On Last Night's Presidential Debate [Election 2012]

Last night was the second presidential debate and let me just start by saying that it got pretty heated. Both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were significantly feistier than they were at the first debate. In fact, the candidates got so spirited that they actually came close to physical contact. They looked somewhat reminiscent of five-year old boys fighting, but that’s just my opinion.
This debate was town hall style, meaning undecided voters had the opportunity to ask the candidates questions. I personally think this type of debate is the most effective because it allows the people – the voters – to decide the topics of debate, not the moderator.
Some of these questions were certainly unexpected, which was great because it gave us, as viewers, the chance to see how each candidate does without any semi-prepared speeches. One of these unexpected questions, in my opinion, came from a woman named Susan Katz:
“What is the biggest difference between you and George W. Bush? What differentiates you from George Bush?”
Ah, the big question to which Romney eventually responded, “President Bush and I are different people and these are different times.” I think this is certainly a question on many undecided voters’ minds as the election nears. With the negative connotations of the Bush-era, the last thing Romney needs right now is to be associated in the minds of voters with the president that took us into war.
Going into these upcoming days, you are likely to hear quite a bit of commentary about statements made last night, especially the following debate regarding Obama’s reaction after the Benghazi attack:
ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.
OBAMA: Get the transcript.
MODERATOR: It — it — it — he did in fact, sir. So let me — let me call it an act of terror…
OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy?
MODERATOR: He — he did call it an act of terror. It did as well take — it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.
Obama did, in fact, make a reference to “acts of terror,” however his comments during that speech also appeared to reference the anti-Muslim video that had arguably sparked the attack. I’m not quite sure exactly who is right here, but definitely keep an eye out for analyses of the comments above; political pundits will be discussing it in depth.
Many of the political commentators – especially The Huffington Post – are saying Obama won by a landslide. While it may not be a landslide, he definitely did way better than he did at the first debate. He pushed back against Romney and wasn’t afraid to be a little more aggressive. Finally! This is the Obama we’ve been waiting for.
That being said, I also think Romney held his own. He seems much more comfortable talking about his opinions (especially compared to 2008) and doesn’t seem as awkward. In my opinion, both candidates did very well, however Obama may have come out a bit more on top although there were definitely points during the debate that made me think Romney was “winning.”
Truthfully, the winner of the debate does not matter as much to me as what was said. 

What did I think about the whole debate?
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like each candidate’s passion only comes out when they talk about what the other one has done wrong. Romney loves to talk about Obama’s failures in the past four years, and Obama loves to talk about how Romney will be totally wrong for our country if he is elected. Their passion comes to an end, however, when they attempt to tell us how their plans for our future will help the American people.
Where is the passion when Romney talks about reforming our economic policy in the future? Where is the passion when Obama speaks about women’s rights? That passion only came out when each candidate was bashing on the other.
I understand the importance of showing what your opponent is doing wrong, but such a strategy can only take you so far. As an independent voter I don’t look at the party of either candidate, I look at what each candidate plans to do in these critical next four years. Will I have a job when I get out of college? Will I have the right to decide what I do with my own body? These are the important topics of discussion, not Romney’s “war on women” or Obama’s “attack on small businesses.”
What did you think of the second presidential debate? Disagree with anything I have to say? Tell me in the comments below! 
Ashley is a sophomore majoring in International Affairs with a minor in English. Each week, Ashley will be discussing current events involving the upcoming presidential election. Check in every week to find out what’s going on in the election world and read one college girl’s opinion on the issues!
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Stuck in a Bold Moves Rut [One Month Challenge]
Stuck in a Bold Moves Rut [One Month Challenge]
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