On Wednesday, Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee. and incumbent President Barack Obama will engage in the first of three presidential debates. Doing well in the upcoming debates is paramount for both nominees.
President Obama, who is riding a high in the polls from Democratic National Convention, is enjoying a slight lead in poll ratings but he will be hammered by the Romney camp over the stagnant economy and unemployment. Obama needs to avoid coming off as overly professorial or aloof.
Similarly, Romney needs to do well to overcome the slight lag and boost his poll numbers to have any viable chance in winning the election. The debates will be the last opportunity for Romney to alter the perception of voters in a campaign that has been marked by numerous gaffes and inability to connect with voters owing to his image as an out-of-touch wealthy elite. Romney has participated in 20 separate debates in the Republican primary season and if he sticks to his talking points without letting Obama off the hook, we'll see a great race.
Ultimately, the winner of the presidential election will not only be the leader of the free world, but here at home, he will have the power to shape the ideologically-split Supreme Court by recommending partisan appointees.
Issues like gun rights, abortion, voting laws and political funding will be issues that the next president be shaping and by casting their vote, will be making a statement for the type of country they wish to see.
PolicyMic will be covering the presidential debate live. For live updates bookmark and refresh this page.
UPDATE: Oct 4 10:17am After a tough night yesterday, I've come to the conclusion. Obama needs Luther. There's a time to be respectful. Some pundits have said that he doesn't want to risk losing his base by jeopardizing his likeability factor but he's got one more chance. The second debate is a showdown between Ryan and Biden.
Sarah Palin: "I almost felt sorry for him.' http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1012/82014.html
This video I think highlights the main differences between Obama and Romney in the first presidential debate:
11:18pm This pic has been going around the 'net tonight. I'm with you, Big Bird.
11:10 pm Full transcript of tonight's presidential debate available here:
10:30 pm Looks like Romney's the tentative winner tonight. Held his own. Some disappointed that 47% issue wasn't mentioned.
10:28 pm Obama making a heartfelt attempt to reach to voters. Will 'fight' for middle-class voters. Romney won't be making cuts to defense/military.
10:28pm Obama outlining the difficult choices of being a leader. Sometimes it takes being unpopular and questions whether Romney's can't say 'no' to his own party.
10:23pm What?! Romney just stated that he's for 'green-energy'. What a lie!
10:18pm Romney performing very well. Obama seems tired. Romney's hammering the view that free-individuals can better provide for themselves. But individuals can't do everything themselves. Here's the fundamental difference between Obama and Romney.
10:11pm Both nominees want to bring down the cost of healthcare but differ on how to actually accomplish. Romney's Massachussetts plan is a state planned version of Obamacare.
10:09pm Romney has a plan. He does. We just don't know what.
10:06 pm Obama: repealing Obamacare would strand 50 million people /pre-existing conditions. Romney-doesn't think government is any good with allocating money.
10:00pm A pretty sad Big Bird.
9:58 pm Romney doesn't get why O had focused his energies on getting Obamacare passed. Might it be because Republicans didn't want to work with the Obama administration?
9:56pm Romney seems to make his decisions on important issues based on his life experiences.
9:51pm Seems like Lehrer isn't able to reign in both nominees. Romney says "you need regulation". Dodd Frank-Romney would replace it because small, community banks are closing/failing.
9:35 pmTax Policy Center explains Why Romney's Tax Agenda Doesn't Add Up:
9:31pm Romney: "You raise taxes and you kill jobs". Likens US to Spain-spending 42% of growth on economy.
Yes! Thank you President O for wanting to eliminate ExxonMobile's huge subsidies!
9:27pm Romney thinks that the growing deficit problem is "immoral". Wants to lower spending and encourage growth at the same time. He actually 'likes PBS' but would cut it. Bye-bye Big Bird!
9:25pm Romney differ with Lehrer on who gets the last word (seriously?!). R points to the bleak economy and starts early on attacking Obama. Reminds people of the struggles that people are facing. Still on economy.
9:21pm Romney liken his plan (JOBS!) to Bowles-Simpson. Obama questions the arithmetic behind Romney's plan to close the deficit.
9:11pm Romney tries to vocalize the concerns of middle class concerns:"economy tax".
9:09 pm Obama will lower tax code for manufacturing sector and tax breaks for companies that do business in US. So far, O's speech is nothing new.
R just made a jab at Obama re:green energy. And Romney "likes coal". Aim to further "clean coal". No such thing.
9:05pm Lehrer asked Obama what's the major difference between him and Romney. Education/new sources of energy/tax code."Rebuild America".
Romney- congradulated O-for his 20 year anniversary. How civil.
His 5 point plan.
2)more trade in Latam and crackdown in china
3)retraining for students
5)small businesses--->create jobs.
9:03 pm Jim Lehrer will try to outline the "Differences, specifics and choices" of Obama and Romney.
Seems like a bad night for Occupy Denver to do a meet-n-greet.
8:31pm For those lamenting the lack of diversity of moderators, The Root is hosting a Google+ hangout.
Check it out: http://www.theroot.com/buzz/week-blackness-presidential-debate-coverage
8:18 pm Hey Romney! Here's a tip from Mexicans in Mexico concerning immigration: “With [the free trade agreement] NAFTA, goods can go easily between countries,” she says. “It should be the same with people.”
8:01pm One more hour til debate! Regardless of the outcome of the debate, I hope President Obama and Michelle gets to celebrate their 20th year wedding anniversary. It's an amazing milestone.
7:02 pm Gangnam Fever. Came across paradies of Obama and Romney performing the 'Gangnam Style' dance. Pretty funny stuff. Is it me or does Mitt Romney's impersonator look like Jon Huntsman?
5:09pm Economists give Obama's economic plan 3.15/5.0 while Romney gets 2.14/5.0. The economists that were surveyed feel that O has a more realistic grasp of economics works. That's reassuring news, I think.
4:18pm Romney: New Tax Reform? As if things couldn't get more complicated, Romney plan to cap $17,000 tax deduction wouldn't be subject to health-care insurance premiums but would hit the high-income people more, in order to pay for the missed revenue via proposed 20% tax cut (in income tax rates) . I'm waiting for the debate to hear more about his plan. Economics never was my strong suite.
3:58 pm Bye-bye DREAM Act. Mitt Romney's campaign has announced that if elected, the DREAM program-would be dismantled once he's in office, though he would honor the deportation deferrals. He has had some difficulty resonating with the latino community--from the insincere 'I wish I was Mexican' comment and claim that Obama was 'politicizing' immigration. Who's politicizing now?? I guess he figures he's not going to get the latino vote: way to write off an entire ethnic group.
3:34 pm Report was released today by progressive think-tank: Institute on Policy Studies in Washington, DC that gives a 'report-card' on how well/poor Congress addresses income inequality. You can view it here. As you can expect, 59 Congress members gets an 'F'. I expected that, but the overwhelming numbers of the wealth that these members have (on both sides of the aisle) was sort of mind-boggling.
I can see why there's distrust of government and gridlock in Congress.
2:33pm Washington Post has a fun utility to predict the winner of 2012 presidential election.
2:07 pm President Obama will get first dibs on answering the first question, while Romney will get to give his final statement last.
1:32 pm Woah, CNN reported (an hr ago) that Obama's calling Romney's use of Ohio miners in a campaign ad, 'props'. As you'll remember, this was a Romney rally where workers in Youngstown, OH were *allegedly* forced to attend without pay. Seems like a non-issue much like the video released yesterday showing Obama making a speech at Hampton U.
I had written an editorial on the Ohio mineworker issue which you can read, here. The Obama administration support of 'Green' energy and jobs may be seen as 'attacking' traditional blue collar jobs and sectors such as coal & oil.
1:04 pm This is why I got into political science. Always had a thing for political cartoons.
12:59 pm All eyes will be on Denver tonight. I'm looking forward to Romney's usage of possible zingers. Word on the street is that the practice debates hasn't been going too well for Romney (though that could be a ploy to downplay expectations.)
Lifted from the New Yorker article--one of Romney's aide had a mixed reaction to how well Romney's zingers are being implemented to practice debates:
"We gave him what we thought was a foolproof line about the budget deficit and he somehow turned it into a crack about gay Mexicans."