I closely observed all three presidential debates as well as the sole vice presidential debate.
Let’s start with the vice presidential debate. I was appalled at the behavior of Vice President Joe Biden: smiling, laughing and interrupting, all in an inappropriate, rude and callous way. This contrasted greatly from the straight-forward, intense, knowledgeable and respectful manner of Congressman Ryan. Considering that a vice president is only a heartbeat away from the presidency, the situation we have with our current president and his vice president is somewhat scary.
The first presidential debate was viewed by a historic seventy million people. Peggy Noonan wrote an incisive article in The Wall Street Journal (October 27, 2012), saying she believed the debate was perhaps the most enduring moment of the entire campaign, and that “… Governor Romney was poised, knowledgeable, presidential.”
On the other hand, President Obama showed himself the way people in Washington have seen him close up, exposed as a man over his head and out of touch. He is an amateur and he doesn’t even realize it, partly because of his remarkable inaccessibility and partly because of his extreme egotism, conceit and narcissism. (See my review of The Amateur).
The final two presidential debates were as strong for Governor Romney as the first one. He certainly conducted himself with dignity and certainty, and at all times appearing keen and presidential.
President Obama could hardly do worse than he did in the first debate, so improved in the last two debates. But considering that he has been president for four years, I certainly don’t think he has mastered the position or offered any definite and hopeful plans for the next four years.
All in all, it is amazing what can happen when the candidates appear directly before the American people with only a moderator who is supposed to be neutral. Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan are to be congratulated on their insights and levelheadedness.