Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W Hudson and Keith A Fournier

10/17/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

So, what was really accomplished in that long anticipated second presidential debate of the 2012 campaign? Not very much of substance.

The substantial differences between these two men, best revealed in their governing philosophies and drastically different world views, seemed almost lost in the atmosphere created by this mode of debate and the manner of this moderator. The event devolved into the equivalent of a mixed martial arts competition with the two contenders using words rather than striking and grappling techniques.

Governor Mitt Romney and president Barack Obama in second debate

Governor Mitt Romney and president Barack Obama in second debate

Highlights

By Deal W Hudson and Keith A Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/17/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Hempstead, Hofstra University, Candy Crowley, Barack Obama, mitt Romney, Second debate, undecided voters, campaign 2012, Deal W Hudson, Keith A Fournier


HEMPSTEAD, NY (Catholic Online) - Hempstead was hot last night as the two Presidential contenders engaged in verbal fisticuffs from the moment the bell rang. The second presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney was a verbal slugfest.

Those who predicted that the Town Hall format would not lend itself to such an aggressive and bombastic brawl were wrong. The real question is whether this second debate actually helped many in the purported target audience, the undecided voters, make up their mind in what is clearly one of the most important presidential contests in American history.

The moderator, Candy Crowley of CNN's "State of the Union" did not help much in the entire experience. Rather than promoting several exchanges between the contenders which could have led to a robust and helpful delineation of their disagreements over the topics brought up by questions from the audience, she seemed more bent on securing her own place as a phantom third party contender seeking to bolster her own importance in the encounter.

In our column on Tuesday, we raised some issues we hoped would emerge in this long anticipated event. The clear contrast between the candidates on vital matters such as the fundamental human rights to life and religious liberty, the best way to deliver health care, the need for school choice and real education reform, how to best fulfill our obligations in solidarity - among Americans in our common National purpose as well as with the needy - and the urgent need to protect and preserve marriage and family, were not really even addressed. We were disappointed.

Instead, the night seemed to devolve into what, at times, appeared to be a spectacle from a pay per view sporting event with the two opponents seeking to best one another through interruption and various forms of aggressive maneuvers played out on a stage which resembled a fighting cage.

Adding to it all was the manner of the moderator. Instead of letting the verbal combatants actually paint a picture for America of their respective differences over major issues within the context of the numerous exchanges, she annoyingly inserted and asserted herself throughout the night.

So, what was really accomplished in that long anticipated second presidential debate of the 2012 campaign? Not very much of substance.

The Obama supporters who wanted their candidate to show his aggressiveness and thereby overcome any lingering concern over his capacity to fight following his lackluster performance in the first debate were certainly satisfied. The problem is still the content of his actual positions on the vital areas which Americans are so deeply concerned about. 

The Romney supporters who had hoped to see their candidate demonstrate he could go toe to toe with the President, when the President actually showed up with gloves on, witnessed the tenacity needed in a man who has volunteered to walk into the leadership of a Nation imploding.

However, the American people, who tuned in once again in record numbers, did not receive what they deserved in this exercise in verbal fisticuffs which ended in a draw.

Oh, the contrasts were drawn; on the candidate's prescriptions for what ails the obviously sick American economy, their perspectives on this Administration's handling of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, their prescription for solving our growing energy crisis and their divergent economic plans which they propose to stop our spiraling unemployment rate.

However, the substantial differences between these two men, best revealed in their governing philosophies and drastically different world views, seemed almost lost in the atmosphere created by this mode of debate and the manner of this moderator. The event devolved into the equivalent of a mixed martial arts competition with the two contenders using words rather than striking and grappling techniques.

The audience at Hofstra University was chosen to specifically represent the so-called "undecided" voters. The narrative (to use the newest buzzword loved by the pundit class) on this election contest is that it will be won or lost based upon these folks. Both candidates, in this apparently razor thin contest, are supposed to be most concerned about seeking this elusive constituency's support in order to win on November 6, 2012. The entire claim itself is questionable.

However, on this Wednesday morning, with 20 days left before the people of the United States make a decision with monumental implications - not only for our national future but for our standing in the international community - we are left disappointed. We all had hoped for so much more. Tuesdays' debate was a missed opportunity, all around.

The third presidential debate will take place on October 22, 2012 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. The format is supposed to be just like the first debate and the focus is to be on foreign policy. However, coming out of this verbal slugfest in Hempstead, there is little likelihood that the debate will resemble the first one.

There is even less likelihood that the final debate will only cover foreign policy. With the ever-changing narrative on the terror attack in Libya being advanced from the White House and the drip, drip, drip of facts countering it, the debate on the Libya debacle will be electric. However, this debate will also be the last time that these two contenders get a chance to counter one another in the public eye before the American people speak at the ballot box. they will not stay on foreign policy.

The format, like the first debate, will not allow the posturing, circling and closing the gap moves demonstrated in the verbal mixed martial arts event which occurred on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 in Hempstead, New York. After witnessing the debate last night, we are relieved. So much for the pundits who said a Town Hall Format would not be conducive to aggressive behavior.

The problem with the second debate was that when the dust up was over, there is little to talk about in the area which we contend matters most - the two vastly different governing visions of these two candidates.

Our sincere hope is that the moderator of the third debate, Bob Schieffer, a veteran newsman and the host of Face the Nation on CBS, will get out of the way and let these two candidates debate. The American people have a right to hear where they each stand as they prepare to pick the path of their future and the future of their children.

For those looking for heat with little light, they got the price of admission in Tuesday's second Presidential debate. However, for those hoping for much more, those concerned about the candidates governing philosophy and wordview, the slugfest in Hempstead failed to deliver.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Of nearly 38,000 immigrant children in the U.S. - only 280 deported Watch

Image of Federal officials expect another huge surge of children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to begin shortly after the temperatures go down.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a surprising bit of news, the Obama administration has quietly released a huge majority of the illegal immigrant children who poured over the U.S. Mexico border earlier this year. Furthermore, they're making their homes in very well-to-do American ... continue reading


Classic Cloward-Piven: Here's the simple reason why Obama is breaking the immigration system in the USA Watch

Image of Obama's Cloward-Piven strategy is showing.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

You can't fix something unless you break it first. This appears to be what Obama has done to the U.S. immigration system. Political analysts now expect that Obama will use the current immigration crisis to overhaul the system into something he likes. But more ... continue reading


Stopping at nothing, Davos Man, Warren Buffett, donates staggering $1.2 billion to promote abortion Watch

Image of Obama awarding Buffett the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Warren Buffett has given $1.2 billion to fund abortion advocacy and "research." This startling conclusion comes from the New York Times, which is reporting that he donates hundreds of millions of dollars at a time to a foundation named after his late wife, Susan ... continue reading


Get ready America: Obama set to bypass Senate on international treaty Watch

Image of President Obama and his administration are getting ready to present a climate change treaty to the U.N. and are willing to ignore a Constitutionally required Senate approval to do so.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama is working to create a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut fossil fuel emissions; however, he is seeking to do this without ratification from Congress. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This agreement is ... continue reading


That was one costly Web site! In fact the most expensive in Internet history. The Cost of Healthcare.gov estimated $1.7 Billion Watch

Image of The 60 contracts related to the development and operation of the Federal Marketplace started between January 2009 and January 2014. The contracts ranged from health benefit data collection and consumer research, to cloud computing and Web site development.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

That's one might expensive Web site! It's estimated that the Healthcare. Gove Web site, intended to facilitate health care reform, or "Obamacare," has cost U.S. Taxpayers about $1.7 BILLION dollars. That's not even the half of it, as the U.S. government is ... continue reading


Obama administration announces new HHS mandate rules Watch

Image of Sylvia Burwell, HHS secretary, said that the new rules will ensure access to free contraception,

By CNA/EWTN News

The Department of Health and Human Services issued on Friday new rules regarding its contraception mandate, after the Supreme Court ruled against its application to certain companies this summer. (CNA/EWTN News) - The rules create a new way for non-profit groups to ... continue reading


BEEN THERE: Attorney General Eric Holder shares personal experiences while in Ferguson Watch

Image of Attorney General Eric Holder shakes hands with Bri Ehsan, right, following his meeting with students at St. Louis Community College Florissant Valley.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In Ferguson, Missouri to investigate the officer-involved shooting of teenager Michael Brown, Attorney General Eric Holder shared personal stories of his own encounters with racial discrimination. "I am the Attorney General of the United States, but I am also a ... continue reading


One percent? Try the MORE THAN A THIRD in U.S. who rely on Welfare Watch

Image of Back in the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Back in the "Occupy Wall Street" days, protestors rallied around the concept of the United States' "One Percent," which referred to the people with power in the U.S. government. On the other side of the coin, more than ONE THIRD of all U.S. households are now ... continue reading


SMILE FOR THE CAMERA! Texas Governor Rick Perry cheerfully turns himself in Watch

Image of Under duress, Texas Governor Rick Perry maintained an upbeat and positive attitude. Arriving at the Travis County courthouse in Austin for booking and fingerprinting, Perry gave a warm smile for his mug shot.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Under duress, Texas Governor Rick Perry maintained an upbeat and positive attitude. Arriving at the Travis County courthouse in Austin for booking and fingerprinting, Perry gave a warm smile for his mug shot. He's charged with felony corruption charges ... continue reading


HIDDEN FROM VIEW: President Obama renders decision largely in private, despite claims of transparency Watch

Image of Facing charges of executive overreach, to allegations that he is presiding over opaque policy-making, U.S. President Obama has been making decisions typically behind closed doors

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Facing charges of executive overreach, to allegations that he is presiding over opaque policy-making, U.S. President Obama has been making decisions typically behind closed doors. Unilateral action on such issues as immigration, gay rights and tax policy has ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 2:1-5
1 Now when I came to you, brothers, I did not come ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102
97 How I love your Law! I ponder it all day ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:16-30
16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 1st, 2014 Image

St. Giles, Abbot
September 1: St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day - ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter