A group of deployed sailors watch the Presidential Debate. (Photo By Flickr user Official U.S. Navy Imagery)
By Bob Bradley
After watching the second presidential debate and the post-debate commentary from multiple media sources, here are some of my impressions:
-Just how wrong were the political pundits who predicted that the town-hall-debate format would not allow the candidates to be very aggressive or contentious toward each other.
-As anticipated, Governor Romney did better in the more traditional debate format while President Obama performed better in the town hall style debate.
-Neither candidate repeated his performance from the first debate where Governor Romney probably had the best debate of his public career and President Obama had most likely his worst.
-Governor Romney has likely learned that you do not call out a president on a situation where American citizens lost their lives abroad unless absolutely certain you have the facts correct. Even then given the nature of the tragedy and the rally-round-the-flag sentiment of the American public you should really think whether such a call out will work to your advantage.
-Comments from both debates have generated quite a reaction in the social media world. Facebook groups, web sites, and many tweets have been devoted to the topics of: Big Bird and ‘binders full of women”.
-It was interesting to hear Governor Romney essentially describe an affirmative action plan to increase the number of women in his cabinet when he was Governor of Massachusetts.
-Just as President Obama found out in the first debate that Governor Romney was not a candidate to take lightly, Governor Romney came to that same realization about President Obama in the second debate.
-Will be interesting to see if any segments of the second debate appear in future campaign ads. The facial expression, which was caught on camera, of the woman who asked the question about the assault weapons ban when Governor Romney was giving his answer would be almost priceless in a pro-Obama ad.
-And finally I wonder if Governor Romney realizes that the job he is very earnestly campaigning for was essentially created by government.
Bob Bradley is solely responsible for the opinions expressed above. These opinions do not necessarily reflect those of WJBC, Radio Bloomington or Cumulus Media staff or management.
Bradley was a full-time professor in the Department of Politics and Government at Illinois State University where he has been since 1982. He has received several recognitions including: Carnegie Scholar for Civic Engagement, Constitution Trail Friend of the Year, and Faculty Star distinction by ISU Athletics. He dearly loves his wife, Reenie, of more than 25 years, and his daughter, Erin. He is an avid reader, devout sports enthusiast, gardener, golfer, and bird watcher.