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 North America editor

Is Obama right over Iraq?

The Obama doctrine says the US will only go to war if its vital interests or those of its allies are threatened, so what does that mean for Iraq?

Read full article

More on This Story

US Presidential Election 2012


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    Ah! The POLLS, you say?

    I take it you haven't read the email correspondence between David Axelrod and Gallup, procured via the F.O.I.A.? You know, the emails that appear to suggest that the Obama administration is intimidating and threatening the polling agencies?

    Or, how about the fact that the polls are intentionally oversampling Democrats by 12-16%?

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Measured delivery, in command of the facts, statesmanlike - versus smarm, charm and bet on the farm. How can Mark Mardell think Romney won the 1st debate? The President has answers; his challenger had promises. No contest.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    It was as if I were listening to the braying of two circus bears braying for the crowd. As if trained.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Mitt says, "90 Billion wasted on Green Energy!!" Mitt says let industry decide what to do and not have Government "pick winners"! Ouch - Green Energy is the poster child of Obama! Obama is on record saying, “If someone wants to build a new coal-fired power plant they can, but it will bankrupt them.” and upon inauguration, "the rise of the oceans began to slow, and our planet began to heal."

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    You just saw Mr. Obama without a teleprompter folks..PERIOD!
    You can put any kind of spin on it you want, but what you saw was a president who has been campaigning since he won 4 years ago!
    This man had no credentials to become president...NONE. Europe and the Middle East love him...because they know he has no idea what he is doing! Well guess what..WE ARE BACK!


Comments 5 of 90



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.