Monday, October 8, 2012

Debate- Round 2

Debate – Round 2
Kevin Bryant 

With the first presidential debate finally out of the way, it’s now time to look ahead to round 2. 

What did we see from round 1? We saw an incumbent president falter. This is nothing new. Throughout the history of televised debates, the incumbent has historically lost the first debate to his challenger. Carter’s defeat of Reagan in 1980 is the only time an incumbent clearly defeated his challenger in their first debate. So, Romney winning the first round is not uncommon, it’s actually to be expected. 
You would think in Round 2 of the debates, with Romney soundly defeating Obama, the same is to be expected. This could not be farther from the truth. Obama has everything working for him in the next debate. Romney has a huge uphill climb to make in order to knock out Obama and make the last debate virtually meaningless. Here’s why: 

Obama did such a poor job in Round 1, even if he only does a little better in the second debate, it will appear to his support he improved by leaps and bounds from his first showing.  

The media is already in the tank for Obama. Any improvement in the second debate by Obama will give the media something positive to write about and at the very least it will give them a way to portray the debate a draw. 

If the debate is a draw in reality, just the idea of Obama making such a drastic recovery will have everyone but the most honest of reporters and columnist hailing his performance as a sound and decisive victory. Those 45% of the voting population who are uninformed and get their news and talking points strictly from mainstream media will eat up the media’s hyping and re-energize themselves. 
The next format is a Townhall setting. This is where Obama is at his best. In 2008 in the same type setting, Obama wiped the floor with John McCain. Not being tied to a podium is a real positive for Obama. Obama is a much better creative thinker when he is allowed to move around. His abilities as a showman and entertainer can and will be part of his debate strategy.   

In order to have a chance at sweeping all three debates, this is the one Romney has to shine in the most. Not only does Romney have to do as well as he did in the round 1, he has to be better. 

I personally think part of the Obama strategy was to lose the first debate but not nearly as bad as he did. Obama and his camp knew Romney was a good debater when he is allowed to stay on message, so why didn’t they try to trip him up? They know they have the video of Romney saying (paraphrasing here) the 47% of people who don’t pay taxes don’t matter in this race. Why didn’t they use it? Obama has been hammering Paul Ryan in his stump speeches but barely mentioned him during round 1. Why didn’t he speak of Ryan more? I believe Obama’s team decided to hold these points and others until he would be in his best setting, i.e. the second debate so he would be more comfortable. By not bringing these points up until the second debate, this gives him the opportunity to use his showman and entertainer abilities to their fullest to give viewers the appearance he is “that guy” the media portrays him to be, a tough and confident highly qualified president.  

If Romney isn’t ready for a tougher, more aggressive opponent who is going to throw everything he has into THIS debate, the media will not only declare Obama the winner of round 2, they will declare him the winner and start portraying the Romney campaign dead regardless of results of round 3.  


barb p said...

Hopefully this is Kevin's opinion only, not reality!

bud s said...


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