Tuesday, October 23, 2012

2012 Presidential Debate #3: Review

The third and final presidential debate was a much-anticipated showdown on foreign policy, and struck me as very different in many ways from the previous debates.

Now, a caveat: I will be posting links to stories that incorporate polling, numbers, and fact-checking. I will also be discussing and linking to discussion on "winners and losers" from last night. As I have said in the past, I do not necessarily believe that these are 100% accurate, but they are used for the purposes of showing the mood and overall view taken by media about this debate.

From my perspective, it was an interesting clash, mostly due to its complete lack of major clashes. Obama and Romney largely seemed to agree on most foreign policy issues. There were a few points where it seemed Romney was trying to create distance between himself and the POTUS, as if trying to create a unique platform for himself. Neither advocated hawkish approaches to foreign policy, which was refreshing.

Now to the outcomes. I will say that I saw a tie in this debate. Both candidates held themselves well, stayed on point for the first half at least, and neither was more outstanding in their mannerisms than the other. On substance, because they were so similar, I feel it's hard to peg a winner as well.

That hasn't stopped other from doing that, and it's interesting how wide the spectrum of responses has been. Huffington Post puts it one way, while The Blaze puts it another. Of Course, Huffington Post is making their assertions based on polling, while The Blaze is relying on the opinions of one person. Fox News, for their part, did not come out and endorse a winner, but did do some minor fact-checking following the debate.

Huffington Post, interestingly, points out that because the policy positions are so close, that the outcome should be decided on style. They cite Obama's command of the discussion, and Romney's unwillingness to respond to Obama's criticisms, as evidence of an Obama win. Krauthammer, speaking for The Blaze article, seems to think that Obama was a bully in this debate and that Romney was more presidential, which is an interesting perspective to take. As usual, I recommend reading the comments, who clearly favor Romney (though not all of them), and who also believe Obama was being unfair.

UPDATE: As usual, the hyperpartisan pundits have come out with more trash talk. Ann Coulter, who can't seem to stay out of trouble, posted a tweet that referred to the POTUS as a "retard." Now, I'm no expert, but it seems to me that name-calling is not a very good way to continue political discourse. As usual, there are those willing to defend such a statement, which I'll let you read in the comments.


samp said...

Good assessment about the debate. I am still trying to decide it for myself. It was interesting to say the least. Not at all what I expected for the last debate before the election.

However, your comment about name calling is a little disingenuous. Beginning with the very first debate the Dems and their supporters have called Romney and Ryan liars. You may categorized that has the truth. For me it's name calling. I would rather no name calling but this campaign has gotten so disgraceful & down in the gutter that I don't expect it to change. For example, the 60 minutes "interview" of Romney on the plane which is being used as a campaign ad and endorsed by Obama, is totally bogus and you know it. It's totally out of context and tries to compare apples and oranges. This is the kind a crap that turns my stomach. And as you know the interviewer is the anchorman on CBS News, i.e. mainstream media. No bias there, right? God I can't wait til this whole thing is over.

Chain-thinker said...

Okay, calling someone a liar, whether it's true or not, is nowhere near the same thing as calling them a retard. First all, calling someone a liar, especially in a political context, is more a criticism of their policy positions than their personal character. Calling someone a retard is not making a criticism of their policies, it is a personal attack. Second of all, I hate to break it to you, but Romney IS a liar. He's changed his policy positions so many times that even his own supporters don't know where he stands. While Obama has lied as well, it is worth noting that, comparatively, Romney lies much more often, about many more things, and doesn't do anything to try and hide that fact. So, you be the judge on that.

You may disagree, but I happen to find the use of the word "retard" to describe our President more insulting as an American citizen than I do the use of the word "liar."

If you don't believe me about the rate of lies, look at this link. You know me, I back things up.


samp said...

It seems we disagree; how unusual. However, the magnitude of the lie probably carries more weight than a number of smaller lesser lies. Either way I guess both men who want to be or remain President of the United States of America are liars. How wonderful is that? It makes me sick. I don't recall Romney or his supports calling the President a "retard". If so I agree with you totally. However, I do not believe that Romney would personally endorse any such name calling. Will this stuff ever be over? Even after the election regardless of the outcome we'll be subjected to all sorts of BS from all sides. I would hope that lame duck session or not someone in Congress will have the best interests of the country in mind and do something to get a budget passed of which hasn't had one since Obama became President. I know, I know it's the Republicans fault. Well, in the first 2 years he had both houses of Congress and still no budget. What exactly do these elected representatives do for the country anyway? Not much or in the past 3 and half years. Nothing. Oh wait!! ObamaCare which the President even having both houses had to resort to paying off Dems to get their vote. I will check out the link you sent me and I do agree you always back up things. But then of course how "objective" are the links? Just kidding.