The History of the First Debates – What Happened in Denver

by gradycarter

Rachel Maddow – History favors the challenger in first debates.

Ok, so I’ve had time now to watch the first Presidential debate in Denver 3 times, and I have had a funny time with this one. I think that the picture above kind of sums up the emotional side of how I feel, but there is way more to the debate than just Romney seeming to change positions and be dishonest. One of the saddest things to me about politics is how the analysis is based simply on the success of the political strategy and execution, and how that affects the perception by the voters of the candidates. I know that it is apparently all about the performance anymore, but it seems to me that this is simply because the viewers/voters are suckers… I don’t mean to be condescending, there is way too much stuff to have to sift though, but I do get disappointed with how easily persuaded some folks seem to be. With that said, I think that plenty of people on both sides of the political aisle would agree about voters being suckers.

I had a few main thoughts about this debate:

  1. Even though it’s common knowledge that Governor Romney won it’s hard for me to see it that way when his approach was so full of political spin and dishonesty (and yes, there is a lot to say here). Governor Romney looked very sharp, but Vladimir Putin is sharp, and I would never vote for him. I have questions about his integrity due to his honesty.
  2. I was happy to see Mitt become the moderate, in some ways, that he was for so many years (before this campaign for President began). I actually made a post a while back asking whether or not there would be virtue in being dishonest to accomplish political goals. The reason I asked was because Romney had obviously changed his mind at some point on a lot of political points, and he seemed likely to do it again. I wanted/want to know if for a right leaning moderate the only path to accomplish what they deem necessary, with the Republican party having moved so far to the right, was to lie…?………?
  3. The President was not very aggressive on several things that he could’ve been aggressive on (ie: the 47 percent comments were never mentioned…). I think that the only topic in the debate that seemed to have a very clear distinction between the candidates was on Medicare, and I agreed with what President Obama relayed about the AARP saying that having a private option for Medicare, would essentially kill the program. I don’t think we can afford to risk Medicare after having seen so many elderly people in my life who have needed a guaranteed medical system.
  4. Jim Lehrer is a sweet old man… I really wish that in that debate the moderator could’ve been a tough, hard nosed journalist, like David Gregory (Host of “Meet the Press”).

There is a lot more that I could say, but I figure I’ll let this video do the rest of the talking for me. I know that Rachel is very partisan, but she can do brilliant analysis, and I think that this is an example of that (not to say it’s the final word). I know that she can be seemingly condescending towards conservatives, and sometimes unfairly, but sometimes she puts on the best news show in the opinion news world. In this clip she explains that in every first debate minus one (Clinton vs. Dole 96) since televised debates came about the challenger has won. I don’t find that to be too surprising, but I was still surprised by Obama’s lack of energy on stage – but considering he’s also the President and quite busy I have some sympathy for him.

Ok, I’ll stop, but I am still just so baffled by that debate and the reaction to it. I can’t wait for there to be a tougher President Obama in the next debate, and I hope that we get to see a more moderate Romney show up again, but maybe this time with a little less B.S…

Rachel on first Debates

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