Does Obama’s Debate Victory Mean Anything? Roland Martin Says ‘Yes’
President Obama, thrust into the unfamiliar and uncomfortable role of underdog in the bruising slugfest to earn White House retention, proved to be Republican nominee’s Mitt Romney’s equal in style and his superior in substance in the second presidential debates in New York.
Political pundits, including CNN contributor and TV One’s “Washington Watch” host Roland Martin, assigned the incumbent as the victor and said Obama regained his swag as he outscored his formidable challenger in a rather vituperative, dramatic and nearly out-of control town-hall debate session.
Speaking from a presidential debate party at the Crimson in Lower Manhattan, where he and BET’s Jeff Johnson hosted a post-debate discussion online, Martin said Obama implemented many of the “game-day” changes needed to reverse the momentum of this mean-spirited presidential race.
“First of all, Mitt Romney won the first debate. The president’s performance was far too lackluster. And I think that for this debate, the president didn’t need to come out too ‘matter of fact.’ … I thought the president came out very consistent, very strong,” said Martin. “I thought that Romney interrupted the president more than he should have. He turned his back to the audience who were asking the questions. I thought he was too combative. And I thought Obama was spot-on throughout the debate.”
CNN confirmed Martin’s analysis in a post-fight (debate) poll, as Obama escaped with a 43-39 percentage win, while CBS said Obama won going away, 37-30. While Obama devotees collectively exhaled, Martin noted that Obama may have missed a couple of opportunities to score some devastating combination blows that could have finished his opponent sooner in this linguistic throwdown.
“I felt that the president could have been a lot stronger on the issue of Republican obstructionism in Congress. He mentioned a couple of times, when he talked about jobs, bill that Republicans blocked him,” said Martin, who also has a political segment on the “Tom Joyner Morning Show.”
“He mentioned initially of Romney not supporting the [Lilly] Ledbetter [Fair Pay] Act,” Martin continued, adding that Obama’s verbal counterpunches did fluster the usually aggressive challenger. “Other than that, he did what he was supposed to do, he kept Romney on the ropes and I could tell that he was frustrating Romney on many occasions.”
Most importantly, everyone wants to know if the results of the second debates will buoy Obama’s chances to keep the keys to the Oval Office. Martin answered with a resounding ‘yes.’ The inaugural debates catapulted Romney into a statistical dead heat when he had trailed Obama most of the summer.
“Oh, you saw how the first debates made a difference. First of all, I [think] that this totally slows down the momentum of Mitt Romney from the first debates,” Martin said. “Second, the Obama supporters were very excited and happy. And so, the next debate is going to focus on the president’s strength, which is foreign policy. I actually think that is his strongest area, more than domestic policy, so he is positioned very well for the third and final debate.”