Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Debate #2 Wrap

Among the items you might want to check out to determine where the race sits after the 2nd presidential debate, here are some of the most enlightening.

* The liberal "moderator" certainly showed her hand last night -- and it was a very heavy hand at that: interrupting Mitt Romney 28 times (only 9 with Obama), giving Obama 9% more time, actively joining the President's side on Libya, and helping out Obama in several other ways.

* On this same matter, see "Obama's Candy" by George Neumayr over at American Spectator.

* Here's a Frank Luntz focus group made up mostly of former Obama voters in Nevada who, after the 2nd debate, say they now support Mitt Romney.

* "Question by Question, Romney’s Night" by John O’Sullivan at NRO.

* "Once Again, Obama’s Record Wins It for Romney" by David Harsanyi at Human Events.

* "Obama Went Aggressive – and Looked Offensive" by Janet Daley at the Telegraph.

So he decided to make up for being too passive last time. That was predictable enough. In fact, everybody and his wife was predicting that Barack Obama would go on the offence for this one and that's exactly what he did. But there is an important difference between between being on the offensive and being offensive which his advisers seemed to have missed. Time and again, he interrupted both Romney and the chairman. He may not have sniggered and laughed out loud but there was definitely an air of the Joe Biden playbook here.

It was a messier debate all around with questions coming from unexpected (and some will argue, tangential) directions. But the important fact was that Romney won on points and on manner. He remained calm and fluent – even under provocation – and seemed completely secure in his grasp of detail. Obama was defensive (understandably perhaps because he is the incumbent having to defend his record) but more significantly, he did not seem to have the command of fact that his opponent had. The President often hesitated and appeared to lose focus – a trait which has been noted before when he speaks off the cuff. In what looked like desperation in the final moments, he fell back on a reminder of the infamous Romney "47 per cent" gaffe. This looked cheap, considering that it is now very old news which has been buried by Romney's later performances...

* Here's a clip from, of all places MSNBC, which shows a panel of "undecided voters" talking after the debate. And what they have to say isn't good news for Barack Obama at all.

* From Dick Morris' morning column, "Romney Won the 2nd Debate" --

By scoring big on the economy, gas prices, and Libya, Romney continued his victorious string of debate wins. He looked more presidential than Obama did and showed himself to be an articulate, capable, attractive, compassionate leader with sound ideas.

Obama came over as boorish and Biden-esque. He did not learn from his Vice President's mistakes. When a president gets into a bar room brawl, he loses his dignity and his aura, key assets for an incumbent. Romney was polite but firm. Obama seemed quarrelsome, frustrated, nasty, and cranky.

But the key reason for the Romney win was substantive…