The final presidential debate is in the books now and I couldn’t be more pleased. This election season is shaping up as one of the nastiest on record and there is enough blame to go around. Monday night’s debate didn’t have the tone and high levels of testosterone that we saw last week, but there is clearly no love lost between the candidates. No matter how much Gov. Romney agreed with President Obama’s policies.
Big Bird, bayonets, horses and apology tour aside there is a lot at stake here.
The debates are not nearly as interesting at the post-debate analysis. OK, maybe interesting is not the right word. Perhaps I should say irritating. And unless you are one of the alleged three people who is undecided about who’ll you’ll cast your vote for, you could certainly find a post debate amen corner to tune in to. The comments are becoming so predictable that it is almost a waste of time to listen to the same old rhetoric. I said almost.
As I watched the debate I found myself slightly annoyed at Romney's ever-changing stance. All of sudden he agrees with most of the current administration’s foreign policies. Actually it’s insulting that Romney will say anything to win over voters. Don’t get me wrong, I know that is a part of politicians' DNA, but he takes it to an entirely different level.
Unfortunately many of those tuning in to the debates are not as engaged as some of us. Politics and sports are my reality TV, so it’s what I watch and do. That’s undoubtedly not the case for most Americans. So while the experts and polls score the win in the final debate for the President, its what the voters say that really count.
You have to give it to the Romney team, they had a good game plan and their strategy might just work. Former Pennsylvania Gov. and NBC News political analyst Ed Rendell said Romney was trying to convince the average American that he was conversant with foreign policy. By aligning himself with the president, Romney assured Americans that there is not going to be a "hawkish" guy in the White House pushing a ground war in Asia or the Middle East.
Obama had to again walk a fine line of being “presidential” while staying on point and not letting Romney get away with things he saw as less than truthful. Romney had to let his kinder-gentler side show while not coming across as a war hungry lunatic. Remember he’s trying to win over swing voters — especially women. I wonder how that dazed look and constant sweating went over.
Politics as sport
Thank goodness for Monday Night Football and the NLCS. At least those contests are admittedly games and their realm clearly sport. From where I sit, politics is also a sport, especially in this current climate. There are game plans with extravagant strategies, key players, zingers or ringers depending on who you ask, head coaches, offensive and defensive coordinators, sparring partners — you get the point.
Rendell said Obama won the debate dramatically on points. “In terms of changing votes, what the Romney campaign did was very smart, “ Rendell said during the post-debate analysis on MSNBC. “Because all the walk backs (changing positions) they’re viewed by a million people. Last night was viewed by 50 million people."
You have to give it to the Romney team, they had a good game plan and their strategy might just work.
So while Romney continues to rewrite the history of his candidacy with a blatant disregard for the facts, voters are charged with sifting through the mounds of stuff that determines which way they’ll pull the lever.
But like any other good competition or matchup, you can’t just go by what it says on paper: you have to actually play the game. So for two more weeks we’ll be bombarded with campaign ads and more talking points. Many will be negative, some meaningful and some just wrong.
Listen, I’m not complaining about the process. I’m a proud American who absolutely loves the fact that I get to vote. I just wish more of my fellow citizens would get in on the action. In 2008 only 56.8 percent of the voting age population actually voted. I remember people celebrating that as the largest turnout since 1968. Personally those numbers are disappointing and actually kind of sad.
Big Bird, bayonets, horses and apology tour aside there is a lot at stake here. Pardon me if I get annoyed when too few of us take our right to vote seriously and make an effort to be informed about the issues. Let me take this moment to encourage you to vote. It’s not only your right; it’s your responsibility.
Kim Davis is a journalist with more than two decades of experience covering sports, news and politics in television, radio and print. Kim does weekly "Chalk Talk" segments on Fox 26 Morning News. Follow her on Twitter @kimydavis.