Romney, with a binder full of women \\Photo credit: Reuters
Barack Obama, who apparently skipped the first debate in order to celebrate his wedding anniversary, showed up for last night’s debate. There was little similarity between the sad, defeated, petulant shell of a man from the first contest and the aggressive, feisty President that slapped Romney all over the stage at Hofstra.
There was something unsettling about hearing Mitt Romney advocating for increased coal use, as though this were 1912 and not 2012. To make things even weirder, he referred to oil as one point as a “vast new resource” as if its wonders had just been discovered. President Obama had an excellent response here about using a combination of wind, solar, and natural gas to increase energy independence and job growth. The other interesting part of Romney’s rhetoric on energy is that he always talks about creating energy independence for North America. Every President going back to Nixon has set a goal of making the United States energy independent. For Romney to expand the area is a lowering of the goalposts, and would be significantly easier to accomplish given the vast reserves of oil in Canada and Mexico. Obama also got the better of him on gas prices: asked why gas prices had gone up so far in his time in office, Obama replied that they’d been low because of the financial collapse, and then suggested that Romney could make them low again if his deregulation triggered another one. BOOM! Policy slam!
Blue steel? Source: Time.com
Like many of the members of my generation who hope that somewhere deep inside the gloomy shell of the the candidate from 2008 who promised that “we were the one’s we’d been waiting for” and that his election would change the world remains a President who can accomplish that, I was extremely disappointed in the Presidential debate last week. There was barely a memorable line or moment. Instead, the first debate will likely go down in history as the debate that-mentally-only one man showed up for. It wasn’t Jim Lehrer, and it certainly wasn’t President Obama. Obama’s terrible performance left me questioning whether I can really vote for him again. Why would I bother, when he couldn’t even bother to do the appropriate level of debate prep? Why would I donate to his campaign when he often seems incapable of explaining his vision for America and unable to even defend his own record? President Obama has a lot to make up for in the next two debates.
Last night (or whatever night it was – the time zone thing here really messes with my head), Vice President Biden helped to stop the bleeding, and did an excellent job of reminding America both how ridiculous the Romney platform is, and what – to use a friend’s phrase – a smarmy shit Congressman Ryan is. Most of the discussion about the debate revolves around whether Biden was too rude and too over-the-top in his constant interrupting, laughing, challenging, and grinning at Ryan’s answers. I think that, except for when he got a bit too aggressive during the part about tax policy, it was perfect.
Biden reacted the way that he did because Ryan’s stock lies are absurd and insulting. Even the moderator wouldn’t let him get away with it: