Opinions On The Second Presidential Debate
At second debate, Obama must defend his record
According to the Boston Globe, Obama has an “aura of specialness” that has his supporters defending him. “President Obama, I’ve got your back,” declared the most popular T-shirt sold outside the Democratic convention.
The editorial claims that there is another reason all these people come to the president’s defense: Obama isn’t comfortable defending himself. Others have had to rise to the occasion, like the super-caffeinated Joe Biden last week, while Obama barely showed up during the first presidential debate.
Obama’s political persona doesn’t allow for Biden levels of emotionalism, but the president owes it to his supporters to abandon his reticence and stand strongly behind his policies.
Romney has shown his fighting spirit, but his new challenge is to put flesh out his plans for turning around the economy.
But America is waiting on Obama — Can the coolest of politicians show a little heat?
ALSO SEE: Obama's Foreign Policy Demonstrates Responsibility, Not Recklessness
Top Democrats Sound the Alarm: Obama Needs a Vision, Fast
In the Atlantic, longtime strategists say that the lack of a compelling plan for the next four years is hurting the president's standing against Mitt Romney. Veteran Democratic strategists Stanley B. Greenberg and James Carville released a memo saying that the Obama campaign "has reached a tipping point" that could cost President Obama reelection if he does not present a more compelling vision for the next four years.
The memo is based on two national polls and focus groups conducted in September, as well as on dial groups and focus groups conducted after the first debate.
Obama’s backward-looking focus, centered on defending his first term, they write, gave Romney "the opportunity to be heard as the voice of change." And that, they insist, is dangerous for Obama because "it is clear ... that voters do not want a continuation, they want change." Moreover, they write, for many voters "conservatives have plausible things to say about the future, particularly on spending and debt."
ALSO SEE: Presidential Debate 2012: How Obama Can Rebound During Tuesday's Debate
Why Romney, Obama must drop the fear-mongering
According to the Christian Science Monitor, both the Romney and Obama campaigns have a common goal: Make voters afraid of the other candidate’s economic policies. Granted, polls show nearly two-thirds of Americans will base their vote on fear for their own financial security, but using the fear factor has negative consequences.
Government control of the economy creates more than just uncertainty. It also leaves the impression that government will rescue powerful constituents of either party, thus giving those interests a leg up in the economy. This ultimately dampens the spirits of investors and diverts capital away from truly productive enterprises.
Two prime examples are the 2008-09 bailouts of both the big banks on Wall Street and the autoworkers unions during the General Motors rescue. These warped economic incentives often arise from the political dynamics of using fear in campaigns and from candidates promising favors to special interests.
Voters must not let fear guide their choices. The economy needs to be guided by shared and principled views of government’s role, not pandering by candidates or the phobias they want to create.
More Neon Tommy coverage of the presidential debates: Ahead Of Second Debate, Michelle Obama Votes, Says President Will Rebound | Will Obama Or Romney Win The Next Presidential Debate? | Obama To Step It Up In Next Debate