Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Personal Log of a Presidential Debate

Tuesday October 16th
6:30 p.m. – Watching the news as reporters talk about the importance of this evening’s Romney – Obama debate. Commentary is interspersed with reminders to watch the debate on their channel. Beginning at 9 p.m.

6:40 p.m. – I cannot resist mentioning the story about the zumba teacher charged with prostitution in Maine. The police are publishing a list of clients. We outsiders can only imagine the tension and anxiety on the part of that town’s men and women, wondering who is on the list. I cannot wait for the movie. Any ideas who might play the zumba teacher/prostitute? The story is much more interesting than a couple of middle aged men in suits trying to convince us to vote for them.

7:50 p.m.- Hub and I decide we need popcorn to help us through the debate. We make the first batch and taste test it, finishing the entire bowl. We agree to wait until the debate actually starts before making the second batch.

8:45 – Dressed appropriately for the occasion in comfortable sweats, with a quilt nearby to wrap myself in, it is time to get comfortable!

8:50 – I am tired. It has been a long day, which followed a long weekend and a busy Monday. Wondering if I can stay awake during the entire debate. It better be interesting.

8:58 – Hub is watching the Yankees-Detroit playoff game. May be tough to get him to change the TV.

8:59 – He changes the station. 42 seconds to go. The room has a red carpet and blue wall panels. The audience is seated in a semicircle around two chairs and two small tables for the candidates. I wonder how much it cost Hofstra to prepare the space?

9:02 – How did they find the uncommitted voters comprising the audience? I would have told them I was uncommitted to get into the debate.

And the fun begins…

9:12 - Popcorn time!

Romney says he is for alternative energy…Nixon tried decades ago. The Republicans killed his initiatives. They were oil people then and (I think) they are still oil people. I like the fact Obama is thinking about and planning for future energy use.

The candidates are sparring verbally. The debate is almost mesmerizing.

Romney sounds good but he often is not talking his party’s philosophy, the ‘party line’.

Obama is doing a much better job than he did in the first debate.

All of a sudden Romney says he is not going to reduce the taxes paid by the wealthy – who are we kidding? That is the Republican mantra.

Giving more money to businesses does not mean they are going to hire more people. It has been tried before and does not work.

Romney says he put women on his Massachusetts team. That has nothing to do with getting his Republican compatriots to vote for the equal pay for equal work bill.

Romney sounds like a compassionate conservative bordering on bleeding heart liberal. What about the Republican platform? Romney has not said whether or not he supports the equal pay/equal work for women bill.

I have the feeling a lot of Republican leaders are rolling their eyes over some of Romney’s answers.

Obama did a good job of supporting his positions on women’s issues/family/economic issues.

Great question from a woman who asked Romney how he differs from the Bush administration, since that administration got the country into such a mess. Romney mentioned some things but (of course) did not address the fact that Republicans support a lot of Bush’s policies that got the country into trouble – like tax cuts for all.

Just finished our second batch of popcorn. Debates are definitely fattening. Maybe the tension makes us want to eat.

Question about gun control. Romney changed his mind on assault weapons – was against them in Mass, now says they are OK.

Finished our third bowl of popcorn. We are really, really bad.

Some general observations –

Politicians are fabulously wonderful at fudging answers. I doubt there is a politician anywhere who can answer a question with a “yes” or “no”.

Candidates throw out numbers no one immediately verifies. Often they are right and wrong – at the same time. Statistics are funny numbers and sound bites usually are not totally credible.

Modern technology makes it difficult to be a politician nowadays. Every word anywhere is likely to end up on youtube or the front page of the paper. Politicians traditionally are great at backsliding and talking to different constituencies, telling them what they want to hear. That has become more and more difficult with today’s technology.

Both candidates want to create jobs but no one really knows the best way to do that.

It is over. Relief. Sigh. So who won?

I don’t know. I am too tired to analyze anything.

Back to the ball game. Hub is not happy. He is a Yankee fan.

I have had it. Good night…


  1. Ha! All that popcorn... I didn't watch the debate until the very last minutes, since I find it boring. Plus you can see all the good parts afterwards. I watched a half hour of spin. Those guys sure don't like each other, do they? :-)

  2. You should anchor CBS News -- this is the best commentary I've seen so far. And I agree with your analysis of the outcome: oh boy, it's looking bad for the Yankees!

  3. Our reaction was similar to yours... tired, bored, relief when it was over. Decided we deserved 'ice-cream' after listening to all that.

  4. Vacationing in Mexico, I stayed away from a family dinner until the debate was over. Very impressed with our president.