinning the other's words to make them look bad.  No thought was given to intent, only interpretation.  For example, Romney stated that the President had cut oil and gas leases on government land by 14% (I'm getting the number from memory so it may be wrong).  The President shot back that no, he didn't cut them, oil and gas production is up.  Romney shoots back that the number of leases is down.  The President says he did not cut leases by 14%.  Romney asks how much he cut them by.  The President says, "OK, here's what happened..."

Here's my problem.  The issue, I think, is whether or not the candidate supports more oil and gas production and exploration in the US.  The answer seems to be that Mitt Romney does and that President Obama wants to look like he does but got it so bogged down in details that it's not really clear what he supports.  Now it wasn't just the President, but that's the part I really remember.

While the debate had some good statements on policy and position, it kept getting bogged down in spin.  Not about what the candidate meant or intended but on how what a candidate said could be twisted to be used against them.  The constant bickering and nit picking spoiled it in my eyes.

That said, here are the positions that I got from the debate:

President Obama
  • Things are getting better and will continue to do so if I'm re-elected.
  • Mitt Romney's policies are the same as George W Bush's policies and electing him would bring back the disaster we're finally emerging from.
  • Mitt Romney will cut taxes for the rich.
Mitt Romney
  • President Obama is a good guy but his policies aren't working and we're not better off than we were 4 years ago.
  • President Obama made several campaign promises which he either ignored or failed to live up to (immigration, gun control, social security reform, etc.)
  • I will create jobs by lowering the tax burden on small business, making regulations less burdensome, and repealing "Obamacare" - oh, and by expanding free trade and making sure China doesn't cheat.
OK, so on second thought, I think Romney won but I didn't walk away with a clear win in my mind.  There was simply too much bickering and not enough debating.