Romney's practice pays off

US President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney finish their debate at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado, 3 October 2012 If Barack Obama did not want to get into a fight, he held back too much

Mitt Romney had been practising so hard that his voice was not hoarse, but certainly deeper than usual. And it paid off.

Mr Romney was animated, in command of his information, overriding the moderator and interrupting the president. He seemed to be in charge and enjoying the scrap.

On the other hand, President Obama started out looking very nervous, and although he warmed up and got into his stride, he ended up giving overlong, mini-lectures straight to camera rather than engaging and arguing.

He seemed unwilling to actually debate with his opponent and missed a few obvious openings when he should have challenged.

This may be deliberate. Perhaps his team decided that he shouldn't get riled, so it was best not to get into a fight. If so, he held back too much.

If Mr Romney clearly won this debate, in terms of style at least, he can't celebrate too hard just yet. If the polls don't move after a win, then he really is in trouble.

Mark Mardell Article written by Mark Mardell Mark Mardell Presenter, The World This Weekend

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  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    Americans who can not defend Obama in their own country, writing on another countries blog to defend this horrid president. Don't assume the British are as ignorant as those who voted for Obama in America.
    MARC,if you are a debater, you would know one is to debate, not look at the floor because of no teleprompter.
    ANN, apparently you did not see what 60 million others did. Pay attention.

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    Romney is a Republican and it is perfectly obvious that they are concerned only with the benefit of the rich at the expense of the rest. It scares me that so many Americans are too stupid to see this.
    Peter D

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    All these lies you all are claiming Romney told.
    How brainwashed are you?
    According to the Washington Post..a left wing newspaper.....more misleading statements were made by Obama.
    Get informed!

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.


    All due respect:

    * bin laden is dead. Like it or not our President gets the credit for standing up to the Pakistanis without starting WW III (immediately at least)

    * Please note # 86. Vouchers WILL punish poor children. Also note that because of generous WW II era VA education programs, I am now a middle class (read that TAX PAYING) engineer (without foreign bank accounts).

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    19.M Holderbach Thanks for your comment. However, I think you misunderstood my point: it's not an option for the vast majority of families to simply pick a different school... these children really have two choices: go to the neighborhood school, or don't go to school at all. A voucher program would help some, but it would also punish children of the poor with a lifetime of underachievement.

  • Comment number 85.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    @11 I'm sorry, I thought you were talking about Obama in 2008! Perhaps you can educate me as to what exactly President Obama has succeeded in, apart from lowering his golf handicap, or increasing his fundraising.

    @13 No, the money allocated for the student follows the student to the new school. What it also does is highlight those schools that are failing the education of the students.

  • Comment number 83.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    After reading a few of these blogs it's apparent that Republicans have mobilized their 'blogging soldiers' to tout their candidate. Geo W &Co proved Republicans could win - even when they didn't win the popular vote - but the 'NO' party has also proven it's unable to govern effectively.

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    Many of these replies prove that people see and believe what they want to. Honesty would say to either Democrat or Republican, that Romney came out on top of this debate.
    The reason Obama seemed "below his best" is he never was that good without a prompter. Once, when he lost it he was incapable of stringing 2sentences together and I suppose some could see 'professional, where dull was on view

  • Comment number 80.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    Obama, at one point interrupted and asked the moderator to move to a new topic. It was a brilliant metaphor for what Obama did coming into office. He looked at the economy, didn't like it and decided to move on to Obamacare. His whole career has been one of passing the buck, shifting blame, and failing to take responsibility for tough challenges. He did the same last night.

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    President Obama was very professional last night. I do believe Mitt Romney wanted to make President Obama mad in losing control on national television. Watch for Denver, Co. debate :) President Obama will bounce back. Life is like a chess game....your move.
    2 mins to answer important questions about our future...REALLY!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    Mitt was animated in his recollection of facts too - who needs truth - just tell 'em what they want to hear.. Obama was noticeably professorial, whereas Mitt resorted to not too subtle intimidation and had an answer for everything. Here's some more theatrics:

    Mitt Romney Style

    Obama Style

  • Comment number 76.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    Romney - What Tax Breaks for Outsourcing?
    How many companies moved their business overseas to get that Tax Break!
    How many Manufacturing jobs went with them?

    I feel insulted by Mitt Romney, he really thinks he can get on to National Television a tell so many lies and the American public will give him a pass
    GOP faithful let him lie like a dog, it's OK to try to prevent people voting as well !

  • Comment number 74.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    In the past I have always expected content, facts and respect to be an integral ingredient of success when debating an opponent
    The debacle last night proved me wrong

    People are actually praising a debate that was completely one sided on facts, truth and honesty

    Shape Shifting back & forth between lies and rhetoric was Mitt Romney's style which is not suited to a President of the United States

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    57:No Dreams:I read a fact checking site and it said they both said some wrong things, or things that seem impossible (although if more people are put to work at a living wage taxes will go up even while tax rates and govt. expenditures go down).

    63:sean33z:Romney seemed more practical when he said many small companies that create jobs are included as individuals Obama wants to tax more heavily.

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    So Romney won the first debate because he was better at quoting pure fiction. But we're not trying to elect the better storyteller. How is Romney intending to cut taxes, increase defense spending, and still decrease the deficit? I need details, and I need details that make arithmetical sense.


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