Immediately after watching the first debate between President Obama and Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, I wrote the following review to some of my friends:
Truth is Romney’s performance while very solid wasn’t remarkable. I would say what was remarkable about his performance was his aggressiveness. He would never let Obama get one over on him.
What was truly pathetic was the President’s performance – it was disinterested. No sitting President – not even Carter has performed so badly in a debate. One news anchorwoman on MSNBC no less asked whether if he acted more or less engaged in his national security briefings. And a lot of other people should be asking the same question. Romney showed the President to be weak. And this is a trait that women and soccer Moms especially hate. It substantiates why those embassy bombings happened in Egypt and Libya — he was asleep at the wheel. What else has he been asleep at the wheel at? Not really engaged at? This is the question many Americans are going to begin asking.
The Pew poll bears out my analysis with the women now being evenly divided (47% Obama, 47% Romney), yet Last month, Obama led Romney by 18 points (56% to 38%) among women likely voters. The other questions asked by Pew also show that Americans now view Romney and the President as tied (44% Obama, 44% Romney) as being a strong leader. That’s bad news for a sitting President, when it’s you who has been the sitting President and your challenger is viewed just as likely as you to be a capable leader.
There are those who of course who disagree with my assessment of Romney with Pat Buchanan — no fan of Romney per se — stating the Republican nominee gave the best debate performance in 52 years. I don’t disagree with Buchanan that Romney put in a stellar performance, however I just believe the win for Romney had as much to do with Obama’s poor performance as Romney’s strength. I doubt the next two debates will be so easy. However, besides the killing of Osama bin Laden, Obama doesn’t have a lot to run on in the foreign policy arena. The recent assault and murder of our ambassador in Benghazi, Libya, and a similar attack in Egypt lay to rest any belief that al Qaeda is under control with the President’s surgical drone strikes. Secondly, the President has made a fool of the peace process in Israel and Iran, allowing the Islamist Republic to gain a firm hand in obtaining nuclear weapons, despite the President’s efforts to send “viruses” to the reactor in Iran to slow down the enrichment. Romney can attack the President’s efforts in the Middle East as placing the interests of the Arabs over those of the United States in the region. Additionally, Romney should note that we have watched increasingly as Russia, China, and North Korea have risen unilaterally in the East without hardly any reaction by the United States — especially to the worsening human rights situation by these countries. Both Russia and China are substantial trading partners, and we should use our economic leverage with these nations to obtain better human rights conditions for their people. Finally, also related to trade and foreign policy is the growing power of South America through Brazil, Venezuela, and other Latin American countries who are eager to sign free trade agreements with the United States despite Obama’s reluctance because of his relationship with unions. If Romney takes up these points in the second debate against Obama, he can make a strong case as to why his foreign policy will not only be in the best interest of the United States, but also promote economic growth.