#Debates: Ultimately, It’s Not Good News for Mitt Romney.

My initial thoughts.

Did President Obama stomp on Mitt Romney’s neck like I wanted him to? No. Was President Obama dynamic? No. Does it really matter? NO.

Here’s why. The media has been building up this debate as if it was going to be a game-changer. Folks expected Romney’s debate performance to be as much of a clusterfuck as his campaign is. It wasn’t. Romney stood up on two feet, with a weird grin that made him look like he was in gastrointestinal distress, and he lied. HE LIED. He exuded confidence when he did it, which, hooray!, I guess. But he lied.

President Obama was about as exciting as boiled ham, but it doesn’t matter. Why? Because he explained his policies and accomplishments — in far too professorial a manner for the setting, mind you — and told the truth about it.

Mitt Romney? HE LIED.

Romney, who just a couple of weeks ago was caught on tape saying that he believes 47 percent of this country are moochers, spoke beautifully about how he wants to create jobs and help the middle class. But he lied. He doesn’t give a shit about the middle class and everything he has said and done up until 6 p.m. EST tonight when he tried to recreate himself as some populist people-lover proves it.

Remember how he lied about supporting the auto bailout when, in fact, he said, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”?

Remember when Scott Walker won the recall election, and Mitt Romney claimed that Walker’s win meant Wisconsinites were tired of hiring firefighters, police officers, and teachers? And remember how Walker was all, “WTF bro?!” and Romney was all, “Wait, What’d I Say? I didn’t meant it!”

Remember how he told students to just borrow money from their parents if they wanted to start a small business?

Remember how Romney told students that they should get as much education as they can afford?

But tonight –for these 90 minutes, Mitt Romney wants you to think he feels your pain. Pffft.

Mitt Romney lied.

[read full post at ABLC]

85 replies
  1. 1
    Davis X. Machina says:

    The trend is your friend.
    People didn’t like Romney before tonight’s debate.
    People still don’t like Romney after tonight’s debate.
    People have been not-liking Romney for months.

    From BlueMassGroup:

    First – and this is quite important – the same (CNN, ed.) snap poll that shows that Romney won the night by a whopping 67-25 also showed that the favorable/unfavorable numbers did not move for either candidate.
    If that holds up, it is terrible news for Romney, because he desperately needs to turn those numbers around to have any realistic shot at winning. Romney’s unfavorable rating has consistently exceeded his favorable (while the reverse is true of Obama), and that is a deadly place to be in October. No candidate since at least 1980 has been upside-down in fav/unfav at this point in the race and come out a winner.

    People vote party, narrative, affect — and then other stuff.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    TexasMango says:

    It wasn’t a good night for Team O, but I can’t take the ridiculous hysteria coming from some people. I left Daily Kos and HuffPost because of that shit.

    People need to calm down with the doom and gloom. Romney’s a really, really, really good liar. It’s hard to debate Jello.

  4. 4
    jwb says:

    Who’s going to tell folks that Romney lied? Tonight, it’s an open question whether that message gets beyond those already supporting Obama.

    More importantly, Obama’s lackluster performance has a dampening effect on turnout, and without massive turnout the chance of retaking the House is much slimmer. So while I don’t think Obama did any particular damage to his campaign tonight, I think he softened his support somewhat, and at the moment I would say the House is not as likely as it was before the debate.

  5. 5
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Davis X. Machina: And if the Obama team can make the next week or so about Romney’s dishonesty, coupled with Obama hitting him for it in the next debate, nothing that comes out of his mouth will be believable for the rest of the campaign.

  6. 6
    burnspbesq says:

    Romney may not have been lying tonight. But if he wasn’t lying tonight, he’s been lying to the Republican base, Karl Rove, the Koch brothers, Gary Bauer, and Sheldon Adelson for the last nine months. If he doesn’t spend the next three days telling those people “hey, y’all, all that stuff I said in the debate? wink wink, nudge nudge.” his money and his volunteers will all feel utterly betrayed. And if he does spend the next three days doing that, there will be more video of Romney making flppy floppy than the Obama campaign can ever hope to use.

    How that can be a “win” is difficult to comprehend.

  7. 7
    Davis X. Machina says:


    Over the last 30 days, RH.hold12’s have never traded lower than $0.65 on the IEM, and usually over $.70. It’s always been a long-shot.

  8. 8
    MikeJ says:

    They told me Romney could punch. They told me he could punch as hard as Joe Lewis!

  9. 9
    freelancer says:

    Your post is awaiting moderation.

    (Too many links)

  10. 10
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Let’s all freak out over something nobody watched. Hell, I didn’t even watch it because nobody gives a flying fuck about these dumb-ass debates.

  11. 11
    burnspbesq says:

    What Romney really did tonight is to make trust the number one issue in the campaign. And that can’t possibly be good for Romney.

  12. 12
    👽 Martin says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I think that’s a bad bet. Dems are likely to pick up 5 of the 25 seats they need just in Cali. The GOP is just getting crushed out here.

  13. 13
    Hill Dweller says:

    The ads write themselves. Romney gave the Obama team a ton of ammo. If they use his lying effectively going forward, the debate can turn out to have real value.

    As for the debate, I suspect they wanted Obama to look like he was above it all, but it ultimately looked like passivity.

    That said, after being a punching bag all night, Obama now has the freedom to really hammer Willard without being called Malcolm X.

    The only danger is the Obama team overreacting.

  14. 14
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    The point I’ve tried to hammer home tonight is that in the interests of giving himself a better chance to win the White House, Romney shat all over movement conservatism tonight by presenting himself as the former governor of liberal Massachusetts rather than the national leader of the conservative movement. That’s a very high risk move, because if he doesn’t win the election, and especially if the GOP loses ground in Congress, he’s done nothing to improve the appeal of Republican ideas with the electorate, if anything he’s gone backwards.

    And that is a radical turn away from the principles which have served the GOP so well from 1964 to the present, which is always to give voters the impression that they are the party that has core bedrock beliefs and values which they will fight for and stick with even if it means going down in flames. Yeah it’s all bullshit and we know it, but that bullshit has sold very well for 40+ years with few exceptions. And Romney sold it all down the river tonight in exchange for a superficial win in 1 of the debates. Time will tell whether he got good value in that exchange or not, but I suspect not.

    Case in point. Romney said this tonight:

    Regulation is essential. You can’t have a free market work if you don’t have regulation. As a businessperson, I had to have—I need to know the regulations. I needed them there. You couldn’t have people opening up banks in their—in their garage and making loans. I mean, you have to have regulations so that you can have an economy work. Every free economy has good regulation.

    Please try to explain to me how it is that Reagan isn’t turning in his grave at those words as we speak. This may have been a good night for Romney, but it was a bad night for movement conservatism.

  15. 15
    TexasMango says:

    @jwb: That’s what campaign ads are for. Obama’s been winning the ad wars by pointing out Romeny’s lies. Of course they aren’t expecting the MSM to do it for them.

    You erase this debate performance by pointing out all of the lies in your ads. Lord knows there is enough footage of Romney saying the opposite of what he said tonight.

    The doom and gloom can’t go beyond tomorrow people. Seriously or just pack it in now.

  16. 16
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @👽 Martin: I’m buying at $.60… but not before.

  17. 17
    Yutsano says:

    @👽 Martin: They need to flip 25 to give NancySMASH!! back the gavel. They’ll get a few pickups in Illinois as well, so it’s a matter of losing as little ground around the country as well as sending a few Teabaggers packing. I think it might just be doable.

  18. 18
    Cacti says:

    Per ABC

    When asked to describe their impressions of Romney, the women used words like “rude,” “pushy” and “assertive” – and when asked to clarify if assertive was positive or negative, the woman who offered that description said it was negative.

    Romney currently trails w/ women by 18 points.

    Considering women make up more than 50 percent of the electorate, if Mitt doesn’t cut into that number in a big way, he loses.

    Dubya, by comparison, took 48% of the women’s vote in 2004.

  19. 19
    jwb says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I don’t believe IEM has any particular insight and am inclined to follow Wang’s analysis at Princeton Election Consortium, which is that generic congressional preference is ultimately what matters and the Presidential contest has coattails with respect to that preference. According to his analysis, the whole play of the House has been leaning Dem over the past few weeks, but it really depends on voter enthusiasm, and that’s where things like conventions and debates are of crucial importance.

  20. 20
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    I’m buying at $.60… but not before.

    To be clear, when RH.hold12’s go under $.60, I’ll begin to buy RH.lose12’s. RH.gain12’s are trading at $.11 for what that’s worth.

  21. 21
    jshooper says:

    If Obama doesn’t go harder at McCain he’s gunna lose !!!…oh wait this is 2012…I don’t know what’s more contrived….the media’s comical shilling for Romney (even before the debate)…or the “Left’s” concern trolling of President Obama…Tweety on MSNBC perfectly summed up how phony this freak out is…when he said ” OBAMA NEEDS TO WATCH MSNBC !!!”…It was a perfect screech that we’ve heard used against Obama since he ran for president 5 years ago….” He needs to listen to MEEEEEE !!!!”
    (watch my show !)

  22. 22
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    47%, let Detroit go bankrupt, corporations ARE people my friend, just the foreclosure process run its course so that the investors can move in. Let Mitt be Mitt.

    Tonight may well have killed some momentum, but I don’t know if confidence isn’t almost as dangerous to Willard as panic.

  23. 23
    cmorenc says:

    If MSM chooses to portray the ability to aggressively spin baldface lies while smiling as evidence of that Romney has established a positive image of himself as Presidential and a leader, we could be fucked if there’s still enough of a changeably fluid portion of the electorate who don’t catch on to how huge a sociopathic con-man fraud Romney is.

  24. 24
    TheHalfrican says:


    angry black lady <3

    you and The Field Negro are the best black bloggers alive


  25. 25
    TexasMango says:

    @Cacti: Willard won because he didn’t vomit or shit himself on stage and yeah Obama was off, but there was no game change to night. People need to chill and Obama needs to do better next time. Willard is still the asshole caught on the 47% video.

    If Barack Obama was behind in every swing state and 8 points down in Ohio, one debate wouldn’t have me crowing VICTORY!

  26. 26
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @jwb: IEM’s prices don’t actually contradict Wang’s general take in any significant way, provided you watch the volume. (Only one of the three House contracts — RH.hold12’s — is traded in any volume.) Small-volume IEM futures I think I have seen gamed.

  27. 27
    jwb says:

    @TexasMango: Except that ads—whether by Romney, Obama or SuperPacs supporting either of them—have by all accounts lost much of their effectiveness in most battleground states. Will anyone even pay attention to the Obama ads about lying?

  28. 28
    Turgidson says:


    In a sane world, this would matter. In the world we inhabit, Romney’s supporters just want to beat that Kenyan niCLANG. At this point, especially in light of how shitty he had been doing, they’ll let him say whatever he wants if it gets the job done.

    We’ll see how it plays out. Obama’s team tends to know better than they’re given credit for, so they might have a plan. Then again, they might not. If Romney “won” without convincing anyone to vote for him as some of the snap poll analysis I’m seeing is saying, who the fuck cares. There aren’t that many undecideds left out there, and it doesn’t sound like Obama did anything to drive them into Mitt’s arms, or drive his supporters out of his camp. So who knows.

  29. 29
    Cacti says:


    Willard won because he didn’t vomit or shit himself on stage and yeah Obama was off, but there was no game change to night.

    I figured the punditry would declare Willard the winner, regardless of what he said this evening.

  30. 30
    TheHalfrican says:

    @burnspbesq: You would *think* that they would be horrified by him sprinting to the Left like Usain Bolt, but I looked around the ruins of Free Republic and they are far too caught up in Victory Bloodlust to care about that right now. I mean, for people to feel betrayed by Mitt Romney, they have to believe what he said in the first place, right?

  31. 31
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Joe Klein says that Willard rebuilt his bucket o’deductions tonight. Did I miss that?
    and that he’ll eliminate most tax deduction for the wealthy (he did put a clever $25,000 or $50,000 cap on deductions)
    Seems to me that’s still a pretty vague statement about a major change in the tax code that will make a lot of home-owners, especially upper middle class totebag types, pretty nervous.

  32. 32
    Hill Dweller says:


    If MSM chooses to portray the ability to aggressively spin baldface lies while smiling as evidence of that Romney has established a positive image of himself as Presidential and a leader, we could be fucked if there’s still enough of a changeably fluid portion of the electorate who don’t catch on to how huge a sociopathic con-man fraud Romney is.

    I feel like a broken record, but this is where the Obama team comes into play. They have to convince people that Willard didn’t believe a word he was saying in the debate, and use examples to illustrate his dishonesty.

    Obama reinforcing the theme in the next debate would certainly help.

  33. 33
    tBone says:

    Results of tonight’s debate:

    Comedy shows will spend the next week making jokes about Big Bird.

    The Obama campaign will spend the next week hammering Romney on his shameless mendacity and flip-flopping.

    Emo-progs will spend the next week wailing and rending their garments over Obama’s lackluster performance and the onrushing DOOOOOOM of the liberal dream.

    Beltway douchenozzles and Andy Sullivan (but I repeat myself) will spend the next week squawking “game-changer, game-changer” in a state of dreamy fap-tastic horseracey bliss.

    And in the end, the needles will barely move, because they never do in relation to debates unless there’s a huge gaffe.

    In summary: this is good news for John McCain!

  34. 34
    TexasMango says:

    @cmorenc: I have no doubt that team O is disappointed by tonight, but one thing that impresses me about them is that they don’t freak out like MSM pundits and people on blogs (myself included sometimes). You play the long game and don’t get stuck in moments. Willard played the short game by lying about everything on national television. Now it’s time for the ads using Mitt’s own recent words to show he is a liar in swing states. If the electorate is still fluid, this shit ain’t over. Not even close. That’s the long game. We’ve got two more debates with settings that benefit Obama, a town hall and foreign policy. That fat chick ain’t sung yet.

  35. 35
    mbss says:

    no need to overreact. democrats don’t go jumping off any bridges just yet.

    here’s how i read it:

    turn off the volume and watch and romney wins on body language and imagery. romney more confident and aggresive. obama looking down seemingly frustrated.

    with the volume on one may ask “why isn’t obama refuting this dubious tap dancing by romney more vorciferously?”

    over at powerline rethugs are spaying fountains of manjuice in celebration of the “alpha male” stompdown of the president.

    forget the superficial first reaction from tonight’s performance. there are more debates. i feel this actually puts biden in a good position to attack for the veep debate, and the president will certainly be prepared for the town hall debate.

    the main problem for romney is that you can’t be all things to all men. yes, this is a slippery fish. an amorphous fog trying to sneak into the white house like humours on a cold night slipping in through the window.

    he’s fucked himself though. either the base is alienated or the centrists or both. or he can split himself into two trying to bring everyone along. he will get called out on his mendacity before it’s all over. the fog will have to manifest into something…something concrete. and then you can kill it.

  36. 36
    Sly says:

    Debate winner: My migraine.

    Romney is a chameleon and Obama is a counter-puncher. Watching those forces fight it out is like watching snakes wrestle; it’s slow, boring, and by the end you really can’t tell who won or lost partially because you stopped caring 10 minutes in to the match. Putting myself into the mindset of a low-information voter, in which I am presented a conflicting set of facts and no desire to determine which is right, I would have changed the channel shortly after the first round ended.

    I suppose Lehrer deserves some credit for keeping it on the issues, because there wasn’t much fluff in the questions, though I was never really impressed with his ability to moderate debates in the past.

  37. 37
    👽 Martin says:

    Biden is going to have fun forcing Ryan to defend what Mitt said tonight, and to explain their tax policy.

  38. 38
    Sly says:


    Emo-progs will spend the next week wailing and rending their garments over Obama’s lackluster performance and the onrushing DOOOOOOM of the liberal dream.

    Went out afterwards and turned to the local talk station in my car, whereupon I heard Mike Malloy committing virtual seppuku over the airwaves.

    Which was incredibly disappointing. Not the seppuku part… the virtual part.

  39. 39
    TexasMango says:

    @jwb: Obama is ahead in every battleground state. If this debate erased all of Romney’s negatives from before, then screw it, he was always going to win. Especially, if according to you there is nothing Obama can do to stop any damage form one debate. This thing is over so I guess I should stop phone bank now. Sorry Team O not giving you that donation.


  40. 40
    Another Halocene Human says:

    So is nobody in even the liberal lamestream(TM) media going to punish Willard for that horrific race-baiting “entitlement” “zinger”?

    I didn’t even hear it in person and it gave me a ragegasm.

  41. 41
    Fuck ALL the chickens! (né Studly Pantload, t.e.u.u.) says:

    Anyone here been to RedState, tonight? They are ecstatic. Romney could have simply quoted the teacher in a Charlie Brown TV show, saying “Wahh-waah wha-wha wha-waaaah,” and so long as it was said with the same energy as tonight, it would still play out like the flick Awakenings among the true believers.

    If the economy were roaring, Obama playing rope-a-dope would have made more sense. But it’s not roaring, people are still in a financial daze, and the undecideds as well as the base want to see the party standard bearer showing more than just glimpses of the fire in the belly or the sack *and* spine of steel, championing their cause.

    Not Chicken Littleing, here. I think Team Chicago will sense the error of last night’s ways, and will adjust accordingly. But I’m not about to kid myself — yes, Romney left the facts in the crate tied to the roof of his Escalade (along with much of his so-called tax plan), but he can still project a mean poker face when holding only a pair of deuces (the resulting loss of the hand chargeable to the American middle class, natch). Voters love a man who’ll swing the punch he has. Obama leaving those of Mitt’s lies lying on the table as he did harken too much to the (gawdawful but in some camps persuasive) Jimmy Carter meme.

  42. 42
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:


    I suppose Lehrer deserves some credit for keeping it on the issues, because there wasn’t much fluff in the questions

    I found it sardonically amusing to hear Jim Lehrer declare that he wanted to bring out the differences between the candidates and then congratulate himself on having succeeded in doing so, while Romney spent most of the evening dancing around in his pretend-Democrat-lite Chicken Suit and Obama engaged in Hamlet-esque dialogs with his own inner Reasonable Republican. If there was ever a debate that did a poorer job of clearly defining the differences, I haven’t heard it. Perhaps Jim Lehrer’s hearing aid failed 5 minutes in and he never heard a word they were saying.

  43. 43
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Sly: I would’ve thought Mike Malloy would be happy to get rid of a DINO like Obama so that the country will wake up and Dennis Kucinich will win in a landslide in 2016

    another subject not mentioned tonight, that I heard, teh Supreme Court. Is that not a domestic issue?

  44. 44
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Sly: Mike Malloy? On-air freakout? Really? Is there a recording somewhere? I have Schadens in need of freuding.

  45. 45
    burnspbesq says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I wouldn’t buy that bucket even if Romney threw in two large sides and a large drink. But you know that from our earlier discussion.

    I assume that someone is spending quality time with the last few quarters’ worth of IRS Statistics of Income Bulletins in order to figure out who gets fucked and how badly, and that there will be some analysis up pronto. Keep an eye on Brookings, Tax Policy Center, and Dan Shaviro’s blog.

  46. 46
    hells littlest angel says:

    When a used car salesman sells a real piece of shit junker, even if it only nets him a $50 commission, I imagine he too considers it a victory.
    Yeah, Romney is happy. He’ll fall asleep tonight (after whatever the fuck they shot him up with wears off) with chants of “Romney Ryan, Romney Ryan” in his head. And he’ll have loads of time for the rest of his life to reminisce over what a great night this was.

  47. 47
    TexasMango says:

    @Sly: I abandoned all of those emoprogs after 2010. I can’t tell you how good it’s been for my sanity. I suggest not watching any cable news or Sunday shows. It will be better for your health.

    The Lefty Doom and Gloom Syndrome combined with the MSM Mitt “comeback” meme is toxic.

  48. 48
    GregB says:

    Some people seem to be forgetting that the mainstream and rightwing media along with the centrist and conservative political establishment sold the Iraq war to America and never suffered for that perfidy.

    They sell a repackaged Romney as sure as the day is long.

    Everyone loves a comeback story, especially the plutocrats.

  49. 49
    tBone says:


    The virtual seppuku on the left and the virtual (?) jizzing on the right have really pissed off the virtual janitors in the BlogoMediaSphere.

  50. 50
    jwb says:

    @TexasMango: Go back and read what I wrote. I have no doubts about Obama winning the election. He maybe lost 1% tonight if that. That’s nothing in the Presidential contest as it stands. What I have doubts about is the Dems taking the House, and Obama’s performance in the debate tonight hurt those prospects (1% is huge there since the control is on a knife’s edge) and I’m not convinced that he can fix that damage with ads. I hope he can. We’ll see.

  51. 51
    TexasMango says:

    @GregB: Exactly. The Romney comeback meme was coming no matter what. Obama was ahead before Mott Romney started with all of his gaffs and 47% comments. The MSM was loathed to report it, but the stories were just too big to ignore. Obama has gotten this far with their help and he will have to win without it.

  52. 52
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @burnspbesq: Yeah, i saw your comment a little later, thanks. I still can’t beileve this hasn’t blown up, seems like a huge deal to my non-wonky self. And Klein tosses off those new numbers, that I didn’t hear and haven’t seen anywhere else, and announces 25 or 50K–just a small difference there– as if it’s no big deal, But Klein is a pretty odd individual.

  53. 53
    Hill Dweller says:

    FWIW, someone on twitter posted a quote from John King saying the voters for CNN’s online flash poll were “slightly more Republican”. The way they pay their trolls to comment on blogs, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Republicans also skewed some flash polls.

  54. 54
    TexasMango says:

    @jwb: Oh, sorry. But I would argue that Obama was going to lose a point or two anyway as time went on. I think he wins 52-48 and take every swing state except maybe NC. And that is still neck and neck. If the map at 538 changes then I will get nervous, but I really think Romney hurt himself with his lies tonight.

  55. 55
    Mnemosyne says:


    Yeah, I don’t see this performance by Romney winning over very many women or minority voters. White men eat it up with a spoon, but the act is much less impressive to everyone else than white men seem to think.

    The main thing that the people I was watching the debate with tonight were concerned about was that Romney said a lot of moderate things, and they’re nervous that low-information voters will take all of that at face value. Obama pushed back, but the lies were coming so fast and furious that he couldn’t keep up with all of them.

    And I suspect that Obama was disengaged from the debate and not interested because he got to spend the day on emergency NATO conference calls instead of getting to spend the day relaxing with his family like Romney did.

  56. 56
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @hells littlest angel:

    after whatever the fuck they shot him [Romney] up with wears off

    I also wondered what he was on.

  57. 57
    NR says:

    The most important moment from tonight’s debate – Obama said that he and Romney are “pretty similar” on Social Security. Absolutely unbelievable coming from a Democratic president.

  58. 58
    TexasMango says:


    White men won’t decide this election, white women will.

    Where the white women at?

  59. 59
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Liberal bloggers live in la la land subsisting off fear and hysteria

    CNN’s poll shows that most of the people viewing the debates are Republicans

    CNN’s poll also shows that support for candidates in a head-to-head race remained unchanged after the debates

    This baroque posturing of “I suck at debates more” should prompt a purge of the entire process

    I am speaking to everyone here of any bent: calm the shit down about the “debates”

    These posts all reek of fear and you wonder why you never get anything you want

  60. 60
    AA+ Bonds says:

    If you think the debates matter, if you got all hopped up bouncing up and down about the debates and what would be the debate moment and would the debaters debate the debatingist, you are so far off track on this country’s political activity you might as well be predicting the election through sheep entrails

  61. 61
    Hill Dweller says:

    I think more than anything, the debates didn’t match up with people’s expectations. Romney did better, while Obama did worse. That is coloring a lot of the commentary. Once the glows wears off, we’re going to be left with Willard reinforcing his reputation as a liar willing to say anything depending on the audience.

    If something leaked out in the next couple of days explaining Obama’s disengagement, that would certainly help put things into perspective.

  62. 62
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Shut your TV the fuck off

  63. 63
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    People don’t have expectations about the debates, they are cupcake frosting for the mainstream media junkie fanbase

    Fuck the debates and fuck both those assholes for participating in them

  64. 64
    Hill Dweller says:

    @NR: Actually, Romney reaffirming his support for medicare vouchers will have more effect on the race.

  65. 65
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Instead of watching the next debate, why not put up the footrest, lean back in the recliner and imagine a grinning David Lynch dropping a brick into his own clenched fist

  66. 66
    👽 Martin says:

    @NR: Really? What has Romney said about Social Security?

    Bush was the one trying to privatize it. We all expect that Republicans want to get back to tat, but I don’t recall Romney saying anything about it. Obama could attack Romney over a position that he might hold, but it would only distract from going after Romney for a position he clearly does hold on Medicare.

  67. 67

    […] –Balloon Juice: Did President Obama stomp on Mitt Romney’s neck like I wanted him to? No. Was President Obama dynamic? No. Does it really matter? NO. […]

  68. 68
    Hill Dweller says:

    GOS has a post up about the CNN snap poll. All 430 people polled where white, over 50, and from the South.

  69. 69
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Romney was hyper and maybe high, all slick and charming. He was aggressive and sometimes rude. He said all the right things.

    But at the end of the show I felt like I’d been lied to.

    If other folks feel that way, too, then Mitt has more problems than he did before the debate.

  70. 70
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Linda Featheringill: I’m seeing a lot of pundits on the twitter machine say that while Willard won the debate, he might have ultimately caused himself more problems with the lying.

    Willard’s tax plan deception is already getting pummeled. The campaign is walking back his pre-existing condition coverage claims.

  71. 71
    TexasMango says:

    @Hill Dweller: What’s happening on twitter will probably be the narrative. Romney “won”, but he was lying the whole time. Que the Team Obama ads in swing states.

  72. 72
    Redshift says:


    turn off the volume and watch and romney wins on body language and imagery. romney more confident and aggresive. obama looking down seemingly frustrated.

    Interesting. Conversely, almost all of it that I caught was on the radio, and the impression there (other than the nonstop lying) was of Mitt constantly interrupting both Lehrer and Obama. Shortly after I first tuned in, Obama was talking and there was this odd ongoing sound, and I realized it was Mitt either trying to interrupt or just muttering his disagreement. It seemed pretty weird.

  73. 73
    max says:

    @Hill Dweller: @Hill Dweller: GOS has a post up about the CNN snap poll. All 430 people polled where white, over 50, and from the South.

    {blink} Uh… incredibly, this appears to be correct! Holy shit!

    CNN story on debate

    Link from CNN story to poll PDF

    Interviews with 430 adult Americans who watched the
    presidential debate conducted by telephone by ORC
    International on October 3, 2012. The margin of sampling
    error for results based on the total sample is plus or minus 4.5
    percentage points. Survey respondents were first interviewed as part of a random national sample on September 28-October 2, 2012. In those
    interviews, respondents indicated they planned to watch
    tonight’s debate and were willing to be re-interviewed after the
    debate. The sample includes 362 interviews among landline
    respondents and 68 interviews among cell phone respondents.

    So far, so enh.

    Question 101 – Regardless of which candidate you happen to support, who do you think did the best job in the debate — Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?

    Obama: [Total]: 25% – 1[8-34]: N/A – [35-49]: N/A – [50-64]: 26% – [65+]: 22% – [Under 50]: N/A – [Over 50]: 24%

    BAHAHAHAHA! They only polled people in ATLANTA! BAHAHAHA! I guess them polls was UNSKEWED!

    “Our CNN/Orc poll found that white people over the age of 50 from Georgia thought that Romney won 67%-25% and we just didn’t poll anybody else.”

    BAHAHAHAHA. Oh, CNN, thou hast assraped the pooch here. And then set it on fire. And then eaten the ashes. And then shit them out again.

    [‘Please to read the whole thing and tell me if I’m wrong.’]

  74. 74
    Redshift says:

    @max: That’s the way I read it. And in addition, none of them self-identified as liberal.

  75. 75
    Cain says:


    And I suspect that Obama was disengaged from the debate and not interested because he got to spend the day on emergency NATO conference calls instead of getting to spend the day relaxing with his family like Romney did.

    I was worried that the timing of the whole Turkey cut into any debate prep hey may have had. Plus, he’s probably pissed that he couldn’t spend the anniversary with his wife and family.

  76. 76
    Randy P says:

    What I say to all of us, and especially to myself, is to meditate on one of those “Chill the F*** out, I got this” posters from 2008. Obama knew it would be a night of lying. He thought this through. And he’s a damn good politician. He’s been giving Romney rope for self-induced hangings for months.

    I don’t know how exactly this is going to turn out to be another disaster for Romney, but if I trust our guy (and I do) it will.

  77. 77
    kd bart says:

    The problem for Mitt is that people have seen the “47 Percent” video and know how he truly thinks and feels.

  78. 78
    Marc says:

    @Randy P:

    What I say to all of us, and especially to myself, is to meditate on one of those “Chill the F*** out, I got this” posters from 2008.

    Which started coming out when the liberal blogosphere was freaking out over the brilliance of McCain’s VP pick.

    CTFO, people.

  79. 79
    rumpole says:

    It is my sincere hope that this was planned. There are a couple of troubling things:

    1. The “bitch slap” theory of politics. Obama did not look interested. He let Romney get away with lying–on easy stuff. Hanging curve after hanging curve sat there–and all he had to use was ROMNEY’S PRIOR STATEMENTS. It’s Romney vs Romney. The guy’s been busting his ass for the last four years and here comes this entitled asshole lying about it. Don’t drop F bombs, but it is OK to fight back. People want to see that (see Kerry, John).

    2. He should have killed him on the wall street stuff. Killed him. EVERYONE hates the banks.

    3. The 47 percent omission was political malpractice.

    4. His campaign has excellent themes. (Bain; lying; radical). His debate performance did not reinforce them.

    Nonetheless, leaving the media to fact-check carries pretty big risks, as every channel I saw addressed only the “style” of the debate (at which time I reached for bourbon), even putting aside CNN’s soon-to-be-infamous entry in the halls of fact check fail “if we take him at his word”. It’s my hope that the first debate involves letting Romney say what he wants, and the next two just killing him on it. (Release the Biden!)

    There is a certain risk for a black president. If he were dismissive of Romney, people would have seen him as arrogant, condescending or god forbid “uppity”. That might lose him people who he needs to win swing states like Pennsyltucky.

    The one ray of hope is that if you watch the debate with the sound off, Obama looks confident, and at times angry. Romney looks like he’s lying and just oozes insincerity; like Joe Izuzu in a better suit.

  80. 80
    LanceThruster says:

    Am I the only one who saw Obama’s smiling when Mitt would spew some horseshit as a plus? It wasn’t Al Gore’s heavy sigh, it was a “what a fvcking clown” response. Yes, I wish the prez had held the head he had just ripped off of Mitten’s shoulders aloft and bellowed some sort of primal war cry, the type that sends birds taking flight from the trees en masse in a blind panic…but maybe that comes later. Or not.

    Keep telling myself (and others) to keep Mitt away from the reins of power as the prez did mention IIRC that he’ll enact the same failed policies that got us in this mess in the first place, Mitt’s blather about creating “jaaaaahhhhbs” notwithstanding.

    It ain’t over till it’s stolen and the SCOTUS blesses the bastard spawn, amirite?

  81. 81
    Jamey says:

    @burnspbesq: Why? Who’s going to call him out on his bullshit? And who, among the “undecided” voters (i.e., people looking for a morally defensible reason to vote the “Blah” man out) is going to seek out a more nuanced explanation for why Rmoney is an asshole–or believe the so-called liberal media’s “spin”?

    This is why I despise the debate format. This is why we can’t have nice things.

  82. 82
    Gindy53 says:

    @TexasMango: We went black and we ain’t goin’ back.

  83. 83
    John Puma says:

    Er … rrr, we knew ONE thing for sure going into the debate: Mitt Romney would lie.

    To the extent his challenger, the incumbent president, did not identify the lies as whatever civil mild synonym he desired to use, to that extent the lies then became the equivalent of the truth.

    This is the essence of a debate. One CHALLENGES what the opponent says.

    WhoEVER could have foreseen Obama acting like a deferential whimp-ass?!?

  84. 84
    Tone In DC says:



  85. 85
    Deb T says:


    Texas Mango – you summed it up beautifully. It is hard to debate someone who lies to your face.

    Plus, regardless of what the media says, I thought I saw some O’Bachmann crazy eyes on Romney. Obama looked tense at times, like he could hardly contain himself as Mitt’s shit rolled over him, but at least he didn’t look hinkey like the Mittster.

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