Obama’s what is not as big as Romney’s? In one of the most heated exchanges from the debate, Romney went toe-to-toe with Obama, asking him if he had looked at his, um, pension lately. The Obama campaign has criticized Romney for having investments in China within his pension portfolio. Last night, Romney was implying that the president also has investments in China within his pension. While these two went back and forth over who has investments with big bad China, most Americans were probably thinking, “What’s a pension?”
Romney’s proven himself a skilled debater, but he seemed to be caught a little flat-footed when a woman in the audience asked him what he intends to do about the disparity in wage earnings between men and women. He explained that when he had openings in his cabinet as governor of Massachusetts, all the applicants seemed to be men, so he encouraged staff members to find qualified women for the positions, and his team came back with “binders full of women.” Oh boy. That started a Twitter and Tumblr frenzy, in which Hugh Hefner chimed in, “Binders full of women? Oh sure, I’ve got hundreds of them.” In a profession where aging politicians are often skirt chasers, it just seemed like a poor choice of words. It also sort of showcased Romney’s age, because in this digital age, who uses binders anymore?
If the Twitter ticker at the bottom of the screen is any indication, people are sick of the anecdotes from the campaign trail and hearing about Obama’s grandma. One Tweeter said, “I know more about Obama’s grandma than my own.” Romney likes to talk about anonymous folks on the campaign trail who have expressed woe about being jobless, etc., and Obama takes every opportunity to point out that he was raised by a single mother. Don’t kill the messenger — all I’m saying is the audience seems to have had enough of the anecdotes. In the third debate, if the candidates insist on doing this, it may be time to incorporate real names of real people from real cities and leave moms and grandmas out of it.
Sheesh. Obama really took that whole “wake up dude” advice from the last debate seriously. While it would have been better for Obama to be a little more engaged in the first debate, both men seemed to go over the top in the other direction. There was fingerpointing, stepping into one another’s bubble, arguing and talking over one another, and ignoring the moderator. Ugh. This type of behavior was blissfully missing from the first debate. Contentious debates, like last night’s, feel like politics as usual. The first debate was a polite discourse and this one was a UFC cage fight. Those of us in the audience get uncomfortable, and ultimately tune out when things get confrontational, voices are raised, the moderator is ignored and the mud-slinging about the other candidate becomes a cornerstone of the discussion. Here’s hoping that the third time is a charm, and the presidential candidates are able to find a middle ground between snoozing and throwing punches.
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