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The First Debate- Hit or Miss?

Luckily for me, my very first post on our class blog happens to be due on the night of the very first Presidential Debate. I chose to hold off on writing this post primarily because I thought this would make for a great topic.

My initial thoughts about the debate took me by surprise. What we got from President Obama and Mitt Romney was very different from what I anticipated. The very first thing I noticed was the dynamic between the two. For the majority of the evening it felt as though Romney was on the offensive, forcing Obama to constantly be playing defense. In my opinion this really gave Romney the upper hand.

What I was looking for was a serious blunder from one of the sides… something that I could really sink my teeth into. However, neither candidate presented me with anything that I could really dig in to. I found that overall Romney appeared to be more present than Obama. Normally when I think of Obama in any type of speaking engagement I foresee a lot of positive energy and inspiration. One of his talents is captivating audiences and getting people to really rally around the way he delivers his opinions. Tonight, I just didn’t get that. Romney seemed virtually unscathed by every comment made questioning him all night and came back with sharp an eloquent responses. I was anticipating Romney to be a little more flustered in the first debate.

There was a certain lack of fluidity when Obama attempted to detail his own policies throughout the debate. Could it just have been an off night for Obama or his he truly feeling the pressure from Romney? Obama did not take any true shots at Romney even when provided with perfect opportunities to do so. I was extremely surprised that Obama never called into question Romney’s comments regarding “47%” that has received extensive media attention recently.

I tried to pay close attention to body language throughout because actions do tend to speak louder than words. While Obama was making his points, Romney seemed to possess a grin that indicated he had the perfect rebuttal in mind and he was ready to use it. On the other hand, when Romney was speaking Obama seemed either distracted or disinterested. His facial expressions spoke to me in a way that said, “Can you believe this guy?!”

Overall, I think it is safe to say that President Obama and Gov. Romney agreed on essentially nothing… which of course is not all that surprising. At times I found things feeling slightly petty, such as when Romney retorted that “virtually everything he just said about my tax plan is inaccurate.” As expected, Romney’s primary goal for the evening was to essentially make the debate a referendum of the past four years of Obama’s presidency. On the other side of that, Obama tried to convince voters that his plan for the next four years is superior to that of his opponents.

I look forward to future debates, and I expect them to be much closer in the future. In my opinion, tonight’s debate goes to Romney. He dominated the majority of the date and it was extremely apparent that his prep work paid off. I expect Obama to possess much more of his usual spirit in the next debate which will pose a much larger challenge for Romney and his occasional stiffness. I look forward to seeing what both candidates bring to the table in the next debate.

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Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Elections & Campaigns

 

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The Good, the Rich, and the Romney

This is America—the land of opportunity, a place where you’re given the chance to find success through hard work and perseverance. Given this core value, as well as the fact that America is the wealthiest nation in the world, one would think that how much money a person owns wouldn’t necessarily be an issue in something like a US presidential campaign. However, in the 2012 presidential race, money has become a particular issue for candidate Mitt Romney. From Romney’s large personal earnings to his casual remarks about “betting $10,000” on the spot, the presidential candidate has garnered criticism for being too far removed from the average American.

However, is this criticism really fair? In an article from Time magazine, “Is Romney the Wrong Kind of Rich?”, David Futrelle explores the apparent contradiction of some Americans embracing the idea of opportunity while others criticize the supposed “rich who get richer.” Futrelle finally settles on the conclusion, “Americans by and large don’t resent success, or the successful. This is the country, after all, that invented the notion of the ‘self-made man’…We just prefer our million- and billionaires to have a little dirt under their fingernails, because true rags-to-riches stories remind us that upward mobility is still possible (and maybe even for us, too).” In the end, Futrelle believes that although the American electorate embraces success, it can also embrace the skill to relate, something that’s important for a candidate to know while campaigning.

In our AP US Government class, we’ve recently had to create what we feel would be an effective electoral system for the United States. Among the issues we had to address within our system, a chief issue was money. We were introduced to a quote from Mark Hanna, which stated, “There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money, and I can’t remember what the second is.” Indeed, with questions about job growth as well as the issue of Romney’s personal finances, money is a discussion topic that is here to stay for the 2012 elections. In the meantime, Romney has tried to put his best defense forward. In a Diane Sawyer interview on April 16, Romney said, “We don’t divide America based upon success and wealth and other dimensions of that nature. We’re one nation under God. We come together. This is a time when people of different backgrounds and different experiences need to come together.”

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Sources:

https://courses.onlineschoolforgirls.org/mike.gwaltney/americangovernmentap2012/cms_page/view/1751913

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-cassello/mitt-romney-and-the-wealt_b_1438736.html

http://business.time.com/2012/04/25/is-romney-the-wrong-kind-of-rich/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_5WgsLG5YQ

http://www.mittromney.com/

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2012 in Elections & Campaigns

 

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