Where is the Leadership?

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I found myself quite frustrated with the discourse  in last night’s debate. This had nothing to do with the ideals the candidates had, but rather the way the candidates composed themselves.

Throughout the 90 minutes of discourse, I found myself thinking the candidates were more like petulant children than leaders. Mitt Romney, from the start complaining about not having enough time, and it not being fair when Obama got the mic, Barack Obama smirking at Romney and interrupting when it was inappropriate to do so.

The candidates constantly talked over Candy Crowley, and when she tried to get them to answer the questions posed directly they scoffed and continued on with their stump speeches. When she tried to move along the discourse so that other audience members would have a chance to have their questions answered, they ignored her. Even in a couple cases going back to a topic that had been left many minutes before.

This is what the debate reminded me of

Yes, this is a contentious race, but for goodness sakes! This touches on my post from the previous presidential debate: shouldn’t there be some modicum of appropriate behavior and discourse when running for the leader of one of the most powerful nations of the world.

When put in the place where he will need to address leaders of China, Russia or Iran, how will our president comport himself. If Putin says something that our president doesn’t agree with, will he answer back in a whiney or disdainful tone?

While this may be a slight exaggeration, or at least I hope it is,  a leader should comport his or her self with composure and grace, even when in a high pressure debate situation.

Is it common for candidates to be so disrespectful not only to each other, but to the viewers? I am not sure if I have missed it in former years because during the previous presidential election, the first one I was able to vote in, I lived in Denmark and did not watch the debates, and the election before that I was not really all that politically inclined-being a 14-year-old.

If anybody could answer that for me, it might assuage my anger just a bit. Right now, I am just so incredibly disappointed that we call those two gentlemen on stage leaders. That was not leadership that I saw displayed.

3 Comments on “Where is the Leadership?”

  1. I totally agree, Hannah. I feel that not only this debate, but all of the debates so far have really shown the worst parts of both candidates character. I know that the polls have the race neck and neck and perhaps that’s part of the reason why their is so much tension between the two men, but it makes me as a first-time voted all the more confused as to who I would really want leading our country.

  2. This was my feeling on the debate, too. You’re right in saying that their actions and responses were not only disrespectful to each other, but to the viewers – the people who they each depend on votes (aka: the whole reason they were engaged in debate, anyway).

  3. Hannah, you’re right on point. Unfortunately, isn’t this what debates have pretty much become these days? It’s not ever about quality discussion, it’s simply about talking points and making your opponent look stupid. I suppose it works, but it’s still frustrating.

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