By Tarik Elbarakah
By Tarik Elbarakah
Morocco world News
Agadir, October 4, 2012
Just five weeks to go before ballot day and inside the ice hockey arena at the University of Denver, United States president Barack Obama had his first debate against the former Massachusetts republican governor Mitt Romney on Wednesday.
The first debate, which some called a double date with Mitt Romney since it coincided with the Obama and his wife’s twentieth anniversary, witnessed significant media coverage across the US and globally. The predetermined focus of the debate was on domestic issues and the US economy.
The debate was the first of three debates between the two candidates over the next few weeks. In addition, a debate will take place on October 11 between the vice presidential candidates, Paul Ryan of Romney and Joe Biden of Obama.
Both candidates agreed strongly on the importance of creating more jobs and boosting the American economy. They also discussed health care, social security, the role of the government and making America energy independent.
From the beginning in the 90 minute-long debate, it seemed that the republican Romney tended to shake up the race for the White House. He appeared more practiced, confident and at ease when speaking about economic issues such as the deficit, taxes, debt and creating jobs.
According to many observers, Romney appeared very presidential standing next to the president, while the latter appeared less prepared, while his answers were slow, dry and cautious on too many occasions.
The reason might be, according to observers, that president Obama has not participated in a debate in four years while Romney participated in 20 GOP debates in his the Republican primary race over the past year and a half.
Romney insistently criticized the president’s record of his four years in office and his policies for bringing about an economic recovery in which he said, “under the president’s policies, middle income Americans have been buried.”
For his part, Obama didn’t succeed in playing the card of demonstrating Romney as a wealthy businessman aiming to add burden middle class families with more taxes while he keeps the taxes of his counterparts low. He was forced to play defense just 33 days until Election Day. That attitude expressed by Obama seems, according to many experts, a huge mistake.
The body language of the candidates played a key role, especially to the many millions who were watching via television and are still undecided on their choice. Romney’s body language seemed energetic, lively and while speaking often looked directly into the president’s eyes.
Obama gave the impression that he was annoyed and sometimes surprised, as CNN’s senior political analyst David Gergen said, “I don’t think anyone’s ever spoken to him like that over the last four years. I think he found it not only surprising but offensive. It looked like he was angry sometimes”.
According to CNN ORC international poll “67 percent of debate watchers questioned said that Romney won and one in four said Obama was victorious.”