Two men will take the stage in the first of three debates on Oct. 3 to try and persuade the public why they should be president of the United States. Those men are incumbent President Barack Obama and former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney. Those who follow politics already know both men well and have decided whom they will vote for. But for others who are undecided or are leaning a certain way but are still unsure, the debates can be a major component of their decision of whom they should vote for. Even for voters who have already made up their minds on whom they plan to vote for, seeing which candidate looks the most presidential or if one perhaps makes a mistake like the recent gaffes that have been grabbing headlines recently, can make a difference in who they ultimately vote for.
Debates are an important part of the election process. Historically, debates have been known to sway voters but this is not an election with a lot of undecided voters. With only about a month until Election Day, most people have already made up their minds.
But the debates will go on. After months of preparation, the little time that each candidate has to spend debating their opponent on stage with people all over the country watching is very important to them. This is one of the few times the people really get to compare and contrast the candidates and their stance on issues, as long as the right questions are asked.
The economy, job loss/growth, unemployment level, the deficit, and social issues are all points of discussion. Whatever questions get asked, the American people want solutions, not more excuses. They want to know what the candidates are going to do about the issues the country faces. Obama and Romney need to be strategic, tactful, and above all, look presidential when answering the questions.
Romney has a slight advantage. He has been debating for past months when he was seeking the republican nomination for president, and mostly he was pretty successful. But taking on an incumbent is a very different ball game. If Romney comes out attacking rather than providing his solutions to the problems America faces, people will tune out and not take him seriously. He needs to be very skillful in how he approaches Obama.
Obama, as the incumbent, needs to make his case that if he has four more years with his policies that he has put in place, the country will truly prosper again. Since he inherited such a bad situation, he needed more than just four years to turn it around. If he is able to do that, and look as presidential as he did in 2008, he will have a very good chance of winning the upcoming debates.
The American people don’t want another mud slinging match that was so common in the republican presidential debates just a few months ago. They want serious questions, with the candidates bringing forth serious solutions. Each candidate needs to make his case to the American people. Attacking, blaming, and criticizing will not work anymore. Answers, solutions, and problem solving is the only way to get the country back on track. Each candidate will have to make his case that he has the best way of getting it done.
BY ALI BOETTCHER firstname.lastname@example.org