Round Two Goes to Obama

The president came across as more likable, more relatable, and explained the issues in a clearer manner.

By SHARE
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama debate on Oct. 16, 2012, during the second of three presidential debates at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

Britney Spears might have sung "Oops! I did it again...." but Mitt Romney cannot this evening. President Obama was the clear winner of the second presidential debate; although I doubt many Republicans would be objective enough to admit it.

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President Obama came off as more likable, more relatable and explained the issues in a clearer manner. I don’t know if it's my ear as a long time radio host, but I could hear what we refer to as 'cotton mouth' in Mitt Romney's speech, signaling he was nervous. And it showed. I have noticed a pattern with Romney; when he is about to spout what might be an untruth, his voice gets softer and higher. Hmmm.

President Obama was presidential. He took responsibility for what happened in Libya, stating the buck did not stop with the Secretary of State as she had stated repeatedly over the past two days. He was confident, focused, and I found great consistency in his answers. He corrected the governor when he was wrong; and the two did butt heads on more than one occasion throughout the evening. And while the president explained to the American people the reasons they should vote for him, Romney came off more as begging the American people to vote for him.

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My favorite parts of this debate occurred (a) when moderator Candy Crowley ordered Romney to sit down (!) and (b) when Romney questioned the president's use of the word “terror” in the Rose Garden the day after the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Libya and Crowley backed up Obama when he asked the governor to refer to the transcript of what he had said.

But I do want to point out a couple of things that perhaps no one will write about tonight: One, if you want to know who Mitt Romney really is, it isn’t the man he claimed to be in the answer to the final question of the debate, the one in which the audience member asked both candidates to dispel myth(s) about who they really are, what they really believe. The real Mitt Romney was the one who constantly tried to steamroll Crowley—behaving in such an arrogant manner that she had to order him to sit down. Even CNN's online tracker showed Romney's favorability drop a great deal when he refused to play nice or by the rules, so to speak.

And finally, one observation as a woman: This election will be in the hands of many women. The president is leading with women and lost some ground at the last debate--ground he will now gain back. Mitt Romney seemed like a steamroller over Crowley. He showed a lack of respect for her, perhaps in part because of her gender and in part because he doesn't like anyone to tell him what to do ... especially a woman.

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