First Presidential debate lackluster for both opponents

Anna McCloskey, Staff Writer

Our current president’s performance at Wednesday’s debate failed to impress even me, the diehard liberal and Obama supporter. The whole debate, in fact, from moderator Jim Lehrer to Romney to Obama, left me somewhat less than dazzled.

A preliminary criticism is merely a petty complaint from a picky observer: there was no obvious winner. As an onlooker, neither candidate showed superiority. Each had their downfall just as each had their saving grace. Perhaps this frustration stems from a desire for black and white answers, and this debate was clearly gray.

Current President and Democratic nominee Barack Obama fell short of anticipated dominance. He did not hit his points home with any Bain capitol references nor did he bring up Romney’s job creation record in Massachusetts. Obama also excluded any reference to the video that surfaced of Romney at a private fundraiser. By omitting these jabs, Obama lost an edge, making for a boring and non-impactful performance.

In somewhat of a triumph for Republicans, candidate Mitt Romney went beyond expectations. Don’t get ahead of yourself, though. This does not mean that he won. His claims went largely unsupported and his facts were fuzzy. Governor Romney also announced some flamboyant plans, yet was never able to clearly describe how he planned to execute such measures.

One declaration was particularly ostentatious. Romney claimed that he will create twelve million jobs. There are currently nineteen million people unemployed. If that many jobs were created, our unemployment rate would go from 8.2% to 2.2%. That would be the second lowest rate since unemployment was documented, only after the culmination of World War II. How exactly Governor Romney plans to accomplish such a feat remains a mystery.

A final piece of criticism goes out to moderator Jim Lehrer. Quite simply, he lost control of the debate. He lacked the assertiveness necessary to control such an event and it showed. Hopefully, the next moderators will better at managing the arguments.

This debate was ultimately a great disappointment. With a topic of Domestic Policy, one that could be considered the foremost issue in this election, neither candidate was able to astonish me with their articulation of policies and plans. With any luck, the future debates will depict a clearer picture.