Debate Viewpoint #1: Romney wins, but Obama's right

The trouble with a presidential debate is quantifying a victory. What do you measure? Is it the amount of minutes spent speaking? That’s a tie.

The number of stoic facial expressions? Obama scowled, and Romney looked smug.

Who was faster on the draw? Romney by a mile — he also wins on interruptions.

Who got less dirty? President Obama, but he also got less attention.

Who pandered more to senior voters? They both did, and it was obvious.

Who used bigger figures to embarrass the other? Tie again.

There are some things we can’t measure after Wednesday night’s presidential debate in Denver, however, and even though I personally disagree with him on almost every fundamental level, I would be foolish not to cede victory to Gov. Mitt Romney. The big businessman came out swinging, keeping President Obama on his heels. Romney had the glint of attack in his eyes, and the incumbent seemed ill prepared and a little emotionally flat.

Romney was also more specific in his arguments, if a little exaggerated. He stuck firmly and simply to his original five-point plan (energy independence, more foreign trade, keep the best schools in the world, balance the budget, and champion small businesses), and referenced it continually. Pres. Obama fought harder for the middle class in his disagreements, but his points were lost in the enthusiasm of Mitt’s Republican ideologies and prepared opinions. All political opinions aside, Gov. Romney wins the presentation points.

My personal thoughts on the debate are more difficult to distinguish, because I’m greatly biased toward President Obama’s more balanced approach of raising taxes, cutting spending and growing the economy simultaneously.

And anyone who works in education knows that the president’s ideas for improving our country’s system of schooling were far more practical than Gov. Romney’s (e.g., “grading our schools” so that parents can “pick which school their children attend,” which really means that kids with money and means of transportation can attend the schools they want to, and the children stuck in lower socioeconomic levels and ignored schools have to stay where they are).

I also have never understood why the “life” in “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is applicable where military protection is concerned, but does not apply when people need urgent medical attention. But I digress.

The strongest argument for keeping our current president in office is that revenue gained from growing the economy doesn’t happen instantly. I believe in the direction we’re being taken, and that after four more years, the work of Pres. Obama’s first term will be more validated than it is now.