Okay. 24 hours have passed since the start of last nights debate. My husband, a 62 year old Democrat (white) and I, and 49 year old Independent (white), have just had a fight over your coverage of last nights debate. I was flabbergasted over your breathless and disheveled commentary last night (and today) over last nights debate, most especially the "break away" that immediately followed the debate.
My husband asserts that the debates are "all about optics" and that you have grave concerns about those optics. My response is that, as you are one of his most ardent supporters, how about YOUR OPTICS? How does it look when you, as a supporter, continue to mischaracterize the Presidents appearance last night? You continue to say that he looked like he didn't want to be there - because his head was down. HE WAS TAKING NOTES! It was obvious to those that watched the whole debate without "tweeting" while we were watching.
I feel that the debates are about SUBSTANCE. I was amazed, having payed attention continuously throughout this election cycle, that Mitt Romney was able to reverse his positions for this debate. I believe that had the President responded to Mitt Romney with the phrase "you lie" it would have been viewed as an attack - very negatively. He would have been viewed as an "angry black man." Those optics would have "fed the machine."
I believe that the President was fair and deliberate. I found Romney trying to be (once again) "all things to all people" which is not genuine or possible. I do not find Romney's positions to be attainable, as presented. Many of his stated positions were in contrast to his previously stated positions. Since the President doesn't have have the ability to play video during the debate - those duties fall to the media. The media is playing catch up today, much delayed as they all dismayed at Obamas percieved lack of fight.
I believe it is not only the participants' job to point out when a candidate is lying - but it is also the medias position to point this out. Last night (and today) you spent more time forwarding your "optics" position than dismantling the lies told by Romney. Friends like you - the President doesn't need. An acting instructor was your guest tonight for goodness sake! An acting instructor?????
Perhaps the Obama campaign is putting forth a "rope a dope" plan to catch Romney off guard in future debates. I don't know. If so, I guess you helped accentuate that transition when it happens. If not, I guess you just supported the premise that it doesn't matter if Presidential candidates lie during debates ( to the American people) because it's all about the "optics."
I am of the belief that it is the press' responsibility to prove or disprove the voraciousness of political claims. Obama didn't stoop to Romney's level by lying about his positions. He could have been more forceful in his presentation, but I believe that he was present in the moment and honest. I'll take that and I'll vote for that.