Daily Israel Report
More

Zion's Corner Blogs


Analysis: Obama Wins On Points Romney May Have Done More Damage

In what was a far superior debate for Barack Obama, Mitt Romney harped on the contrast between the 2008 promises and the stark reality.
By Dr. Amiel Ungar
First Publish: 10/17/2012, 11:48 AM

  Romney shakes hands with Obama at conclusion of  debate
Romney shakes hands with Obama at conclusion of debate
Reuters

This time, as opposed to the first debate which I read hours later,  I did masochistically stay up until the middle of the night Israel time for the debate, and it helped me get to synagogue services on time.

If I was scoring this as a debate or a fencing match in terms of who got in more hits, the debate was a victory for President Barack Obama. In terms of inflicting more damage, I am not certain who the victor was.

Barack Obama was interested in reinforcing the major thrust of his campaign - that Romney, as a member of the privileged rich, is uncaring about the average American, and he got this point across in various ways.

Romney's strategy reminded me of the techniques that Arthur Finkelstein employed in the 1996 campaign of Binyamin Netanyahu against Shimon Peres. I was obviously for Netanyahu, but night after night, we would get the same ad of the glass breaking, revealing Peres marching hand-in-hand with Yasser Arafat.

I got tired of that commercial and the entire tenor of the campaign and wanted to see Netanyahu attack on a range of points. Like any political partisan, I felt that I could see better and beyond than the inept campaign.

I now recognize this technique when I hear commercials on the radio, when the same advertiser is back with the same message a few minutes later in a somewhat abbreviated commercial.

By the end of the 1996 campaign, Netanyahu had made up a huge deficit and was narrowly elected Prime Minister.

What Romney basically did was to stress the points that he feels will turn this election, and he did so again and again: The state of the economy as compared to Barack Obama's campaign promises in 2008 and, without crediting Joe Biden, he returned to the statement of the middle class being crushed.

The issue was jobs and who could create them. It was Apollo Creed against Rocky Balboa. Apollo Obama landed more punches and was the more skillful boxer at Hofstra. Rocky Romney kept coming and he was going for the gut.

As opposed to Rocky, we don't know the ending yet and how the undecided refs will score it on Election Day.

Amiel Ungar is a political scientist who lives in Tekoa, Israel, and is featured in various Hebrew and English publications. He is writer and political analyst for Arutz Sheva.