Thursday, October 4, 2012
Jim Lehrer, Best Moderator Ever!
It was in fact the best Presidential Debate I have seen and I've seen them all for the last three decades. So what made the debate so great? (Besides my guy winning of course...)
1. Jim Lehrer was perhaps the best moderator ever. Why? Because just like a well refereed basketball game, he didn't get in the way of the players. Don't you just hate it when the referee calls those ticky tack fouls and it slows down the game to the point where it not only loses its enjoyment as a spectator but you can't see the players delivering their best. Jim Lehrer did what a "moderator" should do, he moderated. He didn't inject himself into the debate as a participant. He didn't ask "gotcha" questions; he didn't take anyone's side (if anything he deferred a bit to President Obama by giving him four more minutes than Governor Romney, oh, you didn't know that, yeah it's true); he didn't want the limelight.
For me, and I think every voter/citizen who watched the debate, saw a real debate. Saw each candidate on their own doing what they could do to make their case, unfiltered and unfettered. Some of the media suggested that Jim Lehrer "lost control". On the contrary, he used judgement and deference to the audience and participants to make sure both were best served. In the media, Jim Lehrer is my new hero. He sacrificed self for substance. Something that many of his colleagues, who still call themselves journalists, could learn from.
This was the fastest 90 minutes on television and it did exactly what it was supposed to do. Inform the public on what each candidate believes and who they are.
2. Romney proved himself a credible world leader. If anyone has questioned Mitt Romney's ability to handle himself in a face to face with any world leader, last night's debate should have laid that doubt to rest. Romney was self-assured, not because of ego, but because he has a lifetime of experience dealing with unhappy facts that he turns into profitable and/or successful situations. He has done it in business, he has done it with the Olympics, he has done it with the State of Massachusetts, and he has done it in his personal life of compassionate and charitable service. His debate preparation was mostly irrelevant because of his life preparation.
Romney did not need to resort to "zingers" (though there were a few from both sides) because he is a master of the facts and more importantly he is a master of the underlying principles of what makes America exceptional. Good for Jim Lehrer to ask perhaps one of the most fundamental questions that must be asked during this campaign... "How do you view the role of the Federal Government?" This is the key to this election. Upon what should the decisions of our leaders be based? Romney was crystal clear that he would ask the question if any dollar spent on any program was worth borrowing that dollar from China. And, he eloquently spoke of the 10th Amendment of the Constitution and the importance of abiding by that key principle of separation of powers.