Is it really just 4 weeks until election day?

Published 8:27 am Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Almost two years and a billion dollars later, it seems that we still have a horse race in the election of our next president. Take heart. There are only four short weeks left until Election Day.

Elections rarely turn on a dime, but you can expect the unexpected in the next twenty eight days. If there is any sliver of dirt or half truths that haven’t already been used, they will soon be on television. The talking heads will tell us what the candidates really meant to say and what we really should think.

If I sound a bit cynical, then it is probably because each succeeding election seems to be more fluff and less substance, while the country seems to be steadily losing its edge in the world.

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Perhaps that is why the first debate seemed to have such a big effect on the polls. The conventional wisdom is that debates rarely have any impact on an election. That seemed likely this year as the President seemed to be pulling away just before the debate with very few undecided voters left.

However, when almost 70 million people tune into a political debate, it tells you that the American people are not satisfied with the status quo. They are tired of wars, and deficits and the recession. They are fearful of the future, both for themselves and for their children.

As a person that has probably watched 95 percent of all the presidential debates during my adult life, I was struck by how different last Tuesday’s debate was from earlier contests. Jim Lehrer, the moderator, stayed out of the fray and let the candidates advance their own arguments.

The result, as agreed upon by virtually every independent analyst in the country, was a stunning victory for Mitt Romney. He looked confident, competent and well, presidential.

By contrast, President Obama looked irritated, unprepared and flat. There has seldom been a more obvious contrast both in style and substance in a presidential debate.

America has spent the past week talking about the issues a bit more, and that is a good thing. How do you really feel about who can best lead this country in the next four years? This is a crucial time for America and we seem to be running out of time.

Take your time and think seriously about what needs to be done. Vote early if you are sure about your vote, or wait until Nov. 6, if you prefer. But vote for the man that you believe is most qualified to lead this nation. It is your right and the future of this country depends on it.