topic
One Good Idea from the First Debate

Introduced: September 30 2012

As we enter the homestretch of the 2012 Presidential election, many Americans see the debates as a way to cut through the political ads and campaign spin. If you watch on October 3, tell us ONE THING that struck you as TRUE and IMPORTANT. It would be especially great to hear if you learned anything you didn't know before or if the candidate on "the other side" said something that surprised you.

Dialogue on One Good Idea from the First Debate
536:

I read member 339's comment right before the second debate and was fascinated to pay more attention to style. The strategy may have been right on, because it seemed that President Obama displayed a greater, but still measured, level of assertiveness and aggression and went toe to toe with Governor Romney on calling out exaggerations and accusations.

017:

I thought the most honest moment in the debate was when Romney turned to Obama and asked – why did you decide to push health care through at all costs, while failing to win support from a single Republican? Although I voted for Obama in the last election and am not opposed to Obama care, I believe he spent too much of his political capital and set a tone of divisiveness and partisanship by moving so quickly on the issue of health care.

339:

I look at debates from a strategic point of view. I do this because I am informed on the positions of each candidate on their major policy points and subsequently do not expect to hear any surprises. What I do watch intently is their use of verbiage, body language, and any possible subliminal messaging if any. There are some politicians who are masters at utilizing their body language, use of verbiage, and subliminal cuing and some who have no skills.

Here is my assessment: Romney came out and performed like we have never seen in his primary debates. He was hyped, fired up, and on cue while taking advantage of every topic. Romney came out asserting himself as being a man in charge by actually controlling, and speaking over the moderator.

President Obama came out in a low key manner. This is his personality style. He is not known for being a blow hard, or a hyped up type. Obama is known for his intellectual demeanor. This seemed to surprise the talking heads on CNN. They all thought Obama lost. As a strategist, I would argue that this is just the first debate. They all were surprised that Obama did not attack Romney for various issues. This was the first debate where the challenger came out and showed President Obama's Team what he was capable of and what his style is. This debate also gave Romney a confidence level that may give him a small bounce, but this debate is not the debate that matters. The debate that matters is the one where the President goes in for the jugular. As a strategist, you let your opponent get a false sense of security, ride the wave, and then come in and throw him a curve ball that he did not see before and it will throw him off his game because he will be expecting another complacent, non-threatening President Obama.

The good idea was the low key manner with which the President approached the debate which allowed Romney to set the tone for future strategy. It also showed the clear contrast between the personalities between the two men.The body language was clear. They did not speak to each other. They spoke to the American People and the moderator.

The best references in the debate were when President Obama referred to President Bill Clinton's Economic Model and Abraham Lincoln's role of government philosophy.

494:

I don't know what altitude does to spin but perhaps every debate should be held at 5,000 feet to clear the air of smoke and mirrors ... and tele-prompters. Romney defined his tax position which belied Obama's accusation of favoritism for the wealthiest 1%. Closure of loopholes and deductions used by the wealthy is better for economic recovery. A tax increase on anyone now would take money out of investment in business - goods and services and home sales.

Once and for all - Romney isn't going to reduce taxes on the rich. Obama can't make that into fact as he continually repeats. I agree saying the same false thing over and over doesn't make it true or right. It may sound like a quick and politically correct Robin Hood fix to take from richest 1% , as defined as anyone making over $250K, and give their 'fair share' to struggling middle class...but since that includes small business owners who create most of the jobs that could really help the middle class - it is counter productive. It hurts the economy which hurts the middle class more that helps, which Romney explained in clear sensible basic business economic facts...not political jargon. Class warfare - rich vs. poor - is unAmerican. Sounds like road to creeping socialism...not sustained capitalism. Redistribution of wealth is much less American than wide distribution of opportunity. People should have jobs - not government redistribution taxed from those who work. "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and he feeds himself for life." Finally - all political ads ought to have an instant visible Pinocchio reaction. When they says they 'approve this ad' -we should see how much their nose has extended. Good for IWD for helping check facts and deflate spin! 

536:

Aside from all the parsing of details, it was clear that Obama thinks that government’s job is to fuel the economy and increase opportunities for ordinary people. Romney thinks government should get out of the way so the entrepreneurial spirit can take hold and move us forward. They both have their strong points and if things weren’t so polarized, wouldn’t it be nice to think a middle course might bring to play the best of both. But my problem with Romney’s vision is that he’s going to rely on insurance companies and states to handle the difficult issues. I’ve never had the impression that state legislators and officials are more competent than national figures, and insurance companies haven’t proven themselves to be heroes.

223:

It’s clear that the facts are all open to interpretation, depending on which side you favor. Ithought the discussion over Romney’s proposed tax plan was a good example. Romney says the impact of the tax cuts would be revenue-neutral – because they would be offset by closing tax loopholes and ending some deductions -- and would create a more favorable climate for economic growth. Obama says the tax cuts would amount to $5 trillion and that the burden of the tax cuts will fall on the middle class because Romney’s tax cuts would mainly benefit wealthy people. During the debate, I don’t think either of them substantiated their claims.

Note from IWD: When talking about complex issues in a simplified scenario, there ample room for interpretation. In response to this member’s comments, IWD looked for and found several detailed explanations of the tax proposals and some analysis of the claims. You'll still need decide which side you believe, but at least these provide more to think about.

This article from The Christian Science Monitor is entitled: “Five Things You Should Know about Romney’s ‘5 trillion tax cut.’” http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Donald-Marron/2012/1015/Five-things-you-should-know-about-Mitt-Romney-s-5-trillion-tax-cut

This article focuses on fact-checking several campaign ads that mention the “$5 trillion tax cut.” http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/presidential/The_Facts_According_to_Obama_and_Romney_Ads.html

This blog from the Baltimore Sun raises questions about the impact of cutting taxes while closing loopholes -- and the wisdom of reforming taxes if everybody still pays the same.  http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-10-05/news/bs-ed-romney-debate-letter-20121005_1_mitt-romney-tax-code-lower-tax-rates

As you might expect, National Review carries a blog that discusses in detail why Obama is wrong about Romney’s tax proposals… http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/329448/phantom-5-trillion-cut-patrick-brennan

…and The New Republic carries a blog that points out that Romney’s plan for cutting taxes, closing loopholes and not making the middle class pay doesn’t add up. http://www.tnr.com/blog/plank/108237/how-to-confront-romney-tax-evasions-obama-debate#

094:

During the debate, I began to see a fairer, more moderate Romney. But which one do we believe? The rigidly conservative Romney who said certain things in the primaries(such as refusing to accept even $1 in tax increases for $10 in spending cuts) or the compassionate Presidential candidate who promises to work with “the other side” and take care of people who can’t take care of themselves?

536:

I read member 339's comment right before the second debate and was fascinated to pay more attention to style. The strategy may have been right on, because it seemed that President Obama displayed a greater, but still measured, level of assertiveness and aggression and went toe to toe with Governor Romney on calling out exaggerations and accusations.

017:

I thought the most honest moment in the debate was when Romney turned to Obama and asked – why did you decide to push health care through at all costs, while failing to win support from a single Republican? Although I voted for Obama in the last election and am not opposed to Obama care, I believe he spent too much of his political capital and set a tone of divisiveness and partisanship by moving so quickly on the issue of health care.

339:

I look at debates from a strategic point of view. I do this because I am informed on the positions of each candidate on their major policy points and subsequently do not expect to hear any surprises. What I do watch intently is their use of verbiage, body language, and any possible subliminal messaging if any. There are some politicians who are masters at utilizing their body language, use of verbiage, and subliminal cuing and some who have no skills.

Here is my assessment: Romney came out and performed like we have never seen in his primary debates. He was hyped, fired up, and on cue while taking advantage of every topic. Romney came out asserting himself as being a man in charge by actually controlling, and speaking over the moderator.

President Obama came out in a low key manner. This is his personality style. He is not known for being a blow hard, or a hyped up type. Obama is known for his intellectual demeanor. This seemed to surprise the talking heads on CNN. They all thought Obama lost. As a strategist, I would argue that this is just the first debate. They all were surprised that Obama did not attack Romney for various issues. This was the first debate where the challenger came out and showed President Obama's Team what he was capable of and what his style is. This debate also gave Romney a confidence level that may give him a small bounce, but this debate is not the debate that matters. The debate that matters is the one where the President goes in for the jugular. As a strategist, you let your opponent get a false sense of security, ride the wave, and then come in and throw him a curve ball that he did not see before and it will throw him off his game because he will be expecting another complacent, non-threatening President Obama.

The good idea was the low key manner with which the President approached the debate which allowed Romney to set the tone for future strategy. It also showed the clear contrast between the personalities between the two men.The body language was clear. They did not speak to each other. They spoke to the American People and the moderator.

The best references in the debate were when President Obama referred to President Bill Clinton's Economic Model and Abraham Lincoln's role of government philosophy.

494:

I don't know what altitude does to spin but perhaps every debate should be held at 5,000 feet to clear the air of smoke and mirrors ... and tele-prompters. Romney defined his tax position which belied Obama's accusation of favoritism for the wealthiest 1%. Closure of loopholes and deductions used by the wealthy is better for economic recovery. A tax increase on anyone now would take money out of investment in business - goods and services and home sales.

Once and for all - Romney isn't going to reduce taxes on the rich. Obama can't make that into fact as he continually repeats. I agree saying the same false thing over and over doesn't make it true or right. It may sound like a quick and politically correct Robin Hood fix to take from richest 1% , as defined as anyone making over $250K, and give their 'fair share' to struggling middle class...but since that includes small business owners who create most of the jobs that could really help the middle class - it is counter productive. It hurts the economy which hurts the middle class more that helps, which Romney explained in clear sensible basic business economic facts...not political jargon. Class warfare - rich vs. poor - is unAmerican. Sounds like road to creeping socialism...not sustained capitalism. Redistribution of wealth is much less American than wide distribution of opportunity. People should have jobs - not government redistribution taxed from those who work. "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and he feeds himself for life." Finally - all political ads ought to have an instant visible Pinocchio reaction. When they says they 'approve this ad' -we should see how much their nose has extended. Good for IWD for helping check facts and deflate spin! 

536:

Aside from all the parsing of details, it was clear that Obama thinks that government’s job is to fuel the economy and increase opportunities for ordinary people. Romney thinks government should get out of the way so the entrepreneurial spirit can take hold and move us forward. They both have their strong points and if things weren’t so polarized, wouldn’t it be nice to think a middle course might bring to play the best of both. But my problem with Romney’s vision is that he’s going to rely on insurance companies and states to handle the difficult issues. I’ve never had the impression that state legislators and officials are more competent than national figures, and insurance companies haven’t proven themselves to be heroes.

223:

It’s clear that the facts are all open to interpretation, depending on which side you favor. Ithought the discussion over Romney’s proposed tax plan was a good example. Romney says the impact of the tax cuts would be revenue-neutral – because they would be offset by closing tax loopholes and ending some deductions -- and would create a more favorable climate for economic growth. Obama says the tax cuts would amount to $5 trillion and that the burden of the tax cuts will fall on the middle class because Romney’s tax cuts would mainly benefit wealthy people. During the debate, I don’t think either of them substantiated their claims.

Note from IWD: When talking about complex issues in a simplified scenario, there ample room for interpretation. In response to this member’s comments, IWD looked for and found several detailed explanations of the tax proposals and some analysis of the claims. You'll still need decide which side you believe, but at least these provide more to think about.

This article from The Christian Science Monitor is entitled: “Five Things You Should Know about Romney’s ‘5 trillion tax cut.’” http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Donald-Marron/2012/1015/Five-things-you-should-know-about-Mitt-Romney-s-5-trillion-tax-cut

This article focuses on fact-checking several campaign ads that mention the “$5 trillion tax cut.” http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/presidential/The_Facts_According_to_Obama_and_Romney_Ads.html

This blog from the Baltimore Sun raises questions about the impact of cutting taxes while closing loopholes -- and the wisdom of reforming taxes if everybody still pays the same.  http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-10-05/news/bs-ed-romney-debate-letter-20121005_1_mitt-romney-tax-code-lower-tax-rates

As you might expect, National Review carries a blog that discusses in detail why Obama is wrong about Romney’s tax proposals… http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/329448/phantom-5-trillion-cut-patrick-brennan

…and The New Republic carries a blog that points out that Romney’s plan for cutting taxes, closing loopholes and not making the middle class pay doesn’t add up. http://www.tnr.com/blog/plank/108237/how-to-confront-romney-tax-evasions-obama-debate#

094:

During the debate, I began to see a fairer, more moderate Romney. But which one do we believe? The rigidly conservative Romney who said certain things in the primaries(such as refusing to accept even $1 in tax increases for $10 in spending cuts) or the compassionate Presidential candidate who promises to work with “the other side” and take care of people who can’t take care of themselves?

094:

During the debate, I began to see a fairer, more moderate Romney. But which one do we believe? The rigidly conservative Romney who said certain things in the primaries(such as refusing to accept even $1 in tax increases for $10 in spending cuts) or the compassionate Presidential candidate who promises to work with “the other side” and take care of people who can’t take care of themselves?

223:

It’s clear that the facts are all open to interpretation, depending on which side you favor. Ithought the discussion over Romney’s proposed tax plan was a good example. Romney says the impact of the tax cuts would be revenue-neutral – because they would be offset by closing tax loopholes and ending some deductions -- and would create a more favorable climate for economic growth. Obama says the tax cuts would amount to $5 trillion and that the burden of the tax cuts will fall on the middle class because Romney’s tax cuts would mainly benefit wealthy people. During the debate, I don’t think either of them substantiated their claims.

Note from IWD: When talking about complex issues in a simplified scenario, there ample room for interpretation. In response to this member’s comments, IWD looked for and found several detailed explanations of the tax proposals and some analysis of the claims. You'll still need decide which side you believe, but at least these provide more to think about.

This article from The Christian Science Monitor is entitled: “Five Things You Should Know about Romney’s ‘5 trillion tax cut.’” http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Donald-Marron/2012/1015/Five-things-you-should-know-about-Mitt-Romney-s-5-trillion-tax-cut

This article focuses on fact-checking several campaign ads that mention the “$5 trillion tax cut.” http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/presidential/The_Facts_According_to_Obama_and_Romney_Ads.html

This blog from the Baltimore Sun raises questions about the impact of cutting taxes while closing loopholes -- and the wisdom of reforming taxes if everybody still pays the same.  http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-10-05/news/bs-ed-romney-debate-letter-20121005_1_mitt-romney-tax-code-lower-tax-rates

As you might expect, National Review carries a blog that discusses in detail why Obama is wrong about Romney’s tax proposals… http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/329448/phantom-5-trillion-cut-patrick-brennan

…and The New Republic carries a blog that points out that Romney’s plan for cutting taxes, closing loopholes and not making the middle class pay doesn’t add up. http://www.tnr.com/blog/plank/108237/how-to-confront-romney-tax-evasions-obama-debate#

536:

Aside from all the parsing of details, it was clear that Obama thinks that government’s job is to fuel the economy and increase opportunities for ordinary people. Romney thinks government should get out of the way so the entrepreneurial spirit can take hold and move us forward. They both have their strong points and if things weren’t so polarized, wouldn’t it be nice to think a middle course might bring to play the best of both. But my problem with Romney’s vision is that he’s going to rely on insurance companies and states to handle the difficult issues. I’ve never had the impression that state legislators and officials are more competent than national figures, and insurance companies haven’t proven themselves to be heroes.

494:

I don't know what altitude does to spin but perhaps every debate should be held at 5,000 feet to clear the air of smoke and mirrors ... and tele-prompters. Romney defined his tax position which belied Obama's accusation of favoritism for the wealthiest 1%. Closure of loopholes and deductions used by the wealthy is better for economic recovery. A tax increase on anyone now would take money out of investment in business - goods and services and home sales.

Once and for all - Romney isn't going to reduce taxes on the rich. Obama can't make that into fact as he continually repeats. I agree saying the same false thing over and over doesn't make it true or right. It may sound like a quick and politically correct Robin Hood fix to take from richest 1% , as defined as anyone making over $250K, and give their 'fair share' to struggling middle class...but since that includes small business owners who create most of the jobs that could really help the middle class - it is counter productive. It hurts the economy which hurts the middle class more that helps, which Romney explained in clear sensible basic business economic facts...not political jargon. Class warfare - rich vs. poor - is unAmerican. Sounds like road to creeping socialism...not sustained capitalism. Redistribution of wealth is much less American than wide distribution of opportunity. People should have jobs - not government redistribution taxed from those who work. "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and he feeds himself for life." Finally - all political ads ought to have an instant visible Pinocchio reaction. When they says they 'approve this ad' -we should see how much their nose has extended. Good for IWD for helping check facts and deflate spin! 

339:

I look at debates from a strategic point of view. I do this because I am informed on the positions of each candidate on their major policy points and subsequently do not expect to hear any surprises. What I do watch intently is their use of verbiage, body language, and any possible subliminal messaging if any. There are some politicians who are masters at utilizing their body language, use of verbiage, and subliminal cuing and some who have no skills.

Here is my assessment: Romney came out and performed like we have never seen in his primary debates. He was hyped, fired up, and on cue while taking advantage of every topic. Romney came out asserting himself as being a man in charge by actually controlling, and speaking over the moderator.

President Obama came out in a low key manner. This is his personality style. He is not known for being a blow hard, or a hyped up type. Obama is known for his intellectual demeanor. This seemed to surprise the talking heads on CNN. They all thought Obama lost. As a strategist, I would argue that this is just the first debate. They all were surprised that Obama did not attack Romney for various issues. This was the first debate where the challenger came out and showed President Obama's Team what he was capable of and what his style is. This debate also gave Romney a confidence level that may give him a small bounce, but this debate is not the debate that matters. The debate that matters is the one where the President goes in for the jugular. As a strategist, you let your opponent get a false sense of security, ride the wave, and then come in and throw him a curve ball that he did not see before and it will throw him off his game because he will be expecting another complacent, non-threatening President Obama.

The good idea was the low key manner with which the President approached the debate which allowed Romney to set the tone for future strategy. It also showed the clear contrast between the personalities between the two men.The body language was clear. They did not speak to each other. They spoke to the American People and the moderator.

The best references in the debate were when President Obama referred to President Bill Clinton's Economic Model and Abraham Lincoln's role of government philosophy.

017:

I thought the most honest moment in the debate was when Romney turned to Obama and asked – why did you decide to push health care through at all costs, while failing to win support from a single Republican? Although I voted for Obama in the last election and am not opposed to Obama care, I believe he spent too much of his political capital and set a tone of divisiveness and partisanship by moving so quickly on the issue of health care.

536:

I read member 339's comment right before the second debate and was fascinated to pay more attention to style. The strategy may have been right on, because it seemed that President Obama displayed a greater, but still measured, level of assertiveness and aggression and went toe to toe with Governor Romney on calling out exaggerations and accusations.

Content