Coffee House

Obama edges the 2nd presidential debate

17 October 2012

Obama edged this one, but I’d say it was a pretty low quality debate. The president’s performance would have done nothing to reassure voters who wanted to know more about what he’d do with four more years. He was eloquent but, at times, vacuous. Romney, for his part, started to ask questions of Obama directly. He ended up looking like a snapping lapdog – or a failing interviewer – when Obama declined to answer. A snap CNN poll calls it for Obama by 37-33, with 30pc thinking it was a draw. Gallup gave the first debate to Romney by a far bigger margin, 72-10 with 9pc undecided. So the early verdict is a decisive Romney win, followed by a marginal Obama win. People’s verdicts may be changed when they realise that the moderator, CNN’s Candy Crowley, wrongly slapped down Romney on a point of fact over the Benghazi attack (which ought to have been Romney’s strongest point).

At least Barack Obama had come to fight this time. Here are his best lines:-

And here are Romney best lines:-

And yes, you’re right, neither were particularly impressive. Obama at least did what his fans had longed for him to do last time: go on the attack over Romney’s secret recording saying he was not interested in the 47pc of the electorate who were net drains on the taxpayer:-


Romney hit back on claims that he is launching a “war on women” – but in a way that certainly wouldn’t endear me if I were a woman. He blamed Obama for overseeing a net loss of 580,000 women’s jobs. But he then said he wanted to go out to look for women to serve on his Cabinet and that his team came back with “binders full of women”:-

This image captured the imagination of the social network and there’s now a tumblr site devoted to illustrating what Romney meant. Here’s my personal favourite:-
Romney misfired when he claimed that Obama did not immediately refer to the Libya attack as an “act of terror” – he actually did, and had to be corrected. Or so he thought. “Get the transcript” said Obama, and  moderator Candy Crowley seemed to correct Romney. ‘He [Obama] did in fact, sir.” Obama then said: ‘Can you say that a little louder, Candy?’ to laughter and applause from the audience. Here’s the video:-