Last night’s second presidential debate between President Obama and Governor Romney is what I expected at the first debate. Both Obama and Romney came out swinging and had strong moments. Obama’s performance was much more superior to his lackluster performance in Denver, which I even posited may have lost him the election. With such a strong showing this time around, did President Obama play a game of political rope-a-dope in the first debate in Denver?
It would seem to be a very risky strategy to purposefully go out to the first debate weak, lose ground in the polls, and then hope to turn it around after the second and third debates. Maybe this wasn’t intentional though. Maybe the strategy was to go out to the first debate somewhat timid, let Romney show his cards and then test the waters with Biden at the VP debate on how far you can and cannot go when you come out swinging in round two. If this wasn’t the intentional strategy, it certainly seemed that Obama’s campaign did learn a lot from the first debate and the VP debate.
While Obama did come out strong in the second debate, he didn’t come off as off putting as some thought Biden was against Paul Ryan. At the same time, Obama was strong in his responses and unforgiving to Romney anytime Romney raised a point which Obama disagreed with. Obama certainly seemed to learn a lot between the first and second debate. I liken it to a great football team making adjustments in the second half of a game. Often times those adjustments are what separates the winners from the losers.
So who won last night? I would say the debate was close to a draw with a slight edge to Obama. It seems that post debate polling agrees with that assessment though the polling results seem to give Obama a larger edge than I think he deserves. I think a lot of that edge comes from the fact that Obama did so poorly in the first debate. With such a large turnaround for him in this second debate, the upswing can easily be misconstrued as a dominating performance. Compared to Obama’s first performance, it was dominating. I’m just not sure he dominated Romney.
With that said, I am looking forward to the final debate next week. I expect both camps to come out swinging again. Depending on what adjustments each campaign makes, the last debate could set the stage for November 6th in a big way! Now… where are my binders full of women?