One thing that bothers me about Presidential candidate debates these days is that neither candidate answers the moderator’s questions. Each candidate works their talking points. They spew statistics ‘backing’ their positions. Fact-checkers plow through the ‘facts’ and generally report that each candidate gets some of them right and some of them wrong.
What this election really comes down to is this … will a new guy be any better than the current guy? My own cynical question is this … can any President create jobs and fix the economy? Sure, a President is a leader and leaders have influence on people, therefore a leader can make things happen even when he or she doesn’t actually control events first-hand. But does that influence create jobs? Does it make the economy better? No, at least not directly. There are many other factors. If you believe a President has that much control, then you better be blaming the previous President for getting us into this mess in the first place!!
Being an incumbent is a dual-edged sword. On one side, you’re already there, you know how things work, there is no learning curve for the day-to-day duties – you’ve already been through that. You can focus your energy on the tasks at hand. On the other hand, you have a record of accomplishments and failures and an opponent can attack you on that record and try to persuade the voting public that he or she is an alternative to the incumbent.
Clearly Romney did well in the first debate. Will that change anybody’s mind? Hell no. Will it help sway any undecided voters? Probably. Of course there are two more Presidential debates and one Vice-Presidential debate. Biden and Ryan … wow, that should be some great entertainment.
I predicted back in the spring that this will be a close race and that Obama will win by a very small margin. I hold to that prediction. Time will tell.