Shorter Debate Analysis

There is no point in rehashing much of what has been sad about last night. By this point in your day your have either heard it all or read it all. But I do want to point out a few important reasons why I believe that Mitt Romney not only won the debate, but how he was able to do so in such a convincing fashion. These are a few general observations without getting into the nitty-gritty specifics. There are some other writers here at CatholicVote who can do much better at that than I can.

So here are my reasons why I believe Romney was able to win so decisively:

• First Observation: Romney addressed arguments with facts, not talking points.

Going into the debate, if you were to ask me my biggest fear, I would have told you that Romney would get stuck on “talking points.” Republicans over the last few cycles have become stuck in the rut of talking as if they were on talk-radio; addressing issues by using rhetoric and platitudes. Last night that wasn’t the case.

Early in the debate Romney was able to hammer home his views on tax reform in a “1-2-3…” style. At the same time he refuted attacks from President Obama, forcing the President to try his attacks in another manner. It was not only the presentation, but the substance of Romney’s answers that gave him a strong advantage. Substance wins debate almost always. Because Romney had both substance and style – the substance shined and transmitted easily to us viewers.

• Second Observation: Romney appeared the stronger candidate.

This has nothing to do with substance and everything to do with our subconscious. Should we pick our President on looks or appearance? Of course not. Yet, last night, the way Romney spoke, looked, and expressed himself was stronger and better than the way Obama did. Some say that Obama was distracted with something, and others were simply bewildered by his performance. Regardless of why, Romney appeared stronger and came off more Presidential.

• Third Observation: Romeny focused on his ideas more than he focused on his opponent.

Usually debates descend into a jousting match after the first 20-25 minutes. Candidates end up attacking one another and then defending against those attacks. This one didn’t follow that path so much. Romney seemed to take a different approach to this debate and focused more on his ideas, rather than his opponent. Obama tried to follow suit, but clearly his debate-prep didn’t prepare him for such a strategy.  All night he seemed on his heels, and at times disinterested.

Prior to the debate, I would have said that Romney needed to attack Obama’s failed record repeatedly to do will. But instead, Romney laid out his vision and then explained why it was different than what Obama has done. Only when necessary did he directly attack Obama’s record. It worked because when the President attacked, Romney pivoted back to his own ideas. More simply put – Romney stayed on offense the entire night. This made him come off as the stronger candidate, and allowed him to lay out his vision better.

Overall I think that Round 1 goes to Romney, but the President is a skilled speaker and Round 2 will not be so easy for Romney. Yet, before we get to the next Presidential round, the Vice Presidential candidates are up. There I think you will see exactly how different these two campaigns are in terms of policy, philosophy, and vision.

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12 thoughts on “Shorter Debate Analysis

  1. I thought this was pretty funny:

    1. Sir Robert says:

      no…not funny at all actaully. On the other hand, this is really funny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jm9BoM2Q81c

      1. Mercury Abortions says:

        Is it funny that Republicans support energy policies involving mercury production and waste that result in how many spontaneous abortions? Google it. And be consistent in your beliefs instead of being blindly politically partisan.

        1. Sir Robert says:

          Oh Mercury,
          If this is the best you got….you haven’t got much. I am soooo sure that republicans got to together and said, “Hey! I know! We can endorse mercury driven energy that will cause many spontaneous abortions! (high fives)!” Because if you think that happened…….. On the otherhand, liberals actually do seek out the most effective ways to abort children on purpose and invite people to talk about it at conventions. And what makes you think I am a republican? Certainly I could never support the democratic party from the 8th level of Hell, but is it possible I am just following a Catholic conscience in weighing the two sides and picking the better one (fully acknowledging all full short of the Kingdom of God)?

          1. Mercury Rising says:

            @ Sir Relativist: Actually, Republicans did
            get together with lobbyists to discuss ways to thrwart EPA regulations on
            mercury restrictions. Who cares if there are a bunch of spontaneous abortions if
            some campaign donations come in? And you are simply incapable of being
            consistent. It’s not a matter of the two sides between which you myopically insist upon framing your political choice but rather simply choosing between right and wrong
            without succumbing to relativism. And lordy, lordy, you act, walk, talk and squawk like a relativist.
            See:http://swampland.time.com/2011/09/23/pro-life-christians-challenge-congressional-republicans-on-mercury-regulation/

          2. Sir Robert says:

            Oh Mercury, Mercury, Mercury,
            Your own grandmother would not buy your horrid “argument.” Obviously you love lumping all peoples into one group. The article you provided hurt your case, as you said that “Republicans support energy policies…” so on and so forth (and to your credit, you added a source). But in the article, it was Republicans who were taking it to Republicans on the issue. So your argument that Republicans as a whole support these policies is incorrect and broadbrushing, so if anything, it shows the principled stand of that party (which I do not blindly support) that they are willing to attack their own for what is good and right. Liberals on the other hand (which I will never support) will almost never turn on their own becaue “he may be an idiot, but he’s our idiot.” High mercury levels COULD cause spontaneous abortions (a bad thing no doubt). Abortion DOES cause the death of the child always (a direct evil and attack on morality). So both are bad, but not equal by any means, and to try to equate them is at best dishonest.
            I have no idea how I am now “Sir Relativist.” I fear you misuse that term at the expense of trying to simply barb me. But fear not, I am in good cheer. I never said anything that would imply relativism…in fact, I said I weighed the two (admitting that neither were perfect) and came to the conclusion that in this particular race, one side is supieror to the other–in fact there is no contest and to think there is rediculous. Our own Holy Father used the term “proportionate reason” to determine which candidate was more worthy of support. Your insistence that I wait for the perfect party otherwise I am inconsistent and succumbing to relativism is inconsistent with reality, as there are no perfect parties or candidates, just less evil ones. So please use your words more careful when you accuse people of things. Cheers.

      2. Julie T. says:

        Thank you for sharing, Sir Robert. Did you read the comments section? “Al Gore proves once again he is an idiot.” Really reaching when you blame the city’s altitude, especially when one take’s his ’08 “Messiah Caesar Performance” there into consideration.

  2. ATT says:

    Ryan vs. Biden – and you thought the Dems looked bad last night!

    1. Yeah, I can’t wait to hear his views on “forcible rape” versus regular “rape”!

      1. Sir Robert says:

        Yes, becaue what one republican said sums up the entire Romney/Ryan ticket. On this logic, I can’t wait to hear his views on Barney Frank’s exploits! Give me a break.

        1. Ryan co-sponsored the “forcible rape” bill. Do you not know his record?

          1. Julie T. says:

            The farce is up “Peeps”; you have said just enough elsewhere to confirm my suspicion that you are a bored kid with too much time on your hands. Instead of non-stop sarcasm, your time would be better spent cracking a few *books*, preferably classics that will, it can be hoped, lead you to master critical thinking, broaden your horizons, and inspire you to worthier pursuits.

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