I didn’t watch the first presidential debate but heard a lot of people talking about it so for the second one, I wanted to see for myself. Immediately, I was struck by its SNL like mocking skits-the atmosphere felt corny and as serious as the debate is in reality, it seemed like a joke. I’ve been on a debate team and that was far from how a real debate goes. The whole event felt scattered and unproductive, where Candie Crowley, the moderator, would ask a question and sometimes the candidate would answer it. More often, they would use their time to make a jab at their opponent or continue on a previous question. This debate was targeted for the undecided voters but all Romney and Obama did was fight with each other. Honestly, I think the format and the atmosphere resembled a boxing ring; I thought they were going to get into a fist fight at some points. Is there any civility in our society? Did they feel so threatened that they lost their composure and stooped to the other’s level on national television?
On a different note, I thought the process was too lenient on the candidates, allowing for the debate to go off course. Crowley tried her best to keep the debate moving and to keep everything fair and equal but with the clock counting down 2 minutes right behind them, most times I saw Obama and Romney going over. I don’t understand how that is even remotely acceptable. At times, I felt like there was an unfair advantage and that has to have an influence on all watching. It upsets those whose favorite got less time and could unfairly leave one candidate with an overpowering side. Several times, Romney would outright talk over Obama or the moderator, continuing a rant until he felt finished or had been cut off enough times. A lot is at stake and I understand the pressure the candidates are under but the way they present themselves probably has the biggest impact. The average person is a committed Democrat or Republican and beyond that, it’s really about who they like as a person. I think both of them were disappointing; Romney came off pushy and without any real solutions because all he knew to do was attack Obama and Obama stooped to Romney’s level, lessening the impact of his answers because he felt a need to defend himself against what Romney said.