Author’s Note: This article addresses the October 3, 2012 presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama and critiques Obama’s debating tactics. For a more definitive analysis of Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign, you can access on here on the Patriot Statesman:
- Does Obama Say One Thing and Do Another? – 09/19/2012
- Real Golfers Don’t Request a Mulligan – 09/10/2012
- Obama’s Presidential Campaign Playbook – 08/19/2012
- Obama – Dividing by Economic Status – 08/12/2012
- Suggested Presidential Debate Questions for President Obama – July 28, 2012
- Reasons for Opposing President Obama and His Re-election – July 25, 2012
This article concerns Obama’s debating tactics. On October 3 he repeatedly complained Romney lacked specifics about his economic and taxation proposals. However, when he was the novice candidate in 2008, Barack’s campaign “specifics” were “Hope” and “Change”. He benefitted tremendously because many voters – after having a Republican in the White House for eight years – were ready for a Democrat whether Hillary or Barack.
Too many people think “change” is the same as “progress”. Romney’s challenge is to convince a majority of voters that, in an Obama presidency, change is synonymous with neither progress nor success. He must repeatedly stress Obama’s actual record as President.
In 2008, Obama was the least qualified presidential candidate in modern history. Barack didn’t understand the economic and fiscal challenges and problems facing the nation. His first term proves he lacks solutions for problems such as unemployment, annual budget deficits and a rapidly increasing national debt. Obama didn’t run against McCain in 2008; he campaigned against George W. Bush. Once elected, he blamed Bush for the “economic mess I inherited”.
Obama debated McCain as if John were George W – successfully but incorrectly blaming Republicans generally, Bush specifically – for the “great recession”. However, Obama’s 2008 blame game overlooked, as Al Gore would say, “an inconvenient truth”.
The economic downturn that started in 2008, and continued into 2012, was largely due to sub- prime mortgages that financial institutions bundled and sold as top notch securities. Facts about sub-prime mortgages include:
- The U.S. Congress controls the purse strings and is responsible for oversight of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac and – when taxpayer funds were involved – ACORN.
- Democrats regained control of Congress following 2006 congressional elections giving them two years to budget wisely and exercise prudent oversight. They did neither.
- Rather than increase oversight, Representatives Barney Frank and Maxine Waters claimed none of the three entities required additional oversight.
- Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats pressured lending institutions to create loans enabling minorities and low income families to buy homes. They believed home ownership was a right of all Americans regardless of creditworthiness.
- Financial institutions – given an opportunity to exercise their creativity – responded with sub-prime mortgages.
- Being creative, not stupid, they packaged and peddled those mortgages to other financial institutions as grade-A securities.
- ACORN – a personal favorite of newly-elected Senator Obama – was lauded by Ms. Waters for facilitating low-income home ownership.
Fact: Democrats were instrumental in creating the U.S. housing bubble that – when it burst – resulted in bank failures, loss of jobs and myriad other economic woes. Each time Obama denies his and Democrat culpability, he: solidifies his tendency to ”never let facts get in the way of a good story”; further discredits the credibility and integrity of mainstream media who, by and large, have allowed Obama to tell his “blame it on Bush” lie with impunity for nearly four years.
Now, burdened with an unsuccessful record during his first term, Barack demands specifics from Mitt to divert attention from his own presidential failures. He needs Mitt’s specifics so his campaign team can: create competing studies “proving” Romney’s programs won’t work; feed their “facts” to a mostly compliant media. By defaming and discrediting Romney, Obama can strengthen his bid for another term although his first term has the country $6 trillion deeper in debt and considerably weaker constitutionally, economically and militarily.
Another factor that probably threw Obama off his game October 3:
- It’s easy for Team Obama to run TV ads – and for Obama’s campaign speeches to feature falsehoods about Romney’s record at Bain Capital – that Mitt:
- exported jobs to other countries;
- violated SEC rules by filing false documents,
- and repeat those untruths after “Washington Post” fact checkers said “not factual”.
However, when the object of Barack’s falsehoods is on the same stage with a podium of equal size, Obama can’t afford to be exposed as, to say it kindly, “a teller of tall tales”.
October 3 focused on economics but Romney must also challenge Obama on non-economic issues. Two prime examples:
- Attempting to establish an imperial presidency by usurping Constitutional powers of the Supreme Court and Congress,
- Supreme Court by declaring DOMA unconstitutional and refusing to enforce that act passed by Congress;
- Congress by implementing the DREAM Act by executive order although Congress did not enact DREAM Act legislation.
- A Middle East policy favoring “Arab Spring” countries especially Egypt and Libya whose citizens rewarded the U.S. by invading and virtually destroying our embassies; in Libya, by also murdering four U.S. citizens including the Ambassador.
- In the process, Obama has isolated Israel while refusing to confront Iran on its nuclear arms development.
Can Romney and Republicans overcome incumbency perks and power – plus Obama slicing and dicing the electorate to gain every advantage possible – while mainstream media vent their spleen on Mitt?
The answer may well lie in Mitt’s ability – in their remaining debates – to keep Obama on the defensive about his actual record while Paul Ryan deflates that colossal windbag Joe Biden. It’s encouraging that Obama had nothing to say about Big Bird until his campaign speech writers fed him a retort on his trusty teleprompter for a campaign speech the following day.