NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

October 13, 2012

Setting the stage for the final stretch

(Continued)

“I thought he did more than hold his own,” I said.

“Maybe,” Freddy said. “The pols are all over the place. Eyes of the beholders. This was a one-off. All Joe had to do was set the stage for Obama’s next time with Romney, and he did that.”

“Ryan really had to do more,” I said. “Romney’s going to have to come up with an economic play book people understand in his next debate with Obama, and I think Ryan lost some viewers by getting into numbers.”

“TV debates aren’t about numbers,” Freddy said. “They’re about gotchas.”

“Gotchas?” I asked.

“Put-downs,” Freddy said. “Making the other guy stumble, fumble and grunt.”

“That’s punt, as in football, not grunt,” I said. “There wasn’t much of that.”

“Well, there’s been a lot of grunting by Democrats about setting the table for the go `rounds ahead between Obama and Romney,” Freddy said. “Last time, Romney put Obama on his hip and Obama stayed there. No way they’re going to let that happen again.

“That’s what this debate was all about — a one-off because they won’t meet again. So it was attack and give their candidates a leg up.”

“Which is going to be different for Obama this time,” I said. “He’s the sitting president, but he’s a candidate now.”

“Heavy’s the head that wears the crown, so Obama’s best defense is an offense,” Freddy said. “That’s what made this debate important for both sides. They did on jobs, the economy, health care, the war, abortions — you name it, it’s all on the table as good as it could be set.

“Enjoy — the two of us may not see the likes of this one again.”

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Bill Plante is a Newbury resident and staff columnist. His e-mail address is plantejr@comcast.net.

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