Obama And Romney Both Strong In Second Debate

Oct 19, 2012

President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney both put in strong performances in the second Presidential debate, according to Southeast Missouri State University political science professor and debate coach Larry Underberg. But in the final analysis, he says Obama won the debate.

There were two important issues that Obama won - fair pay for women and Libya.

Underberg think Obama did not fully capitalize on the fair pay for women question, but Romney tripped on his “binders full of women” comment.

“I think that every feminist in America had to be cringing when he talked about his attitude toward flexible work schedules so women could get home at 5:00 and cook,” Underberg said. “This is not the rhetoric of a champion of women’s rights.”

Underberg says one of Obama’s strongest moments came when asked about the killing of four U.S. citizens in Libya. Obama scolded Romney for politicizing the tragedy. “That was a strong Presidential moment,” Underberg said. “It really showcased Obama in a very, very favorable light. And the anger, I think, was genuine.”

Romney did not have any one single shining moment, Underberg said, but rather he had a group of them. Romney was strongest while staying on message with economic and unemployment. 

“He was at his best when he was able to hammer on the four year record of the Obama Administration,” Underberg said. But he adds that Romney faltered when forced to go off script on topics such as abortion, immigration and fair pay for women.