Stephanie LaMonaca, Philadelphia
Format made the difference
After the debate, a number of media pundits pondered why President Obama seemed so relatively tame in his approach to Mitt Romney. The answer lies in the format. With each man given ample time to rebut any untrue or inflammatory accusations from the other, topics could be easily parried by the well-prepared Romney, thereby exposing how shallow they were in the first place. It's one thing to have hit-and-run ads fabricating or exaggerating issues with no fear of retribution, but quite another when the attacked is face to face and able to respond.
With no record of accomplishment to fall back on, the president was left with no bullets in his gun. He came across small and unfocused. Given recent world events, the foreign policy segment of this series should give the Obama camp reason to fear further erosion of the gilded image of their leader.
Stephen Hanover, Parker Ford
The human chameleon
Now may be the time for Woody Allen to remake his 1983 classic film Zelig, and cast Mitt Romney in the leading role as "the human chameleon." Should this man ascend to the presidency, it is anyone's guess as to the persona he might adopt.
Bernard Enright, Abington
Disinterested vs. prepared
President Obama has finally been exposed. He looked totally disinterested and aloof during the debate. Because of his hubris, I am sure he felt that he could just mail it in. However, in this venue, the mainstream media could not protect him as they have done his entire presidency and reelection campaign. Mitt Romney was prepared and affable and basically took the night. The president has a horrendous record regarding jobs and the economy, and Romney stressed that at every opportunity.
Voters saw the real Mitt Romney Wednesday night, not the one who has been foisted upon them by the administration and media. The major media outlets have some explaining to do over not being honest about Romney, as well as not reporting the president's missteps.
Joe Pasquarello, Medford
Thinking and diplomatic
In the debate, Mitt Romney's frequent interrupting and rude insistence on usurping extra time showed his sense of self-importance, entitlement, and arrogance. It showed us that he is not a man who will "work across the aisle," evidently believing he can't possibly be wrong about anything. He showed us a self-important man who thinks his own opinions are infallible. What would this clear lack of diplomacy portend for international relations?
President Obama may not have accomplished as much as he and we had hoped, but he's tried to work with a closed-minded House and he has the grace to be diplomatic in international relations. We need to look at the whole picture, at everything the candidates have been and are. Arrogance has no place in a democracy.
It's clear that if Americans want to be represented by a thinking and diplomatic president, it's important to vote for Obama.
Gloria T. Delamar, Melrose Park
Trying to find something to say
To anyone who watched the debate, it is obvious why the country is in its current state. Mitt Romney repeatedly made decisive points and attempted to make eye contact with President Obama, who continually looked down at the podium. No doubt he was trying to find the teleprompter to tell him what to say.
Jim Malecka, Medford
Fire the debate-prep coach
President Obama should make like the Phillies and fire the coaches.
Aaron M. Fine, Swarthmore
Waste of valuable TV time
After listening to political palaver ad nauseam, am I the only one who feels presidential debates are a farce and a waste of time, exceeded only by vice presidential debates? Am I the only one who doesn't care what color tie a candidate wears, whether he has a red-white-and-blue pin in his lapel, or finishes his rhetoric with "God bless America"?
Most voters vote their pocketbook, and one would have to be living in a cave not to have formed an opinion after a year of nonstop political bombardment. Why waste valuable TV time on debates when one could be enjoying All in the Family and the philosophy of Archie Bunker?
Ralph D. Bloch, Warrington
Worried about tax reform
I get worried when I hear tax reform discussed by Mitt Romney or by others in the Senate. "Reform" means lower the income-tax rate on the wealthy at the expense of others. Add in getting rid of estate taxes, which provides a huge windfall for the wealthiest among us.
What will they do with all this extra cash? Provide jobs for us regular folk and come to the rescue of the middle class? But so-called job creators haven't done a very good job since the Bush tax cuts provided them with the lowest rates in years. The only jobs I see being created are overseas, or perhaps installing a garage elevator in Romney's residence. This stuff has been peddled to us since the 1970s, and it has never worked. When will people wake up to this?
I have nothing against wealthy people having money to spend on extravagances, but don't try to tell me that their extra money is going to help me.
Jim Kippen, Plymouth Meeting
New leadership team needed
President Obama promises more and bigger government. He has already given us medical control, environmental control, financial and banking control, birth control, education control, and labor control. He has invested in pet projects such as less efficient alternative energy programs, and blocked our country's ability to drill for oil. If people want more of these things, they should vote for Obama.
By contrast, Mitt Romney stands for less government and returning control to state and local authorities, away from Washington. I believe he will stand by his word, and not say one thing and do something else. He will "walk the talk." In short, I believe Romney is the man the American public can trust.
There are many problems for Romney to address, such as our high unemployment, now just below 8 percent; our national debt, now more than $16 trillion; gasoline priced at $4 a gallon, and growing distrust of our nation by our overseas allies, particularly Israel. The fact is that worldwide, we are nearly on the brink of a world in flames, and an economy in ruins.
We need a turning point in Washington and a new team in leadership.
William R. Jones, Souderton