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Political Science Expert Dr. Wilmer Leon Says Obama Romney Debate was Style vs. Substance

Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

Governor Romney and President Obama squared off in Denver.  The stakes were high as well as the expectations.  Many characterized this as Romney’s last gasp, his last effort to restart his campaign.  Unfortunately, President Obama allowed him to do just that.

This evening came down to a matter of style vs. substance and unfortunately this is an electorate that buys style and does not understand the substance.  Romney was assertive, aggressive, and clearly understood that he had to sell himself to the viewers even if he had to lie to do so.  President Obama was listless, rarely making eye contact with Romney, and his constantly looking down and away from Romney made him look defeated.

The President allowed too many of Romney’s repeated lies to go unchallenged.  Romney continued to say that the President took $716B from Medicare and that those cuts will impact service.  That lie has been debunked by numerous sources but the President failed to mention that and that the Ryan plan cuts the same amount and then cuts more.  He did not drive home the point that his plan cuts reimbursements to providers not services to recipients while the Romney/Ryan plan cuts coverage.

The President allowed Romney to say that “Obamacare” will cause 20M Americans to loose health coverage.  The reality is that the 20M number Romney referenced is part of a range of wildly divergent estimates from the CBO and is at the very upper threshold of the range and not a projection. Also, on the “Obamacare” reference, the President did say he likes the reference but failed to provide his reasoning.  He has recently started saying,  “I like the term Obamacare -because I do care”.  He could have scored valuable points with that rebuttal this evening.

The President did well on his command of the data (substance) regarding Romney’s tax plan but failed to provide a succinct rebuttal to Romney’s denial of the reality (style).  He did well with former President Clinton’s “the math just does not add up” line but was so flat and unemphatic (if I can make up a word) with his delivery that it sounded almost as though he did not have confidence in his own words.

Romney’s 5-point plan for progress was not a plan but a goal.  A plan is a detailed program or method worked out beforehand for the accomplishment of an objective or goal.  A goal is a direction.  Romney talked about energy independence; job creation, etc. but offered no policy initiatives to get there (a plan).  Later, when challenged by the President to provide specifics (a plan), Romney said he would lay out goals and go to Congress and ask how to get them accomplished.  That sounds like a man who does not understand that the president has the power of the bully pulpit, sets direction, and offers real plans (policy initiatives) to success.   By going to Congress and asking how to get things accomplished Romney sounds like he would “lead from behind.”  The President allowed Romney to get away with that blatant contradiction.

There was no mention of Romney’s plan to ignore the 47% of voters who see themselves as “victims” and who are “dependent upon government.”  In his closing the President could have asked a simple question, “how can you plan to be the President of the United States and by your own admission ignore 47 percent of the electorate?  There was no mention of Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital.  The President seemed to run from the very ads that he has endorsed.

Going into the debate President Obama was extending his lead in many battle ground states.  According to Real Clear Politics.com the President is up in Florida 48-46, Wisconsin 51-44, Michigan 52-42, and Ohio 49-44.  We will see how significant of a bump Romney gets from his showing this evening and how long it lasts.

Tonight it was style over substance and style won.  President Obama did not bring his “A” game and he owes us more than that.

© 2012 InfoWave Communications




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8 Responses to Political Science Expert Dr. Wilmer Leon Says Obama Romney Debate was Style vs. Substance

  1. Angelene Reply

    October 4, 2012 at 1:50 am

    Actually, Obama did say that it does not affect service. I heard that with my own ears. Now that he knows what to expect; watch the next debate and the sound bites from this debate.

    Even in 2008, Obama was laid back and looked down a lot; seems we forget quickly. This has always been Obama. Romney lies are quite obvious to those that pay attention.

    I would not count him out yet.

  2. I agree totally with this article.

  3. Terry Reply

    October 4, 2012 at 2:40 am

    I agree with Angelene, also to add you don’t shoot down your opponent until you know what you’re facing……style over substance, what was you drinking tonight. I HEARD the 47% it just wasn’t quoted exactly as such….man tell you one thing, the sooner we learn how to be wise and not to fight we will be so much more better of a people. Wisdom is gained through struggles and hard times and surviving through it……he’s like us he’s been there, he’s lived through it, he’s survived it and he’s fighting for America….the bad thing is we are fighting him instead of working with him. He doesn’t owe us dog dooky, really let’s wake up as a people. Frankly I’m tired of us looking dumb and stupid through others eyes.

  4. Cyndi Reply

    October 4, 2012 at 3:25 am

    Romney has had weeks to prepare, I mean really, what is he doing all day??? The President, however, still has a job to do each day. And his days are longer than any of ours. He is the leader of the free world and there is more pressing stuff than this debate. Bet that!

  5. MsLee Reply

    October 4, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I watched the debate and fully expected the President to be more forceful with his accusations and rebuttals, citing quotes from his ads agains Gov. Romney. Having said that, I believe that I was WRONG in my expectations, and the President was RIGHT to not be so forceful and in-your-face with Gov. Romney. One has to listen more and talk less sometimes; and, I saw our President doing just that. What I brought away from that debate was Gov. Romney’s contradictions of his own platform since he began to run for this office; AND, I believe voters saw through his persona just as I did. Just as Romney stated, just because someone keeps repeating the same statement does not make it true (paraphrase)…whether he keeps repeating it or makes an about face.

  6. Yoie Reply

    October 7, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Remember, the devil comes in all forms. Romney is rich and does not have a country to worry about – today or tomorrow, and President. Obama does and is doing a great job. Can anyone, tell me or anybody what question Romney answered fully – you can’t can you, because he didn’t. He laid all his lies on the table and he thinks the American people & the 47% will not notice – he changed the wording, but his policies are still the same. A Zebra doesn’t change stripes! Oh Yea, the Guy asking the questions seem to give Romney more time & as President Obama would be answering/making a statement – this man cut in before the President could finish is statement and asked Mr. Romney what would he like to say & I saw the President had to speak up. We Can and We Will Again – 2012.

  7. Deborah Reply

    October 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I see a lot of people here making excuses for Obama or excusing his performance. This article is totally correct to take him to task over his debate in Denver. It just wasn’t good enough.

  8. Pingback: Dr. Wilmer Leon Says that Debates Were Style vs. Substance | Your Black World

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