Neither man won debate

What are the criteria for deciding the winner of a debate? The debate I watched last night looked more like two men trying their best not to say something stupid.

As I watched President Obama speak, it was painful to look at Mitt Romney’s face, which seemed to be frozen into a goofy grin. When Romney spoke, Obama looked like he was trying to decide what he was going to have for dinner afterward.

It brings me to a point of listening vs. looking. During the Richard Nixon/John F. Kennedy presidential debates in 1960, those who listened by radio thought Nixon won, while those who watched them on television thought Kennedy won. This just goes to show how our perception can be skewed when we add outside influences such as body language and looks. Just the way a candidate’s mouth moves during speech can influence whether we think his answer is a good one.

I still don’t understand how Romney got the nod as the winner. I thought they both talked a lot but neither of them said much. In fact it was one of the most forgettable debates I’ve ever seen. During the next debate, I shall only listen and see who I think does the better job.

One thing is for sure: One of them needs to start explaining his position instead of tiptoeing around all the same themes without actually saying anything. I get the impression it’s like a prizefight in which both contenders have only one goal, and that is to be standing when the final bell rings.

John Glover

Augusta

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