Tuesday night’s debate, the second in a three-installment series, was more of a draw than the first, when President Barack Obama clearly was not on his game. He was alert, better prepared and not afraid to take on Republican Mitt Romney.
And Romney was just as sharp as he was in the first debate. Were it not for Romney’s attack on the president for his handling of the killings of American diplomats in Libya last month, which came off as disrespectful of the office, the debate might have been scored as another victory for the challenger.
What we saw were two intelligent men who know the issues and know how to debate. The nation can’t go wrong on the intelligence quotient, no matter who wins the Nov. 6 election.
But what we also saw were two political animals, the product of which was demonstrated several times when the audience couldn’t know whether either was telling the truth or had his facts straight.
You know you have a couple of good debaters when the story line is as much about how good of a job the moderator did in managing the debate. On that, CNN’s Candy Crowley easily bested the moderator for the first debate, PBS’ Jim Lehrer.
It wasn’t easy, but Crowley — who made an appearance two weeks ago in Hutchinson for the Dillon Lecture Series — wasn’t afraid to cut off the candidates and move on to the next question. And her selection of questions posed by the 80-plus undecided voters at the town hall-style debate was excellent. She picked questions that challenged both candidates.
Let’s chalk this one up as a win for Candy Crowley.
— The Hutchinson News