Someone else could have moderated the debate better

Jim Lehrer was an unusually weak moderator, with both Romney and Obama ignoring him as much as possible.  I’m not complaining, since I think this was a good thing.  It meant that Lehrer lacked the strength to tilt the debate in Obama’s favor and, more importantly, it meant that the candidates really had a debate, talking back and forth with each other.  This, therefore, was a less canned debate than in past years.  That let us see what each guy had to say (or, in Obama’s case, didn’t have to say).

Nevertheless, because I like competence, part of me was irked by Lehrer’s inability to control the room.  I wasn’t the only one who thought that Lehrer could have done better.  Certainly, it would have been a different debate had someone else been in charge!  (If you need an incentive to click the link, it’s very funny.)

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  • Ron19

    Just finished watching the 24 minutes of the first 15 minute segment.  Two times.

    Jim Lehrer interrupted Romney 3 or 4 times when Romney started his replies to Obama.  He did not once interrupt Obama, not even to get him to stick to the current topic question.  Lehrer was ineffective at controlling the debate, as you said, but really only tried to control Romney, not Obama for not paying attention to his moderating.

    Obama was good at not responding to what Romney said, either that or he just didn’t bother to listen to Romney.  Romney kept trying to get through to Obama to get him to listen to what Romney was saying, but couldn’t get through to him.

    Also, it felt odd to see Obama talk without watching the tennis game behind the camera, but instead did a sideways looking at Lehrer, which he mostly did instead of replying directly to Romney, probably because he was not responding to Romney anyway.  Romney looked straight at Obama when he was repllying to him.  When Obama gave his initial “campaign speech” opening statement, that was the only time he looked directly at the camera.

    When listening, Obama kept his eyes down, mostly, and did not look at Romney much at all, at least when the camera was on Obama while Romney was talking.  Romney spent a lot of his talking and listening time looking straight at Obama.


  • Charles Martel

    Considering that the next three moderators will all be leftist stooges who are not doddering old fools like Lehrer, I’m sure the traps laid for Romney will be a little stronger and more clever than Lehrer’s bumbling attempts at control.
    However, I agree with Book that the debate was refreshing in that Romney and Obama actually had a back and forth that didn’t depend on a moderator pretending to ringmaster the encounter. They did well enough without the interference.
    Unfortunately for Obama, without an effective means of stopping or diverting Romney’s relentlessly schooling him, he got walloped. (Think of that Australian video that went viral a few months ago where the fat kid who was being constantly bullied finally had had enough and whupassed an arrogant 12 year old who was harassing him. Broke the little punk’s leg, I think.)
    The media are like the school principal who later suspended the fat kid for defending himself. The task of the next three moderators will be to find a way to get Obama back up off the floor every time Romney pins him. But when you consider the incredible ineptitude of leftist news people when their targets turn out to be confident and articulate (think of Christie or Newt), I think that Romney will be more than able to handle them.
    It ain’t over until the fat kid sings.

  • BrianE

    At times it felt like Lehrer was reminding the President what the question was and giving him a hint at what his answer might be.


  • Indigo Red

    I was very pleased with the format and the weak moderation – intentional or not. As you wrote, the candidates “really had a debate, talking back and forth with each other.” It was also remarkably civil even with the Jedi dark side mind tricks The Obama tried.

    In the aftermath, the network talkers were really upset with the format and declared it dead for all future debates apparently because it didn’t work so well for The Obama little knowing it wasn’t the format that killed The Obama; it was beauty of facts that killed The Obama.

  • Mike Devx

    Think of it this way: Jim Lehrer was BIASED.  Bias is old school and passe.

    The new mainstream media are paid Democrat operatives.  The new mainstream media will be controlling the rest of the debates.  They will come out with all guns blazing against Mitt Romney.  Because it was not merely Obama that lost the debate last night.  The mainstream media MUST win the next debate for Obama.

    I’m hoping their partisanship will be s obvious, so blatant, so one-sided, that they will actually blow it all by themselves.  They *always* over-react and use a sledgehammer where a scalpel is due.  I hope they do it yet again.  The distrust of mainstream media finally reached the tipping point with the American people somewhere during the last two years.  I hope the mainstream media deliberately throw themselves over the cliff now with an outrageous over-reaction, and there’s a good chance they will.

    I will allow myself this evening to dream the dream: A definite conservative victory across the board for this election, AND the mainstream media totally, utterly discredits itself.  It’s just a dream, and there is still a lot of time left before the election.  But for one night, I will dream the dream.

  • Ymarsakar

    The media happily engineered Sarah Palin’s collapse in American public opinion. And it succeeded because American public opinion is about as hard to manipulate as my pinky.