Who Won the Second Presidential Debate? Obama

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10:30 Who Won?

Obama. He did not have better answers, but did a better job at delivering them. Romney on the other hand seemed too agressive at time, and maybe even disrespectful. This took away from his answers and inhibited him from delivering his message.

If you expected to learn something new about the candidates' policies, this was always going to be the wrong place to look. Instead, this was a test to see which candidate is the best at debating in a town hall format, and for me, it was clearly Obama.

10:15 Foriegn Policy

Romney took the oportunity to point out the failures of Obama's foriegn policy, but once again did not offer clear alternatives that he would inact. Obama is still out debating Romney, especially when it comes to composure. When responding to questions about foreign policy, Obama is scoring points not by providing good answers, but by delivering them better than Romney.

 

10:00 One hour in... Who is winning?

Obama is undoubtedy doing better this time around, but is it enough to be considered winning? I think he is, but only slightly. I say this because Romney is coming off a little rough and has had multiple scuffles with the moderator. This is necessarry to an extent, but I think Romney is being a little too agressive and its allowing Obama to be critical while still seeming calmer than Romney.

 

9:35 Still no "specifics" from Romney

Instead of detailing how he will offsett his tax cuts, when asked, Romney once again flashed his experience at balancing budgets instead of providing specifics. Mr. Romney, I know you balanaced the Olymipic budget, but I'm not going to trust you if you leave it at that. Tell me how you intend to do it this time.


9:30 Conflicting Tax Policies

In a nutshell, Romney wants to lower taxes for the midlle class and keep taxes the same for the upper class. Contrastingly, Obama wants to keep taxes the same for the middle class and raise taxes on the upperclass. Assuming that both candidates will actually do what they are saying (which is assuming a lot), which strategy is better?

This is the question the undecided voters at the debate are trying to make. If you aske me, the Romney argument seems "nicer" because he doesn't say that he is raising taxes on anyone. Will sounding "nice" be enough to win undecideds over?


9:19 Obama immediately comes out swinging.

As expected Obama is not making a repeat performance of the last debate. In the first 15 minutes, he attacked Romney on his tax plan and on energy.

At 9:19 both candidates started talking at the same time and Obama took complete control. Even though it was Romney's turn to speak, Obama jumped on a question Romney asked him and brought the spotlight back to him. As a result, he basically recieved another speaking slot while cutting Romney's short. Obama is on his game tonight and if this is foreshadowing the rest of the debate, Romney is in trouble!

 

Tonight's debate may be unique in that both the moderator and the crowd will demand striaght answers. The town hall format will allow for undecided voters to ask the tough tough questions that both campaigns prefer to avoid. The moderator, Candy Crowley, explained today that it is within the agreed upon rules for her to call out candidates that try to avoid a question.

"They will call on 'Alice,' and 'Alice' will stand up and ask a question. Both candidates will answer. Then there's time for a follow-up question, facilitating a discussion, whatever you want to call it," Crowley said. "So if Alice asks oranges, and someone answers apples, there's the time to go, 'But Alice asked oranges? What's the answer to that?" Or, 'Well, you say this, but what about that?'"

Will this one-two punch of a determined crowd and a no nonsense moderator be enough to separate the candidates from thier talking points? To find out, I will be live blogging before, during, and after the debate. 

Here are the 'deets for the Oct. 16 debate: 

Topic: Town meeting format including foreign and domestic policy
Air Time: 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York (Tickets)
Sponsor: Commission on Presidential Debates
Participants: President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney
Moderator: Candy Crowley (CNN Chief Political Correspondent)

The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which citizens will ask questions of the candidates on foreign and domestic issues. Candidates each will have 2 minutes to respond, and an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. The town meeting participants will be undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization.

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Ian Yamamoto

Ian is a Public Policy major with a minor in Law, Science, and Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has studied at Oxford in the UK and has interned for the trade and immigration department of a think tank in Washington, DC. He has two years of research experience with open source software and economic freedom. His current focus is on using technology that enhances voluntary exchange, such as the internet, to advance political interests and economic knowledge.

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