Politics 2012: Final Presidential Debate Proves Tipping Point for Incumbent …Maybe

“The president did everything except tell Mitt that being a global president isn’t the same as being a business CEO and . . . you sir have no business being president.” — Benjamin Esparza

By Benjamin Esparza
Guest Political Contributor


The third and final debate was an opportunity for Republican candidate Mitt Romney to present his foreign policy vision for America; and even more important for Mitt was to appear presidential. So how did he do? In my opinion, he failed. But is it enough for President Barack Obama to win? We can only know for certain after election day on November 6th.

At Monday’s debate, no doubt, the president dominated the arena. President Obama displayed the authority of our nation’s commander in chief: calm, dignified, confident, and projecting leadership under enormous pressure as he usually has during his first term. The president did everything except tell Mitt that being a global president isn’t the same as being a business CEO and . . . you sir have no business being president.

The setting for Monday’s debate was Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. “Boca Raton,” when translated from Spanish to English means “Rat Mouth.” The reason I’m making a point of translating this is because the president had his work cut out for him. As the night unfolded, there were again many mistruths and lies, whoppers laced with numerous untruthful Republican talking points that spilled out of Governor Romney’s mouth. All, of course, leveled toward the president who was forced to address or dismiss each and every one of them. The president kept his challenger off balance for most of the night by responding directly and making eye contact and simply saying, “Governor that’s simply not true,” or “you’re mistaken Governor and not accurate.” Having to repeatedly remind his opponent of the facts had to be frustrating for the president.

Pulling in 59.2 million total viewers, last night’s debate was down 10% from the 65.6 million viewers who watched the second meeting between Obama and Mitt Romney on October 16 and down 12% from the 67.2 million who watched their first debate October 3. NBC led the night Monday with 12.39 million viewers (5.84 million in the adults 25-54 demo) watching the third face-off between President Obama and Romney.” Source: AP NewsWire


The president projected his leadership experience as an executive in chief detailing some of his four year track record of making difficult decisions time and time again — then proven to be right on those calls. The president mentioned Detroit and the auto industry bailouts; Don’t Ask Don’t Tell; bringing home the troops from Iraq and ending this war as promised; and bringing Osama bin Laden to justice. The list is long which includes his landmark legislation passing of the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare), yet the Republican Congress has done nothing but everything to discredit our president’s great achievements in his four years in office.

After three presidential debates and one vice presidential, by most accounts the presidential candidates are tied, according to the national polls. President Obama did pick up points for this third debate, but GOP pundits are claiming otherwise. No doubt for the next two weeks leading up to November 6th, both sides will spin the debates to their own benefit in hopes of claiming some of those shy undecided voters.

The Republican candidate and party have shared a vision of how they see the future for America very similar to that of former President George W. Bush. As President Obama reminded everyone, why would we go back to the same philosophy and strategies that got us into this country’s financial disaster? Also, when talking about Iran and its nuclear capacity, suddenly Governor Romney agrees with the president’s sanctions, flip flopping to the point of ridiculous.

I for one do not believe that Mitt Romney is suddenly to the center when he has a Tea Party of Republicans to answer to should he win. Let us not forget that Romney reunited 78% of the old Bush-Cheney administration to help get him elected. It’s amazing to me how the Republican Party continues to convince standard, middle-class citizens to cast their vote against their own best interest? That’s a Republican trademark and it is fascinating how they manage to pull out their dirty tricks every election season, but especially for the 2012 presidential election. As a result of their hatred toward our president, they will shell out every trick and deception they can to win.

The stakes could not be higher for the candidates and their campaigns. We can see at this stage of the game that both are mostly running on fumes. This year has proven to be very different and it has little to do with the candidates. What has been exposed in this election are the two vastly different Americas. One candidate is like that of the classic American dream in which if you work hard you’ll be rewarded and anything is possible. The other America is where we win at all cost and losing is not an option — it’s us against their mentality. The rules of the latter include lying, stealing, and even cheating. Do what you must but win and money is NO problem because they have Karl Rove’s Super Pacs who hate the president!

What has emerged this time around is something that we as a country have not addressed in decades: racism.

Racism has seeped through the GOP like a venomous snake exposing it’s ugly underside and is very much alive. This country has never really settled the civil war issues concerning equal or human rights. I believe the civil war ended because the south just ran out of bullets, bayonets and horses, and gave up the battle to the north to fight another day when they could again reload. Who ever thought it would be in 2012?

Unfortunately, this is what I believe is occurring during the course of this election and it’s a shameful place for America to be. Until we address and destroy this cancer from within, it will destroy the America we built on a foundation of democracy and equality for all. When Republicans keep reminding their surrogates that our president is not American or is not “one of us,” I believe this is a “code phrase” only understood by those who are racist.

Contrary to the GOP beliefs, America is on a path to recovery and the best choice is to keep moving forward. The first decade of the  21st century presented bold new challenges. Our leadership must be willing and capable of discerning our future and guiding our country so that it maintains its strength and global integrity. I repeat what President Obama is asking of us which is what President John F. Kennedy asked in 1963: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” We must maintain the same vision set forth by President Kennedy.

History will define President Barack Obama’s presidency and, as the first black president, his distinctive legacy will prove GOP opponents wrong for opposing civil rights and voting rights for women. Against all odds, America elected Barack Obama for one term and may even reelect him for another four years. May God bless our president and the United States of America!

Benjamin Esparza


–Benjamin Esparza is President of Break Records… he is a music, film producer and political/community activist. He is no relation to Latin Heat editor, Elia Esparza.

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Elia Esparza is a leading expert in communications and journalism targeting the burgeoning Hispanic market and has produced and written dozens of articles. President and CEO of Always Evolving PR and a Communications Specialist, Elia, incorporates her 18 years experience in the areas of entertainment and education public relations, and marketing. promotions, market research and translations (Eng/Span).