From the onset both candidates were obviously ready for a fight. Romney knew Obama would be well coached would not lie down as appeared to do in the first debate. Obama also knew he needed to make a much better showing by being more aggressive and acting attentive. Both were ready to be assertive as well as aggressive when needed. Neither showed weakness in general and although there were several times when Obama was seen looking down when making points, he did a much better job this time at looking interested and trying to throw punches at Romney.
Generally, Romney seemed more relaxed and more enthusiastic when he spoke of the economy. His hand gestures, facial expressions and voice inflected his emotions and showed his sincerity regarding his economic plan. He did not simply recite talking points as it often times seemed Obama did when discussing his plans. Obama showed facial tension and terse lips when Romney spoke and made points about the economy.
There was a mostly a lack of emotion on Obama’s part when speaking on points. He seemed to speak as if it was more of a rehearsed speech rather than a direct answer to the question. His vocal cadence was much different that Romney’s. Obama spoke slower and paused during his talking points. This slow and deliberate speaking pattern is part of what makes Obama such an excellent speaker. Romney spoke faster and seemed more intense. It appeared that Romney wanted to get the words out fast. Perhaps because the first debate’s 4 minute time advantage to Obama, Romney knew he would need to get the message out fast. Although my guess is that Romney beat Obama on the word count since he spoke so fast.
Both candidates are well rehearsed. Romney smiled much more than Obama especially at the beginning of the debate.
All times are from my DVR recording which started at 8pm sharp. So the time 3:44 represents the time of my DVR clock only.
5:41 of my DVR recording on the first question, I caught an interesting moment. Romney was making points about the prospect of graduating students finding jobs when they graduate. There was a cut away of Obama actually nodding as Romney spoke. The camera was only on this for a few seconds but it seemed that Obama was actually agreeing with his point regarding the Massachusetts policy he was stating that helped graduates find jobs.
10:00 Romney was defending his idea of letting GM to go into the bankruptcy process by wanting GM would pull out of its financial crisis without taxpayer money. He addressed the President directly concerning the President’s assertion that Romney wanted GM to be dissolved through this process. When the President responded, rather than directing his response directly towards Romney, he responded to the moderator Candy Crowley. Refrain from direct response to your accuser is often a sign of deception. Direct confrontation is usually a sign of belief in your statements. Not to look your accuser in the eye indicates a weaker belief in your statement.
20:36 Again Obama had difficulty in looking at Romney when he was accused of cutting oil production on federal land. Romney was direct and assertive in making points directly toward Obama.
** 30:00 was a very interesting part of the debate that showed the style differences when answering questions. When asked a specific question regarding income taxes by a town hall participant, Obama answered but could not hold eye contact very long with anyone. His usual habit is to comb the room with his eyes, traveling from person to person, even sometime looking at empty spaces in the room was very apparent. This is a frequent indicator of deception or evasion. Romney had direct eye contact and answered this question directly looking at the person in the eye. This showed strong conviction about statements and perhaps his stance on taxes. It indicated that Romney truly believes his plan would work and his body language became more emphatic when speaking of his tax plan. Often time answering a question, Obama looked down, cocked his head to the side and answered. This seemed especially prominent when discussing the economy.
49:00 was a good example of how the candidates reacted to each other’s comments. Romney referred to a long list of things he didn’t like about Obamacare. Obama laughed and then cracked a big smile. During the jabs that Obama threw at Romney, Romney very seldom reacted to the jabs facially or with any body movements.
1:14 When Romney was addressing why the Libya incident was attributed to a YouTube video, there was a cutaway shot to Obama where he looked very serious when accused of traveling to Las Vegas for a campaign visit the day after the attack. It was also the only time during the debate that Obama directly addressed Romney and denied Romney’s accusations. It was the most emotion Obama showed during the entire debate indicating a strong belief in his stance. Some very interesting moments here where both candidates showed much emotional on this topic.