By Rich Lowry
The Hendricks County Flyer
Tue Oct 09, 2012, 04:32 PM EDT
When during the past few weeks people favorable to Mitt Romney have said it all comes down to him, it's usually been with a sense of foreboding.
During the first debate, though, Romney had his best moment of the campaign when it all depended on him.
He stood on the stage with the president of the United States and not only won on substance, but won on optics, demeanor, and emotion. He flat-out won.
Romney showed a few key things in an unfiltered format much more persuasive than any 30-second ad: He's up to the job, he's not a monster, and his program makes a lot of sense.
Romney had an answer for everything the president said, partly because the president relied on tired riffs from the campaign trail that don't sound nearly as good without an adoring audience looking for any excuse to laugh or applaud. It's hard to imagine a better point-by-point argument than Romney made throughout the debate, when he seemed less a former management consultant than a former litigator.
It's not often a president of the United States has someone stand several yards away, look directly at him, and contradict everything he says. It can't be a pleasant experience. But all President Barack Obama could do was grimace and take it.
At times, he seemed to fear confrontation with Romney.
"The president is at liberty," Woodrow Wilson said, "both in law and conscience, to be as big a man as he can."
Obama looked small. Someone who knew absolutely nothing going in - a pretty good definition of an undecided voter, unfortunately - might have guessed that Romney was the incumbent president.
The debate played to a few of his natural strengths. One, he has seemed confident and presidential almost from the day he stepped on the natural stage six years ago. Two, what was often said of Barack Obama in 2008, that he had a "first-class temperament," definitely applies to Romney. He's cheerful and unflappable to a fault. Three, he has no problem expressing himself.
On the other hand, his shortcomings as a candidate - particularly evident during the past couple of months - are that he has trouble connecting, he relies too much on substanceless biography, and he lacks passion. Not from the debate stage in Denver.
On connecting, he resorted to the obvious but effective expedient of talking about the struggles of real people he has met on the campaign trail. This might not have worked so well if it didn't contrast so starkly with the bloodlessness of the president, who was as engaging as the safely tenured professor who knows he doesn't need to bother wowing his students anymore.
On substance, Romney had an absolute command of details and connected them back to the goals of his program - a thriving economy and middle class.
On passion, say whatever else you will about Mitt Romney, but he sincerely believes he can do this job. And the most important issue facing the country - Can its economy and government be put on a more efficient footing conducive to economic growth? - is in his wheelhouse. All that came through.
This matchup was reminiscent of Romney's must-win debates with Newt Gingrich before the Florida primary. Like the former speaker, Obama got run over by a Mitt Romney who was better prepared and determined to deconstruct his opponent. The Florida debates were the end for Gingrich, who was out of resources and out of time.
Not so the president, obviously. Romney's 47 percent remark is still out there, even if it bizarrely didn't come up during the debate. The Romney-Ryan Medicare reform is still a heavy lift. Obama will continue to benefit from a Bush overhang. But at least in the debates, it is now clear that the Romney campaign has an underappreciated asset - none other than Mitt Romney himself.
(c) 2012 by King Features Syndicate
Will the current V.A. backlog on veterans’ compensation claims be the next scandal to hit the administration?
Currently, the backlog is at 865,000 plus compensation claims with a wait time of greater than 125 days.
June 18, 2013
Apparently, it is not enough to tolerate, accept, or even endorse the gay agenda. Now, unless you tolerate and accept criminal behavior committed by gays, you are a hater.
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Word on the street and in the media is that it will be a really bad summer for mosquitoes. Or should I say, it will be a really bad summer for humans, because it will be a great year for thirsty mosquitoes.
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As a Christian, I feel compelled to respond to a recent letter to the editor.
When Barack Obama announced his presidential campaign back in February 2007, he did it in front of the old Springfield, Ill., Statehouse in a speech full of references to Abraham Lincoln.
Ordinarily I don’t take requests, but a bunch of people have written to ask how I’m doing with my weight-loss surgery and I thought this might be the most efficient way to answer.
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I am a grandmother who went to the Brownsburg graduation ceremony on June 7 and due to very poor planning on Brownsburg School’s part, I could not sit and watch my twin grandsons graduate in person. I was directed to an overflow room where I had to watch it on a TV screen and could not even take pictures.
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The website Politico reports that Perry’s attempts to lure jobs to Texas are “infuriating to prominent Democrats around the country.”
I am the first to admit I am behind the times when it comes to technology. I remember way back in the olden days of the 1990s when I was actually ahead of the game. Now there are second-graders that are more tech savvy than me. I just decided to stop my forward technological progression a few years back.
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College graduates facing a crushing debt – some more than $100,000 – is a very big and a very real problem.
But U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s recent proposal to deal with it won’t solve the problem. It is a cheap ploy to divert attention from the real problem.
An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
May 22, 2013
Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
General Keith Alexander says two recently disclosed surveillance programs on international communications are critical in the terrorism fight.
June 18, 2013
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