posted on October 17, 2012 10:20
Mitt Romney let an inexplicable obsession with Benghazi get him slapped down by Candy Crowley and slam-dunked by President Obama, but last night’s debate also showed why Democrats should still worry.
Let’s get this straight first: Ignore anybody who tells you these debates don’t matter. They matter big-time.
This was America’s first reality-show presidential debate. Presidential debates finally descended to the level of Maury Povich and Jerry Springer.
It was real, live drama, for the highest possible stakes. And Obama won because he won the big dramatic moments.
Obama beat his biggest opponent: himself. He didn’t repeat the limp, listless performance that had Democrats hiding under the bedcovers for almost two weeks.
He looked cool and in command: presidential. (Remember the rule: Bugs Bunny always beats Daffy Duck.) Romney too often looked petty, petulant and like a powerful CEO who has never been told no in his life.
But it comes down to this: If Romney loses this election, he will always ask himself why he went off on a jihad about who-lost-Libyan-security instead of hammering at what should be a winning message: the economy.
He played too loose with the facts about Libya, and he paid a price by being corrected by Crowley and chastised by a clearly angry Obama.
That was bad for Romney, and he was wobbly for much of the rest of the debate.
But the winner-loser flash polls show why Democrats should worry. Yes, undecided voters said Obama won. But they also said Romney was better on the economy.
Romney’s attack on Obama’s economic record was effective. And it’s not enough for Obama to just defend his record – not nearly enough. He has to offer a strong positive message.
Herein lies Obama’s biggest fault – last night and throughout this campaign. If he loses the election, he will always ask himself: Why didn’t I offer the American people a clear economic plan for the next four years?
Something like: “We were facing a financial collapse and a Depression when we came in. We prevented that, and we’ve been working our way back – with no help from the Republicans. If I’m reelected, here’s what I’m going to do to rebuild an innovation economy and create new jobs.” Then spell it out.
For reasons just as inexplicable as why Romney wastes time talking about Libya, this strategic imperative has not sunk in with the President and his team. Time is running out. And he won’t be able to do it in the next debate, because it will be about foreign policy.
So, yes, I liked the President’s fight last night. And I enjoyed the obvious discomfort of Romney and his fans. But I’m not popping any champagne corks.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 7:31 PM
First, most post-debate polling showed only a modest edge for Obama. CNN's quick reaction poll of actual viewers gave him the edge, 46% to 39%, meaning that once again the incumbent president failed to impress at least fifty percent of a pool of potential voters. If Gary is half the pol he thinks he is he'll know what that means for his ticket.
Second, Romney showed once again that he is the president's equal in stature and bearing, as well as knowledge and readiness for the job. The window for Obama to define him as unfit or unready or extreme is closing rapidly, despite months of vigorous negative campaigning. People tend to believe their lying eyes rather than the latest negative TV commercial.
Third, Romney could have destroyed Obama on the Libyan issue by charging that the president's initial response to the death of our ambassador was to lie about the circumstances to cover up his administration's lack of adequate security. The White House knew within 24 hours that there had been no demonstration that had gotten out of hand--that story was made up out of whole cloth in the Obama campaign. Obama has no plausible defense whatsoever for his administration's failures and subsequent lies regarding Libya, and Romney failed to press home the attack. That, and his weak response to Crowley's misinformation in support of Obama turned what should have been a knockout punch into a boomerang shot.
Finally, it is perfectly clear why Obama hasn't offered the American people an economic plan forward--he doesn't have one. He actually believes that his policies, which are so very clearly not working, are the way to go. Like many academics he dismisses observable reality in favor of his cherished ideologies, much like the professor who rejects the results of a successful experiment because it conflicts with his preferred theories. "Sure it will work in the real world, but it will never work in theory!"
For the first time since this campaign began, I think Romney, despite his weaknesses as a candidate, might actually have a real shot.
Thursday, October 18, 2012 7:42 AM
Ye! I am worried that we rank #4 on Inequality in oecd.
I am worried that 10% own 73% net wealth---83% financial wealth--get 50% individual income.
I am worried We borrowed 15,000B since 1980 that went to help them get much richer.
I am worried when one family has more wealth than 90% of families
I am worried when 70,000,000 get 14% of individual income.
I am worried when we borrowed 1100B in fiscal 2012 and taxed only only
only 17% of out Total Income. Why borrow when we have so much money??? Tells you why we rank behind Chile And Mexico As Least taxed in oecd nations
Obama will end 4 years increasing spending by 8.6% to Bush 90% in 8.
(Bush 1830 to 3510) (Obama 3510 to 3800)
Must tax wealth much higher must must must they have most of the $$$$
Thursday, October 18, 2012 9:40 AM
Actually, the ones who was loose with the facts on Libya were Obama and his sidekick Crowley. Crowley was the most biased moderator yet. The Romney campaign should have expected that after Crowley had openly called the Romney-Ryan ticket a ''death wish''. Still, Crowley actually admitted an hour after the debate in an interview that Romney had been right on Libya. I doubt Obama will ever do that, and Crowley fessin' up later after she herself was wrong in front of that huge debate audience is not really making up for what she did.
Romney agreeing to moderators from the politically biased MSM, which is in the tank for the Democrats and especially for Obama, was political malpractice.
Investor's Business Daily had a great editorial cartoon on the relationship between moderator and candidate: http://www.investors.com/editorial-cartoons/michael-ramirez/
Thursday, October 18, 2012 5:32 PM
Spoken like a true radical progressive democrat clarence swinney. If our country becomes what you want it to become, we'll ALL suffer...and don't think for one minute that those wealthy folks you hate so much won't STILL end up far better off than the masses even with every kind of redistribution effort you think we should make. We'd all probably do very well under your beliefs for a while...that is, until all of the wealthy people's money that you want the government to take runs out. This isn't about politics, really. This is about the survival of our country. Republicans and democrats are pretty much equally to blame for our current financial dilemna...and Obama has taken it worst exponentially...facts don't lie on that one.
Friday, October 19, 2012 9:29 AM
PAY OFF DEBT
remember 2000..cbo projected a 10,000b surplus in 2010 if we stayed with Clinton Fiscal policies
Had Gore won we would have, today, a surplus not deficits of 1000+ and a debt of 5800 or less not horrid 16,000B.
It will require a Congress willing to raise needed revenue via tax code and reduce spending
in Defense—Social Security---Medicare--Medicaid--Interest.
It will require cutting the exemptions of 1300 Billion
It will require increasing tax rates at the top.
It will require eliminating the Casino Derivative Of America that is for wealthy only.
That wealth should be used for the common good of building industries and jobs.
Tis a disgrace that the richest nations ranks in OECD nations
#4 on Inequality--#3 as Least Taxed--#2 as Least tax on corporations
A shame that in 2012 we taxed 17% of our Income yet borrowed 1100B.
Our 2013 budget projects to tax 20% of Total Income and borrow 900B
WE CAN ELIMINATE OUR DEBT—WE MUST DO IT FOR OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS clarence swinney