It is fair to say that polling and focus groups are all in agreement, as strange as that is in this election cycle - Republican candidate Mitt Romney clearly was the solid winner in the first presidential debate Wednesday night. Held at Denver University in Denver, Colorado and moderated by PBS anchor Jim Lehrer, President Obama turned in a lackluster and unfocused performance. He may as well have looked at his watch on camera. The hour and a half debate must have felt like a lifetime for Barack Obama.
Here is an eye-opener:
Sixty-seven percent of registered voters who watched the debate said GOP nominee Mitt Romney won the debate, while 25% said President Barack Obama came out as the winner, according to a CNN/ORC International Poll released late Wednesday night.
Hardly a conservative leaning polling outlet.
The theme was on the economy and all that that topic encompasses. It is, of course, Mitt Romney's strong suit. And, truth be told, it is Barack Obama's weakest subject. Mitt Romney has more than twenty-five years as a successful business person and Barack Obama has no such experience. He is responsible for the policies that have brought about the weakest economic recovery from a recession in American history.
The performance brought to the American voter Wednesday night was that of a man who has never been challenged by the White House press corp. He has been allowed to remain in an ego-stroking bubble and is naturally a thin-skinned personality anyway. He is not held responsible for any of the things he says, however untrue they may be. Mitt Romney has been accused of not presenting specifics of his proposals and that was addressed. Romney came loaded for bear. He dominated the debate clock. He looked at Obama and at the audience as he delivered his answers. He looked at Obama as Obama spoke. He reminded Mr. Lehrer when he was due time for a response, as per the debate rules. He utilized all of the solid debate tactics of a winning participant.
Mitt Romney led.
President Obama is quite fond of straw men arguments as he presents his facts. Mitt Romney did not allow this and challenged Obama on his facts. Romney was firm yet respectful. Obama has a tendency to smirk and Romney holds a far more attractive relaxed half smile. Smirks are not good optics.
This was the Mitt Romney that conservatives have been waiting to see. He was strong in his answers, loaded with facts and numbers to back up his arguments, and he was confident. Obama was clearly unprepared and shrinking away from Romney.
There is a clear choice in this election. Obama has failed to deliver on his campaign promises made during the 2008 election cycle. There is no indication he can fulfill any new ones. He was the one who stated that "if I don't have this done in 3 1/2 years then this is going to be a one term proposition" and " I'll cut the deficit in half in my first term". Now he is left with saying that he didn't know how bad the economic condition of this country really was when he took over and no one could have done better. He even has to lean on Bill Clinton to boost his re-election chances. The problem is, the Bush people briefed all of the incoming Obama people extensively. They've all written about it in their books that have since been published. Also, the recession was already technically about over when Obama took office. The economic recovery that has not occurred are solely on Obama and his administration's policy decisions.
We deserve the experience and knowledge of Mitt Romney. He has a proven record of working with both parties to get the task accomplished. Obama has a proven record of not being able to do so. We deserve a real leader.