Post Debate Thread

Mitt was the energizer bunny. Obama was Steady Eddie. If you missed the debate, here's the full transcript.

By the end, Romney's bright-eyes were fading.

Romney had no memorable lines.

What I recall: Obama's refrain that Romney has no details. Is he withholding them because they are so good?

Another good point by Obama: If you're 54 or 55, listen up, Romney's proposed Medicare and Social Security changes will affect you. [More...]

Romney said tonight if you're near retirement -- 60 or over-- there will be no changes. I hope he just lost the voting segment between ages 54 and 60.

One other point Romney fell short on: How to cut the deficit without raising revenue or taxes. Romney insists he won't cut the military budget or raise taxes for anyone. He is most untrustworthy on the issue of cutting the deficit.

Romney didn't implode or make any major gaffes. His major contribution was to make people aware Obama really does have a live opponent. I doubt the average viewer understood his statistics. And he only has a grasp of two topics, jobs and taxes. Being President requires expertise in many more areas, and judging by his elementary school level defense of the Declaration of Independence, I doubt he has it. The idea of Romney using his own judgment as opposed to that of his aides in picking an Attorney General or Supreme Court justices is a most unlikely one in my view. I wonder how many Supreme Court cases he can name in the past decade that didn't involve the economy.

I thought Romney did best at maintaining his upright posture. Obama seemed a little tired or disinterested or annoyed at having to debate. But he hasn't been spending his days prepping, he's been governing -- big difference.

Jim Lehrer was a really boring moderator and he let them both run over him.

Romney will get a bounce for not messing up, but will it last? I doubt uncommitted voters spend much time on Twitter reading political tweets or candidates' websites. The reason they are undecided probably has more to do with their lack of time or interest. So they will probably be affected more by the media analysis (all partisan, one way or the other) and incessant TV commercials.

I hope the young turn out in big numbers to vote for marijuana legalization in Colorado -- that should give Obama an edge since Romney is worse on the issue. And that middle-age boomers wake up and realize they are in the Romney/Ryan cross-hairs on social security and medicare.

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    With all the caveats (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 09:55:24 PM EST
    about how I never think Obama does well with these sorts of things, I'm really dumbfounded at how awfully he performed in comparison to Romney. It's as if he didn't understand that there was a performance here, and a role for him to play.

    Did he not actually prepare?

    I'm wondering if (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 09:58:43 PM EST
    he actually prepared for this debate. He sure looked unprepared to me and anyone in the White House should have known that Romney comes prepared for these things. I found his debates with Ted Kennedy from 1994 and he was good. There's a reason why he almost knocked Kennedy off in the Senate Race. That Romney is the one that showed up tonight and I don't know what the Obama people were thinking. It's all there on you tube for anyone to see.

    Yes, I had the same impression (4.00 / 1) (#7)
    by andgarden on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 09:59:40 PM EST
    It's as if Obama decided to wing it.

    Uderprepared? Or over-rehearsed? (none / 0) (#28)
    by RonK Seattle on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:33:19 PM EST
    In either case, we got our clocks cleaned here.

    Change (none / 0) (#50)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:23:35 AM EST
    Romney changed his policy about tax cuts, so the Republicans as a Party may support the Bush tax cuts for those over $250,000, (remember last year at this time, holding things hostage and the credit downgrade) but Romney would "not cut taxes for the very wealthy if it adds to the deficit", Obama prepared his remarks about 5 trillion tax cuts and 2 trillion military increase

    when you don't explain your program by factual numbers then its open to interpretation  


    I think (none / 0) (#79)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 01:48:51 PM EST
    Turkey might be a bit more serious than some think- it would represent the first military test of NATO, well ever (the Falklands didn't count in public imagination due to a myriad of factors)-- I can't think of anything similarly time consuming in the run up to a debate in recent memory.

    So (none / 0) (#88)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:42:24 PM EST
    the job of being president is too big for Obama? I mean there is stuff going on for EVERY president. Obama could have done better than he did even though he is a terrible debater.

    Maybe threw the game? (none / 0) (#61)
    by the capstan on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:09:49 AM EST
    After all, O. has never finished a job--not in Illinois, not in the U.S. senate.  We are lucky that there is no 'President of the World' for him to aim at.

    Since you opened the door (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by NYShooter on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 02:52:56 PM EST
    Obama has always been at his best when he is seeking his next "step up." It's a well-worn deduction that he's never stayed in any position long enough to actually accomplish anything, but simply used it as a springboard for something higher.

    I've posted several times that Obama looks tired, or bored, in his fourth year as President. The fire is gone, and the boredom, and/or monotony is taking its toll. As that literary genius, GWB, told us, "Presidenting is hard." Obama seems to be saying, "Amen."


    Obama was his most animated self when (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Anne on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 03:31:14 PM EST
    he gave the shout-out to Michelle to wish her a happy anniversary; his face lit up, his smile was genuine.

    After that, it was like someone turned off the lights; there was no passion, no zeal, just a sort of tired coolness.

    I guess the thing I always appreciated about Bill Clinton was his evident joy at being able to discuss policy and agenda and governance, combined with his ability to do it in a way that people could understand and relate to.  There are times, when I watch Obama struggle to express himself without benefit of the teleprompter, that I wonder how well he really knows the details of the issues he's trying to discuss; with apologies for the reductive simplicity of this comparison, it's like he's memorized the alphabet, but is stumped when asked to recite it in any way other than from beginning to end.

    It doesn't mean he's not smart; I know a lot of really smart people who aren't good at expressing themselves off-the-cuff.  But Obama was going up against someone who is good at it - even if it's BS from one end to the other, Romney knows how to sling it.

    The next debate is town hall format; after last night, I expect his preppers are a little worried about how it's going to go.

    But I did have a few moments of, "I wonder how bad he really wants this, and does he want it for the same reasons we'd like him to want it?"

    Not exactly how one should feel watching a debate, I don't think.


    Obama has no trouble bringing it (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by caseyOR on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:32:20 PM EST
    when he decides to slam his own base and engages in hippie punching. Why doesn't he bring that same attitude and energy to slamming Romney and the GOP?

    I have never understood his reluctance to go after the GOP, to expose their intransigence, to shine the light on their willingness to let Americans suffer in service to the GOP's election ambitions, to show the Republicans, Romney and Ryan especially, for the big old liars that they are.

    Maybe his debate preppers should encourage Obama to picture a DFH whenever he looks at Mitt.


    Worst debate ever! (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Coral on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:01:53 PM EST
    Give me Warren vs. Brown any day, plus an audience that is allowed to cheer and boo.

    If I weren't a committed political addict, I would have turned it off after the first 5 minutes.

    Lehrer was horrible. The format unbearable -- questions to few and too open-ended. We needed a referee with a whistle, or a judge with a gavel to cut the candidates off...and a briefer time limit on answers.

    Romney looked crazed half the time. Obama was okay, had a few good moments, but missed the chances to put Romney away. He never responded to Romney's questionable facts on the cost of Obamacare.

    I don't think this debate changed any minds, because everyone who might have been undecided would have stopped watching after the first few minutes.

    I think Romney (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:08:31 AM EST
    kicked the president's ass.  I think the President will do better next time.  Last night it seemed as if Obama didn't think he should have to be there if he didn't feel like it and he clearly didn't feel like it. If he could get away with just calling off anymore debates like he did in the 2008 primaries, he'd do it.  But he can't.  He has to come back and have at least one good debate.

    Sorry, I'm voting for Obama (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by kmblue on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:02:28 PM EST
    but he truly sucked tonight.  He is incapable of going on the offensive--he played defense all night and looked weak.  He is incapable of keeping things simple and strong.  Bill Clinton was either tearing his hair out or indulging in a bit of what goes around comes around, Mr. "You're likable enough, Hillary."  Did anyone else notice the irony of Romney talking about how bipartisan he would be if elected?  Where have I heard and seen this before?

    Obama: not presidential material (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by koshembos on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 11:38:47 PM EST
    Obama today was the real Obama. Not Obama of his blinded and hysterical supporters, not the media's Obama. None of us should be surprised. Just look at his wobbly legs dealing with the banks, with Bush tax cuts and his lowering our contribution to SS.

    Romney is way worse, but that isn't much. We hope Obama wins, but then he likes Simpson/Bowles. God bless America, seriously.


    I'm not sure there's a whole lot else to say; (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Anne on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:03:50 PM EST
    Obama stumbled and stuttered, which isn't my definition of "steady."

    Romney was floridly hyper, and the sad thing is that he pitched so many flat-out lies across Obama's plate, and Obama essentially never even swung at most of them - he struck out looking, again and again and again.

    Obama just did not seem to be in command of the issues; every now and then, he'd get a little momentum going, it would be "time" to end the segment, and Romney would just bully his way to more speaking time.

    And I have to say, Obama telling Jim Lehrer that he would have had 5 seconds more if Lehrer hadn't interrupted him may have been a reveal that Obama didn't really think Lehrer had done such a great job.

    There simply is no way Obama should not have been able to wipe the floor with Mitt Romney, and yet, I don't think Obama ever really found the footing he needed to take control of the debate.

    The man who's had the top job for four years needed to do a lot better than what we saw tonight, that's for sure.

    Pretty snappy response to Lehrer there (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:10:06 PM EST
    Could have saved that one for Romney.

    Agree with this analysis (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:29:34 PM EST
    But the results are in, the public thought Romney destroyed Obama.

    Not a good night for us.


    I knew it watching. Knew. It. (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by andgarden on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:32:38 PM EST
    It may not have moved many votes (none / 0) (#42)
    by MKS on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:04:40 AM EST
    The CNN focus group showed an even number of undecideds going over to Obama as Romney.

    And I don't think the CNN poll showed voters changing their preference.....

    Let's see how the debate actually affects the polls.  


    There were not many undecideds (none / 0) (#43)
    by MKS on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:07:00 AM EST
    to begin with.

    My instinct is that it was bad enough (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:05:52 PM EST
    for Obama that I don't want to visit some family Facebook pages, or hear some of the people at work tomorrow. But I don't think it will affect the race.  Obama was good on Medicare and Romney was horrible on spending cuts and incoherent on taxes- nothing he can take on the stump. He will be insufferable and remind people why they don't like him..

    Obama (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:10:50 PM EST
    is never going to "wipe the floor" with anybody in a debate because he's a terrible debater. That being said he could have done A WHOLE H*LL of a LOT BETTER than he did. His performance was pathetic. He can't even correct the lies that Romney spewed about his own plans?

    Oh for a 'there you go again'. (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:13:18 PM EST
    i turned it off after 20 minutes (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:23:44 PM EST
    & decided to read the transcript tomorrow

    Obama looked better four years ago against McCain, who called Obama "that one" after Obama's name slipped his mind

    tonight neither Obama nor Romney appeared "presidential" - that's bad for a challenger, terrible for an incumbent

    I think I am most worried about the effect (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:24:04 PM EST
    on the VP debate. Afraid Biden will overcompensate a little and come in extra nutty.

    Occupy the debates-- (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Coral on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:53:08 PM EST
    I can't believe how many times Obama said that he and Romney would agree on things. That's not a way to win a debate, and especially not a way to fire up your supporters who absolutely loathe the right-wing hardliners in charge of today's GOP.

    Perhaps the best (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by KeysDan on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:57:43 PM EST
    thing going for President Obama is that the debate was boring, and attentions and channels may have wandered.  For wonks, it was inexact; for those less inclined, it was too detailed.  For President Obama that worked in his favor when he did not correct factual errors or did not have confidence in disputed answers (e.g. tax deductions to take companies out of the country).

    For Romney, it also worked, since his facts and newly found faux moderate Republicanism  went unnoticed.   So, it will probably boil down to style.  Obama was apparently coached to smile a lot (sometimes inappropriately) and Romney seemed to have violated his religion and partook of a lot of coffee.  It may be polled as a draw, the sedate president who, at least, did not look at his watch, and the aimless challenger we watched who was wound up.

    Most folks won't tune in to debate #2 (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by shoephone on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 11:30:10 PM EST
    Not only because of notoriously short attention spans, but because the economy is the #1 issue for voters. Next up: foreign policy. "Snore," says Regular Joe & Jane American.

    I don't think the economy is the (none / 0) (#38)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 11:33:22 PM EST
    primary issue for many voters, myself included.
    There are so many other issues many people care about. If anything, part of the disappointment with the debate was that it only covered the economy.

    Your analysis makes it seem you viewed (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Juan on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 11:07:10 PM EST
    the debate through partisan eyes. Obama's performance was poor in comparison to his past standard. If he doesn't pick up his game in the next two he will suffer the same fate as Jimmy Carter.

    Not quite (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 11:39:26 PM EST
    Of course I am partisan, but it didn't affect my debate analysis. Wbhy? Because I have never thought Obama was a good debater. Look back through my posts from 2007-2008. I'm just used to it by now, and listen for the substance and ignore the delivery.

    The substance of Obama's answers were far better than Romney's. I don't think we should choose a President by how fast he speaks, his posture or his telegenic qualities.

    Read the debate transcript, which I posted a link to, and then answer who had better positions. you think Romney did, than it's you who are partisan.

    I didn't expect Obama to display great charisma, he only does that at rallies and speeches. That doesn't mean his answers weren't good.


    Hillary Clinton was a much better (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by oculus on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 03:47:52 AM EST
    debater than Barack Obama in the '08 primaries.  But what did that do for her re the nomination?  Nada.  

    had the DNC (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:26:31 AM EST
    actually followed it's own rules and in addition checked the Obama campaign in it's ballot stuffing, she would have been the nominee as the people wished and we would be able to judge based on reality what a good debate performance will do for a candidate.
    It's kind of like when pundits say Gore lost in 2000 because more people like Bush.....huh?  More people voted for Gore, so how does that make sense?  More people voted for Hillary, so how does that make sense?

    This is so much (2.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 01:51:47 PM EST
    crap- how about this- if she hadn't hired the utterly incompetent Mark Penn or had voted against AUMF, or had run against virtually any other candidate in any other Dem primary she wins the nomination to pretend it was due to a rules issue is just sour grapes.

    oy (none / 0) (#85)
    by sj on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:18:15 PM EST
    Nobody is denying (none / 0) (#90)
    by NYShooter on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 12:00:44 AM EST
     that Obama got more votes in the Primaries than did Hillary, and, therefore, "won." But, it's not wishful thinking, or sour grapes, to go back, and analyze how that occurred. You know, "those that forget history...," and all that.

    The fact is that during the first third of the race, the part with most of the caucuses, Obama built a quick lead that, regardless of Hillary thrashing Obama in almost all of the big, population rich states that followed, his lead was impossible to overcome.

    There's no doubt that Obama's team prepared better than Hillary's, and that her advisors were almost criminally negligent in their miscalculation vis-à-vis the caucus states. But, there's also no doubt that as the primary season marched on Hillary's momentum, and popularity, had  grown exponentially, and was blowing "O" out of the water. In fact, if, by some magic, a one day nationwide election were held, I venture to say she would have overwhelmingly trounced Obama.  


    You had to go there (none / 0) (#63)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:36:48 AM EST
    You just had to go and bait the hate.

    Well, it's the truth. (none / 0) (#75)
    by oculus on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:38:58 PM EST
    Or as B. Obama often said, "what she said."

    Sometimes I wonder (none / 0) (#77)
    by jondee on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:44:04 PM EST
    if he's trying so hard NOT to appear as D'Souza's "angry black man", that he's forgotten how to be a PASSIONATELY engaged man..

    I never expect Romney or any Republican to (none / 0) (#48)
    by caseyOR on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 03:58:45 AM EST
    have the better policy positions. And I already knew Obama was not  very good on his feet. Still,  jaded and cynical as I am, I never expected Obama to do such a horrible job.

    I could go on, but Charlie Pierce has already done the work of writing it all out. Everything he says in this post is exactly right. Read it and weep for the future of the nation.


    I don't think the public (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by DebFrmHell on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 01:14:39 AM EST
    was surprised to find that Obama had a live opponent as much as Obama was surprised to find he had a live opponent.

    I was disappointed in his performance tonight.  He can run stats like a baseball junkie, so why did he seem to give it all a pass?

    When I watched the speech that Bill Clinton gave at the convention, I thought at the time, he was saying everything that Obama was afraid to say.  After tonight, I am more convinced than ever.  

    Time for Obama to nut up.  And get rid of Kerry as a prep coach.

    Why are a few posters here (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by brodie on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:42:13 AM EST
    blaming Kerry?  Were you present during the mock debates?  

    Why not assume O got lousy strategic advice from David Fluff -- Your approach of calm and cool and not overly aggressive served you well in 2008, let's stick withwhat works.  Maybe soft spoken nice guy aide David Axelrod seconded that.

    Maybe his issues preppers failed to adequately prepare him on Rom/Ryan so that he could easily spot the lies and distortions spewing out of Romney's mouth.

    And I was more than disappointed in O's performance.  This one looks to be a flat out debacle, like a QB with a three score lead throwing two pick-sixes in the final quarter.

    But, btw, I do like your colorful phrase "nut up".


    I don't think (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:59:03 AM EST
    anyone is really blaming Kerry so much as Obama's choice of Kerry.

    Not convincing. We don't know (none / 0) (#53)
    by brodie on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 07:21:09 AM EST
    what happened.  But Kerry was a not unreasonable choice for reasons I've listed before.  

    Again we don't have the vitals on where the problem was.  Issues prep inadequacy, not enough debate sessions, personal fatigue last night, Romney just being much better prepared, etc.  Maybe Kerry did a bang up job playing an aggressive Romney but there weren't enough sessions or aides told O not to worry, that Romney would be unlikely to come out so assertively.

    And yes maybe Kerry wasn't the right Romney.  We'll know the real reason only much later when it's all over.


    maybe (none / 0) (#64)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:41:17 AM EST
    Obama was well prepared and he did what he normally does in a debate, he hemmed and hawed while wishing he were home watching sports.
    Someone suggested above that he can reel off stats at the drop of a hat....well no, he can't, TOTUS can.  Obama is not a good debater, never has been.

    Had to look up TOTUS (none / 0) (#71)
    by sj on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:30:37 AM EST
    I'd forgotten about him.

    Nice buying into the GOP (none / 0) (#81)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 01:56:00 PM EST
    message there, yeah despite literally years of evidence to the contrary Obama's just too dumb to speak off the cuff.

    Being unable (none / 0) (#84)
    by sj on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:14:41 PM EST
    to speak off the cuff does not equal dumb.  I know this because I don't speak off the cuff very well.  It doesn't mean I become a drooling idiot, it just means that I have to take time to choose my words carefully.  Glib I am not.

    This debate has brought out apologist in some of O's supporters.  Here is what I see, and frankly it's a little bit alarming:  

    In the last 10 minutes I have read comments from you and from BTD that rebut statements that have been made up by y'all.  

    There's some "LA LA LA LA I can't hear you, you stupid GOP supporter you!" vibe beginning to go on, and if O needs that kind of blind support now, then he is in way more trouble than I thought this morning.


    I'm glad I spent the evening (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 07:39:59 AM EST
    tasting wine instead of slamming it :)

    Same re choosing Mariinsky performance (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by oculus on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:42:16 PM EST
    of "Swan Lake" over debate.  

    Why did Christie predict a good night for Romney? (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by the capstan on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 07:58:02 AM EST
    Because he knew that Romney will not hesitate to veer from truth if necessary to get what he wants.  The Repubs will believe him and the 'indies' know no better than to think that a nominated candidate will be truthful.

    Speaking of Big Bird.. (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by jondee on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:01:37 PM EST
    Another big 'shoulda' said':

     "I appreciate a sense of humor as much as the next person, Governor, but lets not trivialize this country's recent tragic history: we didn't "borrow money from the Chinese" to pay for PBS, we borrowed it so that your party could continue down the disasterous course of prosecuting two wars while continuing to cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans"

    Romney dropped his hands and stuck his chin out umpteen times, and Obama was too busy finding his place in his notes to notice.

    Well, (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 09:55:46 PM EST
    I'll agree with you w/r/t Mitt but IMO Obama was the stumbling professor tonight not Steady Eddie. Some of the time it was actually painful to watch him stumble and flail looking for a work or even worse was the fact that Romney said stuff and Obama did not even refute what Romney was saying.

    Obama seriously came off like Jan Brewer (none / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 09:57:00 PM EST
    When he started to close, I almost expected to hear "we have did."

    Oh god, al gore is suggesting (none / 0) (#3)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 09:55:54 PM EST
    Obama was off tonight because he just flew to Denver this afternoon and the altitude might have gotten him.

    Riiiight. (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by brodie on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:01:30 PM EST
    Al Gore, the master debater.  Thanks for that wise insight.

    Al Gore (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:46:17 AM EST
    much better debater than Obama. Gore has more of a grip on policy and does his homework.  

    Agree on policy Gore was (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by brodie on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:10:39 AM EST
    superior, owing in large part to his longer experience in gubmit, his wonkish bent, and family background in politics.

    But as a debater?  Only a potentially great debater, as with vs Ross Perot.  But not in the ones that really counted vs Scrub where he squandered two debates with stage gimmickry and the other by acting like a victimized scolded adolescent.

    Gore missed opportunities to put his opponent away with his superior grasp of the issues, just as Obama squandered a chance to end this election by failing to counterpunch aggressively and call out the Mendacious Mittster on his lies and half truths.


    not entirely impossible (none / 0) (#78)
    by fishcamp on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:57:13 PM EST
    While filming a soup commercial in Aspen the director fainted due to altitude sickness and I went from cameraman to director.

    Mercifully... (none / 0) (#6)
    by desertswine on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 09:59:21 PM EST
    I did not watch.

    Best line (none / 0) (#8)
    by vicndabx on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:00:55 PM EST
    Romney's new idea is "oh well, nevermind"

    To quote my late baseball coach: (none / 0) (#12)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:03:18 PM EST
    "You play to win. You don't play not to lose."

    While Obama was for the most part somnolescent in his performance, an overcaffeinated Romney left himself wide open for significant post-debate rebuttal, given many of his statements tonight.

    yeah (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by kmblue on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:04:05 PM EST
    but no one will be paying attention.

    Anyone know who hosts the other debates? (none / 0) (#18)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:12:19 PM EST
    I think it does affect the rhythm of the thing. Lehrer's questions were mostly of the 'tell us about your plan' variety. No independent thought provided whatsoever . What a waste.

    Here ya go (none / 0) (#24)
    by CoralGables on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:28:07 PM EST
    #2 - Candy Crowley
    #3 - Bob Schieffer

    VP Debate - Martha Raddatz


    Mark my words, (none / 0) (#89)
    by NYShooter on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 11:26:27 PM EST
    Crowley will be a disaster,

    Schieffer may be not too bad.


    Crowley (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Politalkix on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 02:19:59 PM EST
    will insert herself into the debate as a partisan. I still find it difficult to forget how she carried water for GWB n 2000.

    Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by NYShooter on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 08:07:08 PM EST
    she will be spending every minute from now till the next debate trying to come up with the one question that will stump Obama, and make him look foolish.

    p.s. I remember 2000 too.


    Schieffer will be terrible as well (none / 0) (#91)
    by shoephone on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 01:46:59 PM EST
    His recent outings on Face The Nation show him mostly incapable of asking really smart questions, asking follow-up questions, and holding anyone's feet to the fire.

    Martha Radditz should be doing the presidential international affairs debate. The VP debate is inconsequential.


    Doesn't Radditz travel with SOS Clinton? (none / 0) (#93)
    by nycstray on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 02:45:21 PM EST
    I don't know about that (none / 0) (#94)
    by shoephone on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 02:47:48 PM EST
    She covers the defense department.

    you want independent thought (none / 0) (#67)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:52:53 AM EST
    from the moderator?  Is he running for president?  I actually liked that this time around we got to listen to the candidates and NOT see the moderator vying for journalism class hero.

    Reading the tweets over at (none / 0) (#20)
    by Anne on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:16:01 PM EST
    Charlie Pierce's place.  There are some real howlers there, like this tweet from Frank Rich:

    Frank Rich‏@frankrichny

     A fascinating audio from tonight: loop of Lehrer's ineffectual off-camera grunts

    And this:

    Onion Politics‏@OnionPolitics

     Somewhere, Bill Clinton is shouting answers to all of Jim Lehrer's questions at his television



    Todd Barry‏@toddbarry

     These guys are both feeding off the energy of the crowd.

    It would all be funnier if it wasn't just so blasted sad.


    I was reading those too (none / 0) (#21)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:22:28 PM EST
    It did help me get through it.

    I always had hope in Obama (none / 0) (#26)
    by ZtoA on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:29:55 PM EST
    since he was such a great campaigner. Or at least he has a great campaign staff. He tried to out republican a republican and came off as smug, unprepared and annoyed. I hoped for a great energy from him. But I still will vote for the 'D'. I'm bummed. Had hoped for better from Obama. Romney, on the other hand, did better than I had expected or hoped for. I may tune out for the other debates. I wonder how many others will too based on tonite.

    Obama is focused on tomorrow, I fear (none / 0) (#29)
    by Towanda on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:35:19 PM EST
    when he returns to the U of Wisconsin campus in Madison to adoring crowds.  

    He needed the crowd tonight to be allowed to act like a crowd, not a room full of corpses.  Think about Obama's careers -- community organizer, law school prof -- as working the rooms, lively rooms.


    even though Obama is correct on the facts, (none / 0) (#30)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:36:04 PM EST
    this was a painfully winceworthy moment:

    I would just say this to the American people. If you believe that we can cut taxes by $5 trillion and add $2 trillion in additional spending that the military is not asking for -- $7 trillion, just to give you a sense, over 10 years that's more than our entire defense budget -- and you think that by closing loopholes and deductions for the well-to-do, somehow you will not end up picking up the tab, then Governor Romney's plan may work for you. But I think math, common sense and our history shows us that's not a recipe for job growth.

    translation: if you agree with Romney's plan, then you are mathematically & historically illiterate & have no common sense

    my god, what a disdainful message: "you're just NOPD"

    This was like a lot of Obama's answers: (none / 0) (#32)
    by kmblue on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:48:21 PM EST
    People stopped listening after the first looooong sentence.

    Two things that stuck out for me..... (none / 0) (#35)
    by vml68 on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 11:05:01 PM EST
    Did Romney actually claim to have a problem with allowing the top 5 banks to be TBTF?
    And when they were both in a pissing contest over who was more bi-partisan, did Obama actually come out and say that Obamacare was a Republican plan?

    Originally from the Heritage Foundation - (none / 0) (#87)
    by sallywally on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:26:03 PM EST
    Obamacare. It was originally a Republican plan and the plan Romney put in place in Massachusetts.

    Sounds like Obama didn't do well (none / 0) (#41)
    by lilburro on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 11:43:34 PM EST
    I did though, I have a nice Green Flash glass to add to my collection.

    The Obama team has never taken their cues from my type of personality - the go for the jugular type.  I'll catch up on the debate but I assume they are baiting him in some way.  What I did see was Obama being attentive and gracious.  I think that wins him points among certain demographics.  The possibility that a guy as smart as he is and a team as smart as his is totally blew it just doesn't make sense to me.  And even if the media wants it to be that way, Romney still doesn't have the good ol' boy factor going with him to bring it home.

    Still, wonder what team O was thinking tonight.

    they were thinking (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by The Addams Family on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:09:21 AM EST
    "defend, don't offend"

    but Obama didn't even bother to defend his policies or Democratic principles

    all he did was attempt to defend his job as president by not going on the offensive

    i thought the two candidates' smiles -- subdued and tolerant in Obama's case, tight & tense in Romney's -- looked equally false

    0h, & Jim Lehrer, as moderator, was atrocious - an absolute toady


    Obama is more into legitimizing (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by MO Blue on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:42:34 AM EST
    and passing Republican policies than into selling Democratic principles. Charlie Pierce

    What you saw, I think, anyway, was the end product of the president's consuming naivete as regards the American political process, as well as the end product of thirty years of a Democratic Party that has slid so far to the center-right that a Democratic president found himself arguing with a "severely conservative" Republican candidate over the issues of how much the Democratic president had cut out of the budget, how many regulations he'd trimmed, how much more devoted to the middle-class-kick-in-the-balls Simpson-Bowles "plan" he is, and how he would "reform" Social Security and Medicare -- and, frankly, a Democratic president losing some of those arguments to his left. A Democratic president got through an entire debate and didn't mention unions at all, even though the fact that our teachers are unionized here in Massachusetts is a big part of the reason why Romney got to brag on how good our education system is.

    Seriously now, how much would you have bet going in that the president would spend as much time as he did on areas in which "Governor Romney and I agree" and not mention the famous 47-percent video at all?

    I would have thought O (none / 0) (#69)
    by brodie on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:19:44 AM EST
    was at least very familiar with the famous first Kennedy v Nixon debate wherein the sitting VP repeatedly stated time and again how he happened to "agree with many of the things Sen Kennedy just said.".  

    Not exactly a winning strategy.  And especially groan worthy when O used it to refer to Romney's position on SS.


    Why would you think that? (none / 0) (#70)
    by sj on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:28:33 AM EST
    He doesn't habitually look to the past for lesson learning.

    That debate is so famous (none / 0) (#72)
    by brodie on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:45:52 AM EST
    and an integral part of Presidential Politics 101.  

    And O has not only noted the books of presidential history he was reading -- making your assertion wrong about his supposedly not looking to the past for lessons -- but during debate prep, either in 2008 or this cycle, one would have expected him to at least come up to speed with the video of that one hour 1960 classic.

    Or are you saying that your opinion of O is so low that you wouldn't expect him to have covered such historical basics?


    brodie my friend (none / 0) (#73)
    by sj on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:07:27 AM EST
    I know well your interest in history.  And while O may have referenced the books of presidential history he was reading, when has he ever demonstrated that he has learned from them much less integrated any lessons learned into his work?
    Or are you saying that your opinion of O is so low that you wouldn't expect him to have covered such historical basics?

    I don't even know what to say to that because you are the only person I "know" who would think of that debate and remark on the "what he said" part of it.  Most people, myself included, think of the Nixon lack-of-makeup-5-o'clock-shadow part of it.  

    And, not for nothing, O has a well established history of "what she said" and compulsively seeking bipartisanship moments.


    Opinion of Samuel Popkin, UCSD (none / 0) (#47)
    by oculus on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 03:50:37 AM EST
    politic science Professor, played candidate Reagan vs. Pres. Carter in debate prep.  Wrote the excellent recent book, "The Candidate":

    Romney's dream debate

    O had more home runs??? (none / 0) (#54)
    by brodie on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 07:27:41 AM EST
    More like he had more strikeouts.  Fat pitch after fat pitch went by him as he stood there with the bat on his shoulder.

    But Rumney did have more extra base hits by far, in part because fielder Obama seemed to lose the ball in the lights.

    But agree with the Perfesser that it was a dream debate for the Mittster.

    Lettuce pray to the Cosmic Universal Consciousness that this is the Repubs last dream debate this year.


    Major O backer Sully (none / 0) (#55)
    by brodie on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 07:33:07 AM EST
    very angry at Obama  "blathering, boring ... beginning of early onset Alzheimer's ... knockout for Romney."

    Style versus substance. (none / 0) (#57)
    by Angel on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 07:46:45 AM EST
    Romney came out fighting and Obama stood there and took it, if you want to use a fight analogy.  But after the dust clears it's obvious to me that Romney was lying and was all over the board and Obama was stating facts, although he did not get to his points either quickly or forcefully enough.  I just wonder if the undecideds will focus on substance and not style.  We watched CNN and it seemed to me that the Colorado undecideds were pretty much for Obama when he was talking about Medicare and Obamacare and education, but when Romney spoke he got lots of support when he went jingoistic, not so much when he was talking facts with the exception of when he said he wanted to create jobs (although he didn't really say HOW he was going to do that other than tax cuts for small businesses).  Undecided women were for Obama over Romney overall, and undecided men were for Romney overall, or so it seemed to us.

    No Big Bird Yet? (none / 0) (#58)
    by nomatter0nevermind on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 07:48:03 AM EST