As Mitt Romney and Barack Obama continue their preparations for tonight’s much-hyped debate, TheLeftyWolfe has assembled a list of some of the most important things to be on the lookout for.
For the President, this has become a make or break moment in his quest for a second term in the White House. After a very lackluster performance in Round 1 nearly two weeks ago, Obama is in desperate need of some forward momentum for his stalled re-election campaign. Romney, on the other hand, is continuing to ride a huge wave of momentum after delivering a stellar performance in the first debate. Even though Romney reversed course on nearly every major issue he has been running on for the last year and a half in the first debate, he still delivered a passionate performance that revved up his conservative base. It will be very interesting to see which version of Romney shows up at the debate tonight. Will it be the “severely conservative” Mitt (those are his own words!!) or middle-of-the-road Mitt (who just made his debut at the last debate). Whichever version he unveils tonight, Mitt has mastered the art of pandering to whatever audience he happens to be speaking to at the moment. Hopefully, Obama will come out swinging at the debate and make Romney provide an answer as to why his stance on everything from abortion to taxes changes so often
Now, let’s take a look at a few of the most important things to look for in Round 2 tonight:
1. Will Obama Show Up This Time? – let’s all hope that we see some fire in the belly of the current President. Tonight’s debate will be different from the first, as it is a town hall-style format. Both candidates will be answering questions from the audience, which should be an advantage for Obama, as he still remains much more likeable than Romney and tends to do well when speaking to an audience instead of responding to questions from a moderator.
2. Will the Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up? – keep a close eye on which version of himself Romney delivers tonight. In fact, here’s a challenge for my audience: make a record of where Mitt stands on the major issues they discuss at the debate tonight. Then, cross-check his statements tonight with what he has been saying on the campaign trail for the last few years (before the first debate). I guarantee you they will be wildly different. If you’d like a list of such discrepancies, I actually wrote an article detailing many of his flip-flops from the first debate. Click the following link to read more: http://theleftywolfe.com/2012/10/09/new-presidential-polls-romneys-long-history-of-flip-flopping-in-order-to-win/
3. What’s In It For Me? – “This debate adds a significant element of uncertainty: actual voters. Instead of the usual podium-and-moderator format, Obama and Romney will field about a dozen questions directly from undecided voters in a “town hall” setting, moderated by CNN political reporter Candy Crowley. The format tends to reward candidates such as former President Bill Clinton, who could connect with voters on a personal level. It also could force the candidates to tone down their aggression and explain how their policies would personally help those asking the question. Neither the aloof Obama nor the stiff Romney is known for having a particularly warm personality. Obama is seen as more likable than Romney by a wide margin, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling data, but his charisma on the campaign trail may not transfer to the town hall format. “I think (Obama is) still under the gun. He seems to be better with an audience of thousands when he’s giving a speech than he is in the debate format,” said American University political science professor James Thurber.”