Thursday, October 18, 2012

Three Debates and the Al Smith Dinner Down; One Debate To Go

We’ve witnessed three debates. Governor Romney clearly won the first, Vice President Biden may or may not have prevailed in the second, and President Obama may have both won and lost the third.

Governor Romney won all three. After 8 months of steady trashing by a President who cannot or will not lay out a vision for a second term, Governor Romney pulled a Governor Reagan.

President Carter tried to do to Reagan what Obama is attempting to do to Romney. They painted the Republicans as extremists.

Both Governors Reagan and Romney starred in the debates before America. They showed they were a viable alternative to an incompetent President and a tired administration, indeed a failed Presidency. The governors showed the American people they were not ogres, racists, sexists, skinflints, caricatures, or cretins.

They were decent human beings who presented a positive vision for America, a vision of “Hope and change” if you will. They  were articulate proponents of their vision of America.

President Obama may or may not have won Tuesday’s debate on points, but Governor Romney appeared presidential, confident, strong, assertive, and in control. The Governor offered leadership to a country sorely in need of it.

President Obama offered more of the same “I’m not Romney.” He couldn’t even say “Stay the course” – that was President Reagan’s theme. We don’t even hear “Forward” any more.

His only vision for the future was to offer green energy to transform America. That did not answer the question asked about lowering gas prices today. His vision is a utopian green nation. The history of American utopians is one of consistent failures.

The Governor missed the knockout blow that would be he 15 second soundbite for the remainder of th campaign. He was building up like a competent trial lawyer in cross examination. Having got the President to admit that in his Tuesday Rose Garden presentation he said the Benghazi attack was an act of terror, then the next question would have been: "If he stated on Tuesday the killings were an act of terror, then why did you send your Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, out on Saturday to say on five different shows that it was note an act of terror but rather a reaction to a movie trailer on YouTube?"

The critical fact for me in the debates is that Governor Romney has grown as a campaigner. I saw him 4 years ago at a campaign speech at Chapman University during the Republican primaries. I was unimpressed by the Governor as a campaigner. He lacked an ability to connect with the people. I said to my wife and others that the Governor “looked like a preppy, walked like a preppy, and talked like a preppy.”

We now see a poised candidate. He may not be a “hail fellow well met,” and will not be a President Obama in delivering a speech, but he’s competent. He will be a worthy representative of America.

Did you catch his proposal for exempting dividends and interest from income taxes for those earning less than $250,000?

Even more surprising was his presence earlier tonight at the annual Al Smith Dinner in New York City, a fundraiser for Catholic Charities.

Check out his presentation as well as President Obama’s. The remarks are usually a combination of self-deprecating remarks and gentle barbs directed at the opposing candidate. Governor Romney surprisingly displayed an excellent sense of comedic timing and spacing.

The Mitt Man can do standup.

Let’s skip Monday’s foreign policy debate. It probably won’t change anything.  

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