Marek Siwiec MEP on Poland & Europe

If you want to understand what a debate means in American political culture you have to watch it on the spot. This year, the first debate was held in Denver.

The same town which, four years ago, brought happiness to Obama. The Democratic Convention finale was held in a huge stadium and led senator Obama to victory. That is why he arrived here yesterday full of hope, just as his opponent. Colorado hesitates, belongs to the so-called swing states and they are both fighting here to tip the scales in their favor.

American commentators, although they acknowledge Romney’s victory, are quite reserved in their assessments. John Dickerson, CBS chief analyst, said: “Romney did better and Obama did worse than expected. You can not say, however, that the Republican candidate stroke a blow for the president.” The level of debate was high and balanced, but candidates were sometimes losing their nerve and the host couldn’t come to terms with two politicians talking at the same time. There were many numbers, quick rejoinders, and America saw what is the most important in a democracy – an alternative. An alternative approach to the economy, health care, unemployment, to all those things that are the most important for the voters.

However, in case of debate not only the words count. There’s still the message, body language, the general impression. Mitt Romney has definitely come out of his rigid pose; he was quick, active, well-prepared. Meanwhile, you can see that four years of presidency clipped Obama’s wings and he didn’t show the old charm, passion, and those values, which in 2008 seduced America.

NBC television invited to the studio 12 undecided voters. No candidate received a majority when they were asked who was better. What is even more interesting is that no one from the audience, after having watched the debate, has not decided who to vote for at the beginning of November.

PS The flight from Frankfurt landed in Denver at 16, local time. Temperature – 28 ° C. After an hour – a sandstorm and the temperature dropped about 20 degrees. But the candidates haven’t seen it. Apparently storms and hurricanes follow them at their campaign trail.

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