There was lots to talk about after last night’s final Presidential debate, but here are five quick reactions we think are important for Independent voters to think about.
1. Agreement. President Obama and Governor Romney agreed with each other an awful lot last night. According to the transcript, Obama and Romney agreed with each other explicitly at least five times, and I’m sure a more thorough review would yield even more consensus – remember when Romney argued for the Democratic approacBarh to foreign aid? Maybe if you tune into the third party candidate debate tonight, you won’t hear as much agreement on the issues between the candidates.
2. Depth not Breadth of issues. Bob Schieffer claimed he had over 200 questions to ask in his binder full of questions, but he didn’t get a chance to ask more than six. Really, Bob? The debate questions were pre-planned. How far in advance of the day of when the format was leaked to the press? We don’t know.
3. Winning. According to most instant polls, President Obama won the debate by a substantial margin – even our highly unscientific IVA Facebook poll in which he scored a 57-43% win over Romney, with a 6.5% margin of error (more of you should have voted!).
4. What didn’t make the cut. Schieffer was only permitted to ask six questions, and the debate wasn’t steered back to foreign policy when the candidates pivoted to domestic policy. Unfortunately, important foreign policy issues like the Eurozone Crisis and Climate Change weren’t addressed.
5. Bob Schieffer was great, when he spoke. Again, the debate format didn’t give Schieffer a lot of screen time, but he was praised for getting it just right by some in the media:
The cardinal rule of debate moderation is this: it isn’t about the moderator. But in the first three debates of the 2012 presidential campaign, the moderator invariably became part of the story: Jim Lehrer lost control; Martha Raddatz took too much; and Candy Crowley stole the spotlight when she decided, on a whim, to fact-check the candidates.
That’s a fair argument, except we loved Raddatz.