I have to admit I’m not as psyched up for this election as I was in 2008. As far as Obama goes, the bloom is definitely off the rose and the Republicans have moved so far to the right I’d be slitting my gender-based and economic throats to vote for them. I don’t like the partisanship and obstruction on the right, but neither do I like the MIAs that Obama keeps pulling (kinda’ like his first debate performance). He did not fight for me like he said he would (hello, public option for health care?).
That being said, I’d be an idiot to vote for the Republican policies that wrecked the economy. Things are bad enough, thank you very much.
Despite my current cynicism, I have to admit that I’ve (sort of) enjoyed watching the debates between the presidential as well as the vice-presidential candidates. Here are my impressions so far:
My personal favorite: Martha Raddatz, the moderator for the Biden-Ryan debate. She kept the debaters in check and did so respectfully and effectively. Hooray, Martha!
Mitt Romney: a bully with an outsized sense of his own importance. He showed no respect for the moderators, interrupted when other people (including the President) were speaking and told a different story every time he opened his mouth. That really pissed me off after a while. His policies are a rehashed version of Bush the second, even though he won’t admit it. I get this impression that this guy has no clue about what life is like for most Americans. And, he’d be a disaster on foreign policy.
Barack Obama: Like a lot of Democrats, I was appalled at his first debate performance. I wondered if he really wanted the job after all. He let Romney run right over him (along with Jim Lehrer). He has redeemed himself somewhat after the second debate but the first one did a lot of damage to voters’ perception of his leadership. I did like his closing appeal, though. It touched a chord – inclusion over arrogance.
Joe Biden: knowledgeable, but went overboard on the interruptions, etc. I wondered if he were doing a “taste of your own debate medicine” routine, given Romney’s behavior the week before. He did win the debate, no doubt about that. I also came away with a better sense of his bona fides, particularly when it comes to foreign policy. The Romney-Ryan ticket has no such experience and Biden’s clear grasp of the situation comforted me.
Paul Ryan: Not much to say. He got blown over by Biden. I’ve read his rap sheet, particularly on issues of women’s reproductive health, and it scares the hell out of me. No way I’m voting for this dude.
I live in Massachusetts and was around when Romney was governor. He didn’t mention that way he got around taxes was to hike fees on student tuition at public colleges. He also went on the road a lot during campaign season/s and really put down the state. I got the impression he was using the governorship as a stepping stone to higher office. He really had no commitment to the people here. Also, he’s a lot more moderate than he claims – at least he was in Massachusetts – which may be why he back-pedaled his positions during the first debate.
And Obama? Well, I’ll give him some points for his inability to get things done (or done well) during his administration. Remember that asshole republican who shouted out “You lie!” during one of his first state of the union addresses? How far could you go with opposition like that? He’s got to own up to the rest, though. He gave up and gave in way too easy. Like the first debate, he let the Republicans walk all over him. He needs to get in the game more aggressively and really, honestly, fight for our future.
Otherwise, we won’t have one.