A Declaration of Victory
Posted by Noah Kantro on October 4, 2012
Cornell Review writers on the first presidential debate:
Crisp, concise and collected! Few could doubt that Romney was essentially lecturing the insipid, listless and evasive Obama. Romney’s gaze never seemed to leave the President, while Obama submissively accepted the rhetorical clobbering.
The domination was relentlessly complete — in style, substance, conviction and earnestness. It is puzzling to think that Obama has gained a reputation for being a masterful or sensational speaker, or debater. I mean, really?? He rambled constantly, and his statements consisted of random and unrelated thoughts strung together with only a thin veneer of coherence.
Romney’s exhaustively described defenses for empowering small businesses, forgoing tax increases, and strategically cutting deficits were exceedingly well-explained, on both principled and practical grounds. He made it clear that he was, first and foremost, a proven problem-solver who cares about the plight of jobless Americans, and who understands the urgency of the crises the unemployed are faced with. Most important, Romney appeared pragmatic in tone (appealing to undecided voters) and incisively robust in argument (persuading undecided voters). He expressed himself in an organized and clever manner. His “zingers” were well delivered, refreshingly amusing and to the point.
Chris Christie was right: Romney has turned this campaign on its head. The momentum has shifted.
A pitiful effort by Obama, showing how very little “hope” he now has left in himself and his own ideas. For a full-term president, he was remarkably incapable and unwilling to talk about his cumulative American philosophy in terms other than minor policy details. My interpretation: Obama is so tired of his personal failure to achieve his agenda, and make it popular, that he has all but given up. It is now mentally exhausting for him to craft on-the-fly his populist façade—a guise for his actual anti-Constitutional, anti-American agenda—because every lie reminds him how ineffective he has been. Obamacare, the pinnacle of his attempt to bolster federal power at the expense of state, personal, and free market rights, is unpopular and bound for repeal. Instead of falling in love with the entitlement state, the American people have renewed faith in Constitutional principles. If you were Obama, how would you feel? Most people would quit while they’re ahead…instead, Obama chose to run again, gambling his life away. In a second Obama term, what are the chances of a major scandal, a terrible war, further economic stagnation? Very high. On the other hand, what are the chances of a national Democratic rally, bipartisan breakthrough, a reduction in the national debt? Very low. Would you subject your legacy to these chances? Ugh…I’d be just as nervous and dispassionate as Obama.
Mitt Romney finally delivered what Republicans have been asking for. He took a stand, stood his ground, and went on the attack while Barack Obama appeared to be irritated and on the defensive. When it comes down to it Mitt Romney appeared presidential, while Obama looked out of his league. The body language spoke volumes alone: Barack Obama looked everywhere in the room except at his opponent, while Mitt Romney stared down Obama as if he were prey. Again, this is exactly what Republicans have been waiting for. Simply dominating.
If on January 20th, 2013, we are celebrating the inauguration of President Romney, last night’s debate will be looked back upon as the turning point in the race. If this campaign has been a boxing match, the champ just got knocked down in the 8th round. He had been fighting strong in the previous rounds this summer, with more ad spending and media caterwauling, but he underestimated the challenger. Obama had been counting on the bout being fixed. The judges (the media) all have bets placed on his victory. So does the referee (Lehrer). So do the 47%. But you can’t fix a knockout – and that is what Romney delivered last night. While Obama is not down for the count yet, and there are still plenty of rounds left, the momentum has shifted, the judges are slack-jawed, and the public has in their mind the image of a new champion hoisting the belt when this is over. I expect to see the first polls with Romney on top in the next several days.