October 4, 2012 at 10:49 AM
This debate was fairly substantive compared to the rest of the presidential race thus far, which is something to be celebrated. With the election only a month away, it was heartening to see policy at the forefront of the debate, rather than personality. Both candidates realize that the American people are concerned with their economic well-being above all else, and did not rely on distracter issues during the debate.
To me, the biggest surprise of the debate was that President Obama never mentioned his predecessor, George W. Bush. I think the main reason that Obama has had such a strong lead in recent polls is that Americans have finally started to realize that the policies Mitt Romney champions are virtually identical to the policies that caused the recession in the first place.
To people who just started following the election tonight, Mitt Romney might seem a somewhat appealing candidate. Those who have been attentive for a while, however, were puzzled: the Mitt Romney who debated tonight was not the Mitt Romney who has been campaigning for the past year-and-a-half. Before tonight, Mitt Romney was a plutocrat aligned with the right wing of his party, who opposed nearly all regulations and social welfare programs, and thought that 47 percent of Americans are social parasites who do not contribute to society. Tonight, Mitt Romney was a moderate Republican, who believed that some regulations and social programs are vital to society. He disowned the tax cuts for the wealthy that he was been running on for months, and tried to have it both ways with health care reform, criticizing “Obamacare” while standing by the almost identical plan he signed into law as Governor of Massachusetts. This leaves us with an unanswerable question: who is the real Mitt Romney?
My theory is that Romney believes in nothing except himself, and will say and do anything to be elected. President Obama, however, stood by his record while still proposing new ideas for his second term. A vote for President Obama is a vote for a knowable candidate. A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for a giant question mark.