denver debate

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Round One to Romney

“At the end of the day, what matters is personality. Americans have a presidential system, which means they vote for a candidate and not for a party. One candidate is an aloof and ashamed president who is unable and perhaps unwilling to defend his record. Obama clearly does not have a record that matches his rhetoric and even his rhetoric seems to have deserted him. The other candidate is a flip flopper who changes his stance to suit the wind. Romney opposed abortion, then supported it and now opposes it again, and this is just one of the multiple issues on which he has tailored his position to suit popular opinion.

Debates are occasions for candidates to look, sound and act Presidential. Candidates have to emanate energy, personify a vision and convey conviction. They have to be in the moment. James Fallows, an eminent American journalist, commented on the debate “without seeing anyone else’s liveblog, or Twitter feed, or TV commentary.” He observed that Romney looked much more at ease than Obama and Fallows is a Democrat. 

To win office, a candidate has to show he is hungry and demonstrate the will to rule. Romney did that and won round one. He now has a real shot at the other big bird, Air Force One.”

Perhaps a little belated, but I just found this article this morning. It’s a thoughtful analysis of the first presidential debate, touching on crux moments and specific issues while expanding to consider their implications on the breadth of strategic challenges facing each campaign.