On Friday, Morning Joe‘s Willie Geist spoke with The Atlantic‘s James Fallows about his research on over 50 of tape in an effort to determine whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will have the edge when it comes to their upcoming debate in October.
In the magazine, Fallows writes that Romney “is far less effective as a big-speech orator than Barack Obama, and in many aspects of campaigning he displays what appear to be laboriously studied moves rather than anything that comes naturally.” That said, he notes, “debates are and have been his strength.”
The show then presented footage of Romney’s debate against the late Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts. Fallows made note of how “strikingly handsome” Mitt Romney was then and continues to be (albeit in a different mold) today, making him a “formidable” figure, physically. His strength, he said, is being able to turn the debate over to what he dubs as the “real question” or “real issue,” giving himself a platform to discuss points most important to him and his campaign.
As for Obama, he said that debate is “not his area of real achievement,” and hasn’t gotten himself “in trouble” with certain would-be zingers in the past, particularly when debating former rival candidate Hillary Clinton.
Sticking to talking points will serve Romney well, Fallows opined, adding that the former governor does best when he’s prepared. President Obama, meanwhile, fares better when speaking off-the-cuff, and also comes into the debate with the experience of being asked questions about the economy, jobs, etc. for his entire first term.
Watch, courtesy of MSNBC:
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