Mixed Political Crowd Pleased With Feistier Obama-Romney Debate
About 40 people attended Patch's presidential debate-viewing party in Wauwatosa Tuesday night and while many had varying views on who won, they all agreed on one thing: They'll be paying attention to the third and final debate Monday.
Although father-daughter duo Valarie and John Vidal of Germantown come from different sides of the political fence, they attended Patch's debate-viewing party together, even testing their limits by sitting on the same couch.
"We wanted to do this in a public place because she’s a 'lib' and I’m a conservative," John said with a laugh before Tuesday's presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Roughly 40 people came together from varying political viewpoints at the Rosebud Cinema in Wauwatosa to watch the second round of the debate. There was even one, lone undecided voter who joined the throng of Democrats and Republicans, but shortly after the debate was completed, said she is now swaying more toward Romney.
"I feel like Obama could have been stronger," Leslie Buck of Wauwatosa said. "I voted for him in '08 and I've been disappointed. I was expecting a little bit more and there were times I found myself agreeing with Romney."
Specifically, she said the discussion about Libya was most upsetting.
"The Benghazi thing really bugs me," Buck said. "And the 'Fast and Furious.' Certain missteps are hard to ignore, and the decision to bailout GM and the banks was something I personally disagreed with."
Check out the replay of Patch's live blog from the presidential debate
Many others intently watching Tuesday's debate also echoed similar points in the Twittersphere, criticizing Obama's slow reaction to the attack on the United Nations consulate in Libya:
But others defended the president and applauded when moderator Candy Crowley fact-checked a Romney statement about the same attack in Libya:
But the evening wouldn't have been complete without a few zingers. Both Obama and Romney made their fare share of quips during the debate, digging into topics like "binders full of women" and pension's that aren't quite as large as others.
Victory in the eye of the beholder
But it's a cloudy picture as to who won overall. Some said Obama put on a better performance this evening than he did in the first debate, while others said while Obama did try harder, Romney still had a smoother overall performance.
Rick Mehl of Wauwatosa said if he were an uninformed voter who hadn't been paying attention sine the primaries, he would have thought Romney was smooth tonight. But smooth, Mehl said, isn't always a winning approach.
"But I have been following and the fact is he (Romney) has flip-flopped, he has changed where he's coming from," Mehl said. "He has gotten every hair in place and a nice rugged look about him and has this eye on the prize type thing. So, I think he just looked too smooth and too slick. But he came off sounding better and forced Obama to be the complainer about the fact that he was flip-flopping."
First-time voter Jason Sill, also from Wauwatosa, said he thinks Obama pulled out a win during the second round.
"I was more impressed with President Obama in this debate than I was last time," Sill said. "It made him (Romney) look a little bit foolish when he'd interrupt him (Obama), whereas before, I though he (Obama) kind of let him (Romney) interrupt himself and the speaker. That was something that bothered me."
But Tyrone Luckett of Milwaukee said no matter what the president does, he just can't win.
"When the president took a more reserved approach, he 'lost.' But tonight, I guarantee you when he takes a more direct and more overt approach, he’s going to be 'the angry black man,'" Luckett said. "All he (Romney) did was overtalk the moderator, overtalk the president. That doesn’t mean you won, it just means that you’re louder."