1.. I find the first presidential debate troubling. I believe President Obama was clearly surprised by the responses given by Mr. Romney to everything Obama said about Romney’s plans and policies as stated by Romney himself numerous times over the past several months as a routine part of his stump speech.. All of a sudden, it seemed, Romney was not saying what he had been saying!
Romney simply replied, and I paraphrase, "You’re wrong. That’s not what I said at all. Obama seemed to be without words. He was almost incredulous that Romney, instead of defending statements that had been a part of his stump speech for months, simply denied that he had said them at all and then went on to present a completely new reality. In affect, he reinvented his stump speech right there on stage!
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve often wondered who the real Mitt Romney was!
Obama’s inability to respond to this complete change in direction within the context of the debate resulted in his loosing that first contest. I surely hope he recovers and can deal with the possible changing targets that will be placed in front of him at the next debate, because I fear that most observers did not catch the well-placed and very subtle pivots that Mr. Romney made in his responses to nearly everything President Obama said. And they will miss it next time as well.
2. I am also deeply disturbed by the strongly negative ads being run by both candidates. We deserve better from both of them. They both need to practice what they preach. This campaign appears to be based solely upon ad hominem arguments and ads that focus on the past with little effort to paint a vision of the future, except in the stump speeches. Right now the media campaign
looks like a battle between “Big Bird” and “The Count,” and the people are the losers.
While reminding us that Obama is not entitled to his own facts, Romney rewrites his own campaign history. Frankly, Romney is not
entitled to do that either. Moreover, it seems to me that each candidate has always used his own set of facts. Now Romney has shown that he can even change his set of facts whenever he wishes. I think it’s high time both candidates were called to concentrate on the changes going forward. We need to know what each candidate proposes for the next 4 years. We need to know how each candidate proposes to carry his ideas through to completion in the next 4 years. For both candidates, we need to know how that is going to happen under both a Republican and a Democratic congress. Finally, we need to know these things in sufficient detail for us to make a judgment on Election Day. So far that detail is missing.
Unfortunately, there is no third party candidate that can collect enough votes to at least catch the attention of the Washingtonestablishment like Ross Perot did in the 90s. A vote for any third party candidate this year is simply a vote that wasted. It is a vote that is not invested in placing the least-worse candidate into office.
And right now, I’m not sure I even know who the least-worse candidate is.