So the pundit consensus (as well as the snap polls) say Romney won the debate last night. I don't agree but that's not what decides these things.

President Obama has never been a good debater (For those who have forgotten, Hillary Clinton cleaned his clock in the 2008 primary debates.) And he was not good last night. But I thought Romney was terrible - frantic and wild. Answers filled with word salads.

And in particular, I thought Romney' performance on the tax issue was simply absurd. Below the fold I present you the transcript of the tax portion of the debate:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: So, all of this is possible. Now, in order for us to do it, we do have to close our deficit, and one of the things Iím sure weíll be discussing tonight is, how do we deal with our tax code, and how do we make sure that we are reducing spending in a responsible way, but also how do we have enough revenue to make those investments? And this is where thereís a difference because Governor Romneyís central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut, on top of the extension of the Bush tax cuts, so thatís another $2 trillion, and $2 trillion in additional military spending that the military hasnít asked for. Thatís $8 trillion. How we pay for that, reduce the deficit and make the investments that we need to make without dumping those costs on the middle-class Americans I think is one of the central questions of this campaign.


MR. ROMNEY: Well, sure. Iíd like to clear up the record and go through it piece by piece. First of all, I donít have a $5 trillion tax cut. I donít have a tax cut of a scale that youíre talking about. My view is that we ought to provide tax relief to people in the middle class. But Iím not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high- income people. High-income people are doing just fine in this economy. Theyíll do fine whether youíre president or I am.

The people who are having the hard time right now are middle- income Americans. Under the presidentís policies, middle-income Americans have been buried. Theyíre -- theyíre just being crushed. Middle-income Americans have seen their income come down by $4,300. This is a -- this is a tax in and of itself. Iíll call it the economy tax. Itís been crushing. The same time, gasoline prices have doubled under the president, electric rates are up, food prices are up, health care costs have gone up by $2,500 a family.

Middle-income families are being crushed. And so the question is how to get them going again, and Iíve described it. Itís energy and trade, the right kind of training programs, balancing our budget and helping small business. Those are the -- the cornerstones of my plan.

But the president mentioned a couple of other ideas, and Iíll just note: first, education. I agree, education is key, particularly the future of our economy. But our training programs right now, we got 47 of them housed in the federal government, reporting to eight different agencies. Overhead is overwhelming. We got to get those dollars back to the states and go to the workers so they can create their own pathways to getting the training they need for jobs that will really help them.

The second area: taxation. We agree; we ought to bring the tax rates down, and I do, both for corporations and for individuals. But in order for us not to lose revenue, have the government run out of money, I also lower deductions and credits and exemptions so that we keep taking in the same money when you also account for growth.

The third area: energy. Energy is critical, and the president pointed out correctly that production of oil and gas in the U.S. is up. But not due to his policies. In spite of his policies. Mr. President, all of the increase in natural gas and oil has happened on private land, not on government land. On government land, your administration has cut the number of permits and license in half. If Iím president, Iíll double them. And also get the -- the oil from offshore and Alaska. And Iíll bring that pipeline in from Canada.

And by the way, I like coal. Iím going to make sure we continue to burn clean coal. People in the coal industry feel like itís getting crushed by your policies. I want to get America and North America energy independent, so we can create those jobs.

And finally, with regards to that tax cut, look, Iím not looking to cut massive taxes and to reduce the -- the revenues going to the government. My -- my number one principle is thereíll be no tax cut that adds to the deficit.

I want to underline that -- no tax cut that adds to the deficit. But I do want to reduce the burden being paid by middle-income Americans. And I -- and to do that that also means that I cannot reduce the burden paid by high-income Americans. So any -- any language to the contrary is simply not accurate.


PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I think -- letís talk about taxes because I think itís instructive. Now, four years ago when I stood on this stage I said that I would cut taxes for middle-class families. And thatís exactly what I did. We cut taxes for middle-class families by about $3,600. And the reason is because I believe we do best when the middle class is doing well.

And by giving them those tax cuts, they had a little more money in their pocket and so maybe they can buy a new car. They are certainly in a better position to weather the extraordinary recession that we went through. They can buy a computer for their kid whoís going off to college, which means theyíre spending more money, businesses have more customers, businesses make more profits and then hire more workers.

Now, Governor Romneyís proposal that he has been promoting for 18 months calls for a $5 trillion tax cut on top of $2 trillion of additional spending for our military. And he is saying that he is going to pay for it by closing loopholes and deductions. The problem is that heís been asked a -- over a hundred times how you would close those deductions and loopholes and he hasnít been able to identify them.

[...] When you add up all the loopholes and deductions that upper income individuals can -- are currently taking advantage of -- if you take those all away -- you donít come close to paying for $5 trillion in tax cuts and $2 trillion in additional military spending. And thatís why independent studies looking at this said the only way to meet Governor Romneyís pledge of not reducing the deficit -- or -- or -- or not adding to the deficit, is by burdening middle-class families.

The average middle-class family with children would pay about $2,000 more. Now, thatís not my analysis; thatís the analysis of economists who have looked at this. And -- and that kind of top -- top-down economics, where folks at the top are doing well so the average person making 3 million bucks is getting a $250,000 tax break while middle- class families are burdened further, thatís not what I believe is a recipe for economic growth.

MR. LEHRER: All right. What is the difference?

MR. ROMNEY: -- virtually every -- virtually everything he just said about my tax plan is inaccurate. [...] So -- so if -- if the tax plan he described were a tax plan I was asked to support, Iíd say absolutely not. Iím not looking for a $5 trillion tax cut. What Iíve said is I wonít put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit. Thatís part one. So thereís no economist can say Mitt Romneyís tax plan adds 5 trillion (dollars) if I say I will not add to the deficit with my tax plan.

Number two, I will not reduce the share paid by high-income individuals. I -- I know that you and your running mate keep saying that, and I know itís a popular things to say with a lot of people, but itís just not the case. Look, I got five boys. Iím used to people saying something thatís not always true, but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping Iíll believe it -- (scattered laughter) -- but that -- that is not the case, all right? I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans.

And number three, I will not, under any circumstances, raise taxes on middle-income families. I will lower taxes on middle-income families. Now, you cite a study. There are six other studies that looked at the study you describe and say itís completely wrong. I saw a study that came out today that said youíre going to raise taxes by 3(,000 dollars) to $4,000 on -- on middle-income families. There are all these studies out there.

But letís get to the bottom line. That is, I want to bring down rates. I want to bring down the rates down, at the same time lower deductions and exemptions and credits and so forth so we keep getting the revenue we need.

And you think, well, then why lower the rates? And the reason is because small business pays that individual rate. Fifty-four percent of Americaís workers work in businesses that are taxed not at the corporate tax rate but at the individual tax rate. And if we lower that rate, they will be able to hire more people.

For me, this is about jobs. [...] This is about getting jobs for the American people.

MR. LEHRER: Yeah. Do you challenge what the governor just said about his own plan?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, for 18 months heís been running on this tax plan. And now, five weeks before the election, heís saying that his big, bold idea is ďnever mind.Ē And the fact is that if you are lowering the rates the way you describe, Governor, then it is not possible to come up with enough deductions and loopholes that only affect high-income individuals to avoid either raising the deficit or burdening the middle class. Itís -- itís math. Itís arithmetic.

Now, Governor Romney and I do share a deep interest in encouraging small-business growth. So at the same time that my tax plan has already lowered taxes for 98 percent of families, I also lowered taxes for small businesses 18 times. And what I want to do is continue the tax rates -- the tax cuts that we put into place for small businesses and families.

But I have said that for incomes over $250,000 a year that we should go back to the rates that we had when Bill Clinton was president, when we created 23 million new jobs, went from deficit to surplus and created a whole lot of millionaires to boot.

And the reason this is important is because by doing that, we can not only reduce the deficit, we can not only encourage job growth through small businesses, but weíre also able to make the investments that are necessary in education or in energy.

And we do have a difference, though, when it comes to definitions of small business. Now, under -- under my plan, 97 percent of small businesses would not see their income taxes go up. Governor Romney says, well, those top 3 percent, theyíre the job creators. Theyíd be burdened.

But under Governor Romneyís definition, there are a whole bunch of millionaires and billionaires who are small businesses. Donald Trump is a small business. And I know Donald Trump doesnít like to think of himself as small anything, but -- but thatís how you define small businesses if youíre getting business income. And that kind of approach, I believe, will not grow our economy because the only way to pay for it without either burdening the middle class or blowing up our deficit is to make drastic cuts in things like education, making sure that we are continuing to invest in basic science and research, all the things that are helping America grow. And I think that would be a mistake.

MR. ROMNEY: Jim, let me just come back on that -- on that point. [...] These small businesses weíre talking about [...] -- Well, President, youíre -- Mr. President, youíre absolutely right, which is that with regards to 97 percent of the businesses are not -- not taxed at the 35 percent tax rate, theyíre taxed at a lower rate. But those businesses that are in the last 3 percent of businesses happen to employ half -- half -- of all of the people who work in small business. Those are the businesses that employ one quarter of all the workers in America. And your plan is take their tax rate from 35 percent to 40 percent.

Now, I talked to a guy who has a very small business. Heís in the electronics business in -- in St. Louis. He has four employees. He said he and his son calculated how much they pay in taxes. Federal income tax, federal payroll tax, state income tax, state sales tax, state property tax, gasoline tax -- it added up to well over 50 percent of what they earned. And your plan is to take the tax rate on successful small businesses from 35 percent to 40 percent. The National Federation of Independent Businesses has said that will cost 700,000 jobs. I donít want to cost jobs. My priority is jobs. And so what I do is I bring down the tax rates, lower deductions and exemptions -- the same idea behind Bowles-Simpson, by the way. Get the rates down, lower deductions and exemptions to create more jobs, because thereís nothing better for getting us to a balanced budget than having more people working, earning more money, paying -- (chuckles) -- more taxes. Thatís by far the most effective and efficient way to get this budget balanced.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Jim, I -- you may want to move on to another topic, but 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 thatís 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 Romneyís plan may work for you.

But I think math, common sense and our history shows us thatís not a recipe for job growth. Look, weíve tried this -- weíve tried both approaches. The approach that Governor Romneyís talking about is the same sales pitch that was made in 2001 and 2003. And we ended up with the slowest job growth in 50 years. We ended up moving from surplus to deficits. And it all culminated in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Bill Clinton tried the approach that Iím talking about. We created 23 million new jobs. We went from deficit to surplus, and businesses did very well.

So in some ways, weíve got some data on which approach is more likely to create jobs and opportunity for Americans, and I believe that the economy works best when middle-class families are getting tax breaks so that theyíve got some money in their pockets and those of us who have done extraordinarily well because of this magnificent country that we live in, that we can afford to do a little bit more to make sure weíre not blowing up the deficit.

MR. ROMNEY: Jim, the president began this segment, so I think I get the last word, so Iím going to take it. All right? (Chuckles.)

MR. LEHRER: Well, youíre going to get the first word in the next segment.

MR. ROMNEY: Well, but -- but he gets the first word of that segment. I get the last word of that segment, I hope. Let me just make this comment. [...] First of all -- [...] Let me -- let me repeat -- let me repeat what I said -- (inaudible). Iím not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut. Thatís not my plan. My plan is not to put in place any tax cut that will add to the deficit. Thatís point one. So you may keep referring to it as a $5 trillion tax cut, but thatís not my plan.

[...] Number two, letís look at history. My plan is not like anything thatís been tried before. My plan is to bring down rates but also bring down deductions and exemptions and credits at the same time so the revenue stays in, but that we bring down rates to get more people working. My priority is putting people back to work in America. Theyíre suffering in this country. And we talk about evidence -- look at the evidence of the last four years. Itís absolutely extraordinary. Weíve got 23 million people out of work or stop looking for work in this country.

MR. ROMNEY: Itís just -- itís -- weíve got -- we got -- when the president took office, 32 million people on food stamps; 47 million on food stamps today. Economic growth this year slower than last year, and last year slower than the year before. Going forward with the status quo is not going to cut it for the American people who are struggling today.

Romney's answers are complete gibberish and nonsense. Was the President as effective as he could have been? No. But Romney certainly did not "win" this segment.

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  • Display: Sort:
    i think Romney won (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by the capstan on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:49:52 AM EST
    because one of the two (hopefully Romney) straight out  lied.  Where did O. get the tax cut figure?  From Romney's blather during the campaign?  Then why did he not call R. on the lie.  Or was O.' assertion made up from whole cloth?

    Obama did call him on it once (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:10:55 AM EST
    That was the 'oh nevermind' line. I think Obama is of the 'I'm only going to say something once' school, and it does not work well when the lies are being repeated and repeated.

    Romney lied (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:50:50 AM EST
    Obama was not as strong as he should have been on the lie.

    Romney's (none / 0) (#9)
    by MKS on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:11:49 AM EST
    proposal of a 20% tax cut would amount to $5 trillion.

    Romney says it will magically not represent a $5 trillion tax cut because he will close loopholes for the rich.  Obama pointed out that that was not possible.


    If only one of them had summarized this briefly (none / 0) (#83)
    by Coral on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:55:42 PM EST
    and succinctly. There was just so much verbiage, it was difficult to tell what they were attempting to say.

    All Obama had to say was that (none / 0) (#85)
    by Anne on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:09:03 PM EST
    while it wasn't $5 trillion in one year, the Tax Policy Center had it at that number over a ten-year period.  Shouldn't Obama have been able to put that out there?  Been prepared to put it out there?

    That might have snapped Romney's jaw shut, and exposed him for the lying creep he is.  And put a stop to the stalemate of no-I'm-not, yes-you-are that ensued.


    I don't believe Romney (none / 0) (#107)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 10:26:35 AM EST
    specified for the rich.  He said he'd cut loopholes period.

    And there are only a few available (none / 0) (#111)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 05:24:19 PM EST
    to the middle class and poor. Basically mortgage interest, charity, and it you are sick enough to pay 8% of your income in medical expenses, there are those.

    In addition (none / 0) (#112)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 09:20:37 PM EST
    State and local income taxes and property taxes.  Deductions for dependents and the minimum standard deduction.

    It wouldn't surprise me if he dumped all of it.


    The visuals (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:54:36 AM EST
    were really bad for Obama too. Not only was Obama bad on refuting what Romney was saying but the lecturing professor showed up to a debate. Obama did this same thing about in 2008: stare down and shuffle papers. You would think that someone would have worked with him on all this stuff but either Obama is not "teachable" or no one dares confront him about this kind of stuff.

    Too? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:57:27 AM EST
    So you think the President was bad on the tax substance

    That seems absurd to me.


    Let me (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:08:54 AM EST
    put it this way: I guess I should say COMMUNICATING substance. Obama has a tendency to turn into the lecturing professor who makes your eyes glaze over and your mind go to sleep. He also talks in circles so try your best to listen to him and you are still confused to what exactly he is saying.

    I don't quite think it is that bad (none / 0) (#13)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:16:05 AM EST
    I can listen to him fine without my eyes glazing over, but I do wish he made more sharp points as he did in the section BTD quoted above.

    It was style over substance. (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Angel on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:04:55 AM EST
    Obama stated facts and Romney made sh!t up.  But he did so with a straight face and all the conviction in the world to go along with it.  Most voters don't know all of the facts and can't usually tell between the truth and a lie when it comes to the deficit and taxation, they just can't.  That's why Romney will get away with it.  Obama looked like the walking dead last night and that's what people will remember.  I agree with BTD that Romney looked manic, but I guess we saw something different than everyone else because he won the debate in the eyes of the public and the pundits.  

    I guess (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:12:47 AM EST
    what you saw as manic others saw as "energetic". Romney came off as "willing to fight to win the presidency" and Obama just was the walking dead as you're saying.

    Will it move votes? (none / 0) (#11)
    by MKS on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:13:39 AM EST
    Let's see that first....before coming to too many conclusions....

    I think that both (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Lena on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:17:17 AM EST
    candidates came off terribly. Romney came off like a hepped-up used car salesman and Obama looked like a rambling, pontificating professor. There are gaps in Obama's speech where it seems like he's momentarily lost his train of thought; and then his constant nodding while Romney was talking,as if he agreed with him, drove me nuts.
    I haven't read the debate thread, but I thought that Obama's insistence on cutting the corporate tax rate (???) and his allusion to Simpson Bowles were just awful. It reminds me of why I don't want to vote for him. I'm a liberal, so there's no way his conservative-dem thing works for me, but last night it was hard to even see the Democratic part of his performance. On health care he did fine, which is where he looked best I think.
    Romney was shamelessly lying and that drove me nuts. The fact that Romney is utterly distasteful to me is the only reason I'd vote for Obama. That's the only reason. I was never that crazy about B. Clinton when he was president but I'd give my eye teeth for an eloquent expression of Democratic values right now, and Obama seems unable to do that. Sheesh.

    Obama had so many opportunities to (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Anne on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:59:41 AM EST
    call Romney out on his lies, and time and time again, he just let them pass. Did his debate preppers not spend any time listening to, watching and reading the things Romney's been saying on the stump?  Obama should have been locked and loaded and prepared with rebuttal - and he barely nibbled around the edges.

    He could have said this:

    "Governor Romney says he wants to lower rates on the middle class, but he also wants to get rid of some deductions and reduce exemptions.  He also says he won't ask the high income earners to pay less tax.  Well, how does that work?  Is he asking the wealthy to pay more?  Or is he just not telling you that the wealthy get the benefit of rate cuts at the lower end, so if they have to lose some deductions, it's no big deal?  Anyone else feel like we're looking at a shell game with the governor's plan, because I sure do."

    or this:

    "Perhaps Governor Romney isn't familiar with his running mate's budget plan, so before he tells you one more time about the 700 billion that Obamacare cuts from Medicare, I should tell him that the Ryan budget cuts that same amount.  In the same way.  The same way.  No cuts in benefits or increase to costs for seniors."

    or this

    " The truth is that the foundation of Obamacare was and is built on the existing private insurance platform, in large part because we wanted to make sure that people could make the kinds of choices they've been making all along - so, they're still in charge of their own healthcare.  And for those who should happen to lose their coverage, well, that's why we're creating the exchanges, at the state level, so people will always have somewhere to go for coverage - private insurance coverage - that the plans they could choose from would all have certain basic coverages.  The role of government here is in holding the insurance companies to the law's requirements and providing premium support for people in certain income levels.  "Premium support" - now that should be a term familiar to Mr. Romney."

    If he could have had a couple of those kinds of moments, he'd have taken control of the debate and put Romney in his place.  But he didn't.  He spent too much time being agreeable, and too little time weakly and ineffectively countering Romney's BS.

    By the end of the debate, Obama should have been able to have the people at home thinking they could actually smell the sh!t Romney's full of.  Just way too many missed opportunities - and I don't know if he gets them back.  Heck, I don't even know if he would know one when he saw it, and maybe that's part of the problem.

    Obama should pretend Romney is a DFH. (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by caseyOR on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:15:51 PM EST
    And punch away.

    I am reposting a comment from another thread 'cause I don't want to type it out again.

    Obama has no trouble bringing it (none / 0) (#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.

    Obama clearly can go at someone when he wants to.


    See my post below (none / 0) (#32)
    by Slado on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:23:33 AM EST
    I thouht about this alot last night and I wonder if Obama didn't want to find out what Romney would say if he went there.

    I think Obama was the less prepared to think fast on his feat and if he threw a left hook he was afraid that Romney would come right back at him.

    Either his campaign told him not to go there or he decided early on that Romney was way more prepared then he was and decided not to go there himself but simply run out the clock.

    I am puzzled as you are for why he laid back so much.  My theory is the only one that makes sense to me unless he came into the night planning not to attack at all.


    Romney clearly won (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Slado on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:14:44 AM EST
    I don't expect most on here to agree with anything Romney said so your obvious reaction is style over substance.

    However I don't agree with most of what Obama said and he had little style to go with almost zero substance.

    Granted Obama had the harder task.  He has to defend a pretty bad record on the economy.  He did a terrible job doing that and then allowed Romney to roll over him with more facts and figures.  

    Romney was more prepared, more engaging, more succinct and more excited to be there.

    Obama seemed tired, uninterested and blathered on in circular arguments without really saying anything.  Romney left tons of openings for Obama to come at him hard regarding Bain, 47% etc...

    I think Obama made a calculated decision not to go there because he figured our early on Romney was ready for anything.   If he ventured into real attack mode he was opening himself up for a counter and he didn't want to find out what it was.

    That's just my personal theory but to me the only one that makes sense.   Unless Obama simply didn't care.

    I have to (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:32:39 AM EST
    tell you it was an amazing thing to see ole Etch a Sketch himself completely wipe off the wingnuttery of the last few months. All Mitt needs to do now is to do a sister souljah on the tea party and perhaps he can claim the middle ground.

    There is some minor grumbling (none / 0) (#51)
    by Slado on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:49:50 AM EST
    on the right wing side of the blogoshpere that when you get done celebrating the fact that Romney cleaned Obama's clock that Romney did lay out a pretty moderate position last night.

    I'm OK with that because a moderate Romney to me is better than any Obama.  


    Do you think he would govern as a moderate, (none / 0) (#61)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 11:43:22 AM EST
    assuming the current makeup of the House and Senate, and with VP Ryan?

    "Moderate" (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by jondee on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:04:50 PM EST
    with Ayn Rand and Brigham Young up his as* at all times?



    Not sure (none / 0) (#65)
    by Slado on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:18:22 PM EST
    but I do think as a business exec he would drive the negotiations much more then Obama has.   As someone pointed out on Fox News when he was governor of Mass he met every Monday morning with the majority leaders of the Mass Senate/House.  

    Obama likes to lay out a vision and then turn it over to the meat grinder that is congress to settle the details.

    Romney would get in there and drive the debate more which makes me think he'd get to his 60 votes by compromising with democrats while trying to keep the house in line.

    A difficult task but something I think he is better prepared to do then Obama.

    Obama just doesn't seem to like to get his hands dirty.

    Romney loves it and would at least try.

    No one can predict if he'd succeed.


    Romney (none / 0) (#91)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:29:36 PM EST
    is going to be in a quantdry when governing if he wins. The tea party is already threatening that if he doesn't do their agenda then they are going ot run a primary opponent against him and if he does the tea party agenda he is going to be political road kill as you see what is happening all over the country to tea party candidates. If he's smart, he'll ignore the tea party and their whacked agenda.

    Romney opened himself up on taxes... (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by magster on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:27:47 AM EST
    talking about how he needed a new accountant if the tax code really did allow deductions for moving people overseas.

    This could go into so many different directions "oh, so you did move jobs overseas" or "how do we know, you didn't release your returns" or "the people you call the 47%, aka the middle class, can't afford accountants, or "I see you still like firing people."

    But nothing. Obama said nothing.

    There's an old stupid violent movie called Southern Comfort that I haven't thought about for 25 or more years where a cajun guy yells in a French accent "Kill him! Kill him!" when the main character is hesitating when a bad guy drops his guard, and that scene came to mind after Romney uttered that "I may need a new accountant line." Funny how the brain (or at least my brain) calls up something so random.

    Obama didn't need to (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by MKS on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:39:59 AM EST
    hit Romney with attacks like that, although it could have worked if he did.....

    Obama could have stayed on the "high ground" if wanted to go that route, and still win if:  He had more focus on what he was saying and had a prepared closing.

    If you are not going to counter-attack, you need to have a clear focus, and not wander off.   Make your points.  Every sentence needs to score....


    Another missed opportunity. (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Anne on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:47:47 AM EST
    If only Obama could have come back with something like, "well, good thing you can always amend your tax returns, eh?"

    It's like he brought a knife to a gun fight, and it turns out the knife was made of rubber.


    ... and of course this is in the context of a (none / 0) (#36)
    by magster on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:31:42 AM EST
    debate fight. Not advocating anything...

    actually, please delete... (none / 0) (#41)
    by magster on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:34:54 AM EST
    I don't want anyone misconstruing what I mean. I just wanted Obama to attack that point.

    I think the context is clear (none / 0) (#45)
    by MKS on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:40:59 AM EST
    and few will take it the wrong way.

    Too late: I've already taken (none / 0) (#47)
    by brodie on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:46:30 AM EST
    the liberty of contacting the Secret Service office in my area.  Sorry Magster.  Just doing my civic duty as a law abiding citizen.   ;-)

    Oh well... (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by magster on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:48:46 AM EST
    maybe my perp walk to the car I can raise the arguments Obama should have and salvage last night's debate spin.

    Anyone know a good defense lawyer? (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by magster on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:49:55 AM EST
    Obama pulling a Costanza.... (none / 0) (#67)
    by magster on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:59:36 PM EST
    .... saying what he should have said last night, including, at around 1:30, Romney's statement about needing a new accountant.

    Obama may not be that smart (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Slado on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 03:00:15 PM EST
    Is he just a front man for his campaign?

    Why does he need the media to create a narrative for him to campaign on?

    What a joke.


    They (none / 0) (#89)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:17:51 PM EST
    all create narratives. You don't remember the narrative that Bush invented about himself? I'm not big on these fake narratives myself but you are watching Obama repeat the Bush 2004 campaign. It's what you run when you don't have a good record.

    Obama 2008 campaign was Bush circa 2000 campaign retooled from "i'm a uniter not a divider" to being "postpartisan" Enjoy! The only kick I get out of all this is watching conservatives have the campaign tables turned on them.


    Obama should have jumped (none / 0) (#106)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 10:24:41 AM EST
    when Romney made his remark about a new accountant:

    talking about how he needed a new accountant if the tax code really did allow deductions for moving people overseas.

    Obama should have responded by saying that it appears Romney would offshore jobs if he could lower his taxes.

    A zinger yes, but it would have made Romney turn red in the face and maybe threw him off his game.


    The CNN focus group (none / 0) (#5)
    by MKS on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:03:24 AM EST
    showed an equal number of undecideds going for Obama as Romney.

    The MSNBC focus group showed that a couple of Latina undecideds (it was a small group) went for Obama because he cares more.

    The CNN poll has problems:  statistically immeasureble numbers of minorities, those under 50, and those living outside the South.  In addition, the CNN poll showed Romney having a favorability rating of 54%--before the debate--and just increasing that number by 2% after the debate.  That poll has driven much of the discussion but does not represent an accurate cross section of registered voters nationwide.  

    And, substance matters.  Romney lied.  That matters.

    It only matters (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by sj on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:14:40 AM EST
    ... if he's called on the lie.  That's why the proverbial Big Lie is still an effective technique.

    Mini focus group.... (none / 0) (#12)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:14:31 AM EST
    My sister asked if Obama was lying when he said he cut taxes.  Oy. I did set her straight with a min-dissertaiton on the stimulus bill, as you can imagine.

    Anyone think Obama was deliberately (none / 0) (#15)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:18:50 AM EST
    subdued because of the re-emergence of that video yesterday, and did not want to look like an 'angry black guy'?

    Just one theory I heard on the way to work this morning.

    of course you heard that (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by The Addams Family on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:40:06 AM EST
    we've been hearing it steadily from Obama's biggest fans ever since he took office

    If so, (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Lena on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:52:07 AM EST
    he has terrible advisors/consultants. He needs to practice righteous indignation, outrage, and passion.
    His whole unity schtick, which he was channeling last night, is a real downer during a debate.

    The recent race-laced Fox attack on his (none / 0) (#84)
    by Coral on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:57:49 PM EST
    old video that they dredged up from the memory-hole may well have had something to do with Obama's restrained performance.

    I wouldn't call it gibberish and nonsense (none / 0) (#16)
    by rjarnold on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:22:10 AM EST
    He was simply saying something that was completely contradictory to his official tax plan. His tax plan is one of the worst tax plans ever released by a major party nominee. It is mathematically impossible, raises the deficit, increases taxes on a lot of people in the middle class, would be impossible to implement, etc. When he released it, it was simply a pander to ultra-conservative tea party types, and now he has just been avoiding it.

    What matters is not how he does with high-information voters who already know that his tax plan is ludicrous. What matters is how he does with low information voters (90+ % of the population). These people don't know how ludicrous his official plan is, and what he said seemed to be reasonable, and he said it energetically. They don't know that what he said was completely against what his "official" plan was and Obama should have done a better job pointing that out.

    How do you arrive at 90% (none / 0) (#25)
    by vicndabx on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:01:37 AM EST
    of voters are "low information?"

    Maybe the relevant thing is how much attention (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by shoephone on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 11:15:54 AM EST
    most voters will pay to the post-debate analysis and fact-checking. I feel pretty comfortable saying that only about 10% will spend time reading transcripts like the one posted at the top of this thread, will search a bunch of websites for the fact-checking, or will even care about a lot of the details, which can easily be considered picky-oonish and arcane. Lots of people who are worse off financially, whether employed or not, do not want to sift through the wonky complexities between the tax plans. They want someone to answer the questions "what have you done for me lately?" and "what are you going to do for me now?"

    I don't think this debate alone will change the whole direction of the election, but it could well put it on a downward trajectory for Obama if he doesn't get new advisors and a new attitude, pronto.

    I'm hoping Bill Clinton has already started kicking him in the a$$.


    I just think most (none / 0) (#27)
    by rjarnold on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:07:44 AM EST
    voters don't really know much about the details about the candidates positions and the arguments for and against each major policy. Most people don't have any idea how ridiculous Romney's plan to cut everyone's marginal tax rate by 20% is, or even that it is one of his proposed plans. They wouldn't be able to tell if a candidate is lying right in front of them as Romney was about his tax plan.

    This can be fixed (none / 0) (#17)
    by MKS on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:25:29 AM EST
    Obama with a couple of changes could have done much better.....

    A better closing.  Romney had a rehearsed and smooth closing.   Obama should follow suit. A strong closing would have really helped.  Nate Silver has noted that during the debate according to a certain poll, Obama was ahead and only fell behind after the debate ended.

    Stick to key points.  Obama did wander off into the weeds with too much esoteric detail.

    Obama will never talk as fast as Romney but with his own style of talking he can win if he has better focus.

    The next Presidential debate with be a town hall style debate.  That should play better to Obama's style than Romney's frenetic and bombastic rapid fire.  Romney will have to talk to people rather than rely on the set pieces of a podium debate.  

    Actually (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:55:57 AM EST
    Obama's history on town halls has been pretty poor and generally he has done worse in those. It's one thing to be the lecturing droning professor when you are on stage with Romney, the moderator and the TV camera and quite another when you turn into someone who's lecturing a voter. Obama falls into the trap of talking AT voters not TO voters during town halls.

    Obama usually failed to (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by brodie on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:01:01 AM EST
    boldly frame his major points and one or two zingers, which instead of being a sharp jab to the nose ended up in the sea of verbiage and "uh"ing and pausing as being as effective as a fly landing on the back of an elephant.

    Overall, bipartisanship-seeking nice guy Obama preferred to float like a bee and sting like a butterfly.  Not exactly what Muhammed Ali had in mind.


    You only have about (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by MKS on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:15:37 AM EST
    40-45 minutes of talking time per side.

    It is always good to rehearse (out loud) certain phrases, so when it is time, you can pull the trigger.

    It was not a time to even-handedly discuss points raised by the other side.


    What about pointing out (none / 0) (#108)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 01:31:08 PM EST
    that Romney has admittedly not worked out or released any details of the loopholes, etc.?  Why was Romney allowed to get away with this?

    A plan with no details is a non-plan.


    I do not subscribe to the (none / 0) (#21)
    by KeysDan on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:57:55 AM EST
    "Obama being a professor"  as a pejorative.  While President Obama's professorial demeanor last night will not earn him a "golden apple" award, the debate issue is that he was not a good enough professor.  He should not have let the "student" get away with inaccuracies and misrepresentations, and he should have repeated his positions in varying ways so as to underscore the falsehoods and policies that were moving targets--something that he should not have tried to address, throwing that back to Romney to explain away.

    As for strategy, it seems to me that the debate preparation assumed the "old " Romney, the one of a week ago, and not the "new and improved" model of last night.  And, the Romney style was not that different than the one that he aimed at his primary foes, save for the $10,000 bet.  This recent debate history seemed as surprising to Obama as Romney's reliance upon and deployment of the blatant lie with abandon.

    The president seemed flummoxed by Romney's denial of his own tax plan and was lured by Romney's nice, but quickly withdrawn words for Bowles-Simpson. But, the president was successful (and it will not go unnoticed in Florida)  in his discussion of social security, noting its structural soundness and the relatively easy fix (Romney did not ask him more, and Obama did not ask Romney about his view) and his discussion of Medicare and the real problem of health care costs.   However,  when Romney gave his disjointed presentation, or whatever it was, that he proposes for Medicare, including the puzzling if you are 60 years old don't worry comment,  Obama seemed to ignore it and admonished 54 or 55 year olds to listen up.

    While the Obama performance was disappointing, I am hopeful that when the dust settles, the pundits and the electorate will stop and ask, do I know anything more about Romney's proposed policies--did he clarify or just confuse.   As for style, he was aggressive, but I did not think he looked as good--a little sweat under the nose, reddened eyes and worryingly frenetic.

    Doesn't seem to be (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by sj on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:36:51 AM EST
    the way the dust is settling.
    Presidential elections are not decided on who--according to style points, clever lines, and well-executed attacks--wins a debate. And that's good for President Barack Obama, who let Mitt Romney walk all over him in Wednesday night's debate.

    It was so obvious, one has to wonder: Was it part of a deliberate approach by the Obama campaign?

    But that isn't a surprise.  Have you ever watched dust settle?  It's not a logical process -- it depends on which way the wind is blowing.

    I just posted that in the open thread (none / 0) (#46)
    by lilburro on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:42:58 AM EST
    didn't see this comment.  I really think there is something to this.

    Really? (1.00 / 1) (#50)
    by sj on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:48:48 AM EST
    Because I see that as grasping at straws; a way to spin his performance as a strategy instead of a failure to produce.

    I don't know if it's (none / 0) (#54)
    by lilburro on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:58:34 AM EST
    a successful strategy, but it seems in line with Obama as a political tactician.  Draw out your opponent.  Practically play dead.

    Okay, I see (none / 0) (#55)
    by sj on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:59:13 AM EST
    Thanks for the clarification.

    I would certainly prefer the professor (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by DFLer on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:40:16 AM EST
    to the used car salesman!

    Your first paragraph, especially, is spot-on (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Towanda on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:56:46 AM EST
    and the "lecturing professor" simile is getting silly.  Some lecturers are brilliant, know how to work a room, and are great fun to see.  

    Plus, from all that I have read, lecturing was not at all Obama's professorial style, so the problem may be that:  he never learned how to be an engaging lecturer.  Instead, his teaching style was to engage a group in a lively class discussion -- so, as you point out, he ought to have gone with that, calling out the "student" last night to not let him get away with spouting nonsense.

    Or the problem may be that Obama was not, I have read, one who wanted a quiet classroom and liked engaging the group in a real debate.  His handlers need to get changes, to get back to a real debate format -- and to end the moderator's order to the crowd to be quiet.  

    Let Obama play to the crowd and work the room, letting Obama be Obama -- by all reports, a very good professor in the classroom -- and I bet that he will come alive, and Romney will get exposed and befuddled and shown up for making stuff up.


    James Lipton gave perceptive analysis/critique (none / 0) (#109)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 01:45:19 PM EST
    of Obama's performance; interviewed by Tweety.  They showed many clips of Obama's looking bored, disengaged, and wholly uninterested.  

    There were many other important comments.  Link:

    Above is link to another MSNBC program with Lipton.  Lipton starts with comments on Romney.


    Al Gore brought up (none / 0) (#102)
    by Amiss on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 12:10:52 AM EST
    something I have not seen mentioned by anyone else and I am not well versed with altitude sickneess enough to think that "could" have been a conttributing factor to Obama's actions or inaction. He mentioned that Obama's plane had not been on the ground long before the debate which of course was not the case for Romney who at times reminded me of someone who had drunk too much coffee or one of those energy drinks.

    Most here know I. was not thrilled with the choice of Obama in 2008 but we got what we got. I just didn't get the impression that he felt well last nite. I can't explain it but it certainly appeared to me that something with him was just "off".
    Not trying to make excuses for him just wondering about possibilities.


    Altitude sickness (none / 0) (#110)
    by sj on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 04:36:06 PM EST
    is something to be taken seriously, but usually it takes another couple thousand feet before most non-residents get symptoms.  He seemed fine the next day, though.  

    Obama doesn't cut it (none / 0) (#23)
    by koshembos on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:00:44 AM EST
    Obama is not a good debater sounds like I am not a good mountain climber. You need certain skill for mountain climbing many of us lack. Debaters, and presidents, have to be fast on their feet and able to think creatively and on a high level. Obama doesn't have those skills. He simply isn't intelligent enough to be a good debater. He is not intelligent enough to be a good president. I am a yellow dog Democrat, but a dog can see and hear.

    I am no Obama defender (none / 0) (#31)
    by Slado on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:19:56 AM EST
    but I have no doubt that he's really smart.

    He's just not the kind of smart that Romney is.

    MSNBC put it well this morning, Romney is from Havard Buisness school and Obama is from Harvard Law School.

    Obama likes to mull things over and stick to a general theme and narrative.

    Romney is a salesman and likes to pitch ideas, make decisions and work with others.  

    That was on full display last night and Romneys kind of smart lends itself to debates.   Obama not so much.   He does not like to be challenged and cannot deal with it in the short term.   I actually think he did a pretty decent job of keeping his cool because inside he was probably really pissed.

    He likes to control the debate like a professor controls his classroom.   You see that in speeches, interviews, press conferences and in last night debates.   He comes into every venue with the idea that he is the smartest guy in the room and you better pay attention.

    Romney comes in with the idea that he might be the smartest but he's going to sell you on why he is.   Not assume that he is.


    i vote (none / 0) (#78)
    by the capstan on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:10:09 PM EST
    'not smart,' as I did before.  Sorry, but it is true.  If my husband had 'lectured' like that in the classroom, i might be patronizing the thrift stores now.

    Romney as salesman (none / 0) (#80)
    by MKS on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:32:20 PM EST
    That is probably a pretty good explanation.

    Not only as CEO in a board room.  But also as a Mormon Missionary.  Taught to pepper people with references to scriptures....LDS missionaries are taught classic sales pitch strategies such as "overcoming objections," etc....

    Romney was born for that debate yesterday.  Obama if he had been better prepared could have probably achieved a draw....

    Someone messed up in Obama's practice sessions.  Typically, one would expect the practice sessions to be videotapped and shown to Obama.  "Look at what you're doing here...Don't do that..."  It is never fun to get that kind of feedback, but it makes you better fast.

    But that would require someone to stick their neck out to really provide constructive criticism.

    Obama has received plenty of criticism and feedback from the first debate.

    The issue, however, is that the next debate has a different format.  He will need to be prepared to deal with a hostile question from an audience member and finesse into a transition to his talking points.  You don't have to be a genius--just practice, practice, pratice.


    Concur on all MKS' points (none / 0) (#81)
    by brodie on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:41:21 PM EST
    Especially about the need for post debate constructive criticism.  

    Who are the people around him he trusts tough enough to tell him the truth, that he sucked last night?  Maybe just the spouse?  I get the impression he's surrounded by a lot of yes men worshippers.


    That bubble was burst (none / 0) (#82)
    by MKS on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:51:41 PM EST
    last night.

    Time to prepare for the Second Debate.  

    What is frustrating is that with a little more prep he could have done much better in the first debate.  Have a set closing that hammers home your key point with  a couple of specifics. Don't agree with your opponent, just state your case.

    But next time, the townhall has its own set of challenges.....Who to coach him here, and everyone needs a coach, a second set of eyes...

    I would say Rahm Emanuel.  He is tough and not glued to the inner circule, yet trusted.


    Emanuel's views are too far (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by sallywally on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:01:14 PM EST
    to the right. He has contempt for us unwashed masses too - liberals and unions.

    Social Security Question (none / 0) (#88)
    by MKS on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:13:17 PM EST
    It is not about being smart.  Perhaps over-intellectualizing the issue.

    When Lehrer asked the Social Security question, even if Obama and Romney agreed on social security, all Obama had to do--Biden would do this--is say how much you love social security, how Democrats love and have always loved social security, how you will fight to the death to protect social security, how you love the ladies with blue hair in Florida ("and I remember Sadie from Sarasota and I will never let her down").....Just basic passing grade there but effective.

    Bonus points, of course, to remind everyone about Bush privatizing model and Ryan agreeing and Romney must agree because he loves Ryan and you could never trust Romney because you never know with him.

    That would have won the debate all by itself--no need to fact check Romney in real time on the bogus lie about his own tax plan, etc......

    Add a nice, snappy close, and Obama wins without a doubt--even with all the other stuff.

    Gawdamighty, that was one nice pitch from Lehrer, lazy and over the plate, you could see the seams as soon as it left his hand.  Can we have that one back?


    Debating is an artificial and (none / 0) (#38)
    by MKS on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:32:00 AM EST
    learned skill.

    It depends on preparation.

    Good preparation will cover a multitude of sins, including lying, as in Romney.


    I don't even know what to say to this (none / 0) (#71)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 02:13:37 PM EST
    its wrong on so, so many levels- honestly given how at odds it is with the facts of the man's life, I'm not sure what to attribute your opinion too.

    (shaking her head) (none / 0) (#103)
    by Amiss on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 12:18:08 AM EST
    You should really give Obama a bit more credit.  Did you graduates from Harvard? Did you even graduate from high school?

    I didn't watch the debate, but (none / 0) (#26)
    by observed on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:02:42 AM EST
    I agree with people who say the lies matter more than the appearance. Romney just said up is down in front of a huge audience. That's a risky strategy.

    And unless Obama can find the balls... (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:23:54 AM EST
    ...to call him on it with passion and unsparing critical chops, then Romney will get a walk on this one. Come on, O, I'm not your biggest fan, but even I want you to find some groove here.  Embarrass that stuffed suit. You can do it.  All you have to do is overcome your mommy AND daddy issues, and you're set.  Sigh.

    if you had watched the debate (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 08:04:08 AM EST
    you would know that Obama got his ass handed to him.  He was sleep walking, acting like he really really did not think he should have to be there.
    One wants the job, one acts as if his mother is making him apply for it again, against his will.
    Lie's matter?  Maybe Romney just changed his mind on a few things and moved to the center.  Isn't that what they are supposed to do during the campaign?

    And pigs will fly. (none / 0) (#113)
    by Angel on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:47:33 AM EST
    Maybe Romney just changed his mind on a few things and moved to the center.

    Interesting fact I heard (none / 0) (#34)
    by brodie on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:24:27 AM EST
    or saw somewhere:  Those who watched the debate thought Romney won, but those who listened on radio or just read the debate transcript thought Obama won ...

    Unconvincing to me, who both watched and listened (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by shoephone on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 11:00:42 AM EST
    I listened to the first half on the radio as I was driving home. I watched the last half on TV as I was prepping dinner. I thought Obama sucked the entire way through, regardless.

    Aye. I only wish I had watched/listened ... (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by RonK Seattle on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 11:59:53 AM EST
    ... to the same debate BTD live-blogged last night.



    You didn;'t weatch Romney lie his ass off (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 01:09:13 PM EST
    about his tax plan?

    Ah, the new JB.


    seriously (none / 0) (#69)
    by sj on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 01:42:47 PM EST
    That's what you choose to believe is the Big Deal?  Of course he lied.  I expected that going in.  My default is position is that the GOP candidate is going to lie to appear to be more populist.  And I'm having a hard time recalling a time when that expection was disappointed.

    Therefore the Dem opponent must find a way to make the lie abundantly clear without actually using the word "lie".  So I will be presumptuous and say that the tax plan lie is not what Ronk was referring to.  Speaking for myself, this bit:

    Romney sounds a little frantic and frazzled now. He started better.

    By contrast, the President seems to have found his groove. This is turning the President's way imo.

    President is in command of this debate now.

    Again, Romney simply seems frantic to me.

    I'll be honest, I didn't see that in the debate. Yeah, Romney seemed a bit frantic, but talking head shows and pharmaceutical commercials have normalized that behavior for (what I think is)  a shockingly large segment of the population.

    Basically I agree with you, it got on my nerves, but as a Great Flaw it's a total non-starter.

    And your misunderstanding about this:

    The funniest part of your comments is the notion that Romney is monopolizing the time. Obama has spoken more folks.

    kind of floors me.  It isn't about the number of minutes; it's about what's crammed into those minutes.

    So if Ronk is the new jb, does that make BTD the new ABG*?  [That's a joke!  Maybe it's a bad one, I don't know, but it's still a joke]

    * where is that angry guy, anyway?


    You are entitled to your own opinions (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 03:31:21 PM EST
    Like the fact that Romney lied his ass off does not matter.

    But not your won facts. You and RonK are in THIS post saying that you disagree that Romney lied his ass off.

    That makes you the new stupid imo.


    Of course it matters that he lied his @ss off (none / 0) (#75)
    by sj on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 03:44:37 PM EST
    It matters a great deal whether it's successful or if it's successfully rebutted. As I said in the very beginning of my comment I expected the GOP candidate to lie and important thing is the Dem candidate must find a way to make the lie abundantly clear without actually using the word "lie".

    How exactly does that say that I disagree that Romney lied his ass off?  You have put words in my mouth that I did not say and frankly I expected better of you.  I'll let RonK speak for himself.

    In any case it is an expected lie and while still shocking, is not surprising at all.  

    Pointing it out is absolutely necessary but being all escandaloso about it is the old stupid, IMO.  The smart thing is to be ready for it.


    What effing post are you people reading? (none / 0) (#87)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:10:47 PM EST
    I swear, you and Ron and JB and all of you can go to No Quarter anytime you want.

    Like everyone else who is responding, (none / 0) (#90)
    by sj on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:23:43 PM EST
    I'm reading all of your posts, of course. They're completely interrelated once the commenting starts.  

    Is it a fact ... ? (none / 0) (#76)
    by RonK Seattle on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 03:45:05 PM EST
    ... that I ever denied that Romney lied his ass off?

    Or is that one of your "own facts"?

    You excitedly saw Obama winning last night, while the rest of the country - left, right, and center, insiders and outsiders - saw Romney mop the floor with him. This suggests a lack of perspective.

    I have no idea who JB is, nor am I particularly interested ... I assume it's just another of your off-key ad hominems.


    You watched a debate where he did not (none / 0) (#86)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:09:59 PM EST
    according to your own comment.

    You would be welcome at No Quarter Ron.


    Sorry, what? I'd been busy busting my hump ... (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by RonK Seattle on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:48:33 AM EST
    ... reworking Party fundraising material to capitalize on Romney's spew of lies. I may not have had time to follow your train of thought ...

    And the CNN poll, with all its flaws (none / 0) (#40)
    by MKS on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:33:03 AM EST
    is driving a lot of the thinking....

    Is this a nod (none / 0) (#58)
    by sj on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 11:10:05 AM EST
    ... to that infamous Kennedy/Nixon debate?
    It is often claimed that people who watched the debate on television overwhelmingly believed Kennedy had won, while radio listeners (a smaller audience) believed Nixon had won. A study has found that the alleged viewer‐listener disagreement is unsupported.

    Ding ding ding! We have a winner. (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by brodie on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 11:43:19 AM EST
    Yes, I was mischievously referencing that very debate, about which the nonsense about some valid poll of radio listeners gets repeated as fact cycle after cycle (latest perpetrators of the myth:  alleged historian Doug Brinkley and should-know-better cable host Cenk Uygur).

    I've commented about that myth on several occasions in these very pages in recent days leading up to last night's debate.  Decided to throw in the additional nonsense fact about people reading the debate transcript favoring Obama as a nod to BTD.

    Sorry about this one -- but couldn't resist.


    I heard just the opposite (none / 0) (#62)
    by RonK Seattle on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 11:55:19 AM EST
    ... that he lost soundly both on audio and video. (Not sure where, or how scientific.) I expect we'll see scientific polling on the subject published within 48 hours.

    Probably worse on video - as MSNBC just highlighted, the split-screens were horrible.

    I couldn't bear to watch after the first couple minutes, and it didn't get much better on audio only.


    In content he "lost" (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by jondee on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 03:15:12 PM EST
    or just on style and delivery?

    You can't possibly be giving Romney points for that all that Dervish-like spinning and unadulterated b.s about "borrowing money from the Chinese to fund PBS"..or, his attempting to make "Obamacare" seem like something completely different from Massachusetts Romneycare.


    He lost a contest of persuasion (none / 0) (#77)
    by RonK Seattle on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 03:47:56 PM EST
    ... which is what the debates (like and the campaign in general) really are.

    Persusion.. (none / 0) (#115)
    by jondee on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 11:07:28 AM EST
    in other words, conveying to the non-reflective tribe who the bigger, stronger alpha male is..

    If that counts as "winning a debate" in your book..well, may the Good Lord take a likin' to ya.

    This country is so militantly non-reflective and anti-intellectual, I'm not sure it matters in the long run who gets elected.


    Last night we learned (none / 0) (#37)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:31:47 AM EST
    Coral Gables, (none / 0) (#66)
    by fishcamp on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:20:29 PM EST
    Joe Garcia's point man William finally called and needs help at a breakfast meeting in KW on Saturday.  I may help but it's 75 miles away and KW has too many bars of all kinds.  I asked about Rivera and he said that Joe Garcia is looking much stronger now.

    Here is David Frum's (none / 0) (#57)
    by rjarnold on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 11:07:22 AM EST
    analysis, which I agree with. Romney opened himself to all kinds of attacks and Obama was not prepared enough to take advantage of them.

    No kidding (none / 0) (#70)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 02:03:32 PM EST
    Get that Romney guy a sedative, a massage, a martini, a hairless cat to pet......something

    The irony is that today's (none / 0) (#79)
    by MKS on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:18:39 PM EST
    set of poll numbers is pretty good.

    It's all in the math (5.00 / 0) (#94)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 07:02:18 PM EST
    And the electoral math at this point has Obama still winning easily. Romney needs to find a way to win Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado, and Nevada. The way things are looking, Romney needs everyone of those states in his column to win and right now he trails in 5 of the 6.

    I think OH (none / 0) (#95)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 07:59:47 PM EST
    has gone out of reach of Romney at this point. He's going to have to rely on FL for those big state electoral numbers.

    I agree (none / 0) (#98)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:04:54 PM EST
    I left Wisconsin out for the same reason.

    If Ohio were to go to Romney, it's likely all the rest would too. At the same time I probably could have left North Carolina off the list, because if Romney doesn't win North Carolina he won't win any of those listed above.


    Well the R's are (none / 0) (#104)
    by Amiss on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 12:40:17 AM EST
    doing all they can to see arepeat "Chad" situation for one and not sending out the voter registration cards to demean along with flat out refusing to register Democrats. It's gonna get interesting in. Fla.

    If the debate (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:00:28 PM EST
    effects the poll numbers, it's not going to show up in the latest set of polls.

    I did not know this (5.00 / 0) (#100)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:45:20 PM EST
    And I did hear it on Morning Joe so consider the source, but the debates have averaged much smaller percentage of poll swings than say good stump speeches and I guess the party conventions.  I always thought the debates were more important as the final decider, but historically speaking I guess not.

    Early tea leaves on post-debate (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by MKS on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 11:33:47 PM EST
    polls show little movement.  At best, Romney improving but Obama steady at close to 50%.

    Ipsos actually did a pre-debate and a post debate poll....Obama up one, Romney up two.  Obama ahead by five after the debate if I remember it right.

    PPP has tweeted that Romney up only slighlty in nightly polling but they are a four day poll.

    Sunday polls will be key.


    Obama campaign has new tv ad (none / 0) (#97)
    by desmoinesdem on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:03:00 PM EST
    focusing on Romney's tax lies from the debate.


    Thanks for posting the link. I don't get to see (none / 0) (#99)
    by Angel on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:04:49 PM EST
    the ads on television because I live in an uncontested state.