Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this Presidential debate was when the two men were on the podium literally circling one another and walking around one another as though they were in a boxing match. It was a tense moment and very uncomfortable to watch, especially for two grown men who were running for President.
Besides this unleashing of physical tension and obvious anger, there was the bickering where one candidate called the other out and spoke of his policy while the the other defended himself.
Before the debate this was one of the key rules- that no one will speak on behalf of the other. But that rule was quickly broken. It was only when one of the men quoted or misquoted the other, that tentions rose and that resulted in hostility both verbally and nonverbally.
Another rule which was broken, but not by the candidates was that there would be no split screen. I thought this was wrong as the public was entitles to see how the candidates acted when they were in listening mode. In fact I objected to the no split screen policy when I appeared on CNBC earlier in the day.
The broken split screen rule actually gave a few points to Obama as you could see that he was a good student.
He copied everything Romeny did in the first debate with the exception of showing several signals of anger. It was as though Obama read all of my comments and suggestions in the Associated Press interviews I have been doing on these debates and took heed.
First of all, he looked directly at Romeny when Romney spoke even though he did leak out a scarastic laugh or two and purse his lips in anger and lunge forth from his seat on several occasions.
Secondly, at the beginning of the debate he enumerated points- number one, number two and number three, just like Romney did throughout his first debate.
And finally he looked at Romeny with his chin up with a slight smile and an open eyed look, just as Romeny looked at him during the first debate.
Obama came out on the stage with a swagger and self confidence in his walk and demeanor as did Romney.
They both gave one another that standard “Power Hug: where they grabbed one another’s arms as they shook hands. They were both calm as they said hello o=to the audience and waved .
But as soon as they exhibited this warm cordiality, they quickly turned on one another body language wise .
It was interesting to observe the two men as they sat in their chairs in the identical pose with one knee up and the other on the ground as though they were mirror images of one another. But the one telling thing about their pose was that they both leaned away from one another as though they are repulsed by one another.
Romeny was off to a shakier start at the beginning as he didn’t look directly at or personally address the first young man who asked the first question. Obama on the other hand, was more personable during the interchange with the young man and with other people who asked questions.
But that all changed during the debate continued, as Romney became more personable and more passionate seemed to speak directly to those asking him questions.While it was more of Obama’s form to walk around and speak directly to the people. Romney became more at ease with this form as the debate continued.
In the middle of the debate one could easily see that both candidates met their stride. They were extremely passionate and both showed inflection and a wide range of emotion when they spoke.
However, Obama showed uncharacteristic signs of anger throughout the debate. It was as though someone coached him to let it all out for the first time in his career. Prior to this we have see Obama as unflappable-” cool as a cucumber” as he has often been described. But here was a different Obama who could be seen unleashing his anger as he tightened his jaw, and pointed his finger and scowled.
Romeny showed anger as well, especially when Candy Crwoley did not allow him to make his points.
Candy Crowley was by far the worst moderator from a number of points of view. Mainly, she showed consistent favoritism to the President by not allowing Romney to make his point. Even her tone of voice was different when she spoke to the President as opposed to speaking to Romney.
This clearly frustrated Romney on several occasions as he awkwardly stood on the stage like an embarrassed school child in front of the mean school teacher.
At one point it looked like the two candidates were in a boxing ring as opposed to a Presidential debating stage as they literally danced around one another, the verbal boxing continued soon after this exchange. Obama’s lip pursing verified his intense anger while Romeny could’t even look at him . They resembled two angry alpha lions circling one another before tearing into each other’s flesh.
THE WINNER IS…… THE LOSER IS………
From a body language point of view, they were both open with their gestures and with their thoughts and words. Their voices didn’t waiver. Their up and down inflection mirrored their passions.But Obama was clearly not used to inflicting his voice and it showed.
When speaking for Romeny who said repeatedly that he had a Five Point Plan to offer, Obama contentiously accused him of only having a One Point Plan, But as he said this the pitch of his voice went up. It was as though he knew he was marking up the wrong tree and his voice let him know it.. When Obama was angry it was not uncommon to hear the pitch of his voice go up like a school boy.
Whenever the two of them spoke about the other’s policies that is when they both got into trouble and stimulated animosity and aggression in one another.
Obama was in this for the fight of his political life as he transformed from the wussy debater he appeared to be in the first debate into a scrappy fighter in this second debate.
But wasn’t pleasant to watch. Whomever coached Obama, coached him wrong. Obama both looked and sounded awkward as this was not the man whom we have come to know over the past four years. His behavior in last night’s debate was as though he was trying on a different personality and it didn’t work.
From a body language point of view I believe that both candidates won becuase of their passion and communication delivery .
However, on the same breath I can also say that both candidates also lost because of their unleashed anger and visible hostility which was uncomfortable to watch. It was undignified and Unpresidential on BOTH of their parts.
It was clear that these two candidates cannot stand one another . This photo speaks volumes. Even though they are supposed to be two adults shaking hands to express respect their body language with Romeny’s tense and phony smile , his turning away from Obama and his literally giving Obama the cold shoulder says to all.
Feelings are certainly mutual for Obama as you can see his tense pursed lips as he looks down and clenches his hand in a fist like position.
For Presidential debate number three we need to see two dignified gentleman expressing their own policies and passionately speaking for themselves, not for one another. We do NOT need to see this awful spectacle anymore.