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it's the moderator, stupid

Reader comment on item: Romney Stumbles on Foreign Policy

Submitted by myth (Germany), Oct 26, 2012 at 05:39

Who won the third debate? It's the moderator, stupid. I do not remember the moderator's face, do not remember his interfering, not even his name. How can one describe a good moderator any better. Compared to the second debate the moderator came out the winner of the third debate.

The visual presentation changed from biased to neutral as well. The second debate often presented Romney in a small picture frame. A frame that cut off his hands at the bottom and the faces of the audience at the top. Instead one saw the audience's hands. The combination of missing faces and fumbling fingers presented a distracted unattentive audience while Romney was speaking. Obama was put in a similar frame sometimes, but far less often.

The use of language and focus of topics changed over the three debates. I conclude that neither of the contenders was confident with his previous style of argumententation or a winning topic. Obama used "identifiy" frequently during the first debate, identifying both problems and solutions. He dropped the word in the second debate. It did not come back. His favorite word to describe himself is "fight" which is what he vehemently used to describe himself in all three debates closing with "I will fight for your families".

Romney's repeated "I know what it takes" from the second debate only came back once in his closing statement. That statement hinged on the quasi-religious concept of hope. "hope of the earth" ( repeated ) "hope and opportunity".

As for topics no one returned to the previous controversial subject of the Benghazi incident. I believe that was a deliberate decision with both candidates.

Neither Obama nor Romney allowed to discuss the topic of foreign policy. But for different reasons. Obama as sitting president did not accept Romney as a qualified counterpart. Romney's was prepared to quickly jump from foreign policy to "jobs". Two candidates saw themselves in conflicting roles. One as job-creator, the other as commander in chief. The use of the word "job" illustrates this: "I know what it take to create 12 million JOBS" - "my first JOB as Commander in Chief is to keep the American people safe".

How will this debate be remembered? It was Romney talking about "jobs" regardless of topic while Obama was talking about "bayonets and horses".

Let me return to my statement that the moderator won the debate. Moderating conflicting views in a discussion is a part of the president's job whenever he consults with advisors. Who advertised himself as the second-best moderator in this debate? "attacking me is not an agenda" suggests Romney as the better moderator to me.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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