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Well, they're done and we're starting.

Nate Cohn just before the debate:

When the debate ends and the candidates step off the podium, a chorus of political analysts will begin to battle about whether Romney won and, if so, whether he won by enough to make a difference. But while the pundits will consider who made the best arguments or came out with the best sound bite, it’s the big picture that should really frame assessments of whether Romney wasn’t just good, but good enough. The question is whether Romney can make progress toward fixing his favorability problem.
Harry Enten:
Why we need national polls even when it's swing states that decide the election

You might think we'd only care now about swing state polling, but here are five reasons why national numbers still count

And now to the post-debate debate:

CNN:

While nearly half of debate watchers said the showdown didn't make them more likely to vote for either candidate, 35% said the debate made them more likely to vote for Romney while only 18% said the faceoff made them more likely to vote to re-elect the president.

CBS KN instant reaction poll: Big win for Romney. By 46-22 say think  won, 56% have better opinion of Romney, Romney cares up from 30 to 63
@MysteryPollster via Tweetbot for Mac


The pundits give the win to Romney. Typical example:

Ron Fournier:

Voters expect sitting presidents to win debates and, indeed, polls showed that Obama was heavily favored Wednesday. That benefits a challenger like Romney who grows in stature simply by standing next to the president.
Romney helped himself by looking directly at Obama when he answered questions. Obama looked at moderator Jim Lehrer, which on screen made it appear like he was speaking to the ground.
Romney smiled and cracked jokes (“I like Big Bird!”). Obama smirked.
Romney was a dick, though I thought he did better in the debate.
Not how reality works. RT @sullydish: [Obama] choked. He lost. He may even have lost the election tonight. http://t.co/...
@AndrewRomano via web

The Hill:

Jim Lehrer, the third man on stage at Wednesday's presidential debate, quickly earned his own moment in the Twitter spotlight as viewers interpreted his attitude as one of growing exasperation.

The PBS "NewsHour" host, who has moderated many presidential debates in the past, appeared visibly frustrated while attempting to direct the debate. He sought to interrupt the two candidates several times only to be shut down, often by Mitt Romney rushing to respond to President Obama.

The Fix:
No Bain, no “47 percent”: Inarguably, Obama came into tonight’s debate with more obvious set-piece attacks on Romney.  But, he seemed to be disinterested in using them. He made no mention of either Romney’s “47 percent” comment or Romney’s work with Bain Capital — two demonstrably difficult topics for the former Massachusetts governor.  Our guess is that Obama and his team made the calculated decision not to hit Romney on either matter because a) it wouldn’t look presidential and b) it’s already penetrated deep into the political consciousness of the electorate.  Maybe so. But does it ever hurt to repeat the attacks that have been proven to work against your opponent?
Romney win, but does it matter? That's the real question.
 
Voter persuasion math. It's O 48.7 - R 44.5 with ~6 undecided. http://t.co/... To win, Mitt would need undecideds to break 5-1.
@DrewLinzer via web

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Comment Preferences

  •  The perception of (21+ / 0-)

    Mitt was improved for some small percentage of people.  Hard to see that resulting in significant improvement of numbers.  But I will be intrigued to see if his statements are fact and followed up in the media, because if they are not, it's truly journalistic malpractice of the most dangerous sort.

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:40:31 AM PDT

  •  I don't think it's a good idea (28+ / 0-)

    To play down the debate last night.

    Yes, Romney was full of it.
    Yes, Romney pretty much lied to run out of the clock.
    Yes, Jim Lehrer lost control of the debate.

    But still, Romney won the debate.

    Playing down the win is NOT a good way to win the election.

    The President need to call the BS out when he hears it, and he needs to do it in the next two debates.  Also, if Romney isn't going to play by the rules, I don't see why the President should.

    It's one thing to be polite, but if and when it calls for it, direct and blunt is the best way to go.

    •  Ignoring the reality is a good way to get slammed (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      satrap, Micheline, Joe B, Jerry J, bdop4

      again and again and again.

      The biggest problem is not the Romney BS, though.
      Lots of people will work through that.

      The biggest problem is that Obama is legitimately vulnerable to the accusation that he ignored the problem of unemployment in order to pursue his health care agenda.

      He needs to face that head-on.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:51:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I must respectfully disagree (10+ / 0-)

        There were two BS Romney brought up over and over and over again last night that went completely unchallenged.

        The first one is the old and tired Medicare lie.

        By not calling it out, it's like accepting it to be true, and Romney will keep on repeating it.

        Another one is the idiotic idea of moving programs to the States will magically make something free.  He kept repeating it for everything, and we all know that it's not true.  Moving authority over Heatlth Care to the states will NOT cut the cost down.  Shifting cost of Education to the States will not magically make it paid for.  Making only the States to pay for public broadcasting will not make it free.

        •  Romney BS is not a problem for Obama. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          satrap

          BS can be countered, and, frankly, I'm not sure how much impact those items actually have.  Politicians say a lot of things and we don't much believe them.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:04:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The good thing about the states strategy (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          satrap, raincrow, dinotrac, bdop4

          Is that it would make the superiority of progressive policies noticable in an instant. Let red America take care of itself and see how that goes.

          Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

          by Joe B on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:07:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  States rights is how Jim Crow was able to linger (5+ / 0-)

            until well past the middle of the last century. It's the recipe for more problems for the poor. We've already been through all of that. It's part and parcel with "privatization" as a way for people to shirk their civic responsibility and starve basic services that keep communities alive. We need to take this model of governance and drown it in a bathtub.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:39:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely right, but where was Romney's fake tan? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skohayes, raincrow, One Opinion

          Romney's idea to move programs to the states does not change the taxpayers' burden - it just shifts it from federal income tax to state taxes.  Romney is playing a shell game there.

          On not mentioning Bain and 47%, I think Obama made a strategic decision.  You can bet Romney had a good answer for both points, which would have diminished the power of them in ads.  If Obama had brought them up, then it's an open door for Romney to lay out his talking points.  Obama didn't bring them up, and Romney couldn't, so they are still out there.  Strategically, I think that was a wise move.

          I was disappointed Obama didn't hammer Romney on his tax returns, but maybe the decision was based on the reasoning above.  

          All in all, Obama is the better man, and appeared the better man in the debate.  Romney had that phoney smile all the while Obama was talking, which tells me most of his smiles are phoney.  

          While I'm at it - anybody notice how pale Romney looked?  Talk about a dog whistle - "I'm the white guy here - see how white I am?"  But contrast Romney's appearance with the fake browning he put on for the Omnivision interview, where he was trying to win the Hispanic vote.  Wonder if the media will pick up on that?

          Demand Accountability.

          by stlawrence on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:29:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, but... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bdop4

            Being the better man with better manner and following "the rules" isn't going to help him winning the debates.

          •  Interesting thought on the 47% and on Bain. (0+ / 0-)

            You might be right about that.

            I could definitely see the 47% being used to let Romney talk about his proposals to lower taxes and eliminate "loopholes".

            Bain needs to be handled subtly when going outside of the True Believers, but I think there are some votes to be won reminding people that venture capitalists only have to think about the investors, but Presidents have to think about everybody.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 07:09:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The states already pay for education (0+ / 0-)

          What the heck are you talking about?

          The feds contribute about 10%, mostly for food programs and special services.

      •  How can you tackle unemployment (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dinotrac, One Opinion

        when health care costs drive small business into the ground? 70% of bankruptcies were caused by healthcare costs after insurance companies dropped people when they got too ill.  

        "I don’t know why, but Mitt Romney has gotten this reputation as a guy who can't identify with the common man, no matter how hard he fires them." ---Stephen Colbert

        by Amayupta yo on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:15:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No kidding. I've run smack dab into this myself. (0+ / 0-)

          The big shame of ACA is that it isn't what it is sold to be -- actual health care reform.

          Costs continue to rise.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 07:10:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  but less so than without it (0+ / 0-)

            rule #1 you can't have something for nothing
            rule #2 you can't have cheaper without single payer
            rule # 3 single payer cannot pass

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:34:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is no evidence of that to date. (0+ / 0-)

              Maybe in the future.

              We'll see.

              I know that my crappy high-deductible insurance premium went up by nearly 25% last year.  I can't afford another year of that.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:22:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Well said. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      satrap, yellowdog, MillieNeon, rfhusker

      I'm a little calmer than I was last night, when I felt as if I were watching my kid's future evaporate in front of me. But there's no doubt that it was bad -- really bad. Fl, VA, and NH probably go back into the Romney column after this. Last night didn't lose the election, but team O took a big hit, and can't afford another one like this.

    •  PBO Had a Simple Opening (15+ / 0-)

      He should have simply said, "look, one of your campaign people has said your campaign is going to be like an Etch-A-Sketch.  I think we're seeing that tonight.  The positions you're presenting on this stage are nothing like the positions you've run on for the last 18 months.  And if you're not going to honestly present your positions to the American people then I think it's going to be hard for you to ask them to trust you."  

      No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

      by CrazyHorse on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:57:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dems need to learn to attack (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rhauenstein

      conservatives and to stand up for progressive policies.

      It will not do to ignore reality as so many people here do today. Obamas was terribly weak and has always been weak in standing up for progressive policies and values. Of course, he is a zillion times better than Romney and must win or America is screwed.

      Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

      by Joe B on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:59:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And Obama needs to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tari, raincrow

      get more rest. He looked exhausted.

      Also, he can keep hitting on Bain, outsourcing, the 47%, etc. without looking like a bully.

      I agree, let's not play down the election. Let's learn our lessons and not have to repeat the lessons. And let's call Romney on his blatant BS. Get those fact checking ads out there!

  •  Remember when Mondale won the first debate in 84 (17+ / 0-)

    and became President?

    Yeah, me neither. The first debate can be important, but the later ones tend to overshadow it. What is important is how does the President respond in the second debate.

  •  The debate turned out (18+ / 0-)

    exactly like I feared it would.  I remember Romney's tough-talking, aggressive high-pressure sales strategy full of lies that he tried out during the primaries.  I always feared he would buffalo everyone in the room, POTUS included, and that it would be seen as the "winner" based on the alpha-dog syndrome while telling so many lies as to "break" the fact checkers.

    And that's exactly what he did.  My worst fears came true to a T.  This is the kind of thing that gets us stuck with the George W. Bushes of the world.

    I fault the president for not being ready for that.  It's not as if he never had any clue it was coming.

    ...being a bully was normal, average, status quo behavior for him. And no one remembers an average day.--kos

    by dwayne on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:43:29 AM PDT

  •  Were Any Snap Polls Done Of Sample (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    howarddream, DRo, bdop4

    representing general electorate and not of undecided voters? #1 these people are freaks in electorate where people are dug into both sides. #2 they are generally low info assholes who after living in an era of partisan politics and do not have the mental wherewithal to actually perceive a difference between the sides. They are vulnerable to the bias that the challenger always looks good standing next to the incumbent on level ground. Especially if you don't know what the hell they are talking about.

  •  CNN focus group was 100% White Southerner (6+ / 0-)

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:43:36 AM PDT

  •  next debate town hall (9+ / 0-)

    Romney can study for a one on one debate but he can't practice connecting with people. If Obama can't win the next one this may be a tough re-election.
    I found Romney to be hyper and irritating but that's just me.

    •  when is the next debate? 2 more to go... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell

      cause two out of three ain't bad

      "You can't think and surf at the same time" Yogi Surfdog

      by surfdog on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:46:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I thought Romney got irritating (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Desert Rose, skohayes

      and he did- but one thing I noticed which hasn't yet been discussed much is that he got less effective later in the debate but was really good early.  That has an effect on people's perceptions.

      It's just weird to see Obama looking sort of meh....

      From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

      by satrap on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:48:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's what I thought as well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Maverick80229

        Romney was getting rattled later on in the debate, as Obama hammered him about the $5 trillion tax cut.
        The lies were coming thick and fast at that point.
        I think the fact checking that will come out today might have some impact.

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:00:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Trust me the town hall attendees will be filled (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PorridgeGun

      with GOP supporters. So don't count on the format helping Obama. He needs to bring his A game on.

      Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives. John Stuart Mill

      by Micheline on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:53:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  President Obama does well (0+ / 0-)

      when connecting with people, so I expect a better performance on the Town Hall debate.  A win?  A tie?  Doesn't matter, it won't be a Romney win.

      Romney can't seem to talk to the Common Folk without insulting them.

      (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

      by Lonely Liberal in PA on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:08:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lehrer (9+ / 0-)

    Jim Lehrer is biggest loser in Denver debate

    By Dan Gainor, October 03, 2012

    An opinion piece at FoxNews.com. More at link.

    [I don't spend time at FoxNews, but the article title came up in Google News and caught my eye.]

    The only consolation President Barack Obama had for his poor showing during Wednesday’s debate was that moderator Jim Lehrer did even worse. Lehrer, executive editor of “PBS Newshour,” showed little ability to control the give-and-take and keep candidates to time. He even had to handle a direct attack on PBS funding.

    Former New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller summed up the Lehrer criticism, giving him a D grade and calling him “road kill” in his Twitter analysis of the debate.

    The 78-year-old Lehrer has had a storied journalism career dating to the 1950s, and this was his twelfth time as presidential debate moderator. But he only lasted into the second round of questions before he started losing control. Lehrer asked GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney if he had “a question you’d like to ask the president directly?” Romney’s two-minute answer lasted three minutes and never addressed the question at all.
    ...

    Just Win, Baby. -- Al Rodgers, Feb. 24, 2012

    by OLinda on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:45:41 AM PDT

    •  A lot of criticism of Lehrer, but Obama had 4 MORE (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      geez53, Joe B, Greg Dworkin

      minutes than Romney.

      A serious question:

      How much can Lehrer step up with seeming like a mommy trying to protect her son from the big bad bully?

      How Presidential will her son seem?

      Like it or not, it was Obama's job to protect Obama.  The moderator's primary job is to make sure everybody gets a fair chance to speak, and Obama actually took more time than Romney.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:54:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It seemed like Romney had a lot more time (6+ / 0-)

        I think Obama got bits and pieces of time here and there, whereas Romney got longer chunks of time to filibuster and ramble on about god knows what so it seemed like Romney had more time. In the end, I guess that added up to more time for Obama but it sure didn't seem like it.

        "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

        by yg17 on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:25:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Probably because Romney used it better -- (0+ / 0-)

          He had the time to say what he needed while Obama couldn't or wouldn't say what he needed regardless of time.

          This was a very bad outing for the President.  Kind of like Reagan's dazed and befuddled performance against Walter Mondale in the first 1984 debate.

          I believe he won the election.
          By a bit.

          Obama needs to come back and seem like the President of the United States, but this was just one lost battle, not the war.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:35:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Obama had a much poorer delivery (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dinotrac

            He took waaay too long to make points (looking down while going, "aaaaand... I think..." is not going to help), plus I was surprised that he was so obviously having a hard time connecting thoughts with a verbal response.

            Both did run over their time limits continuously, but Mittens put it to the best effect. And I think Jim Lehrer is getting a little too much flak. I think he was Ok with them going over because he wanted as much back and forth as possible, hoping it would draw them away from prepared talking points. Unfortunately Mittens was better prepared for those exchanges.

            But I did like how Obama would occasionally look straight at the camera. I thought he landed some good punches at those moments, at the risk of being pedantic.

      •  Exactly right. (0+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:
        TomP

        Lehrer even helped Obama answer a question at one point.

    •  Loser or punching bag? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OLinda, Desert Rose

      R's love to see the "liberal press" take it on the chin.
      Jim Lehrer should have known anyone from PBS was going to be an easy and valued target. He wasn't any better prepared for the cage fight than that other guy on camera who kept looking down at the podium.

      He should have prepped by having Trump on the News Hour. ;}

  •  Thanks for the roundup, Greg! (12+ / 0-)

    Of course the pundits are going to say Rombot won.  He was rude, aggressive, and pushy. His whole attitude seemed to be that of a kid at his own birthday party--"Me, me, me!"

    It's regrettable that the president didn't show more "vigah," as JFK would have put it, but anyone listening closely could tell Rombot was lying.  I almost fell out of my chair when he said under regular insurance plans children could stay on their parents' plans until age 26.  He lies!

    Also, he just seemed to keep saying the same thing over and over, not answering the questions at all.

    Jim Lehrer was as useless as tits on a boar, as a friend of mine used to say. For this they skipped over qualified women moderators?  Duhhh....

    Altogether, the debate was an epic FAILURE as far as I'm concerned.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:45:46 AM PDT

    •  How about the one (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow, kefauver

      where Romney was going to offer two FREE health care plans for people under 55?
      One would be Medicare and the other would be private insurers and it would all be paid for.
      Riiight.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:03:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting week ahead (5+ / 0-)

    Romney will have to do a lot of explaining this week. i think the thrill of last night will quickly dissapate.

    •  I worry about the jobs numbers coming out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike

      tomorrow.

      •  ADC has private payroll at +162K (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LauraC, wishingwell, LordMike, skohayes, bdop4

        similar enough to last month.

        Employment in the U.S. nonfarm private business sector increased by 162,000 from August to September, on a seasonally adjusted basis. The estimated gains in previous months were revised lower: the July increase was reduced by 17,000 to an increase of 156,000, while the August increase was reduced by 12,000 to an increase of 189,000. Employment in the private, service-providing sector expanded 144,000 in September, down from 175,000 in August. Employment in the private, goods-producing sector added 18,000 jobs in September. Manufacturing employment rose 4,000, while construction employment rose 10,000, the strongest since March when mild winter weather was boosting construction activity. The financial services sector added 7,000 jobs in September, marking the fourteenth consecutive monthly gain.
        http://www.adpemploymentreport.com/

        Not likely to have an impact either way.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:08:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I missed the beginning, but when I tuned in I (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Maverick80229

      thought it was kindof 'blah'.  Romney didn't commit any outright gaffes and Obama seemed to explanatory/apologetic.  What I did notice was Romney basically admitted he does not have a tax plan and will make it up as he goes along in a bipartisany way.  He was whipping ideas out of his a&& such as increasing deductibles to offset closing loopholes etc. etc..  Not what you do when you have a real plan.  That seemed to be his strategy - "I'm a great guy, we'll make it work".  It is almost like he ran on "hope and change" cross-bread with Bush fantasies.

      and their contempt for the Latin schools was applauded by Theodoric himself, who gratified their prejudices, or his own, by declaring that the child who had trembled at a rod would never dare to look upon a sword.

      by ban48 on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:58:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  His plan going forward seems to be to let Obama (4+ / 0-)

        define his tax plan and then say "that's not my plan" without explaining how his plan is different from what the president says.

        •  Obama's response needs to be: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bdop4

          It is nice to see my opponent running on Hope & Change, unfortunately he appears to be Hoping that if we Change back to the Bush policies, it will not end in financial calamity again....

          and their contempt for the Latin schools was applauded by Theodoric himself, who gratified their prejudices, or his own, by declaring that the child who had trembled at a rod would never dare to look upon a sword.

          by ban48 on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:54:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I think the thing that we need to get off (8+ / 0-)

    of our chests, us worriers, is understanding why it went down the way it did last night.  Romney was in no way superhuman, but he was pretty good.  If I wasn't totally in the tank for O, I would have thought Romney was OK.  The Pres is brilliant and his strategy was wrong: He should have been on the attack..

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:46:56 AM PDT

    •  The explanation is simple (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Desert Rose, satrap, bdop4

      We need a bold progressive warrior with cajones and the ability to speak truth to power. Kerry wasn't one, Obama has never been one.

      Still, of course we must re-elect Obama. The alternative is 4 years of hell.

      Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

      by Joe B on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:01:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excuse me (4+ / 0-)

        If Obama came across as a warrior he'd be labeled as an angry black man. Y'all know this!

        Hell, I deal with that every day as a black woman. We know we can only go so far in mixed company. So we keep things on the low until we're around people who look like us.

        Ugh!

      •  We'd never get a (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raincrow, askew

        "bold, progressive warrior" elected president.
        Elizabeth Warren is pretty bold and progressive, and running in Massachusetts, and barely winning the race.
        What you want, and want the country wants are two different things- let's acknowledge that fact.

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:06:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Romney made the one argument that can sink (0+ / 0-)

    Obama, and the President will have to respond forcefully.

    **Disclaimer**
    I'm very biased.  It's an argument I've been making right here for the last three years.  I HAVE to believe it's big!

    It's simply this --

    Though he got the numbers wrong (23 million unemployed as opposed to 27 million un and under employed), he got the attack right:

    The administration ignored the suffering of millions in order to pursue its agenda.

    The President can best address that argument with a bit of Harry Truman and a bit of Ronald Reagan.

    Harry Truman --

    I can't ask you to be patient when our family is suffering.  It's ok to be mad at me every single day you're out of work.  I understand that.  I'm the President, and you are my job.

    Ronald Reagan -

    I've got the same problem Ronald Reagan did when he came into office: a huge economy doesn't turn on a dime.  President Reagan also saw unemployment go up more than 2 points before things got better.

    And things ARE getting better, even while China's economy is stalling and they are rioting on the streets of Greece and Spain.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:47:55 AM PDT

    •  I want to agree with you on the jobs thing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      salmo, dinotrac, One Opinion

      but so much of it is hindsight.  They thought the economy was healing, that ACA would help economically, and that it would be more popular, etc.  It wasn't the ACA that shoved jobs out of the way, it was the way Rs used it to pulverize us in 2010 and then obstruct any work on unemployment.

      From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

      by satrap on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:51:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not at all hindsight. Ask Greg how long I've been (0+ / 0-)

        droning on with that same argument.

        Better proof?

        Go back three years and look for reference to focusing on jobs like a laser.

        Whether or not it's fair to blame ACA, the administration gave the definite impression -- especially to those of us who were out of work and starting to wonder if we'd ever be employed again -- that jobs were not very high on its radar.

        One problem -- you can't put a new bill on the plate every day, but the unemployed have to face the realities of their situation each and every day.  Some Clinton-like "I feel your pain" might have gone a long way.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:02:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  excellent points (8+ / 0-)

      Obama was not sharp, but I don't know that this changes the dynamic all that much.

      Obama goes from 80% to win to 70% to win.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:10:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Depends on what he does now. (0+ / 0-)

        I remember John Kerry stomping all over Bush in the first 2004 debate, only to look stiff and repetitive by the last one.

        Romney might even have made a strategic error with his best point -- the one on unemployment.  Obama now has two debates and time to turn that around.

        Whatever the case -- the ball's in the President's court, and he needs to start looking Presidential.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:16:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Romney aped Eastwood's lie (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kefauver

      For the record, we do NOT have 23 million unemployed people. The number is somewhere between 12 and 15 million. Underemployed is a related matter, but Romney did NOT invoke "underemployment." He flat out lied, parrotting Clint Eastwood.

      !! Four more years !!

      by raincrow on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:22:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you're going to call lie, you need to (0+ / 0-)

        understand the word.

        AND -- 12 to 15 million unemployed is also incorrect.

        Those are the numbers based on official unemployment plus "marginally attached" to the labor force, which includes the discouraged workers.

        Those numbers do not include people who have not looked for work in the last year.  How many people are excluded?  Beats the crap out of me, but long-term unemployment is at all-time high levels, so I'm sure it's growing daily.

        If Romney meant to include all unemployed and underemployed workers, his number was actually too low.  The right number is more like 27 million people, and he really needs to sit down with Meteor Blades to learn a little bit more about the problem.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 07:20:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Romney did not say "underemployed" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          One Opinion, kefauver

          and neither did Clint Eastwood. I'm using the numbers and analysis from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Are you claiming to have better numbers than BLS?

          I understand you have a bone to pick with Obama on this issue, but there is a clear distinction between "unemployed" and "underemployed." And neither Romney nor Eastwood invoked "underemployment"; they clearly said "unemployed."

          You can try to spin this any way you like, but there are NOT 23 -- or 27 -- million unemployed people in the U.S. right now according to any reliable measurement I can find. And while it may exist, I have not yet found a careful pre-Obama study of underemployment that would help us distinguish the underemployment caused by Obama's policies (or lack thereof) and that which existed before Jan 2009.

          Why weasel this around so as to hand Romney a debating score on this issue?

          !! Four more years !!

          by raincrow on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 07:54:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I suggest you follow the things that Meteor Blades (0+ / 0-)

            has written on the subject.

            If you will read the definitions used by the BLS, you will see that they exclude a growing group of people.

            You can feel free to worry about debating points all you want.

            Let me ask you this:

            Does the President really want to get into this discussion?

            Does he really want Mitt Romney standing before the nation to explain how the people most hurt by the current economy aren't even included in the official numbers?

            Does he really want Mitt Romney standing in front of the country and saying, "Yes, Mr. President, from a technical, standpoint, I got that wrong.  

            Did you know that somebody who work 6 hours in a week is considered to be under-employed, but not unemployed?

            My fellow Americans, your President my think that 6 hours a week is enough work for you.  I don't.  If you want to work full-time, then I won't be happy until you can work full-time."

            Doesn't sound so smart to me.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:18:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You're right about underemployment... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            YucatanMan

            ...THAT figure, meaning people who are working part-time for economic reasons (furloughs or otherwise unable to get a full-time job although they WANT one) is currently 8 million.

            But unemployment also includes a group of people uncounted because they have dropped out of the labor force but are characterized as wanting a job by the BLS. That group, at last count of the BLS's Current Population Survey, was 6.9 million.

            Thus, the total unemployed is 19.4 million (seasonally adjusted). Add in the 8 million underemployed and you get 27.4 million. But you are absolutely right that Team Romney is trying to say that the total number is higher than it is.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:33:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Romney was like a manure spreader. (5+ / 0-)

    And in the eyes of the Punditocracy he "won." But I don't think it changed anybody's mind about anything. Half the time I couldn't tell what his point was, e.g. 50% of the workers are employed 3% of the employers, or if there were one.

    OTOH even the twitter feed did a better job than obama in refuting the bs: $716 billion, etc.

    I'm gonna make a donation to NPR today in the hope that it lessens the burdens on Big Bird, whom I like. I also like Oscar the Grouch. OTG needs to make room in his garbage can for Big Bird and the Social Net if Rmoney wins.

    Please read and enjoy my novella, Tulum, available in soft cover and eBook formats.

    by davidseth on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:48:39 AM PDT

  •  A few debate cartoons (9+ / 0-)

    Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

    David Horsey, Los Angeles Times

    Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
    Gary Varvel, Indianapolis Star

    Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
    Gustavo Rodriguez, El Nuevo Herald

  •  Delusion is thick this morning. (13+ / 0-)

    Forget parsing the CNN poll.

    I did a poll of my house: 100% liberal northeast democrats. Romney won the debat 100-0. (actually, more like 110-0).

    Did it change my vote? NO. But if it did, then Obama would lose 69-30. It definitely changed the race, and I expect by a large margin. Romney made the case: things are bad, it's his fault and I can do better. He didn't say how, but Obama didn't question that. He didn't even really defend himself. One more debate like that and Malia and Sasha will vote for Mitt.

    The frustration is that we've all worked so hard, endured so much and see so clearly what an unmitigated disaster returning the GOP to power would be, but one man decided -- for whatever reason last night -- not to stop it. Superman stayed home, and Clark Kent got his ass kicked. Bad. God help us all....

    To conservatives, liberals are stupid. To Liberals, conservatives are insane. So..."Bipartisanship" is what happens when a lunatic and a moron find common ground.

    by PBJ Diddy on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:48:57 AM PDT

    •  I don't see it (6+ / 0-)

      Instapolls are basically crap.  I think alot of supporters expected Obama to punch more and are disappointed.  I gotta think he had a reason not to do that.  When you consider this as a policy debate can you really say that Romney won?

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

      by noofsh on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:53:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, but Romney looked good (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joe B

        enough.  One thing that is inexplicably true is that Romney was more directly addressing Obama and Obama was looking generally down.  That's the type of thing that people notice and reward Mitt for doing.........

        From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

        by satrap on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:58:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's hard to punch back (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        satrap

        when you're getting stabbed and then trying to collect the blood in a pile with your hands and put it back in the wound.

        It looked to me like Obama was tired of being president. Let's talk again Monday when the actual polls register the six point (or more) bump for Romney. I imagine the delusion will ebb around here -- and hopefully at the white house as well.

        To conservatives, liberals are stupid. To Liberals, conservatives are insane. So..."Bipartisanship" is what happens when a lunatic and a moron find common ground.

        by PBJ Diddy on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:03:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  IV Saline STAT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paleo

      You lost a lot of fluid last night.

    •  It's not a new problem for Dems (0+ / 0-)

      Kerry was mealy mouthed and so is Obama.

      Where is the progressive warrior that we need?

      Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

      by Joe B on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:04:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think she's in Europe or Asia right now. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike, zinger99

        Hopefully she'll give me a second chance to vote for her in 2016.

        I can't believe our election is being decided by people who can't tell the difference between republicans and democrats...that's like letting a dog choose what color to paint your house.

        by PBJ Diddy on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:08:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Joe (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes, TLS66

        You've littered these boards the last two days with criticism for Obama and Democrats. Maybe you should join the goopers, or something. What are you doing to improve the problems you see?

        Are you the warrior? If so, get to fighting. Let me know how that works for ya.

      •  She's in Massachusetts (0+ / 0-)

        and is barely winning against a mealy mouthed Republican. If you can't get a "progressive warrior" elected in the bluest state in the country, what does that say about "bold progressives"?
        Let's not conflate what you want and what "we" want.

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:11:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  debates really don't have a big effect (eom) (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, Oothoon, skohayes, askew
    •  Oh please (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, skohayes, askew

      Yes, Romney won the debate.  BFD.  Maybe you vote based on the better debater, but it's fair to say that at 99% of the electorate does not.

      One of the recent national polls said 95% had made up their minds.  

      “The country tried everything Romney says, and it brought the economy to the brink of collapse”

      by Paleo on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:08:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  romney definitely won the debate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      satrap, wishingwell

      see the last graphic as to what the money says (Predictwise) before declaring the race has changed.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:11:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He did win. It's actuallly (0+ / 0-)

        cathartic to admit it.  The thing is, Mitt DOES look plausibly Presidential to people.  That alone, I think, is why it was a mistake for Obama not to be offensive.   If Mitt could have been taken off of his game it would have short-circuited the entire Romney campaign.  As it stands, it's energized....

        From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

        by satrap on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:14:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  standard debate effect from challengers (0+ / 0-)

          no one gets this far by being Herman Caine or Donald Trump.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:36:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  My household and my friends saw Mitt as a bully (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, annieli

      and overly aggressive and rude. So to each his own viewpoint, I suppose.

      And that CNN poll is slanted, most of the respondents were over 50 and from the south and all white.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:16:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Romney should have been (0+ / 0-)

      rebutted and never was! Rebuttal is an art and a skill and the people deserve a president who rebuts lies and distortions!!

      Recession?  Mitt, a recession is negative growth, but we have been in positive growth for years now.  Its slow growth, but it is growth and therefore not a recession.  

      The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

      by not2plato on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 07:22:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Two men enter.......One comes out.......No more (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, salmo, mdmslle, Maverick80229

    Mr Nice Guy Mr President.

  •  The moderator matters. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, belle1, One Opinion

    Mitt Roney "won, " because  Jim Lehrer did not contain him.

    Remember, you can't have crazy without az.

    by Desert Rose on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:49:05 AM PDT

  •  Well, my local paper (11+ / 0-)

    in a red state laid out debate truthiness and determined that Romney failed on facts and changed his positions. The comment section disses him for being a bully and the usual right wing posters discussed President Obama's make up and called him Barry. I would say it's a draw.

    •  Yes, I think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KJB Oregon

      the fact checking will come out today and hammer Mitt relentlessly.
      The right was desperate for a win, and so we should let them have it. This time.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:13:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mitt's Secret Plan to Make the Math Work (0+ / 0-)

    "Are you telling me, not only do you have a secret plan to make the math work, but now you don't support it?"

    http://cheezburger.com/...

    sp

  •  Hmm. (16+ / 0-)

    That was an interesting debate. I've been replaying it in my head all night and I've got the sense that I saw something important in there - historically important - that the pundits totally missed.  You can see at the start when Obama went off the tracks.  He was totally caught off guard by the fact the Mitt Romney - cheerfully, agressively, and unashamedly - denied huge chunks of his own platform.  He did it with a straight face the whole night, knowing full well the fact checkers would nail him on it the next day.  We've seen this coming for a long time and the Romney campaign is the culmination - it's the fulfillment of the idea that the "media is the message."  It doesn't matter what Romney really believes, it only matters that he says what he needs to say at the exact moment he's saying to accomplish his ends.  And then he can just leave it up to the chattering classes - and the voters - to argue over the true nature of reality.  Don't believe me?  Pfft.  Huge numbers of Americans don't believe in evolution or global warming.  True facts.  So to muddle political facts, in this day and age, with the media at your disposal, is child's play.  We on the Left have got to understand this.  We're facing a "reality gap" - and we've got to understand that we're no longer going to get a political debate on the merits of truth.

    No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

    by CrazyHorse on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:55:08 AM PDT

    •  Wait til you get a load of Ryan.....Fight the (3+ / 0-)

      bullshit Joe.

    •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, CrazyHorse

      I was stunned the day after Paul Ryan's speech when the headlines screamed "Liar!" - I could not believe the media actually called him out. I don't see that happening this morning. Mitt brought his stump speech lies to the debate and President Obama let him get away with repeating them. It doesn't really matter what comes out of Mitt's mouth, if he is perceived as being tough and standing up to the President, he wins.

    •  What makes you think you're the only person (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow

      who has gotten this?

    •  Historically important? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Maverick80229, belle1

      That one of the people in the debate lied their ass off?
      That happens at every debate- look at Palin and Biden, Warren's debate with Scott Brown the other night, Eric Cantor and Jim Graves.
      You sound as if you're advocating winning by lying?

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:16:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No. (0+ / 0-)

        This time it was different.  There is a major difference between lying your ass off and standing up there and literally acting like a new man - as if NOTHING you've said or done even exists, much less matters.  That's pathological.  That's why it threw Obama for a loop.  It's a case of the only reality that matters being the reality that exists on that stage for that 90 minutes in an attempt to capture a piece of the audience and shift a few votes.  

        It matters, because we have no friggin' clue what he'd do as president.  None.  It was confusing before - not it's even muddier.  We're only guessing.  

        No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

        by CrazyHorse on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:55:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  We need to suck it up (6+ / 0-)

    Not everything is going to be 1 victory after another. Did anyone really think we were going to win round after round? Let's say he was tired: are we going to allow world War 3 to happen by seeing the other guys take the office? He's doing all the hard work. It's time to step up.

    For those of you who prefer Bartlett to Obama, re-watch the West Wing. For those who prefer Clinton, re-watch old news videos.

    by Ptolemy on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:57:21 AM PDT

  •  I now remember (5+ / 0-)

    why Romney won the nomination.  The debate was pretty one sided.

    I would not underestimate the impact here.  The race in 2000 was remade by the first debate, and to some degree so was the race in 2004.  The first debate in '92 mattered a great deal (though primarily because it included Perot). There are too many myths about the '80 debate to recount briefly

    Obama needs a stronger debate performance next time. There the anology may be to '84, where a better Reagan performance in the second debate essentially ended the election.

    In the end though, the R squared of Obama's number in state polling and his job approval rating is over .90. This election is still about Obama, not Romney.

    My guess is that this solidifies Romney among Republicans, and may increase the undecided among independents (this is what happened in '04 and '00).

    I would guess this is a 1 to 2 point race in national polls.  But the state polls show a larger Obama lead (about 4.5) and I wonder if that lead moves much.  I would watch Florida (does he take the lead) in particular.  Obama has always had a solid lead, but it has always been more tenative than most here would like to believe.  

    The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

    by fladem on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:57:48 AM PDT

    •  don't know what 'tentative' means (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell

      a tie debate (which it wasn't) would have meant the election was over (it's not).

      But as Nate Silver likes to say, put some numbers on it (as you do).

      Betting and prediction markets go from 80 to 70 and might even drop to 65. But Obama as of this writing remains the favorite.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:25:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think as this is fact checked (8+ / 0-)

    The "aggressive win" narrative will fade AND alot of people (pundits included) will start asking questions about exactly what Romney said (and refused to say).  I thought the President stuck to his story line.  

    So you can get nuts that the President was low energy, not aggressive enough, should have hit back more but I think ultimately it isn't going to matter much.  I expect that in the next debate you'll see alot more hitting back because the President can't let the narrative set in that Romney is more energetic about winning than himself.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:58:17 AM PDT

  •  Impressions from the Debate (5+ / 0-)

    Governor Romney:  misdirected/undirected passion; too vague on the necessary details; rude to the President and the moderator; seemed inconsistent on what he was for and against, and his plan for the future.

    President Obama:  seemed distant, but thought about his answers before speaking; more courteous to the moderator than Romney; prepared with details, but seemed to hold back on delivering a 'knock-out' punch.

    I believe Romney was scrambling to maintain his supporters and to try to score points (his zingers fell flat), while the President stayed calm and presidential and let Romney begin hanging himself with his own rope.

    Romney gained a little; President Obama held his own; and I'm looking forward to the next three debates.

    "We don't have village idiots any more; we have Republicans." - Positronicus

    by Maverick80229 on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:59:04 AM PDT

    •  "President Obama held his own;" (1+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Maverick80229
      Hidden by:
      TomP

      You honestly believe this?

      •  Yes. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        howarddream

        It was the first debate out of three, and as the incumbent, the President needed to see what Mitt Romney had in his corner.  

        I saw a man who was patient, tolerant, and willing to let Mitt Romney have his say.  I also noticed that President Obama's eye contact with the moderator seemed to be saying, "I understand...I'm following the rules...mostly!" :-)

        It was a 'rope-a-dope' strategy for the Obama campaign, but I definitely wanted the President to come down harder on Romney's (mis-)statements.  I hope he (President Obama) does this in the next two debates.

        Does the President need to be more assertive?  Yes, but he needs to tread that line between 'assertive' and 'aggressive' so as to not turn off perhaps turning off some of the independent voters.

        "We don't have village idiots any more; we have Republicans." - Positronicus

        by Maverick80229 on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 07:28:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Troll (0+ / 0-)

        Check Hidden Comments

        I'm glad Barack Obama is our President.

        by TomP on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 07:09:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  just heard the npr distillation, 7:30am headlines (12+ / 0-)

    They played a back and forth on the 5 trillion dollar tax cut / no it's not with a followup that independent analysts say Romney's math is impossible, then said Romney had a strong night and followed it up with a woman who said Romney scared her..

    Game changer? Nah. Political junkies will chase their tail on this and it will impact low information voters only marginally.

    Gotta wonder how Mitt's PBS jab affected the public radio headline.

    Kind of a dick move to tell the moderator he was going to cut his job, all the while talking over him and making him look completely ineffectual.

    He who throws mud only loses ground -- Fat Albert

    by c0wfunk on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:00:09 AM PDT

    •  ABC news radio headline a lot more pro romney (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell

      per usual - using phrases like "obama limps out" and quoting people who say the race will tighten. The predicted narrative.

      He who throws mud only loses ground -- Fat Albert

      by c0wfunk on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:02:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd cut Lehrer's job after last night. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike

      Useless piece of shite.

      Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

      by Bush Bites on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:12:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heard a lot of this, this morning (0+ / 0-)

        Not sure, beyond cutting the mic, what you do in that situation. Mitt was going to be a dominating dick, regardless of how many times he tried to cut him off. Obama was going to ramble on as he does.

        I echo the sentiments of teacherken in that I actually prefer the open argument format that resulted... Lehrer could have been more forceful, but would the content of either man's comments changed with more pointed questions or followups? I have a hard time believing that.

        For me, I saw a guy who was winning being reserved and a guy that was losing looking like an unhinged dick, per usual. The thing is, our culture embraces the unhinged dick persona in so many different ways that this comes off as a win.

        Still we got 0 specifics, even when asked specifically once again.

        One thing I'll say is maybe I've been paying too much attention to caricature-mitt because he came off as much more human than I expected!

        He who throws mud only loses ground -- Fat Albert

        by c0wfunk on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:37:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Feels like the low point of the Obama campaign (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap, hulibow, belle1

    this morning. Hopefully anyway. Don't want to get any lower than this.

  •  My thoughts exactly (5+ / 0-)
    The Rude Pundit ‏@rudepundit

    Sorry, but at this point, all I can think if you're undecided is "What the fuck is wrong with you?"

    White-collar conservatives flashing down the street, pointing their plastic finger at me..

    by BOHICA on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:00:37 AM PDT

  •  Not so fast ... (11+ / 0-)

    1)  The debate was on the economy and the harsh reality is that there is a lot to criticize about the current economic situation. A knock-down fight over the economy is potentially damaging for Obama. Obama was right in not getting into that fight. He would have appeared defensive, and would have made comments that are open to misinterpretation that would have been repeated on news reports and in attack ads. He played it safe, which was the right decision.
    2)  As for Bain and 47% - Romney surely had a response ready for these, and Obama was right in not giving him an opportunity to defend them. Romney had some zingers available, and he wasn't able to use them. Those responses would have dominated the airways, potentially reducing the effectiveness of Obama's advertising attacks on Bain and 47%.
    3) Bain and 47%, as well as other issues way more favorable to Obama (gay rights, aborton, immigration, environment) will come up in the town hall debate, where it will be regular people asking these questions of Romney.  It will be extremely difficult for Romney to defend his statements on these issues in front of regular people. He also won't be allowed to be as consistently aggressive when he is being asked questions by regular Americans.  
    4)  Romney was able to veer from conservative orthodoxy on economic issues and able to get away with it last night - still, there is plenty of fodder for attack ads in some of his comments.  In the town-hall debate, he will have to go back to 'severely conservative' or run the risk of losing any gains he made with the evangelicals. But 'severely conservative' on social issues is not going to work with independents.

  •  the president is a very competitive man. (5+ / 0-)

    He doesn't like to lose and I don't expect that he will the next time.

    Re-elect Barack Obama and elect Elizabeth Warren "Mitt Romney...utterly devoid of charm and mildly offensive."

    by al23 on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:04:11 AM PDT

  •  Well, at least we now know what "zingers" are (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    geez53, Bush Bites, SueDe, skohayes

    ...outright, baldfaced, energetic lies.  

    Romney beat Obama by pretending to be Obama.  That put the President in the position of having to refute his own positions.  

    A diabolical strategy, and Romney was the perfect person to pull such a thing off.

  •  The CNN poll was all white, southern, 50+ voters (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PorridgeGun, wishingwell, raincrow

    Seriously.

    Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

    by Bush Bites on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:05:26 AM PDT

  •  Not a good job by Obama last night, sure hope (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, Danali, satrap, raincrow

    he is on his game in the next debate and remembers the all important 47%. Still shaking my head.

    "A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." Edward R. Murrow

    by temptxan on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:05:31 AM PDT

  •  Comment from my daughter's friend on Facebook (4+ / 0-)

    "Every time Mitt mentions how good Massachusetts is because of him a small part of my soul dies."

    The President should have a sit down with Deval Patrick and go over the myriad of lies.

    Another couple of places Obama could have come out ahead:

    When Mitt talked about his tax plan for middle class voters:  Prime time to bring up the Etch-a-Sketch.  Total Etch-a-Sketch moment.

    When Mitt talks about switching health plans whenever you are not happy with the one you have, I really really wish Obama would have talked about how unrealistic that is for the average American.  

    I could go on.  Obama was asleep at the wheel during this debate.  

    I'm guessing next time that won't be the case.

  •  Classical Democratic mistakes (7+ / 0-)

    - Being passive instead of aggressive
    - Not attacking
    - Not standing up for progressive values
    - Being professorial
    - Caring about content and facts more than image

    It goes back to Dukakis.

    Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

    by Joe B on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:06:13 AM PDT

    •  Further. Stevenson, 1952 (0+ / 0-)

      "Gov. Stevenson...they say all thinking people are voting for you!"

      "It's not enough -- I need a majority."

      He didn't get it.

      I can't believe our election is being decided by people who can't tell the difference between republicans and democrats...that's like letting a dog choose what color to paint your house.

      by PBJ Diddy on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:21:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Romney has been closing the gap in the Rand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap

    Panel chart for a week.  Continued Obama weakness will be interpreted as a big win for Romney in the debate, but the trend was already underway. Another week of the same and the 3 to 4 point margin he has presently will be a 1 to 2 point margin and the election will be a toss-up.  Obama appeared listless last night.  He needs to get off his butt shake off the growing perception that he is disinterested in the campaign.

    Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

    by ratcityreprobate on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:07:50 AM PDT

    •  interestingly, the "who will win" (5+ / 0-)

      from RAND has not changed.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:21:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cherry picking charts? Not the chart on your (0+ / 0-)

        Diary.

        Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

        by ratcityreprobate on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:06:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  what's cherry picked? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ratcityreprobate

          why would i need to repeat the chart in my diary? it's in the original post.

          This is offered as a different chart and a different data point.

          As it happens, if you were not aware, the "who will win" metric is extremely helpful in October, and well worth following.

          According to Gallup, Americans are fairly accurate in predicting elections before they actually head to the voting booth.
          Like all polls, it is worth seeing what happens next week as the post-debate polls come in.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 11:33:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, I agree with you, it is just that it stomach (0+ / 0-)

            churning time.  Latest SUSA poll here in Seattle this week has Obama up by 20 in Washington.  Those are the polls that settle my stomach.

            Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

            by ratcityreprobate on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:07:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Too bad for Romney that the Rand focus group (0+ / 0-)

      is not a real poll.

      “The country tried everything Romney says, and it brought the economy to the brink of collapse”

      by Paleo on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:36:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  of course it's a real poll (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ratcityreprobate

        included in nate silver's data base for that reason.

        it is also in line with other polls.

        it's not a traditional poll, but there's no issue with not reaching cell phones.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:39:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not a real poll (0+ / 0-)

          It's a static focus group.  All it does is tell use about that group.  You're on shaking ground trying to extrapolate the results.  A real poll would have random sampling.  

          “The country tried everything Romney says, and it brought the economy to the brink of collapse”

          by Paleo on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:03:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Scarborough...The Greatest Republican debate in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap, OLinda, skohayes

    the history of mankind.

  •  could someone please tell me (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap, DRo, mdmslle, raincrow

    what the fuck happened to the "we are in this together versus you are on your own meme" "shared responsibility" that Clinton introduced and Obama continued at the convention?????  It's so simple.

    Obama looked unprepared and unfocused.  Now we look to Biden to bail us out next week?? Yikes.  At least Biden will connect with the viewers for god or bad.  I'm quite concerned about the polls in the next week.

  •  Romney won but (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Danali, raincrow, KJB Oregon

    I didn't see anything that could be used over and over by the pundits. No sighs, looking at watch, invasion of personal space etc. And no memorable line like "there you go again" or "your likable enough Hillary" to be repeated ad nauseam. So it could have been worse. It was a missed opportunity - Obama could have ended it last night - but Obama usually does not make the same mistake twice and the next debate could have a far different result. Now, if tomorrow's jobs numbers don't suck ...

  •  A tough night (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap, raincrow

    The president cannot afford to have another debate night like the one in Denver. Sadly, voters and pundits appear to be giving Mitt full cover for the dozens of flip-flops and complete evasions of detail he found himself in last night. Romney disavowed his entire tax plan, then reaffirmed his support for cutting taxes for the rich, said he doesn't think government should have a say in Medicare, and refused to say how he would create 12 million jobs other than with "deductions." But Obama's apathy stole the show. Part of it was his attempt to remain "likable," but his reserve lapsed into peevishness and disinterest much of the evening. Where was his comeback that Mitt thinks health care is fine if we just parcel off the uninsured to emergency rooms at taxpayer expense? The polls will be tied next week, although how much of it is caused by Denver is hard to say.  -  progressive

  •  We elected a professor not a fighter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Remember this old diary? This is nothing new.

    Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

    by Joe B on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:13:02 AM PDT

  •  For me it's not so much that Romney did well... (7+ / 0-)

    It's that the President seemed terribly "off" even for him.  I expected him to be low key and nonconfrontational but I didn't expect the tiredness,the distraction and seeming lack of focus. And I honestly don't think Romney caused it. Except perhaps by his willingness to go for the big lies once again.  I think the President missed a great opportunity because Romney was very beatable last night (I think that was the basis for the MSNBC frustration).  I am very curious about why the President seemed so off.  I think the campaign can recover from this because they can exploit the lies and flips and flops. I'm more concerned that the President's demeanor is the result of some other problem that could be a game changer.  I very much disagree with people who think Romney did well.  He only did well within the confines of getting no pushback from either the moderator or the President. Hopefully he will give himself all the credit and do the same thing again.  If the President focuses and prepared the same Romney from last night is very beatable. Of course the next debate isn't the same format so it will be interesting to see which Romney comes out then.

    "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

    by stellaluna on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:14:05 AM PDT

  •  Facts, Opinion and Fairy Dust (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap, KJB Oregon

    Slept through the debate...(work nights!) But I am kinda glad I did seeing all the comments afterwards. It must have been annoying to watch as Obama played it safe throughout.

    But on the plus side, I think in the days ahead the fact checkers are not going to be kind to Romney's abuse of facts during the debate. He may have acted like he was beating Obama, but unless you use facts to do so it's just a lot of Hot Air soon to come back to haunt you. I can't wait to see what they come up with as the factchecking scores!

    Pundits are so full of themselves. I don't think they get enough public shame for their overt pompous spouting off about their bias towards their favorite candidate. Many of them should be banned from the media outright just because they never speak truthfully. They sprinkle fairy dust in the air and try to make you believe the fantasy they are spinning as truth. News should be about the facts, and opinion should be tied to those same facts. Because if it isn't backed up by the facts then it's not opinion it's just fiction.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:15:21 AM PDT

  •  Who agreed to backload 4 debates in October anyway (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow

    That just kills the final leg of your campaign.

    Axelrod?

    Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

    by Bush Bites on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:16:06 AM PDT

  •  Wait and see... (7+ / 0-)

    Rush, FOX, Christie, Rubio and the rest are going to crow today. They would have done it anyway so long as Mitt hadn't farted on stage.  

    But by the end of the week the story is going to be how far Romney moved from the promises he's been making to the far righr for so long.  After priming the pump with the accusation that he'd have to keep Obama's lies in check, he came out and lied for 40-60% of the time about already articulated policy positions.

    Obama let him do it.  I'll bet he'll make him pay.

    It's a scary move though.  People are voting.

  •  CNN poll had Romney 54/42 fav/unfav BEFORE debate (6+ / 0-)

    While every other pollster showed Romney underwater, with 49/50, 44/50, etc.

    That was definitely a skewed sample.  So the "response" to the debate may have been cooked in long before the debate.

  •  I think it should be noted here that (0+ / 0-)

    the challenger WAS respectful of the President and for that I give him credit. He looked directly at BO for most of the night, which is A+ stuff.   That respect needed to be reciprocated- or at least the President needed to look directly at the camera more- but wasn't really.  

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:19:17 AM PDT

  •  I watched, then re-watched. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap, LordMike, raincrow

    Obama handed this debate to Romney from the very start, then did nothing to recover the ground he ceded.

    This was hopefully a blip. And not an omen . But House Obama better get its act together. Soon.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:19:23 AM PDT

  •  Should I watch it? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Maverick80229

    I'm overseas so I had my husband record the MSNBC livestream for me. It wasn't pleasant to wake up this morning to a RW media headline about how Romney "dominated" the debate. I felt slightly better after reading some insightful comments here but still...

  •  Im a bit confused here... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, skohayes

    ...Weren't they building up the debates to be an ultra-important part of Romney's winning? That it was all he had?

    So, why are we giving any credit -- at all -- to the people who we've seen are quite willing to, well, lie about exactly this sorta thing.

    How many of those 35% were going to say it no matter what? I know it wasnt the greatest debate, but all of a sudden we're letting them dictate that? They did the same thing in 2008.

    Its one of their go-to tactics. We know this. Its how they work. I do not think the president lost, because he in no way did.

    Then you came out all of a sudden and said, "You're Prism Indigo!" but I don't get it...

    by kamrom on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:21:49 AM PDT

  •  Maybe I'm so in the tank for Obama... (7+ / 0-)

    that I can't see what others do, but I was shocked when I turned on the talking heads, and they all said Romney blowout.

    During the debate, this Obama household thought that Romney looked twitchy, frenetic, and was arguing with the ref. We thought Obama looked cool and relaxed.

    I'd like to see a McCluhnist test in which people--who hadn't seen the debate--watched it with the sound off. I think Obama would win that one.

    Could it be that this was an instance where Obama was bending over backwards not to be Angry Black Man?

    •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Maverick80229

      Particularly in light of the "new" old video from 2007, Obama could not come out the next day and let the media run with an image of him as an angry  black man.

    •  I thought at the very least it was a tie, I did (5+ / 0-)

      not think either won but I knew the media would say Romney won. I had a feeling months ago that no matter how Obama did, the MSM would say Mittens hit it out of the park if he just showed up.

      I knew the instant polls would be awful as the punditry would build this up into a huge Mitt victory.

      Keith Olbermann tweeted some interesting things like reminding us the media has a vested interest in having a close race.

      The media is excited as they want a very close tossup race where we do not know the results until the wee hours of the morning or for days.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:56:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How to score debates (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow

    If the standard for scoring debates is who can effectively deliver lies then Romney will win every debate. But just as jurors hate lawyers who lie, when they become aware of the lies, expect this deate to be scored differently whn the dust settles.

  •  I wish some of you would understand that Obama (4+ / 0-)

    CANNOT come out guns blazing and get indignant. He cannot allow the media to turn him into the angry black man. The same thing happened in 2008. Obama is not a firebreather in debates and never has been. Not against Hillary, not against McCain, and he wont be against Romney. But he doesn't need to be. With only ~6% undecided at this point, and an average national lead of ~4-5%, Romney would have to win almost every undecided voter, and that isn't going to happen.

    •  so, you think the only way to avoid being the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow, Maverick80229

      angry black man is to sit like on the train tracks?

      Obama is the President. And he's damned smart and articulate. There are many ways to take down an ooponent without breathing fire.

      How about he's have said this: "With all due respect Governor, your campiagn mentioned that you'd be ecth-a-skecthing and I think tonight we;re seeing it in full force. the positions you are articulating are the exact opposite of what you've run on for the last 18 months. The American people are smart. They're going to fact check. And they're going to realize that either you lack core principles and will say whatever you think the listener wants to hear, or they will be confused about what you actually stand for. Trust matters. [look into the camera] Tonight, you'll hear me say the same things I've always said. You'll know the details of my plans. You can fact check them yourselves. and you can make the judgement."

      That's not fire breathing. In fact, it's more effective to say it cooly and calmly.

      That is NOT an angry black man.

      For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

      by mdmslle on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:52:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A lot of handwringing. It always comes back to (5+ / 0-)

    turnout. Make sure everyone gets out and votes.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:49:04 AM PDT

  •  The real question is not being asked (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Maverick80229

    THe question is not who one the debate for numerous reasons, rather who are you more likely to vote for post debate.

    Mitt was lying, insincere, obviously pretending he is a centrist after spending over a year running right of the lunatic fringe.  He came across as a snake oil salesman on crack.  

    How many idiots under 55 are going to vote for Romney's medicare voucher programs?   Because one would need to be near brain dead to vote for that.

  •  Obama let Mitt get away with murder. Lie after (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow

    lie after lie and...not a word from Obama.  Beyond disappointing.  And perplexing.

  •  I think Romney will get a bump, even a big one (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Maverick80229

    I was disappointed, hand-wringing, miserable as Obama let challenge after challenge go unanswered. But I have to keep in mind that the Prez plays a mean rope-a-dope; and I have to hope people saw Romney as I did when I finally caught a video replay (I'd heard it on Sirius): Is it just me, or did Romney have a weird, even predatory, gleam in his eye; weird hair; and a nasty, shark-toothed smile? And he was overtly rude to the ineffectual Jim Lehrer. I hope the wishy-washy, wibbly-wobbly middly people might see the dickish weasel I saw.

    David Plouffe looked like Kenneth Parcell in dire need of tranquilizers.  :O

    !! Four more years !!

    by raincrow on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:55:24 AM PDT

  •  I'm sorry, Romney was a dick (10+ / 0-)

    he evaded real answers and was like the kid in high school who runs for class president and promises all sorts of stuff that 16 year old kids want to hear but don't realize will never happen.
    Romney said he wanted to cut taxes for the "job creators" so they would make jobs, which would give people money and add to the tax rolls.
    Right. Give the rich tax breaks so they can give menial jobs to wage earners who will see it mostly go to taxes to support the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

    I think Obama wasn't showing all his cards in this debate. I think he was being his usual smart self and figuring out what Mitt's got. This is only Round One. I think Round Two will be different, with an Obama coming out swinging and Mittens figuring he can just do what he did last time.

    This ain't over, folks!

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:56:23 AM PDT

  •  TV media loving this as they want ratings and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    belle1

    a tossup election, I truly believe they will continue to build up Mitt  and gush over him.

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:56:45 AM PDT

  •  Let Mitt talk himself into a hole (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishtroller01, KJB Oregon

    I can see commercials with Mitt confidently saying he will change SS and Medicare for those over 55 or lowering taxes a further 20%.  Mitt took the mic and proved he is not fit.

    "I don’t know why, but Mitt Romney has gotten this reputation as a guy who can't identify with the common man, no matter how hard he fires them." ---Stephen Colbert

    by Amayupta yo on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:10:54 AM PDT

  •  Walter Cronkite (0+ / 0-)

    I'm reading Douglas Brinkley's biography on Walter Cronkite and one thing that Cronkite always criticized the Democratic Presidential candidates for was running away from the core values of the Democratic Party. Cronkite contended that is why many of the  Democratic Presidential candidates lost.

    •  Case in point last night (0+ / 0-)

      The first question to Obama was to explain why he disagrees with trickle down economics. Talk about a softball, served up fat and slow right over the plate. Instead Obama decides he needs to talk about his energy plan, and reforming the tax code. Oh, and education. So he essentially fouls off three pitches, takes a called strike and headed back to the dugout. THAT is how he lost last night.

  •  The bar was set very low for Romney (4+ / 0-)

    so I really expected him to do better than Obama.
    Obama appeared tired, and not really on his game, and it showed in his lackluster performance.
    The reason we didn't hear about the 47% or Bain was, as a few people have already mentioned, is that Romney would have been expecting to be attacked and had a ready answer.
    I want to see what the fact checkers say, because to me, Romney lied his ass off the entire time.
    "I'm not going to lower taxes for the wealthy" -even though he's promising to cut everyone's taxes by 20% across the board.
    "My economic plan will not add $5 trillion to the deficit" - he has no idea what his plan costs, because there are no specifics and he plans to add $1 trillion to his defense spending and give everyone a tax break.
    "5 studies back up my tax plan"- well, one study by a non-economist and 4 newspaper op-eds, actually.
    "My health care plan will cover pre-existing conditions" - only on people who do not let their insurance lapse.

    Romney is playing the "say anything to win" meme right now.

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:39:35 AM PDT

  •  Romney was definitely the alpha dog, (0+ / 0-)

    and Obama appeared a bit nervous at the start. However, Obama seemed to get into his stride quickly.  I can't tell if he chose to pass up zinging Romney for all his lies and the recent 47% gaffe, or if he was purposely letting Romney in his tail wagging enthusiasm dig more holes to use later.   Obama has a funny way of reacting to things, but I think you can bet that he will come out swinging next time now that he has been given a chance to observe Romney's tactics.

    I hope.

  •  Winning a debate =/= winning hearts and votes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJB Oregon, Dave460, One Opinion

    Romney needed to "win" this debate in order to stay viable at all. He needed to show that he could step into the role of President. That he could function under pressure and put his platform ideas across to, probably, the most diverse audience he has ever faced.

    Obama needed to appear in control and Presidential (but not too condescending to his opponent). He needed to connect with people and remind them why he won their vote and has continued to hold on their support and trust. He needed to be ready to cut through Romney's coached "zingers" with the truth.

    Obama didn't bring his A game last night. However, Romney was so hopped-up and aggressive he blew his surprisingly strong opening and let his bullying nature show as the actual back and forth continued. He seemed over-excited, almost manic. He whined, a lot. Not what you want in a President. If there was a logic to Obama's low-key performance last night it was to let Romney be Romney.

    While it was not a great night for Obama, it wasn't a blow out on substance or ideas. Obama missed opportunities to clarify the Medicare future savings built into the ACA and debunk the out-right lie Romney and the Republicans keep trying to spread about it and that was a shame. But he did correct him on it, he just didn't keep correcting him every time he repeated the lie, and he should have.

    Romney lives to fight another day, he won the debate. That doesn't mean he won people's votes. He will move some moderate Republicans and reminded them how he got their party nomination. We still have an election to win. Obama needs to command the town hall debate, and I think he will.

    who doesn't want to wear the ribbon?!?

    by redacted stew on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:41:34 AM PDT

  •  Romney treated Lehrer like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Opinion

    he treats the 99%, with contempt. How dare some puny journalist keep me from saying what I want to say. I see Romney as a man insane with the need for power, and he acted the part last night.

    It kills me how since 1980 the conservative trickle down fiasco has destroyed the middle class, we get 8 years of reprieve with President Clinton who leaves office having fixed Reagan and HW Bush's 500 billion dollar deficit, only to have W. Bush catastrophically destroy our economy and blow Clinton's 200 billion dollar surplus and add 300 billion on top for good measure.

    People still think the GOP is the answer?

    I can only shake my head and wonder how I am surrounded by moronic retards (I live in Boehnerville BTW).

  •  ugh (0+ / 0-)

    Andrew Sullivan (@sullydish) is a total asshole.

    The only reason anyone pays any attention to him is because he's a conservative who also happens to be openly gay (as opposed to the usual closet cases among the self-loathing conservatives).

    "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

    by Marjmar on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:59:35 AM PDT

  •  What a boring debate! (0+ / 0-)

    Aside from worrying about Obama's frame of mind, there was not feel to the thing.  And there were no real moments, and hardly any of it was memorable.  

    My fear is that it shows that the Obama inner circle is without language or memes on many crucial points.  Obama defended himself when he said that the IPAB board by law cannot make health care decisions.  But that is the only place where I recall him defending himself against the onslaught of right wing lies.  

    Is it possible that the folks in the inner circle are just clueless on how to respond?  

    Here is how you do it: The 700 billion are cost savings, Mitt.  And the same money is in the Ryan proposal.  Its not cuts, its savings and you should admire them because they are achieved by having public medicare imitate the practices that have saved private insurers money.  

    No, Mitt, there are no death panels.  

    No, Mitt, when you cut rates 20% you cut 5 trillion of revenues, so, of course you really are proposing to cut taxes by 5 trillion, and your 5th grade math teacher and you both know that.  

    No, Mitt, when you close deductions on the rich you don't get the 5 trillion back, and so you will be forced to get the money back by raising taxes on the middle class.

    Jeez, Obama Camp, how can you just sit there and take it like that?  How can you let the president of the US just stand there looking at his note pad while this liar takes swing after swing at him?  

    The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

    by not2plato on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 07:18:41 AM PDT

  •  that poll, (0+ / 0-)

    too early - if these stats prevail 3-4 days from now, i'd feel much better

    I stand by what I said, whatever it was

    by duende on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:04:46 AM PDT

    •  which poll? RAND? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kefauver

      all polls are too early (sun_mon is when to look), but the betting markets are live.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:35:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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