This Isn’t the ’90s: Why Obama Won [Wednesday] Night’s Debate


Obama at the first debate (AFP Photo)
Obama at the first debate (AFP Photo)

I finally found someone who agrees with me about President Obama’s debate performance last Wednesday night.   Although the following post is dated Thursday October 4th, it’s relevant to the issue of the POTUS’ score in the debate…and why the President of the United States has to remain “presidential” even when it’s an inconvenience.

The Raw Story – October 4, 2012

Could we take exception to this blanket disparaging of President Obama’s debate performance last night? The very fact that some people thought a very calm Obama “lost” is exactly why I’m for him, in my heart, more than I was  a week or so ago.

People are behaving as if President Obama could have simply attacked Governor Romney in the manner that Bill Clinton can in speeches, or as Obama himself attacks in speeches.

But things aren’t that way — not for him, not in the format in question, and not in this situation.

And this sure as hell isn’t the 1990s, incidentally, is it?

Some of us also seem to think that the best thing that a sitting President can do when confronting someone like a Governor Romney in a limited debate setting is to behave as if he’s an NYU Political Science grad student  standing out at the Park and ramble on in an emotive webcast the moment Romney calls him a name, or tells a lie.

If Mr. Obama doesn’t behave like a very cool customer all the way through this electoral process– particularly face-to-face with his opponent — with more of the world watching than was ever before possible,  the consequences, day-to-day, before or after this election, are literally impossible for most of us to easily or entirely grasp at the moment here in the United States.

May we look at the latest headlines regarding only the “newer” international stories?  We have Turkey firing on Syria, and vice-versa.  We’ve got Japan and China exchanging very angry words about some little uninhabited “islets”…

… then there’s all that other stuff almost everyone knows about and has had time to digest. Perhaps all of this bores some of us because it’s older than a week — but it shouldn’t. Really, it shouldn’t.

This isn’t the 1990′s. Governor Romney can act as much like an old-school car salesman as he wants to, start yakking away about PBS, liken President Obama to one of his “boys”… and use all of those old debate tricks to engage Mr. Obama’s overt anger. That’s Romney’s advantage at the moment.

And it’s all he has. However: doing these obvious, jerky dodges about the same old stuff, taxes and health care for ninety minutes rather than anything else regarding domestic policy, and simultaneously lying about these matters as he glares and beams… none of these tricks will work when he’s talking about anything beyond, or approaching, the Cayman Islands.

What’s galling about this regarding progressive types today is how they’re behaving as if all of this isn’t the case.

President Clinton can, indeed, come out and be Elvis in the party atmosphere of a convention, throw out one-liners, and everyone can be nostalgic for the time that he was President — which, indeed, is very good, great for morale, and we all loved that speech — but Elvis isn’t Obama’s meme, anyhow.

Obama is Denzel.  President Obama, particularly in debates that the globe is watching and re-watching more closely than even the debates of four years ago, simply can’t be as emotional as he is in his campaign speeches. Especially when standing across a stage from his opponent. Has it ever occurred to some of you that this was the very first time that many people overseas have ever actually seen Governor Romney beyond a photo or a soundbite on CNN International? They got a load of him in the British press and media, all right, during the Olympics… think he’d win a national election, there, now?

“Well, yeah, all of that doesn’t matter — this was about America only, last night…”  Sure, sure, sure. sure. Get all Isolationist on me, now. It’s convenient, but it just doesn’t stand up to the larger world scenario that we’re now all in. We can’t say the world is watching one moment regarding some street brawl between cops and a crowd on a suburban street somewhere in the U.S., and then get cozy about how Mr. Obama should have given Romney  Ye Ol’  Smackdown last night as if it were Just Us. It makes no sense.

Obama can let Romney chatter on and on, and he needs to be polite and calm, even as Romney dismisses and commandeers the agenda from the moderator for a time (a newsperson renowned for acting the gentleman on all occasions and the U.S. pundits are now ballyhooing for being badgered and bullied), and Mr. Romney can fill the air with chatter — until things go Tea Party, again, and once again the Republican candidate is complaining about Big Bird, complaining about Spain. And saying a great many things that he himself knows won’t line up with facts even as he, himself, has previously stated them.

Governor Romney knows this, and so does President Obama. Why don’t more of us?

(Ed: Emphasis are mine)


Author: kstreet607

Politics! Politics! I love politics! Unapologetic Barack Obama enthusiast.

8 thoughts on “This Isn’t the ’90s: Why Obama Won [Wednesday] Night’s Debate”

  1. Entertaining blog which is devoid of any link to reality. It is a well-worn tactic to excuse a poor performance as “just warming up” or “planned”. It takes intellectual honesty to admit that your guy lost – a characteristic the author seems to lack.

    Even in this blog, the authors can’t seem to get it right. If Romney commandeered control of the debate, how did Obama speak for nearly four minutes more ? If Obama was more informative, how did he uhm and aah his way to over 500 words less in those extra minutes. My daughter counted over 60 “uh”s to Romney’s less than 10. Most importantly, how can someone who has “fought every day” for me fail to craft a message better than “I care about you more, just give me another chance” ?

    Obama lost the debate pretty soundly and no amount of repackaging the miserable performance can change that fact. My suggestion is you spend more time to prepare (as if four years were not enough) for the next debate, as the VP debate will be a monstrous train wreck.

    My greek teacher in high-school taught us a quote that loosely translated goes like this – those tht the gods wish to destroy, they first make blind. If you cannot see that Obama lost, you are simply blind.


  2. I agree that it would not be right for Obama to resort to name-calling and passionate speeches. But when it seemed that Obama had trouble formulating coherent sentences, or not making the easiest of arguments to refute Mitt Romney’s claims, it did not look like winning. I sure hope that Obama does not himself get the impression that he won and performs even worse next time.


  3. You are just a stupid ass Obama lover who hates America just like Obama!! Obama has a been an absolute disaster for America the past 4 years, not to mention a total EMBARASSMENT for thios country!!! Its gonna be great to have PRESIDENT ROMNEY IN 2013!!! A PRESIDENT AMERICA CAN BE PROUD OF!!! All you Marxists can leave in Jan2013!!


  4. Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    Ms. Kstreet607, you and I both agree….POTUS Obama won the debate AND the election with his debate skill/style on Wednesday night. Thank you The Fifth Column for this post.


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