The last Presidential debate had a new level of fight in it than the previous, showing a a bit more rumble, a tab more hostility - as much as you could in a produced, civil, seated and televised conversation. Many have expressed that the final debate was rather tame compared to previous debates (like possibly the vice presidential debate, the seemingly most hearty of the four - which I must say I wish took place more than just once.) President Obama was apparently more engaging and Romney, more reserved. It’s obvious that some coaching went into Monday night events, as the race gets tighter near the finish line.
The moderator, Bob Schieffer, has been criticized for not being in control and letting the topics veer off track, especially back to issues that seem to be the most controversial among the two at the moment: Obamacare, education & other domestic policies (hence not too focused on foreign policies - the scheduled topic of the night). Yet Schieffer’s poised and noninvasive approach really allowed us to see more of a debate, more of a fight.
Many blogs and news sites I frequent highlighted the overall “kinder, gentler conversation” between the two. I’m not sure what debate they were watching that gave off the feeling of something more “gentler” than the past two, unless that seemed like a completely civil way of discussing matters that concern our National security and education system, inbetween personal jabs. Other websites have taken note of the President’s overall argumentative tone that drove most of the night. At one point President Obama looked like he was going to pounce on Romney, sometime after burning holes in his head. Romney on the other hand appeared trained to stay seated as if he had been super glued to his chair or as if a dog-trainer was holding a treat a few feet in front of him. Obama was confrontational and personal; like night an day compared to the first debate. It seemed our President was pepped to think that an in-your-face, “booyah” tactics would win him this one. No doubt both men were trained to work against some of their natural tendencies, as Obama kept a steady gaze at his target and Romney seemed to have been slipped a sedative to keep from combating, but a little verbal combating was exactly what took place.
The candidates may have not stayed directly on the topic of foreign affairs, breifly touching on matters of Libya and Israel, but they clearly debated some issue than concern our Nation. And it was a good debate. The idea that these Presidential debates should be programed or orderly is an arbitrary ideal for an opportunity to see how each candidate handles confrontation and how well they stand to their views.
Regardless of how they were trained, of how poor a job Bob may have done as a moderator (though I personally think he handled it best) it’s good for us to see how each candidate handles awkward conversations, confrotations and personal attacks. It was good to see a debate. I’m all for peace, but considering we have two weeks left to help us a make a desicion that will effect our next four years (and likely much more than that) it was good to see a fight.