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After just watching the debate, I have a very different take.

Frankly I do not agree with all the hand wringing and gnashing of teeth about President Obama's performance.  Nor the universal judgement that Mitt Romney won hands down and that President Obama lost abysmally.

I don't see it that way at all.

(This past week I have had the cold from hell; went to bed early on Wednesday and today was the first day that I felt like I rejoined the human race.  I was curious to finally see the debate about which there has been such a firestorm.)

I watched and listened to the debate very carefully.  And these are my take aways:

1)  Jim Lehrer's framing of the debate was a recipe for disaster.  He said:

Tonight's 90 mins will be about domestic issues and will follow a format designed by the commission.  ...... I made the final selections... the segments...3 on economy, 1 on healthcare and 1 on governing, with an emphasis throughout on differences, specifics, and choices....."
Framing the debate in these terms (bolded) led to a very shaky enterprise.  Given that the Romney campaign for the duration of their campaign refused to give specifics on almost every issue and when they did, those specifics were immediately corrected or denied or the opposite thing was told to a different audience, this question was not going to lead to clarification.  Rather I think, it was an invitation to further prevarication.  It seemed custom designed to give Romney another opportunity to spin another self.

As Lehrer opened with the first question he said,

The economy, lets begin with jobs

What are the major differences between the two of you about how you would go about creating new jobs.  Mr President you go first.

So, Lehrer was asking each of them to compare and contrast their policies with those of their opponent.  With that question Obama was cornered. He was asking Obama to state what Romney's position was.  Disaster alert.

I studied/study Sun Tsu and have learned a lot from his approach to conflict, battle and war.  I am not going to quote his actual words but rather speak in terms of my understanding and applications of his words.

His foundational strategy is to know yourself, your opponent, the conditions of the conflict and your resources.  As a part of this analysis, it is critical that you assess your own strengths and weakness as those of your enemy.  And then, it is critical to assess how your strengths and weaknessess interact with the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent.  (Think of it as setting up a matrix.)  So, for me, the first principle as a result of this analysis, is to decide in this current conflict, what are my greatest strengths that are ALSO the greatest weakness of my opponent. That becomes my 'strongest playing field' and his weakest 'playing field' (in relation to this conflict with me.)  It then becomes my strategy to keep the battle ON MY PLAYING FIELD OF THIS STRENGTH as much as possible.  Always drawing the opponent back there, where they will be weaker in the combat.

This frame by Lehrer firmly put Mitt Romney on his strongest playing field.  And immediately placed Obama at a disadvantage, on a weaker playing field.  If Lehrer had been paying attention to the campaign and Romney he would have realized that Romney (maybe deliberately) has not said anything consistently and has been ridiculed for that very thing.  This question was bizarre; did Lehrer think that Romney would all of a sudden become consistent?  There is no there, there with Romney.  This is Romney's strength; he's gotten away with it the whole campaign.  

It seemed to me that Obama then spent the debate trying to answer Lehrer's questions and accepted the frame of having to articulate Romney's positions.  Obama conceded to debating on Romney's playing field.  It is no wonder that many thought he lost the debate because he was not on his field of strength.

So, continuing with Sun Tsu.  The next major lesson I have learned is not to let myself be put on and/or stay on a bad playing field.  Once recognized, there are several ways to change the playing field back to your advantage.  With regards to the debate, if someone asks you a question to which there is no good answer or the answer puts you on a weaker playing field, refuse to answer the question as framed, rather than argue through the question.  "I cannot answer the question as you frame it.  However, a better question would be...."  Or words to that effect.  This is very useful for types of questions such as 'are you still beating your wife?"  You immediately change the playing field to your playing field of strength or at least refuse to stay on a weak playing field.

So, Obama could very easily say:  "Jim, I can only speak for my positions; frankly I do not know what Mr. Romney's positions are; he has so many on each issue  You will have to ask Mr. Romney about his.  Maybe we can ask him what his position tonight is on 'xyz.'  Etc. Etc.

Obama accepted being on Romney's strong playing field during the debate.  Bad Move.  I believe Obama could have moved it to his own playing field.  So to me that was Obama's big fail of the night.  He allowed Lehrer to put him in a position of articulating Romney's positions, which Romney then sweetly denied.  I also think strategically, it would have gotten Romney's goat, if Obama kept asking what his final position tonight was on 'xyz' and so the 'snake oil salesman' would have become more edgy and lost his carefully crafted persona.

2.  However, given that Obama didn't move the game to his playing field, I thought that his answers were clear, logical and that he spoke directly to the American people several times most effectively.  I followed everything he said and it made sense to me.  He communicated with the audience rather than debated the 'many faces of mitt.'  That was a good choice, considering the options.

On a non verbal level, President Obama came across to me as calm, reasoned, rational and likeable.  I did not find him distant or browbeaten by Romney.  His looking down did not distract me.  The body language reassured me, calmed me and kept my attention.  The net effect was that I felt very comfortable with him.

Romney, on the other hand, came across as desperate, conniving and the word that persisted most for me during the debate, was 'ravenous as a wolf'. Mitt looked at Obama as prey; as though Mitt was an animal in the jungle getting ready to pounce and devour him.  Frankly the condescending smirk sent chills through me.  He smelled of overdrive and huge insincerity.  His nonverbals were very unsettling and disturbing to me.  My instinctual self said to walk away from this person; he was very dangerous.  He was not someone to be trusted.

So, I definitely think that President Obama came across so much more presidential and trustworthy than Romney, the Ravenous Wolf.

I believe Obama won the likeability and trustworthy contest by miles.  It wouldn't surprise me at all if other people felt that same way.

3.)  I have read much about the frustration by liberals that Obama didn't hit back at Romney's lying.  Call him out on the lying.  That's a real conundrum.  I totally can understand people who said that they were screaming at the tv sets, etc., and got very frustrated that Obama didn't strike back.

Although I can definitely understand the 'tell Romney that he is lying' feeling, to me it didn't fit into the debate.  I do think that all of this could be headed off at the pass, as I expressed earlier, by not accepting Lehrer's framing of the debate.

However, to be blunt about it, it would be worse for Obama to be seen calling Romney a liar. It would immediately devolve into 'he said, she said.'  And it then would all be about how awful Obama was.  Think about it.  The target audience is the undecided.  If someone is undecided at this point, it goes without saying that they haven't been paying attention and to be suddenly hit with someone 'attacking another person' saying that they were lying, would be very jarring.  I agree with Obama just patiently talking to them and trying to help them understand what he was saying.

Clearly, however this lying issue must be dealt with.  Romney acts like a shapeshifter.  If you challenge any one of those shapes, you are drawn into his craziness and lying world.  And he will just deny what he has said.  Just as he did at the debate.  Obama will have to seek professional advice on how to deal with someone who acts as though he is a multiple personality sociopath.  Directly arguing with him or saying he is lying is not the solution.  

Mitt has recreated himself.  Once again.  This iteration however is uber creepy.  The 'centrist Romney' is like a horny guy on the prowl, trolling the bars.  Clearly he has now morphed into the 'I will say anything to get you to go to bed with me' mode.  I will tell you that you are beautiful, the love of my life, I've never met anyone like you before, that it is love at first sight... etc. etc."  What he doesn't tell you is that he gets turned on by giving pain and will leave you the minute he is finished with you.   He will say whatever he has to, in order to get you to do what he wants you to do.  This is what he is doing to the electorate.

That is the Mitt Romney that came across the screen to me.

4)  Since I missed watching the debate in real time, I learned what I could when I read the diaries on Thursday.  I was very surprised when I woke up on Friday morning when one of the first thoughts in my mind was:

How incredibly callous of Romney to tell Lehrer that he would not fund PBS and would fire him.  All the time with that sickly sweet smile on his face.  I'll bet that there were plenty of men and women watching the debate who did lose their jobs from someone telling them that their job was cut.  Those men and women would have had a chill going down their spine when they heard Romney say that to Lehrer.  Lehrer just looked straight back at him.  Losing one's job is not a joke.  But it became so for Romney by threatening Big Bird.  I shuddered at the thought that Romney would find pleasure in another's pain.
5)  The Media.  Aren't we all sick and tired yet about the media's drive to make politics into an ever growing circus?  Frankly they do a great disservice to the country insisting that the candidates should live up to their ever hyper 'infotainment' model.

The way the pundits were talking about the debate (pre and post,) it was as if they were covering the semifinals on American Idol.  They wanted adrenaline, drama, a reality show.  They wanted raw moments, sensation, something to talk about.  And they expected that the American public wants this approach to choosing a president, as well.

Frankly it disgusts me.  People's healthcare, jobs, not to mention the actual health of the planet is at stake.  Can you imagine the present day media covering Dr. Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement with their same 'infotainment' model?  UGH!  To say the least, it would have been demeaning to the geniune struggle that the movement represented.  

Its not that I don't think 'optics' or 'moment' isn't important.  In a media age this reality must be honored as well.  However, I believe that the media is shaping the presidential race to its model of entertainment and we are all the losers for that.  For them, Mitt got the highest ratings of the night.  Forget the fact that he did so by morphing into another person with a totally different story; truly an actor playing a fantastical role.  They found this person new and exciting.  And Obama was just samo, samo.  Not fodder for the 24 news cycle.  Their ratings system did not care or take into account that Romney told all the lies he did.  You see to them, he told those lies so well.  And that's all that counts for them.  Even when some of them admitted immediately that Romney lied through his teeth.  Telling a lie in an exciting way is much more preferable to telling the truth in a calm way.  Where have we come to?

And the supposed liberals of the bunch (some of MSNBC) lost it, imo, in their hubris that their standards represented reality.  The media is now in the position of reporting the news they believe should exist.

What's could possibly be wrong with that picture?

So, to sum up:

Romney The Liar will have to be dealt with, without a doubt.  The Obama Campaign is already doing that with all the ads that are coming out.  And more and more is being written about and spoken about his lying.  Romney's performance was nothing short of chilling.  I don't think he will escape this performance scott free.

All in all, I think Obama did well in the debate with the opponent who showed up.  I do regret that Obama didn't immediately seize/change the playing field, as I mentioned.  However, given that Obama didn't, I think it would have been disastrous if he had started arguing with Romney, calling him a liar or getting upset in any fashion.  I think Obama spoke well to the undecided.  Obama didn't abandon himself; he came across reassuringly to me.  I think he handled a very, very difficult situation very well.

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    It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. ~~Joseph Stalin

    by SeaTurtle on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 06:59:11 PM PDT

  •  Good diary. Good, sober analysis. (128+ / 0-)

    I wish we had more people like you, and not the average
    "low information voter." Unfortunately, too many of them
    may determine this election.

    While I'd vote for Obama, I'd also vote for you.

    "To hunt a species to extinction is not logical."--Spock, in Star Trek IV.

    by Wildthumb on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:03:52 PM PDT

    •  thank you for your kind words, :-) (45+ / 0-)

      it is a continuing riddle how to educate and convert those 'undecideds' and 'low information voters'.

      Just hope that our side does it.

      It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. ~~Joseph Stalin

      by SeaTurtle on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:26:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, but it's over. The frame is set. (7+ / 4-)

        Obama lost.

        Move on.

        Next debate, next shiny object.

        •  Oh, look who's back! The bluebird of happiness! (47+ / 0-)

          Got any other uplifting messages for us?

          Kind words for your fellow humans?

          Tidings of comfort and joy?

          "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

          by G2geek on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:31:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  True, but (15+ / 0-)

          Obama lost because the media, Maddow included, failed to see it as described above and called it a loss.  I agree with the diarist and felt the same way when watching; but I agree with you that the media meme that Obama lost isn't going to change at this point.

          You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ. (and donate to Bill!)

          by rb608 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 04:34:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yup (13+ / 0-)

            Obama lost because the media needed a horse race. Nothing more.

            Mitt could have pissed his pants onstage and the media would still have called it a win for him.

          •  Obama lost because his performance was awful (8+ / 0-)

            I didn't need the media to tell me my President was blowing the debate big time.  I was a little more sympathetic because the moderator was letting Romney have the last word on every point.  However Barack actually got more time.

            Barack was being a nice guy and not calling out Romney on character.  And sometimes nice guys finish last.  This was one of those times.

            Mrick

            •  Of course, the undecideds who were polled... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              I love OCD, Nica24, rb608

              ...after the debate disagreed with you and actually favored Obama.

              Best-selling true crime author Corey Mitchell. Please, buy my books!

              by liquidman on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:06:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Read 538 (0+ / 0-)

                There is a clear change in the polls.  Not just from the undecideds either.  Romney most likely peeled off some Obama votes.

                Read Nate's column for today.  If you want to know about the effects on opinions as reflected in polling, there is no better source.

                Mrick

                •  Yes, there is a clear change in the polls. (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  I love OCD, Char, Nica24, rb608

                  Here's one, posited by Kos himself, that shows Obama rose 8 points with independents, while Romney gained 0 points.

                  Best-selling true crime author Corey Mitchell. Please, buy my books!

                  by liquidman on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:13:15 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Everyone has "a" Poll (0+ / 0-)

                    Again - read 538.  If you asked KOS which opinion you should most consider - KOS's opinion or Nate's... I think he would tell you Nate.

                    This was the most imporatant debate.  Romney's campaign was in the toilet.  He had to improve some.  But the President let him get away with lie after lie after lie.  

                    I watched Axelrod on Schieffer's show this morning.  He said that Romney had a masterful performance and could not explain why Barack let him get away with it.

                    I saw Carville on ABC.  He said maybe Barack just had a bad day.

                    No one and I mean no one is saying Barack had a good performance.  And Nate?

                    Still, as I wrote yesterday, my guess is that the forecast model is still being somewhat too conservative about accounting for the change in the environment. In a good number of the polls, Mr. Romney has not only improved his own standing but also taken voters away from Mr. Obama’s column, suggesting that he has peeled off some of Mr. Obama’s softer support in addition to gaining ground among undecided voters.

                    It doesn't get much plainer than that.  Using Nate's analogy, Romney was behind a touchdown.  He just got a field goal.  Next up... the Libya hearings right before the foreign policy debate.

                    I have been an Obama delegate at the State level this campaign and 2008.  I relish that Nate still thinks we have the lead.  But pretending Romney didn't advance the ball doesn't help us at all.  If anything, it hurts us.

                    Want to help?  Write a check.  It cost money to get the message out that Axelrod did this morning and that Barack didn't in the last debate.

                    Mrick

            •  It's President Obama or Mr. Obama. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nica24, rb608, Little Red Hen

              Not Barack.  Clearly your opinion does not count when you start it with sure disrespect.

              "No, I'm being judged against the ideal. Joe Biden has a saying: 'Don't judge me against the Almighty, judge me against the alternative." --President Barack Obama, 12/11/11

              by smoothnmellow on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 12:03:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  MSNBC were over the top (5+ / 0-)

            with their hand wringing .  Trickle down freak out. Ed and Chris  continued to remind everyone how badly the president did.    They savaged the president they had  been defending. As I watched the debate i was disappointed in Obama's failure to  defend his policies and challenge Mitt's lies.  I think he was not well prepared for this debate.  

            •  It is sickening (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SeaTurtle

              commentators should, you would think, focus on what the candidates said and whether they made valid points.  Almost all of them scored the debate solely on style.  And almost all of them were announcing the winner before people had time to digest what they had just seen.  Sadly, when people started freaking out here, it seemed like the MSNBC madness had spread.

              At the end of the debate I definitely felt like I had witnessed a trainwreck.  That Romney had dominated the atmosphere of the proceeding and it seemed like O didn't take off the gloves cause he never put them on.  MOST OF THE UNDECIDEDS are WHITE.  He is very aware of the conditioned response in many of them if a black man puts down a white man.  I am not saying what O did in debate was tactically correct, but strategically he was better off doing what he did than saying something that would allow the gopracistfoxnewslimbaugh noise machine to telegraph and imprint their bigotry by using a hand full of words from an angry president.

              They knew Romeny was going to try to get under his "skin".  Obama was a success for not letting Romney do that.  I too, was screaming for him to strike back, and certainly he could have found a way to do it.  But had he done it in much of the same way that so many here have suggested, the dogwhistle interpretation of it would be piled on top of the Romney won anyway analysis.

              Obama will do better in the next format.  Romney will have a hard time repeating the same lies.  It could be fatal for him if he does.  In the town hall, the president can talk about the 47% directly to the audience, and he can do it after Romney blabbers about how much he loves everyone.  You know, you can make a flub, but only based upon what you think or believe.  Like Bush saying put food on your family.  Nobody could say what Romney said about the 47% unless he had thought about it and believed it, or at least was deliberately pandering to those who do.

              We are all full of advice for Obama.  Most of us love things about him and bang our heads on the wall over other things.

              Romen will take a different angle, and it will be about defining himself, he will talk a lot about himself personally..."I met a woman the other day who said...."  HE will say a lot to try to appeal to women.  Talk a lot about what a great dad he is.  The president will have to take that venality and contrast it with what Romney World would look like as opposed to what Team Obama is about.

              No easy feat - but it will actually be easier to do now than it was in the first debate.

              Go Obama!

            •  The biggest loudmouths did the most damage. (0+ / 0-)

              I like Ed and Chris, but they are the most reactionary, emotional, and over the top on a normal day.  Sometimes that's a good thing.  But it's no surprise that they lost it.  They were more embarrassing than ever.

              "Wall Street expertise, an industry in which anything not explicitly illegal is fair game, and the illegal things are fair game too if you think you won't get caught." — Hunter

              by Back In Blue on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 03:01:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  opinion from media isn't news (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SeaTurtle, rb608, Little Red Hen, bluedust

            I may not be a wordsmith but I know what I saw in the debate. I don't give points to lies so Romney lost period.
            As usual Obama remained steady and refused to be pulled off point.

            Had it been me I would have gone for the soft underbelly and left Mitt for forest banquet.

            A danger foreseen is half avoided.

            by ncheyenne on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:31:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  He lost because he was too passive (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rb608

            he never took the initiative in the debate, and he failed to react to Romney's insults.   He even nodded to some of Romney's lies.  It was a bad performance.

            Maddow didn't make him lose.  What a load.  You all sound like a bunch of losers with your excuses.  Act like winners - accept the defeat, learn from it, and fight on to win.  That's what Obama is doing, why can't Kossacks?

            "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

            by Subterranean on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:20:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  What constitutes a loss? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SeaTurtle, rb608

            This is meant as a serious question. If the media say it is a loss, is it?  If the polls go against Obama, is that the loss?  If I liked Obama's performance better than Romney's and my husband liked Romney's better than Obama's, who won then? After all the hand wringing, the arguing, the liberals calling the debate, the mainstream media calling the debate, the conservatives calling the debate, just how do you determine who won? Whose opinion about the winner matters most?

            My understanding of scoring debates starts with which side was the most factual and then follows with which side was the most well-informed and relevant.  One wins by proving one's point, which implies that a point has been made. So if one debater's point is a lie, how does he go about proving it? I'm not a debater, so I don't know the answers to any of these questions, but I haven't been able to figure out what all the diarists and commenters really mean when they say Obama "lost" the debate.

            The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself." -- Wanda

            by the autonomist on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 03:03:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Uprating to counter HR abuse (8+ / 0-)

          I don't believe that the election is at all over, but the debate is, and Obama clearly lost it, and certainly in the eyes of most voters. You can't HR someone just because you disagree with them or find their comment upsetting or depressing.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:12:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agree with the HR abuse (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The Walrus, Subterranean

            And agree that the debate was clearly lossed - a total and complete disaster.  Anyone that wants to get past the "feel good" just needs to go over and read Nate's 538 column today:

            Mitt Romney continues to show improved numbers in polls published since the presidential debate in Denver on Wednesday and has now made clear gains in the FiveThirtyEight forecast. The forecast gives him roughly a 20 percent chance of winning the Electoral College, up from about 15 percent before the debate. Mr. Romney’s gains in the polls have been sharp enough that he should continue to advance in the FiveThirtyEight forecast if he can maintain his numbers over the next couple of days.

            Four of the five national polls published on Saturday showed improvement for Mr. Romney.

            ... Still, as I wrote yesterday, my guess is that the forecast model is still being somewhat too conservative about accounting for the change in the environment. In a good number of the polls, Mr. Romney has not only improved his own standing but also taken voters away from Mr. Obama’s column, suggesting that he has peeled off some of Mr. Obama’s softer support in addition to gaining ground among undecided voters.

            Slice it, dice it and anyway you like it - still was a horrible performance and major misstep.  Something breaks against Barack like these congressional hearings, and it could be the difference.

            What a shame.  The first debate is the key debate.  I don't know that the subsequent ones can correct.

            Mrick

        •  No. That's a subjective judgment that has faded (6+ / 0-)

          over time as the debate has faded in the rearview mirror.
          The fact is that Romney lied. Not only is that frame increasing in strength, we have video to prove it. It's permanent.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:43:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nobody knows Romney lied because Obama didn't (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The Walrus, BlueDragon, Subterranean

            tell anybody that he lied. People don't know ANYTHING. They have to be told, and the only people they listen to in a campaign are the candidates. All but about 10% (max) of voters have already made up their minds. The remaining undecideds are zero-information boneheads. THEY DO NOT KNOW ROMNEY IS LYING. They have no way of knowing unless Obama tells them. Obama gave them no reason to vote for him or against Romney the other night.

            Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

            by LongTom on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:21:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The undecideds were down to 5% before the debate. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BlueDragon, mahakali overdrive

              And, they favored Obama in the debate over Romney, according to polls Kos posted here on friday.

              Best-selling true crime author Corey Mitchell. Please, buy my books!

              by liquidman on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:08:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well something happened. According to Gallup (0+ / 0-)

                Obama went from 50-44 before the debate to 49-46 yesterday. Ipsos had him going from a 6 pt national lead to a 2 pt national lead. Either the undecideds are still undecided and some Obama-ites switched sides, or some undecideds went to Romney and some Obama supporters went to undecided--or both. I saw the polls Kos posted. Encouraging, but the national trackers don't jibe with them.

                Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

                by LongTom on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:20:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  So there are too many (4+ / 0-)

              Democrats who are too stupid to know the issues?  Too many lazy moochers in this country who can't see a red face and watch a manic piece of performance art?

              I get it that you really seem to want Obama to lose, but don't try to take the rest of us with you.  Some of us don't mistake bullying for strength, or loudness for debating.  Obama made his points very clearly, he didn't go all angry black man on Romney, which is what they were praying for, and he didn't look weak to me, he looked bored.  

              Think about this.  You just spent the day with dedicated people trying to defuse a potential war in the Middle East.  You get on an airplane, fly across the country, walk onto a stage and spend 90 minutes listening to a man you know is unworthy of the job lying his ass off.  (The dissonance has to be startling, and frustrating.)   I think he was in President mode not campaign mode, and that made the difference between the two more pronounced.  

              I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

              by I love OCD on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:46:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's not about us (0+ / 0-)

                I doubt that Obama lost many Dems due to the debate, if any. If he lost any, it was Lieberdems who were probably never going to vote for him anyway.

                The debate, and anything else that happens in the campaign till the election, is entirely about swing voters. The polls seem to show that Obama lost some and Romney gained some after the debate. Whether this holds up and is significant is anyone's guess. This late in the game you want to gain voters, not lose them. Obama failed on that count in the debate no matter how mean and dishonest Romney was. It serves no purpose to shoot messengers.

                "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                by kovie on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 03:48:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What I hear is Romney (0+ / 0-)

                  didn't go up with swing voters, he may have pulled some depressed R voters out of their funk.  They'll funk up again as Romney surrogates reassure tea partiers that it was all a lie, just to win the centrists.  

                  Messengers are for the Republican Party.  We're supposed to be the savvy political types, not people who cheer for bullying.  We're supposed to be the people who know that being President is a full time kick-your-ass exhausting job if you're doing it right, and we could maybe take those things into consideration when our guy isn't 100% on his game?  Maybe?  Sometimes?  Maybe Turkey/Syria outweigh the need for a pre-debate nap and strategy session?  

                  I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                  by I love OCD on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 04:05:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm not going to be an apologist/explainer (0+ / 0-)

                    I have no influence with swing voters, and I call things as I see them. I hope you're right that it didn't hurt him with swing voters, but I have a hard time believing that it didn't, let alone helped him. And how am I cheering for bullying? That's total BS. I'm calling out Obama's weak debate performance. Is praising Ty Cobb's prowess as a baseball player mean that one approves of his meanness?

                    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                    by kovie on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 04:12:01 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  "Weak debate performance" with no sense of (0+ / 0-)

                      other circumstances that might have been in play is what I object to.  Every fucking diary I've opened today has threads full of "He's a wimp" type comments.  The Heritage Foundation is throwing confetti - "we can beat them, we've got them whining about weakness".

                      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                      by I love OCD on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:48:42 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The viewer is not to be expected (0+ / 0-)

                        to grade a debator on the curve based on extenuating circumstances. He's the president and no excuses are operative. We do him no favors by cutting him slack on such things. And no one's calling him a wimp, just a weak debator.

                        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                        by kovie on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:45:56 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  No, Kovie "The Viewer" isn't, but (0+ / 0-)

                          politically active Democrats had a chance to focus on Mitt's lies and we fucking blew it on all fronts.  Mitt's strong week wasn't his good debate performance it was our weak response.

                          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                          by I love OCD on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 07:51:48 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

          •  I think it was on Bill Moyers (5+ / 0-)

            That if people think a candidate is lying to them, they will turn away.

            Obama came in with a different game than Romney, who has been studying for this thing probably for several months now.  

            Obama does need to correct Romney's lies, even though he tried, "There is no way to make up for that 5 Trillion dollars in tax cuts."  He said that several times but nobody was listening in the media, but I was listening at home.

            I am also so very tired of hearing every single News Person claim that it was a Strong Romney performance.  They use the word "Strong" over and over again.

            Then again, I'm glad the 7.8% unemployment rate News came along to knock the debate off the top of the News list.....  But now Conservatives are convinced it is a bogus number.... Even though the revised numbers from earlier in the year show there were actually more private jobs gained than first reported.

            -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

            by MarciaJ720 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:21:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The key word being "think" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MarciaJ720

              It's not IF a candidate is lying, but if voters THINK they're lying. We know that Romney lied. Romney knows that he lied. But do voters--swing voters? Are there polls on this and how they correlate with voters won or lost?

              "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

              by kovie on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 03:50:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •   That is exactly why every Dem who can get a split (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kovie, SeaTurtle

                second of media time needs to be focused on "Romney's a liar. The gop are liars. The recovery is struggling because of their obstruction.
                Virtually everyone knows Romney is a liar. We just need to keep it current.
                Voters will vote for a liar if they think he can function effectively.
                Romney's lying is all about his lack of qualifications to be President. That's the critical point.

                You can't make this stuff up.

                by David54 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:50:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The kinds of voters we need to get to (0+ / 0-)

                  are precisely the kinds of voters who are susceptible to GOP lies and/or ok with them so long as THEY get THEIR interests addressed. I.e. swing voters, people who are not only low-info, but politically apathetic and disengaged, and often fairly selfish in their political wishes, and thus easy to manipulate.

                  "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                  by kovie on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:13:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Romney lied his way thru the debate.... (4+ / 0-)

          So, if you are judging the debate on frivolous things like who had more energy when they spoke.... Romney won.

          If you judge by substance then Obama obviously was better because he wasn't pulling lies out of his butt for 90 minutes

          Admittedly, Obama was flat in this first 45 minutes(lack of debate prep), but in the second half I personally I thought he out debated Romney.

          Romney was in Debate prep since the DNC convention and it showed he was well rehearsed.

          "Saying atheism is a religion is like saying not collecting stamps is a hobby".

          by progresso on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:49:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yes (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Char, doraphasia

            style v substance...how is that difficult to understand? Only the media doesn't specify. Romney just 'won'. Again the media insults our intelligence. As far as the constant looking down, perhaps taking notes, I kept thinking he was saying to himself, wtf is this clown talking about. I know that was my continual question. I think I saw him trying not to laugh.

            you get what you give

            by chicagobleu on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:53:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, the post debate, "Hey look, we can... (4+ / 0-)

          ..use the internet and actually research this shit and oh, BTW, Mitt Romney is a fucking liar!" frame has been set.

          Best-selling true crime author Corey Mitchell. Please, buy my books!

          by liquidman on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:00:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Ridiculous HRs (0+ / 0-)

          especially for a comment that is true.  Obama did LOSE.  The heartening part is that he and his team have salvaged the loss in the debate aftermath by efficiently pointing out Romney's lies.  Obama has been particularly effective on the campaign trail when using humor to hammer Romney for his lies and craven attack on Sesame Street.  

          The campaign goes on, but to call the debate anything but a loss for Obama is straight up denial.

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:16:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Do you really think (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Little Red Hen

          as brilliant as our President has proven himself to be, that wasn't a planned performance? First of all, if PBO lost his composure at any point, he would have been labeled an Angry Black Man! My god, they were setting it up all week, that video was specifically released to show him as an "other". Instead he kept calm and allowed Mittens to hang himself. He is now in his position of strength, the underdog, exactly where he was when he beat the Clinton machine.
          The constant whining is so old. Dems have whined since he took the oath and 4 yrs later, he has surmounted unbelievable odds and actually helped us in 100's of ways. Everyone needs to stop freaking out, we sound like a bunch of Eyeores "OHHHH NOOOO".
          The president took a dive and it worked he is brilliant!

          Republicans piss on you and tell you it's raining, Democrats hand you an umbrella!

          by Nica24 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 01:08:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I hope someone in the Obama debates team... (31+ / 0-)

        ...reads your diary.  Bets analysis so far.  And your advice to Obama of not accepting the frame offered by the moderator is perfect. Why should Obama dignify ANY of the many positions Romney has taken on different issues.

        Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

        by Shockwave on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:03:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Obama should have right off the bat debunked (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shockwave, Amber6541

          the frame set for him.

          This is a debate not a talk radio session.  Rush Limbaugh always tells his listeners what Obama "feels", "thinks" and "advocates".  Limbaugh also states these frames as if he is an insider in the White House.  Joe Biden should hang that on the Romney/Ryan campaign.  

          They use Limbaugh's frames, they should wear it, own it.

          "Now, some have said I blame too many problems on my predecessor, but let's not forget that's a practice that was initiated by George W. Bush.''—President Obama at the 2012 White House Correspondents' Dinner

          by Paddy999 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:48:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, you nailed it. i tuned in late but wondered (10+ / 0-)

        why Obama kept comparing his health care plan to Romney's. It set Romney up as an authority and allowed romney to lie and say anything.  I didn't realize those were the rules. And yes, Obama's biggest fail was to follow the rules.  He should have done as you said:

        So, Obama could very easily say:  "Jim, I can only speak for my positions; frankly I do not know what Mr. Romney's positions are; he has so many on each issue  You will have to ask Mr. Romney about his.  Maybe we can ask him what his position tonight is on 'xyz.'  Etc. Etc.

        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 Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 05:41:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let's be a tad realistic (8+ / 0-)

          Nothing "allows Romeny to lie and say anything." That's his M.O. That's all he does. He was actually hoping that Obama was going to accuse him of lying, which is why he accused Obama of that both on the stage and before.

          •  this is an important observation (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            I love OCD

            i would have to say that i keep thinking about this and know that this was a very high bar to jump: how to point out the lies without sounding petulant and offending people just by repeating: you are lying.

            but i think that obama's loss really came in the affect department: looking down, not looking into the camera, jim or mitt's face.  that was the real problem.

            i was also struck by how pale obama looked, as if he was sick.

            Donate to Occupy Wall Street here: http://nycga.cc/donate/

            by BlueDragon on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:02:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Amber6541, Subterranean

          I felt PBO should have said that also.  I can't help but think he was distracted by something.  Not that troops in war zones, bad economy, Middle East blowing up, etc aren't distractions but something specific.

          Everyone! Arms akimbo!

          by tobendaro on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:32:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's not a "continuing riddle how to educate and (0+ / 0-)

        and convert" undecided voters; it's a waste of time. Undecided voters are even bigger morons than other voters. All voters are idiots and always have been, ever since the Athenian citizens participating in mankind's first democracy, who were most influenced in their decision-making by the theater of Athenian political satirists (kind of the Willie Horton ads of ancient Greece). And voters will always be idiots, at least until that distant day when we evolve larger forebrains and sixth fingers. It's just human nature.

        The way to get the electoral support of undecided voters is to do the three things that always work in electoral politics: attack, attack, attack.

        Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

        by LongTom on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:05:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I totally agree with you. I had the same thoughts (5+ / 0-)

        upon seeing the debate on Wednesday night and was shocked by the reaction of the MSNBC crowd.  I thought Obama remained calm and clear in the face of Romney's hysterical and almost nonsensical performance. He threw everything but the kitchen sink at Obama, lying about his own position, while appearing to be on methamphetimines. I thought he was an arrogant jerk, particularly with his behavior towards Jim Lehrer which, as you say, was gratuitously cruel, cruelty being something he appears to deeply enjoy. I've also never seen a presidential candidate be so rude and ignore the rules completely just to create an advantage for himself. Frankly, I don't see why people are ridiculing Lehrer for that. It was Romney doing it.  What could Lehrer have done about it.  He tried and was arrogantly ignored and put down in a humiliating fashion.

        Thanks for writing this.

    •  Aw... That's nice. :) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SeaTurtle

      @SeaTurtle

      While I'd vote for Obama, I'd also vote for you.

      "I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." -Thomas Jefferson

      by delillo2000 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:15:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh yes, more like SeaTurtle and so many Kossacks. (20+ / 0-)

      I have a neighbor, nice guy but he said to someone I know,'How can you vote for a guy who would name the healthcare after himself? (Obamacare).  Where does one even start with the ignorance?  If I had heard it, I could have said plenty, but I wasn't there.

      "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill

      by Catkin on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:46:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is very difficult for honest people to deal (19+ / 0-)

      with an habitual liar. We have the example of Eve and the liars would have us believe it was her fault for being deceived. That's the liar's advantage. He blames the victim and gets away with it because virtuous people are also humble and readily admit mistakes.
      What we should take away from the glaring example Mitt the Lout provides is what kind of people were responsible for the economy's virtual collapse. And, thank goodness, it was a virtual, not real, collapse. It was the monetary aspect of the economy that crashed. Our real assets are still mostly intact, albeit deteriorating. But, once we correct the monetary part, the physical deterioration can be reversed with a lot of work. Which is a good thing -- only not for people who are incompetent and can't do anything with their hands.
      Some people have been "sacrificed" on the altar of the rapaciously greedy, of which Willard is the prime exemplar. Their object is not just to accumulate obsessively, but to wreck ruin. Willard is not a wolf in sheep's clothing. Willard is the wolf in grandma's bed, the cat that ate the canary, the ogre who threatenedn to eat Tom Thumbs siblings. It's an age old story, some humans ain't human.

      To be humaine is to not cause unnecessary suffering. Willard delights in inflicting damage. That is the import of his self-satisfied smirk. He goes out of his way to inflict damage. There are quite a few people like that. They're called sadists. We don't often see them in the public arena, though they turn up rather regularly under the Klieg lights.
      (I've long thought it funny that Dubya knew that term. I think he'd come to recognize that being under the lights of the media, along with being confined in the White House, had put him in restraints. That he was not able to do what he wanted. However, that we would be using the highest office in the land to restrain a predatory human is really shocking. Talk about waste!!)

      We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 01:45:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't know when I have agreed more with a diarist (9+ / 0-)

      Point for point you wrote the diary I have been writing in my head the past few days.  Am traveling so no time to actual respond to the worry warts, and at one point had to go into media and blogosphere blackout because found the reaction to the President's calm and measured responses so baffling.

      The media wants a horse race, and they are like sports commentators trying to keep their audience watching in the face of what was clearly becoming a runaway for one team.  They are trying to create news rather than report it, and this is irresponsible in the extreme.  But it is also nothing new.

      Kudos for stating this and your other points so clearly.  

      I definitely think that President Obama came across so much more presidential and trustworthy

      YES!!

      •  I agree (4+ / 0-)
        Don't know when I have agreed more with a diarist
        Obama's poll numbers went up among "undecideds" is what i read here, Daily Kos, the day after. I only felt frustrated when Romney spoke, a chilling shocking experience. I felt reassured and happy when Obama spoke.

        “My first choice is a strong consumer agency,” she said. “My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.”

        by mrobinson on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:49:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Is there a poll comparing response by gender? (5+ / 0-)

          I wonder if men and women saw this differently (and as a scientist, I mean statistically different).  

          Another disappointment with the media is that that they are always screaming for "substance" and when it came down to their so-called analysis of the debate it was mostly on style.

          And one last comment- I think the President does not look at Romney because he has no respect for Mittens.  That is probably something that POTUS needs to work on for the next debate - looking at Romney that is, not trying to respect him!  

    •  Reality vs. media spin. (5+ / 0-)

      You and I saw the same debate. Romney was arrogant, pushy, rude and dishonest. But his handlers knew that the MSM want a horse race and would ignore how offensive Romney was. And, of course, they were right.

      Snotty Brown - 2012

      by kitebro on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:06:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You best line: "Obama didnt abandon himself" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hotheadCA, SeaTurtle

      that struck me as a very important point.  But in a way one could say Romney didn't, either, because he has no self to abandon.

  •  I didn't think Obama was very clear. (13+ / 0-)

    He was very abstruse, said "aaahhh" a lot and mumbled. Mittens though he lied was very straight to the point. That was my biggest problem with Obama, though I agree he couldn't have just addressed every lie of mittens.

    "Four seconds is the longest wait " -Sleater-Kinney

    by delphil on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:12:15 PM PDT

  •  I totally agree with your analysis... (96+ / 0-)

    How in the hell do you debate a profligate liar?

    And Rmoney's demeanor was extremely chilling to me as well. He was manic and overtly agressive, toward the end of the debate, he was spewing a lot of words but they started to amount to nothing more than gibberish. This man is dangerous and frightening, he will literally say anything to win the Presidency. And as far as low information voter's go, the ones I know don't bother watching Presidential debates.

    "I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by mindara on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:17:24 PM PDT

  •  I was also surprised to learn everyone thought (98+ / 0-)

    Obama did poorly, because I thought he did well. Like you I was listening for substance and found little in Romney to recommend.

    I too was turned off by Romney's body language. He was very disconcerting. My partner and I were astonished that others didn't pick up on how threatening and insincere and bullying he was. That weird  smile especially when he ramped up the energy at the end was wolfish. Good description. Romney came across as a domineering creep.  I definitely wouldn't feel safe near a person sending those non-verbal signals in my vicinity.  

    My impression was also that Romney's attack and speed talking at the end was rehearsed, as though he had deliberately practiced interrupting and talking over both the host and the President, mostly because he picked up the cadence at the end and because he didn't seem to really be on the topic at hand, but delivering a practiced speech like a soliloquy.  I think the Romney team intended to deliver an O'Reilly type of performance as a finale.

    I liked your diary. Very thought provoking.

    •  really good point, bd (44+ / 0-)
      I think the Romney team intended to deliver an O'Reilly type of performance as a finale.
      Its no wonder Chris Christie said he would do well.  I think Romney was coached to do exactly as you said, be like the FoxBot O'Reilly.  And Christie is just another version.  

      Both make their way through a conversation by mowing other people down.  Bullies.  Thugs.

      Tx. for kind words.

      It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. ~~Joseph Stalin

      by SeaTurtle on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:39:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's when he bombed Big Bird. (9+ / 0-)

       In the new politics; let a person talk to hear and see what is really being said..  

      And don't stop thinking of tomorrow

    •  What substance did you find (3+ / 0-)

      in Obama's responses?

      Specifically, on jobs.  He proposes to build the economy "from the middle class out" through (mostly) education and training.

      How does that work, actually?  Who in the middle class is doing the hiring?  Who is raising demand?  Who exactly is hiring all these newly trained workers?  Where are the jobs that match these newly attained skills?

      It seems to me, that a lot of Dems/Progressives are perfectly willing to go through lots of hoops to enter into a suspension of disbelief regarding President Obama's jobs promises.  There is no there there.

      This is not a defense of Romney's trickle down proposals.. but where are the details and substance in Obama's proposals?

      •  Sitting in the House within the American jobs (19+ / 0-)

        Act (2 million jobs) and the Veterans Jobs Act (100,000 jobs)?

        I too thought Obama was looking down, simply as he could look at Romney being a crazed, fast-talking liar.  Romney was simply insulting  with the "I don't have that tax cut" lie.  He was dishonest, lying to the President and American publics face, he wasn't "worth" giving the time to at that point.

        I have talked to a couple non-political, don't pay attention types, and they both thought Romney was great.  I told them about the lying, I don't know if it changed their minds.

        "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

        by mumtaznepal on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 09:51:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Great point. (6+ / 0-)

          One of the corporate memes is that outsourcing is necessary because Americans lack training and skills.

          Nevertheless, education is crucial to a developed nation's competitiveness. It's pretty short sighted to think it only matters in the short term. Jerry might look at places where the literacy rate is really low and ask himself how long it would take to make that country competitive.  America became a center of innovation because the GI Bill educated broad swathes of ordinary people.

        •  The American Jobs Act (0+ / 0-)

          is more smoke and mirrors.

          It does absolutely nothing for the private sector.  It is a mini Stimulus II.

          While I am totally in favor of infrastructure spending, I am not in favor of sending hundreds of billions to the states to hire workers for the only purpose of reducing unemployment figures by a few tenths of a percent.

          •  You drive on Interstate highways much? (29+ / 0-)

            Ever call a cop or send a kid to school? American Jobs Act would have helped states keep from laying off workers as their revenue was down because the Banksters tanked the economy.  

            The "only purpose" is to keep the economy moving forward while other economic sectors recover. The roads and bridges need work and it's a perfect time to get it done. As for the private sector, the corporations are posting record profits. What, you think they need a tax break?

          •  When the economy is bad, there are two things (7+ / 0-)

            you can do.

            Give money to rich people (by cutting taxes or giving them tax breaks) and hope they'll create jobs out of generosity. This is the trickle-down theory. Over and over again it has not worked. Because if the economy sucks, the 1% don't hire more people.

            Or you give money outright to poor people or create jobs that unemployed people can fill. This is called priming the pump or kickstarting the economy. Then those formerly unemployed people take their paychecks and spend them at grocery stores. Or they buy furniture or diapers or new cars or whatever. There's a multiplier effect. Then that stimulates the economy. Much better than buying a fighter jet or a bomb.

            Either way (lowering taxes for the rich or spending more to help the poor) it's gonna increase the deficit. Then, after the economy recovers, you get a surplus.

            But the angle said to them, "Do not be Alfred. A sailor has been born to you"

            by Dbug on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 12:20:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Perhaps it would be good for you to take a (15+ / 0-)

            macro economics course. Quick lesson: the more people who work, the more people who work. As long as public sector workers are unemployed, they don't have disposable income to spend at private sector businesses. Economists call that "no demand." When public sector workers (or any workers) are able to consume, and demand is up, employers hire more people to accommodate more customers. And more manufacturers hire more people to produce the consumed products. And more truck drivers are hired to deliver the products. And so on. It works the same for improvements in infrastructure. More money in the hands of consumers, and improved infrastructure for the betterment of the country. Bonus!

            Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

            by HappyinNM on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 01:50:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  temporarily, yes (0+ / 0-)

              But then you are left with the debt to pay for it.

              The stimulus is a perfect example.  It did indeed boost the GDP a little bit.  But when it was over, the GDP fell.

              We are "growing" at a snail's pace 1.5% GDP growth.  That is no recovery!

              Public sector workers currently enjoy an extremely low unemployment rate.  They really don't need help.  The private sector needs help and Obama has no plan for it.

              Like I said.. infrastructure projects I am ok with.  At least we get something tangible at the end of the day.

              •  You have to consider a few things (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LynChi, bluedust, HappyinNM

                First, here at home we still no doubt have many people who are still looking for work. Again, the private sector is hiring at a faster rate than the public sector. In the last few years more than half a million public sector jobs have been lost. That's a lot of people out of work. When those people are out of work they aren't spending money at a private business, not paying taxes, hence less demand in the economy. That's why we need the public sector needs to hire more people to get our economy moving again, which is why we need more stimulus.

                Second, remember we live in an economy that can get better or worse depending on the GLOBAL economy. Europe is our largest trading partner, yet most of their economies are in a even bigger mess than us. With more europeans jobless that means less people buying our goods and products, which affects businesses here in the U.S. China, the second largest economy, is slowing its growth rate; India and Brazil's economies have slowed their growth rates. Japan's been in an economic funk for a long time. So when other countries around the world aren't doing so well economically that has a major affect on our economy.

                And speaking of the debt, we currently have interest rates, so we technically don't need to worry too much about our debt and deficits yet at least. As our economy picks up pace however, it will then need to be dealt with. Europe is in a mess in part because their leaders have decided to cut WAY too soon. That's not what we want to do here while our recovery is still fragile.

              •  no, really, take macro (7+ / 0-)

                The multiplier effect is not a liberal myth. If you're one of those folks who thinks that government spending prolonged the Great Depression, think harder.

                Public sector workers currently enjoy an extremely low unemployment rate.  They really don't need help.
                I'm not sure what you think this means. Are the teachers and other school employees who have lost their jobs "public sector workers" enjoying "an extremely low unemployment rate," or are they something else now?

                Election protection: there's an app for that!
                Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

                by HudsonValleyMark on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 04:41:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Over 500,000 public sector jobs had been lost (5+ / 0-)

                by July, 2011. I think the number is closer to 600,000 now but I cannot find a more recent number. So, no, the public sector is not doing fine. And you want a specific from the debate concerning that: the President called for legislation to help hire 100,000 more math and science teachers. Pretty damned specific.

                As to the private sector, over 5 million jobs have been added since the bottoming of jobs during the recession.

                As to your question earlier about who will hire the newly trained workforce, please read this article. It not only discusses businesses who are currently leaving jobs unfilled because of an workforce that is not trained for those specific jobs, but also discusses the future needs due to the retirement of the baby boomers.

                Because so many jobs are unfilled now, a landslide of them is on the way as baby boomers retire and leave the workforce. In 2007, Durliat was touring a Honda plant and managers told him they would be replacing 40 percent of the maintenance workers in the next five to 10 years. Also, places such as Husky Lima Refinery have a "huge percentage" of the workforce eligible for retirement, Durliat said.
                Now I realize that some of the problem comes from companies' expectations and lack of willingness to train employees themselves. But we can either moan and bitch about that and do nothing or we can accept that this is what has happened over the last 12 years and try to address the problem.

                Again, if you are truly interested in whether some job training is needed, please read the article above. It is very specific about the situation.

                You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

                by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 04:48:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You have it completely backwards. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gramofsam1

                Public sector employment is rising.  It's the lower public sector employment that is dragging down overall employment numbers.
                http://www.businessinsider.com/the-chart-public-sector-vs-private-sector-employment-2012-6

                You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ. (and donate to Bill!)

                by rb608 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 04:49:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Stimulus doesn't work when (0+ / 0-)

                it's not large enough to fill the real need. When the amount of the stimulus was determined, the assumptions regarding need were only approximately 1/3 of actual need. We only recently discovered how really deep the hole was. Additionally, the stimulus was passed in the Senate with the help of only 3 Repukes, and only after they gutted much of the infrastructure spending in favor of, you guessed it, tax cuts. Susan Collins will forever be on my shit list for that.

                A stimulus works much the same as jump-starting a car. If you don't run far enough or fast enough, it may not work, and you have to try it again. That's where we are now---trying to get the Repukes to try again.

                As far as the debt incurred, that would more than be paid for through tax revenue when and if it works properly.

                You gotta quit reading RW talking points.

                Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

                by HappyinNM on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:26:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Why? (5+ / 0-)
            I am not in favor of sending hundreds of billions to the states to hire workers for the only purpose of reducing unemployment figures by a few tenths of a percent.
            Why not?  

            And further, private sector hiring has been pretty good.  It's the public sector that has been dragging unemployment down.

            Regarding your earlier remarks about job training and hiring:

            How does that work, actually?  Who in the middle class is doing the hiring?  Who is raising demand?  Who exactly is hiring all these newly trained workers?  Where are the jobs that match these newly attained skills?
            It's been widely reported that there's a growing gap between our labor force's skills and available jobs.  The days of having a robust middle class built on manufacturing are over, for a number of reasons.  So, where does that leave us for the future?  Our labor force needs to have skills in order to have a broad and prosperous middle class.  Going straight from high school to a good job isn't in the cards anymore.

            Further, well trained and better educated workers have more power to make their own luck, so to speak.  They're more likely to have the knowledge and skills that are necessary to start their own business, understand how to navigate dealing with banks, and avoid the various pitfalls, and predators that often plague the lives of poorly educated/low skills citizens.

            "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

            by Triscula on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 04:44:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I read through plenty of help wanted ads everyday (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GAS, Cassandra Waites, Prairie D

        for which I have the skills but not the credentials.  An AA, the completion of my BA, or a targeted training program would give me and a lot of folks I know a considerable boost in the job market.  I hear employers complaining all the time that while there's an abundance of applicants, a dismal few are actually qualified for the positions they seek to fill.  

        In addition to subsidized vocational training programs, I think the most helpful thing the government could fund would be a subsidy for nonspecified, on-the-job training.  Since it is illegal for for-profit companies to employ volunteers, workers must be paid a wage even during training.  This makes it hard for those with a total lack of experience in a given work environment to convince potential employers to take a risk on training them.  With so many people switching careers or shifting from an academic field to more practical ones, this can be a real barrier to forward progress. Limited, government-subsidized, on-the-job training programs exist in some states for those already receiving unemployment benefits, but I think it should be broadened to include any unemployed or underemployed person wishing to improve his or her skills or gain practical experience in a desired field.  

        The trainee could choose the field, the employer, and the skill set with which he or she wants to gain experience, rather than being pigeon-holed into an existing state-sponsored career track (eg., dental hygienist, CNA, etc.).  If the job-seeker can find a willing employer/business to participate, he or she gets the subsidized wage for some reasonably finite amount of time.  Not only would this help job-seekers get a foot in the door with certain employers as well as expand and keep their resumes current, but it could also help struggling small businesses stay afloat through the recession by subsidizing part of their workforce.

        "I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." -Thomas Jefferson

        by delillo2000 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 12:07:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I may be wrong, but it seems to me that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Prairie D

          within the Dept of Education they are working to get community colleges to create courses that are teaching curricula that matches the needs of a particular community. I know, for years, our community college only taught certain trades until the market was flooded with people with those skills. Then they started adding, to better accommodate the needs of the community. I don't know if there are funds, other than typical student grants and loans, but it's worth investigating. Once you find out what options you have, it might be wise to contact some of the employers who have jobs now, and see if they'd be willing to wait for you to get the required education. If they need the help now, they'll probably need it in the future as well. Having those contacts offers you the best chance for employment.

          Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

          by HappyinNM on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 02:05:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Or you could be like me: (11+ / 0-)

          BA and 2 (count 'em, 2!) Master's degrees. Sales experience dating back to the 1970's. 25 years managerial experience in both non-profit and profit. Public speaking business since 1998. Published author. Computer savvy (although not a geek). Willing to travel.

          And over 55, so exempt from age discrimination protections. (They can legally say, "We're looking for someone younger than you." with no liability.)

          And I have been told for months that I am "over qualified", "too expensive" (although we rarely get to a salary discussion so they can find out how little I am willing to actually take) and "too inflexible due to age."

          Only the computer responds to an application ("Your application has been received. Thank you for applying with us. We will carefully review your resume and qualification and inform you by email if we need to schedule an interview.")
                  ...and then they give the job to the internal candidate they had on deck all along.

          Been there, still doing that....

          Shalom.

          "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

          by WineRev on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 04:26:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Internships? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OleHippieChick

          Aren't internships just another word for unpaid, volunteer labor?  I know private companies use interns.  Wouldn't this fit the bill as far as creating a training or learning environment for workers seeking to gain skills in a job environment?

          "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

          by Triscula on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 04:47:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  you would think that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GAS, OleHippieChick, bluedust

      a guy getting paid advice on what is coming out of his mouth at all times would also get acting tips on how to pretend to not be a creep

      fact is, he's unable to not come across as what he is:

      a huge fucking creep/

      been here, left, and might come back.

      by BikingForKarma on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:24:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I didn't think Obama did well but I thought mitt (7+ / 0-)

      was horrible. mitt's speech expression and eyes were speedy and creepy and oh those lies....
      And oh the bullshit he spewed.

      Obama made sense, mitt didn't. Obama appeared relaxed, romney uncomfortably hyper.
      People objected to Obama looking down and not at mitt but it is harder to write looking up and there was no other way to track what mitt was saying to have a chance of rebuttal.

      Yet the President rebutted very little of what mitt spewed. There were many points where he could have done that better, but fewer than I thought.

      I rewatched a great deal of it and in the rewatching... oh my.
      romney is asked if he had a question that he'd like to ask the president directly

      Mitt brought up his "no 5 trillion dollar tax cut" and other spin on that, the higher gas, electric, food and health care costs, energy, drilling, clean coal,  no tax cuts that adds to the deficit, lowering the burden on the middle class (and more). None of them a question, all of them distorted.

      So Obama starts his response by talking about romney's tax plan and the facts as we know them and is told by Lehrer to stay on taxes but even then romney interrupts to complain that 'virtually everything he just said about my tax plan is inaccurate"
      and Lehrer gives him the floor
      and moves on from there

      So yes, Obama took notes. And no he didn't rebut all of the distortion, not even close.
      How could he or anyone. Maybe as Jon Stewart recommended, point and say Lie, lie, lie, liar, lie, lie....

      That was pretty much the routine. romney had his raped fire spewing of distortions. Obama would address a part of it and then they'd move on.

      Most of what Obama said was fine, understandable, true, valid points but we can all agree there are things he should have said but did not.

      I was surprised to hear that Obama actually had more time (by almost 4 minutes). After watching it again I looked for some other information though and sure enough
      Romney Spoke Four Minutes Less, but Got in 541 More Words

      They say Obama was slowed by his "intellectual stammer". I say romney's speedy, rapid fire speech felt so irritating and attacking.  

      •  i didn't watch the show (0+ / 0-)

        but i've been learning the essence thereof by reading the diaries and comments about it

        pbo appears to have been somewhat professorial and passive, as well as "fine, understandable, true, valid", and  the "independent" voter, it appears, appreciated it

        as opposed to romney, who came across like an attack dog on coke/meth

        so far so good

      •  The tweet again (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bluedust

        @MittRomney started out as a missionary--been aggressively pelting ppl w/ made-up bullshit his whole life.
        He's a freakin PROselytizer, with a verbal avalanche of lies at the ready.

        rMoney: Just another jerk, lookin' for work.

        by OleHippieChick on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:22:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I thought he did well also (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      42, bluedust

      and he made me proud. I sent a letter saying so. It's thrilling to have a president who speaks in complex sentences, who thinks as he talks instead of recalling talking points. Not so long ago our president was a buffoon. Now we have a president who commands respect in international forums - not that our media care or notice the difference.

      “My first choice is a strong consumer agency,” she said. “My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.”

      by mrobinson on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:00:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Frankly, Willard made me so uncomfortable in (58+ / 0-)

    this fashion as you describe that I had to stop watching. I listened with one ear while reading DK here.

    as though Mitt was an animal in the jungle getting ready to pounce and devour him.  Frankly the condescending smirk sent chills through me.  He smelled of overdrive and huge insincerity.  His nonverbals were very unsettling and disturbing to me.  My instinctual self said to walk away from this person; he was very dangerous.  He was not someone to be trusted.
    A Democratic pollster did a focus group right after and President Obama won handily on likeability as well as the economy and healthcare. (I did a diary on it).
    So, I definitely think that President Obama came across so much more presidential and trustworthy than Romney, the Ravenous Wolf.

    I believe Obama won the likeability and trustworthy contest by miles.  It wouldn't surprise me at all if other people felt that same way.

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:30:34 PM PDT

  •  Excellent analysis (25+ / 0-)

    One point I would make is that Obama seemed so stunned by this hyper Romney that I think the shock made him lose control at first.
    Am I the only one who thought Romney's hair looked much ... I dunno ... less coiffed? Kind of underscored his desperation to me.

  •  I liked that (24+ / 0-)

    you said President Obama will need to consult professionals to see how best to deal with a shape-shifter like Romney without lowering himself.  That really is the key.  He had the usual fogginess of an incumbent president living in a bubble, plus an overly hyper and aggressive opponent willing to literally say anything. He's gonna need to be prepared for whatever next time.

    "Stand! There's a cross you have to bear. Things to go through if you're going anywhere." - "Stand" Sly & the Family Stone

    by mirandasright on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:37:21 PM PDT

  •  Oh you're so right! (50+ / 0-)
    The 'centrist Romney' is like a horny guy on the prowl, trolling the bars.  Clearly he has now morphed into the 'I will say anything to get you to go to bed with me' mode.
    Absolutely - that's what gives Romney that smarmy quality. And as for the enjoyment he got out of threatening Lehrer's job (Not to mention Big Bird) you completely felt that smiling creepy quality that obviously gets a charge out of "firing people for 'bad service'" or who could be amused by cutting a vulnerable classmate's hair or could think it's fine to strap your family pet to the roof in a crate or think it's cute to cut in front of your hungry grandkids so you can eat first. Willard is just weird - aggressively weird.
  •  My take, too, I don't see the angst (39+ / 0-)

    I was shocked how the MSNBC hosts were reacting to it.   I thought Romney did himself great harm when trying to talk about his tax plan, he seemed like a little kid trying to explain that the dog ate his homework, yet they don't have a dog so the dog was a martian dog that you can't see...

    Romney often qualified his statements.   One that comes to mind about Romney care is that he didn't "take money from Medicare, well we didn't have Medicare in MA"   That is weakness.

  •  Stylistically Romney seemed hyper (37+ / 0-)

    One of the most interesting moments was right after the debate when Maddow said that Romney seemed hyper and then fell all over herself to say that it wasn't a bad thing.   I posted that Jack Welch was probably in the control room, I meant it figuratively but when the jobs numbers came out it seems like he was the first responder..

    Romney didn't seem stable or honest.   He was clearly trying to push out as many attack lines as possible as quickly as possible and it doesn't look good.

    So why this is supposed to be a disaster is beyond me, I think we were played by hosts that we trusted....

    •  that is very troubling to me... I agree.... (16+ / 0-)
      So why this is supposed to be a disaster is beyond me, I think we were played by hosts that we trusted....
      There is more to that than meets the eye.... I hope we find out what is behind that...

      It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. ~~Joseph Stalin

      by SeaTurtle on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 08:05:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't watch the debate, (14+ / 0-)

        I was reading here at DKos about it. At 10:30 I turned the TV on on MSNBC and in less than 5 minutes I turned it off. They were a disgrace, almost all of them, in my opinion, and they sounded hysterical. Rather than trying to analyze what happened and dissect the debate, they were reacting to how their own expectations had been failed. Well I could give a darn about their expectations and with their thoughtless reactions they did not help one bit the guy they purport to support. Instead, with their hysterics, they helped advance a narrative, a false narrative, that you so well disassemble in your fine diary.

        Hopefully the President and his team will be better prepared next time to deal with a character that is totally disingenuous and willing to sink to depths that are unfathomable. Better prepared to deal with the optics, that is, because, as you say it well, in the substance the President did as well as he could under the circumstances. Now everyone knows, be ready.

        "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -John F. Kennedy

        by basquebob on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:06:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I did watch the debate, but like you, had to turn (8+ / 0-)

          off MSNBC after about 5 minutes. Rev. Al was the only one who was not upset because the President did not live up to their fantasy of how they would have eviscerated Romney. Thank God Obama is the President and not Matthews, Schultz and the rest (no matter how much I love them as hosts of opinion shows.)

          And Matthews saying the President should watch MSNBC because "we" are having the real debate, etc. Well, first of all, I think the President is aware of the 47% remark and probably made a strategic decision not to use it. After all, most people are aware of it and by not bringing it up, it meant that Romney could not issue his "I was wrong" apologia in front of 60+ million people. Romney had obviously prepared it but instead had to issue it later when no one was really paying attention. And quite frankly, while I do think MSNBC talks about a lot of issues I care about, "we" are pretty much debating ourselves there.

          And Ed saying "liberals wanted" the President to go for the jugular because we hate Romney. As has been noted, it is the independents, moderate democrats, and undecideds that  needed to be the target of the debate. Notice that the Conservatives don't seem to mind that Romney etch-a-sketched all his "severe conservative" positions. They know what he stands for  and know also that he needed to reach people who are not "severe conservatives." So they at least have the sense not to be upset that he did not do just what the RW wants. The fact is that he had to lie over and over that to accomplish that. The President maintained his positions on every issue without alienating everyone but liberals. And if liberals are offended by the President not being an aggressive asshole, well, be offended, but do recognize that without independents and moderates, no one can be elected President.

          You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

          by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 05:32:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  basquebob, you hit the nail on the head, imo (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          basquebob
          They were a disgrace, almost all of them, in my opinion, and they sounded hysterical. Rather than trying to analyze what happened and dissect the debate, they were reacting to how their own expectations had been failed. Well I could give a darn about their expectations and with their thoughtless reactions they did not help one bit the guy they purport to support. Instead, with their hysterics, they helped advance a narrative, a false narrative, that you so well disassemble in your fine diary.
          Exactly.  They believe that they KNOW how he should have behaved and what he should have said.  I am so sick of the line we all hear over and over:

          "This is what Candidate X has to do to win"

          Have any of these pundits run or held an elective office?  This is the hubris I was talking about, but you expressed it more clearly.  Thanks for that.

          It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. ~~Joseph Stalin

          by SeaTurtle on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:50:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think there is. (19+ / 0-)

        In litigation, it is considered essential to answer each charge against you. Thus, the MSNBC hosts probably felt that Obama let himself be attacked without defending himself. That was Romney's strategy, to goad the lawyer in Obama to waste his time answering spurious charges that are better left to fact checkers, preferably concurrent fact checkers in a feed of tweets from experts.

        This would eliminate the advantage of a psychopath in lying and would do the country a world of good.

        I felt precisely as you did even though my husband was hyperventilating like the MSNBC hosts. I had to remind him that Obama plays a very deep game for the long term and that he has always shown himself to be much more astute than many people give him credit for.

        I thought Obama was right to ignore Romney's tactics and speak to the people, even though I feared the immediate reaction that we witnessed.

        "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." —John Kenneth Galbraith

        by eyeswideopen on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:11:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not to be overly cynical (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kj in missouri, bluedust, SeaTurtle

        but we are talking about the media industry.

        Even if they're supposed to be on "our side" they remain creatures of the business that they earn a living from. Drama and flash is what they feed on. Romney provided that, the President didn't. That's "showbiz."

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:51:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  romney's papers wouldn't fit (0+ / 0-)

      in either of his suit jacket pockets, so he passed them to a son... how could he not know they wouldn't fit ? he tried both, and gave up.

      * Join: OBAMA'S TRUTH TEAM * Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.

      by greenbird on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:51:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's what I think the biggest problem was (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DuzT, gramofsam1

      I'll concede that there are a number of valid critiques of the President's performance Wednesday night, but I think the most significant problem was simply his lack of energy.  He looked drained and sort of distracted...as though something was weighing heavily on his mind.

      It has been an interesting experience listening to portions of the debate on the radio.  The exchanges come across very differently without the visual.  

      So, I hope that Obama can bring some more energy to the next debate, and maybe a bit of humor too.  I mean, seriously...why not a bit of gentle mockery aimed at Mittens?  There's certainly plenty of material available.  The most obvious thing would be to tease him for his constantly shifting positions and inaccurate representation of his own views and "plans".  Obama can be very funny.  He should use that.

      "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

      by Triscula on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 05:06:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  excellent diary. Romney played the structure too.. (39+ / 0-)

    1. Romney intentionally stopped the discussion to argue with Jim about who gets to go last, and spent a couple extra seconds reinforcing his argument (not the first time he's done this tactic in debates...)very early in the debate.. that sent a message to Lehrer.. later on, Obama looked a couple of times to Jim  to intervene, and he wouldn't..

    Romney's "firing" of Lehrer was also a subtle intimidation tactic... between the two, he behaved like he was at least Lehrer's equal, if not superior.. while Obama behaved like Lehrer was the referee and therefore the person of authority.

    Romney was good at twisting.. note that when Obama brought up that when giving tax breaks to "small business" the GOP puts people like Trump in that category.. Romney retorted that the few small business that fit that definition are actually the ones that create most of the jobs..

    sounds great - but he just admitted Obama's point - that they aren't small businesses at all so of course they create most of the jobs in that category - they are mislabeled big businesses.

    Finally he was very sweet to note that when he shrinks government he will do so through attrition. couldn't you just see how pleased he was by this display of "compassion"?

    excellent diary. thanks very much.

    •  I agree with all you said... (12+ / 0-)

      I think that Romney was, as I said, on his 'strength playing field' so that it was possible for him to use the structure so well to advance his strategy.

      Tx, you are very welcome.  I watched the debate before I had dinner and wanted to get an early night, so that I could keep getting better from this horrendus cold.  But I just couldn't get this out of my mind and the diary started writing itself as I ate dinner.

      Glad I wrote it.  This is another form of medicine!  thanks.

      It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. ~~Joseph Stalin

      by SeaTurtle on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 08:09:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  your point about the jobs.. you go first.. (8+ / 0-)

        is excellent!..

        regarding the Lehrer thing..

        its funny.. they couldn't seem to understand afterward how come Romney seemed to have such large stature especially since Obama spoke for more minutes, but just understand the psychology of this equation:

        If:

        Romney is greater than or equal to Lehrer.. and
        Lehrer is greater than Obama..

        then..  Romney vs Obama???

        I think that was a huge psychological way that Romney created a sense of being so much more in command of the thing..  

      •  that horrendous cold might have been the flu. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GAS, LynChi, SeaTurtle

        Flu seems to be going around early these days.

        Everyone: Get your flu shots!  

        Even if you're young & strong, you could become a contagious carrier, so get the shot to strengthen herd immunity.  

        "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

        by G2geek on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:48:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  thanks for your kind concern, G2g (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          I carefully watched for the markers to take me to a doc.  Fortunately none of them came; just a crappy cold.  On the bright side, I did find some new herbal remedies that have helped a lot.  So, that is a gain for me going forward to have that knowledge and resource.

          It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. ~~Joseph Stalin

          by SeaTurtle on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:58:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  equal vs. referee- good point. Also I agree with (14+ / 0-)

      you about the "firing" and that "Obama looked a couple of times to Jim  to intervene, and he wouldn't." And that actually made me mad because he deserves more respect than that. The diarist here said:
         

      I was very surprised when I woke up on Friday morning when one of the first thoughts in my mind was:
      How incredibly callous of Romney to tell Lehrer that he would not fund PBS and would fire him.  All the time with that sickly sweet smile on his face.  I'll bet that there were plenty of men and women watching the debate who did lose their jobs from someone telling them that their job was cut.  Those men and women would have had a chill going down their spine when they heard Romney say that to Lehrer.  Lehrer just looked straight back at him.  Losing one's job is not a joke.  But it became so for Romney by threatening Big Bird.  I shuddered at the thought that Romney would find pleasure in another's pain.
      But I wasn't surprised Sea Turtle would think that, because that's pretty much what I thought.
      And you are right on AAL, with saying
      sounds great - but he just admitted Obama's point - that they aren't small businesses at all so of course they create most of the jobs in that category - they are mislabeled big businesses.
      But did people notice that as a takeaway? Nope- right under radar, except for the few of us here preaching to the choir.

      "Had we gone the invasion route, the US could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land." -- George H. W. Bush, "A World Transformed," 1998 memoir (explaining why the US did not occupy Iraq in the 1991 "Desert Storm" war)

      by nuclear winter solstice on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 09:08:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this (26+ / 0-)

    I honestly don't think Obama did that bad if you take optics out of the equation. On the other hand I've talked to many people (Independents) who thought Romney was rude, petulant, childish, and lacking in any details. Most people had the opinion that it was a largely boring and wonky debate.

    •  I certainly thought it was very boring. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mumtaznepal, Leap Year, sewaneepat, elmo

      I wasn't looking for a winner or loser, but for information. Most of what Romney said was news to me, like half the green energy enterprises have failed, when, according to his campaign, he meant to say one-half of one percent instead of 50%.  Maybe the President didn't know the correct number, but it wouldn't have taken long to say it if he did.

      The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

      by ybruti on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:03:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wonkiness (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fumie, GAS, isabelle hayes, bluedust, SeaTurtle

      It seems to me that Pres. Obama did state, more than once, a broad vision on particular issues. He did so looking directly into the camera.

      Someone who wrote a diary on framing—sorry, I've forgotten who this was!!—pointed out that sometimes Pres. Obama opened with a broad vision, and then mentioned some specifics.

      Romney, who couldn't stand waiting for the president to finish his remarks, jumped in, pouncing on the little specifics not the broad vision. He didn't offer his own vision.

      I'll have to go back and look at the debate again, but I'm not remembering any effort by Romney to provide his vision. It was just a whole series of yak yak yak yak yak yak about little things.

      Motor-mouth. Loud-mouth. Boring. Tedious. Uninspiring.

    •  Target Audience (5+ / 0-)

      Romney was trying to impress Republicans. In that, he succeeded. But he did not expand his support enough to change the trajectory of this election.

      Romney had nothing to lose since he was behind. His lies will catch up with him.

      Help! The GOP is NUTS (& the Dems need some!)

      by Tuba Les on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:42:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice analysis, I agree. (8+ / 0-)

    Lover, fighter, dreamer

    by kate mckinnon on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:59:32 PM PDT

  •  Thanks Seaturtle (18+ / 0-)

    great diary. Like others, I too felt that President Obama was taken completely off guard by the aggressive lying. If that came at me I would be afraid to say a word - Mitt really did seem in control of fact and numbers. Sitting on my couch screaming "That's not true" was a hell of a lot easier than the President trying to calm things down and lay out facts.

    I think President Obama did the okay thing as far as talking directly to the people and stating his opinions, although there were several gimmies that he let slip by. I hate the cliche but it was like trying to nail jello to a wall.

    My neighbor who is for neither candidate thought Obama did a better job.

  •  Lifelong Performer, I Agree W/ Polling So Far (3+ / 0-)

    that Romney won at least a little.

    I would give a month's income to compete against Debate Obama as a live audience performer. Also against 2009-10 Obama before a live audience. I want to be the act that follows either of those Obamas. If you know any performers, people who perform for ordinary folks, ask them what that means. You salivate for the chance to follow the dud act.

    2008 Campaign Obama? If I ever found out he was slated for my venue any hour of the day at all, I would cancel the gig and skip town. Skip the state. --And the same is true for 2012 stump Obama. But not Debate Obama. That guy, I crave as my setup.

    I know an effective performer when I see one, and we have as many performing personas in our candidate as the Republicans have factuality performers in theirs.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 08:05:46 PM PDT

    •  I think you may be underestimating (7+ / 0-)

      Obama; I can't speak as to whether you're overestimating yourself.

      Know this: there are Americans in this country who would pay money to watch Obama do nothing more than read a newspaper.  I'm one of them.

      I was jumping out of my chair and whopping and hollering when Obama asked voters to consider whether they really thought Mitt was hiding the details of his programs because they were just so good.

      And I was reminded of why I voted for this good man in 2008 and why I feel so proud and fortunate that he is our president. He's real, he's serious and he's honest.

      None of which anyone can say with a straight face about that other guy.

      •  I have repeated this line several times myself (0+ / 0-)
        I was jumping out of my chair and whopping and hollering when Obama asked voters to consider whether they really thought Mitt was hiding the details of his programs because they were just so good.
        Really, what are they hiding?  If their plan is so fucking good for this country then Willad and lyin Ryan would "take the time" and do the math.

        And OMG, Willard will repeal Obamacare and replace it with . . . Obamacare.  Sheesh

  •  i like very much what you wrote. (18+ / 0-)

    it felt good reading it. especially:

    "Romney, on the other hand, came across as desperate, conniving and the word that persisted most for me during the debate, was 'ravenous as a wolf'. Mitt looked at Obama as prey; as though Mitt was an animal in the jungle getting ready to pounce and devour him.  Frankly the condescending smirk sent chills through me.  He smelled of overdrive and huge insincerity.  His nonverbals were very unsettling and disturbing to me.  My instinctual self said to walk away from this person; he was very dangerous.  He was not someone to be trusted."

    i was considering that the 'predator' component may be the cause of X, and the 'prey' component the cause of Y, as to how we respond, individually. but there is also the calm that comes from self-knowledge, and honesty.

    are you going to eat me, or just toy with me like a mouse? am i going to outrun you, or play dead?

    but i can't mush more than that out of what i found myself thinking while squashing tiny ants at my sink...

    so, considering who's using the debate for TV ADS, i'd say you're right: Romney is very dangerous. if you're not in a good enough position to kill him with one good blow, figuratively, wait for a better time... he'll be less difficult to strike than "that fly."

    if Romney can't be trusted in a debate, who can trust him in the Oval?, which message OFA is pounding away on with those ads.

    the old adage is, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. if it's good, so it will taste good. in your case, the proof of the diary is in the reading. yum!

    * Join: OBAMA'S TRUTH TEAM * Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.

    by greenbird on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 08:11:40 PM PDT

    •  You can't trust Multiple Choice Mitt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      msdrown

      What's he hiding? Why? Could it be because the details of his plans are just so good?

      Yeah. Right. Bet he can get you a great deal on the Brooklyn Bridge, too.

    •  thanks, greenbird (0+ / 0-)

      a good description of what might have been going on in his mind

      It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. ~~Joseph Stalin

      by SeaTurtle on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 03:55:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was struck by a talk radio caller (45+ / 0-)

    who said he had been stuck in the car and had to listen to the debate on radio. With audible input only, his impression was that Obama was crushing Romney, and the caller was astounded upon arriving home to discover that the TV talk machine had already declared the debate to be a Romney romp.

  •  I agree... (22+ / 0-)

    It's clear Obama didn't have his greatest night, but I agree with you that overall his performance wasn't nearly as bad as generally assessed.  I also think the early impressions will gradually fade as Romney's dishonesty is exposed and as people have more time to fully absorb the dickishness of his demeanor.

    You're right about the framing of the questions.  It was a strange choice by Lehrer considering that prior to the debate, I don't think a lack of policy differentiation between the two candidates would have been a major consideration for most voters.  Romney had stayed full-tilt right-wingnut, never really moving to the center after his convention.  Lehrer's framing was more like something one would expect if Obama had been debating Clinton.  And yet it turned out to be prescient in that Romney used the first debate to make a major pivot toward the center, at least rhetorically.  And it sort of a priori boosted Romney's credibility in that Lehrer was essentially acceding the notion that Romney's stated policy positions were both meaningfully defined and somehow similar to Obama's.  Very tone deaf, very poor judgment on Lehrer's part.

    •  excellent point, imnop (16+ / 0-)
      And it sort of a priori boosted Romney's credibility in that Lehrer was essentially acceding the notion that Romney's stated policy positions were both meaningfully defined and somehow similar to Obama's.  Very tone deaf, very poor judgment on Lehrer's part.
      I hadn't thought of that and am very glad you did.  Very insightful and relevant.  Talk about 'false equivalency' on steriods.

      Thanks so much for that.

      It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. ~~Joseph Stalin

      by SeaTurtle on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 08:35:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Glad you're feeling better, too... n/t (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SeaTurtle, basquebob, GAS, Matt Z
        •  tx, :-) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lmnop

          I pulled out all the stops on all the home remedies I could think of and find...hope I am ok tomorrow.  Have been looking forward all week to going to a new farmer's market to see an organic farmer's stall.... hope it doesn't rain

          It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. ~~Joseph Stalin

          by SeaTurtle on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 09:04:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And that is why (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GAS, SeaTurtle

        I have never been able to watch the news on PBS. They engage in 'false equivalency' a tad too much. The news is not about fairness it is about facts and that is where so many journalists have gone so wrong. On the one extreme is all blustering and propaganda, and on the other it is all 'false equivalency'. The net effect is the same, a highly uninformed populace. Don't take me wrong, I like watching and listening to the people that have my same biases, but I am fully aware that I am consuming biased information and have enough sense to dig into data and raw sources to keep me honest. The falls and disappointments tend to be softer that way.

        "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -John F. Kennedy

        by basquebob on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:34:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Post-debate discussion (9+ / 0-)

      So for all the chitchat about Romney winning, what are we hearing post-debate?

      1. Big Bird, and all his Muppet friends.
      2. Fact-checkers reporting on the lies Romney told.
      3. Romney supporters are gleeful about the zinger on trickle down government.

      I just don't see this as a very winning situation for Romney.

      Wonder if anybody came away from that debate being very impressed with something grander about Romney than a zinger—or a threat to fire a Muppet.

  •  Rmoney's grating, almost shrill voice (27+ / 0-)

    His know it all attitude, his arrogance, his predatory posture was most unbecoming.

    I am glad Pres Obama took it easy, drew out Rmoney, made him post a host of lies, while denying Rmoney the chance to address the 47% issue.

    That alone was the BIGGEST accomplishment of the nite - not giving Rmoney the stage to address his Achilles heel.

    The polls may move a bit to Rmoney but they will again resettle toward the Pres.

    •  Would love to see the gender breakdown (11+ / 0-)

      That predator persona of Romney's apparently pleased a lot of people, and I'm betting that a lot of them are male people.

      I suspect that women are much less likely to think Romney's behavior was within the realm of normal, much less presidential.

      Most disgusting comment of the evening: Ann Coulter apparently said she thought Michelle probably wanted to go home with Romney. Ick!!!

      •  Yeah, right (5+ / 0-)

        That would be just like Ann Coulter, projecting her own desire to mate with a serial killer...

        "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." —John Kenneth Galbraith

        by eyeswideopen on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:21:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Apparently, Romney's (12+ / 0-)

        ...nasty comments about Spain caused quite an upset there. Another ally's hackles up. Great diplomacy!

        (Oh, and that 42% of GDP involved with government number is the same as with Germany, New Zealand, the UK, and other highly successful nations, so his trashing of Spain was completely gratuitous.)

        "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." —John Kenneth Galbraith

        by eyeswideopen on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:25:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Meant to append this below -- sorry. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GAS

          "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." —John Kenneth Galbraith

          by eyeswideopen on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:26:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Good point (3+ / 0-)

        Most women I spoke to thought Romney was rude, disrespectful and condescending. Hated him more after the debate than before.

        Men on the other hand have commented that Obama looked like "he wants to quit". Thought better of Romney after the debate ... until they started to talk about what he said, and then they had to agree he's still the same fatcat prick who only wants to help the rich.

        The takeaway from most people is that Romney is for the rich and nothing that happened changes that. In the end, I'd say the race will settle down to Romney gaining 1-2 points on the 4-5 point deficit he had. So it's a 2-3 race, which is kind of where most prognosticators (like Nate Silver) seem to have expected it to end up all along.

    •  I am so glad you mentioned Romney's voice. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      That about drove me crazy and had me yelling "shut up" at the TV. I think that was why it seemed like Romney talked longer than Obama, because it was so painful to listen to that tone of voice that each second he talked seemed like a full minute.

      You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

      by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 05:46:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This sums up my own feelings as well. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle, basquebob, fumie, sewaneepat, Matt Z

    Just in a much more eloquent fashion.

    Insert witty slogan here.

    by SniperCT on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 08:24:34 PM PDT

  •  I didn't see any of the commentators. I refused (27+ / 0-)

    to be told what I was going to think beforehand, watched the debate on PBS, and turned the TV off as soon as Brooks and Shields got started.  I don't have cable, so MSNBC wasn't an option; it sounds like that was just as well.

    My immediate feelings were that Romney was a terrible bully and I reacted extremely negatively to that...and felt that he lied about everything he had proposed before.  I think Lehrer set up a bad format, did not hold anyone to the format, and did not moderate anything.  And Romney refused to go by any rules set up ahead of time.

    I agree that Romney would be awful on the world stage; it would be a continuing repeat of what happen in Great Britain.  Perhaps his moneyed backers should give some thought to the repercussions of that.

  •  Agree (29+ / 0-)

    I thought Romney was smarmy and creepy.  After three minutes I wanted to wipe that wipe that smirk off his face.  Came away thinking he would stick a knife in anyone's back who got in his way.

    That said, I also remember the exact minute when Obama realized Romney was repudiating his own tax plan.  He plainly was not prepared for this.  Given what he had to deal I thought he did well until his closing statement.  If he had closed strong, I think the overall discussion of the debate would have been different.  But he didn't for whatever reason.  That final statement to me was the disappointing part of his performance.

    As for MSNBC, the tenor of their discussion was set by Chris Matthews and Ed Schultz.  Is anyone surprised by what they said?  They are as much bullies as Romney is.  And of course they were loudest.  

    I appreciate your diary but would add one point.  It is a sad day when we no longer expect our presidential candidates to be either truthful or dignified.  More so then anyone, they should be setting an example.  What I saw out of Romney exemplifies the worst of his party and politics rather than the best.  While I am not naive and do realize that for many years all politicians have stretched the facts and truth, the Romney campaign is so far beyond the pale in so many ways I fear what it means for our political process in the future.

    Gandhi: "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. "

    by FoxfireTX on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 08:25:29 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for this. (8+ / 0-)

    A nice counterpoint to the hysteria.

  •  How to deal with Romney's lying (19+ / 0-)

    I have been advancing the idea that President Obama should refuse to debate again unless there is a fact checker (not the moderator) on site to flash a red light or something when someone is lying.  That would put Mitt on notice that Obama is serious about him being truthful, and it would signal to the public that Obama has been telling the truth and Romney has not.  I talked to someone at the campaign who loved the idea and said he would propel it up the chain of command.  So, we shall see.  But I think it would send a strong message about lying.  PBO has more important things to do than stand beside a compulsive (or calculated) liar and try to call him on his b.s.  That would be clearly unpresidential, but as you say, the lying needs to be dealth with.

  •  I agreed but it's a cultural thing. Americans like (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluedust, Fury

    aggressiveness and sound bites, not so much substance and logic. They think that's what determines "winning". When the enemy changes his shape like a chamelion, bouncing around and aggresively throwing jabs, the only option left is to blow him away. Obama should have gone for the 47% and knocked the fucker out. You can't play defense, you can't score by technicality and you can't let him dance around. You go for the knockout punch. That's the only way to beat him.

    •  no fear; all of what you say is true in one way... (14+ / 0-)

      except you have to know what your goals are for the debate.

      Obama's goals were to convince and convert the voters who have not already decided to vote for him.  I truly don't think that they would have understood a very aggressive approach.

      Now, we progressives would have loved it.  But I don't think it would have gained us votes and that is our goal now.

      It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. ~~Joseph Stalin

      by SeaTurtle on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 08:45:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No (8+ / 0-)

      I refuse to be completely written out of existence just because I and many others don't fit how you view Americans. A lot of Americans don't appreciate style over substance. At all. A lot of Americans are especially very much against aggressiveness, particularly those who have endured abuse from people of that nature. Stop trying to paint over 300 million people into one category.

      Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

      by moviemeister76 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:54:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree, I was just thinking (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moviemeister76

        wait! I'm an American and I don't think that way.
        I hate when people purport to speak for me.

        "I think of the right-wing Republicans as jihadists; they’re as crazy as those people. They want to destroy the country that we want to save." Paul Auster

        by zesty grapher on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:08:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's a major pet peeve of mine (0+ / 0-)

          As a history major, I see students do the same thing all the time in class and it drives me up the wall. To me, it's bordering on violence because it erases your existence and self-worth as a human being.

          Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

          by moviemeister76 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:33:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  No, you describe what the media like (0+ / 0-)

      The "undecideds" polled like the president's answers and demeanor. I did too.

      “My first choice is a strong consumer agency,” she said. “My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.”

      by mrobinson on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:18:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  now, guess what: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle, i love san fran, David PA, GAS

    i'm gonna read your diary again.
    and the comments, too.
    and hope that adds to your well-being !

    * Join: OBAMA'S TRUTH TEAM * Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.

    by greenbird on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 08:36:05 PM PDT

  •  Years from now (39+ / 0-)

    after the heat of the election is over, this debate will be studied by political scientists, psychologists and the like as an example of how to successfully handle an unhinged sociopathic liar on national TV. And I am not calling Mitt a sociopath as hyperbole. He really is a sociopath, and from my own experience, dealing with someone like that is quite disarming, as it's hard to discern what is really going on with them at first. They come off as "normal", at least for a while. A sociopath can be quite convincing on a certain level, because they are completely convinced of the lies they are telling to themselves.  It can also be downright dangerous if you challenge them on what they genuinely believe to be reality. Generally, it leads to them lashing out to elicit a response from the person questioning their "beliefs" as a way to regain the upper hand. And they usually do it very convincingly. I'm sure a reconsideration of what actually happened will vindicate Obama's performance. He was in as difficult a situation as one could imagine, in front of 63 million people, and suddenly realized that he was up against, a very sick, powerful and dangerous man. Think Richard Nixon on steroids.  David Brooks, of all people, said yesterday on NPR, that he thought Obama's performance wasn't as bad as was being made out, and the only part that was lacking significantly was his summation, for its lack of passion or vision. I actually have to agree with him on that. But I don't think the President could possibly have written a summation that ever could have anticipated what he had to face that night. I hope, in addition to the debate coaches, his team is consulting a really good psychologist that has some insight in to Mitt's behavior. They're  going to need it.

    •  YUP! (23+ / 0-)
      And I am not calling Mitt a sociopath as hyperbole.
      I also do not use that word as hyperbole.

      And the other aspect that I did not introduce, because I thought it would have been too much of a detour along the path I was taking, is that he is supported by a cabal of sociopaths who just happen to have enormous wealth.  So, we are in fact dealing with a sociopathic Borg.

      And I do not use that word here as hyperbole, either.

      We agree:

      I hope, in addition to the debate coaches, his team is consulting a really good psychologist that has some insight in to Mitt's behavior. They're  going to need it

      It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. ~~Joseph Stalin

      by SeaTurtle on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 08:58:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  M.Scott Peck- People of the Lie (8+ / 0-)

        "Had we gone the invasion route, the US could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land." -- George H. W. Bush, "A World Transformed," 1998 memoir (explaining why the US did not occupy Iraq in the 1991 "Desert Storm" war)

        by nuclear winter solstice on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 09:24:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sure he does have those experts (5+ / 0-)

        The Obama campaign certainly has the funds to engage experts like psychologists.

        I think your concept of the sociopathic Borg is a good one.

        I read Scott Peck's People of the Lie some years ago: it is a good book.

        The campaign should get lots of advice on how best to deal with Romney.

        •  One of the important take-aways (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SeaTurtle, True North

          I got from Peck's People of the Lie was that if you find yourself dealing with a Malignant Narcissist [MN] with considerable personal power, it's best to get yourself outside his/her target range forthwith.

          The original sub-title of PotL was, "towards a psychology of evil." It went a long way towards NAMING the evil as well as characterizing it, but it didn't offer any cures that I can recall (I got it in its first printing). In fact, Peck was quite specific about the need to protect yourself from the damage MNs do as a matter of course to everyone in their sphere of influence.

          And Peck's description of the physical reaction that results from being in the MN's target zone is revulsion. That's not a thought form or a rational judgement or even a dispassionate psychological diagnosis. It's a visceral physical reaction - something instinctual. I felt it from Romney right through the TV. Imagine what Obama and Lehrer felt!

          •  that's very interesting, Joieau (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau, True North

            although have familiarity with Scott Peck never got to this book.  Looks like it is worthwhile.

            What you said has been my experience and observation:

            I got from Peck's People of the Lie was that if you find yourself dealing with a Malignant Narcissist [MN] with considerable personal power, it's best to get yourself outside his/her target range forthwith.
            that is also a reason why calling Romney a liar or attacking him on his shapeshift would not have worked.  IMO, the only thing that would have worked and kept the focus on Romney is to shift the 'field of play' right away, which would have put Romney on the defensive.

            Of course, Obama will still have to do this and I hope that he will.  His surrogates can call Romney all sorts of names, but he can't, imo.

            The 'revulsion' reaction was just visceral, wasn't it?  Yeah, I highly prize our primal instincts and have spent some time trying to understand what they are saying to me and how to listen to them.

            It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. ~~Joseph Stalin

            by SeaTurtle on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 02:27:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Revulsion is a good description (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SeaTurtle, Joieau

              That's what I felt.

              From the moment Romney tried to dominate the dialogue—starting to talk loudly while Pres. Obama was still speaking, making the last point on everything no matter what the moderator said—I recognized him. There was a malignant narcissist in my life (not any more) and Romney is a twin, at least as far as what he was doing on debate night.

  •  Did you see (5+ / 0-)

    this rec listed diary? http://www.dailykos.com/...

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 08:45:49 PM PDT

  •  I don't disagree with your analysis because (7+ / 0-)

    My initial reaction was good on substance but weak on rebuttal.  

    Where Obama failed was in the inability to improvise to counter a point that Romney made that begged for a response.  When he threw that 710 billion medicare lie crap 5 times it should've been struck down emphatically.  When Romney threw down that Solyndra crap, he should've talked about how the tax credits and subsidies are creating new american jobs in places like Iowa and CO.  Many of these rebuttals are in stump speeches that Obama has already given but he did not appear to have the ability to instantly recall the points and state them.  That is just bad preparation.  He crammed for the test and only focused on policy points without focusing on how he would handle a challenge from Romney.  One other example is that b.s. Romney spewed about the reason why he doesn't need to be specific is that he is going to figure out what congress wants and hammer out a compromise.  Romney said the exact same line in his 6o minutes interview, widely viewed as a mini-debacle and Obama had no answer.  Obama did not even mention emergency room care, another statement from the 60 minutes interview.  Even the garbage about how Romney doesn't have a tax cut for the wealthy, the most audacious lie of them all, was in his 60 minutes interview and Obama was unprepared for it.  

    Romney telegraphed everything that he was going to say in the debate and how he was going to say it and the Obama team did not pick up on it.

    I negotiate for a living and a negotiation is much like a debate, at least in the early rounds.  The most important thing to do is to be engaged, draw boundaries and make clear the permissible lines of discussion. One thing I always do is sketch out what the other side will say, and if they bring an audacious surprise to make certain that my client will not stand for it and force them to come back to a more rational set of goals.  I also sketch out why my client believes in a certain position so that I have a rebuttal handy if I am challenged.

    Obama's failure was stark in that he was insufficiently in command of the facts of his own policies or the arguments from the other side.

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 08:49:57 PM PDT

    •  He let pre-existing conditions and recission slide (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      i love san fran, David PA

      for far too long and then said it quietly when he should have taken a simple, direct, LOUD stand against that and made Romney defend going back to it if R wants to repeal the ACA. I'm glad he likes that it's called Obamacare, but I wanted to hear him be snide for a minute and perhaps refer to the lies of Wrongney- I mean Romney. Perhaps that humor is a little too low-brow for him, but he seemed to be trying to use his time to speak directly to those who hadn't heard him before and were just tuning in. He didn't give them any chuckle to hang onto. Romney, meanwhile, behaved like an angry tea-partier and probably won hearts and minds there.

      "Had we gone the invasion route, the US could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land." -- George H. W. Bush, "A World Transformed," 1998 memoir (explaining why the US did not occupy Iraq in the 1991 "Desert Storm" war)

      by nuclear winter solstice on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 09:39:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good diary, but in addition: (2+ / 0-)

    I agree with this diary, but Obama should not escape criticism. Not only was Romney slippery, sneaky, and untruthful, but let's face it, he was also polished, prepared, and confident.  It's clear that he had rehearsed the hell out of his delivery and his remarks, so that brazenly dishonest and disingenuous claims had the ring of truth. He spoke in crisp, easy-to-understand, and forceful statements. He seemed to believe in himself. By contrast, Obama stammered, hesitated, said "uh," and used overly complicated diction (such as elaborate, hard-to-follow rhetorical constructions: If you believe "a,b,c,d,e,f" then you should vote for Romney - not effective.) He had not rehearsed as much as he should have. I hope he rehearses like crazy for the next debates.

    I also think Obama looked a little worn and tired at times. So looking good, strong, and robust is also key.

    •  ..just flew into Denver on his 20th anniversary... (5+ / 0-)

      I haven't been there but I hear it's hard to adjust quickly to altitude.

      "Had we gone the invasion route, the US could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land." -- George H. W. Bush, "A World Transformed," 1998 memoir (explaining why the US did not occupy Iraq in the 1991 "Desert Storm" war)

      by nuclear winter solstice on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 09:42:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that's a big part of it. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GAS, nuclear winter solstice

        Obama's too busy to spend days adjusting to the altitude like Romney did.  It's tiring until you get used to it.

      •  High altitude! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nuclear winter solstice

        One needs to adjust slowly when going to higher altitudes it cannot be done posthaste.

      •  I agree. (4+ / 0-)

        Of course, Al Gore got made fun of for saying it. But I looked up articles about it yesterday and there were a number, including many from the city of Denver itself, saying that one should take 24 hours to get used to the altitude. The main side effect seems to be feelings of lethargy, as well as headache and nausea.

        It is important to note that what happens to one in Denver is not acute mountain sickness or any of the other dangerous altitude sicknesses that occur at much higher altitudes. But it is a real adjustment problem as opposed to a life threatening illness.

        The campaign should have thought this through. And of course, there were other things on his mind, such as Syria and Turkey which may have also contributed to his lack of his usual energy.

        You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

        by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:02:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nobody can rescue a republican better than Obama. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eglantine

    It’s absolutely inexcusable for someone like Obama to not completely destroy someone like Romney in a debate.

  •  I like how you use Sun Tsu. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GAS

    But one of his biggest lessons was that the ultimate purpose of war, or in this case a debate, is to achieve your objectives, even if it means appearing as though you lost.

    Obama seems to have failed that. He was more logical, didn't lie as much, and didn't Etch A Sketch, but Romney is the one experiencing a bounce in the polls. Unless this is somehow a long term strategy where the long term trend will make up for the short term bounce, Obama failed in this debate.

  •  Thanks for this (7+ / 0-)

    It was a great analysis, and I had the same reaction to Romney as you did.

    Plus you have now convinced me to FINALLY read the Art of War.  For some reason I have been reluctant, but your description of the matrix and playing in your area of strength (and the opponents area of weakness), makes a great deal of sense to me.  

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together, and in a way that was easy to understand and relate to.

    •  thanks; I am a student of Sun Tsu (6+ / 0-)

      the matrix idea is my application of his profound words and was born out of a very difficult time in my life when I was without choice engaged in a very tough adversarial combat.  That was when I started with Sun Tsu (he can seem dry at first,) but I forced myself to apply each of his steps to my situation and discovered this 'application' of the matrix playing field.  It was the way that I won that struggle.  I consciously and constantly kept on dragging the combat back to my strength 'playing field' and the opponent's weakness 'playing field.'  

      Hope you get out of it what works for you.

      It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. ~~Joseph Stalin

      by SeaTurtle on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 09:38:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I completly agree with your assement. (4+ / 0-)

    We are a long way from being done.

  •  I agree (10+ / 0-)

    With a lot of what you have written. The points you make about Mitt's non-verbal cues really hit home as does your point about being unable to win a debate with someone who will simply deny anything you say. If indeed Obama had tried to do that, it would have simply turned into , "am not", "are too" over and over and that plays into Romney's hands.

    I'm actually wondering if Obama's body language was in part due to the Turkey/Syria situation blowing up an hour before the debate started and probably that the Obama team knew that some of what you have talked about was coming based on their analysis. So Obama appearing to nod and agree with Mitt was really his reflexive non-verbal equivalent of "there you go again, just like my team said you would." At times Obama seemed to smile incredulously as he nodded, which in my mind confirms this possible explanation. However, I'm not an expert.

    I do think Mitt won on style at least to people looking for a fight(er) and your analysis points out many of the reasons why. Obama made his points, didn't make any major mistakes and now moves on to formats that more favor him. Romney is a bully by nature and this was his best opportunity to use those skills. It won't play so well in the town hall debate for sure and in the end, he's still not releasing any actual positions other than, "trust me". Given the amount of lies he has told and continues to tell, only a fool would take that chance.

    Progress 365 not just a slogan a goal - 300 progressive seats in the House and 65 progressive seats in the Senate.

    by jusjtim35 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 09:28:32 PM PDT

    •  Given the amount of lies he has told and continues (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      i love san fran, fumie, GAS, LynChi

      "Given the amount of lies he has told and continues to tell, only a fool would take that chance."

      And that's what I thought too. Until tonight I had a man from Kentucky explain to me that they're all Democrats but they are going to vote against Obama this time because he shut down coal production and hundreds of thousands of people are out of work. And this man is no fool. He had a power plant just about to go online when "Obama stopped it."

      and then- he went on with a perspective that certainly never occurred to me: "those mountains are useless anyway. But if we take 'em down, we get the coal and then it's flat so we build schools and golf courses and malls on them."
         "Sure the water's a little dirty-" he said as I stared at him and tried to process that kind of thinking. I must admit, he is a good, honest (far as I know) man of business, and again, no fool at all. Just a Democrat with a different perspective right now. And his concept of a living environment is simply different from mine.

      "Had we gone the invasion route, the US could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land." -- George H. W. Bush, "A World Transformed," 1998 memoir (explaining why the US did not occupy Iraq in the 1991 "Desert Storm" war)

      by nuclear winter solstice on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 09:54:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why does he live in KY if he hates mountains? (6+ / 0-)

        I think you're wrong and he IS a fool. The kind of fool who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. The kind who would destroy his environment for money and then try to buy the ability to survive in the toxic rubble. The kind who will not learn until it is too late that you cannot eat, drink or breathe money.

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:27:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Born'n'bred there- why would I ask him to move? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DuzT, bluedust

          That's why it was such an odd perspective to me, maybe it's a case of "familiarity breeds contempt"? But he also hunts and fishes and I think he doesn't hate them at all, he just sees it as different sort of resource than we do. His money is in coal and in everything else related to their coal economy, and so the mountains are large lumps of coal with a coating you can scrape off. And it IS a coal economy- in fact although it is lovely down there I asked my hubby not to choose there to live because that is your choice: want to be a machinist? Work for Big Coal or don't work. Want to drive trucks? Work for coal and watch out EVERYBODY 'cause the coal trucks own the road and you are an ant about to be squished if you don't take care...etc. In fact, if you try to say anything negative about coal you get conversationally squished, but not just by him, by the whole community I visit down there sometimes.

          I guess I agree with your evaluation, but it sure was an eye-opener for a Yankee girl to listen to his side for a moment.

          "Had we gone the invasion route, the US could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land." -- George H. W. Bush, "A World Transformed," 1998 memoir (explaining why the US did not occupy Iraq in the 1991 "Desert Storm" war)

          by nuclear winter solstice on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 04:12:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  That is one of the saddest things I have ever (4+ / 0-)

        heard.

        "those mountains are useless anyway. But if we take 'em down, we get the coal and then it's flat so we build schools and golf courses and malls on them."
        It literally makes me want to cry. I've lived in the flatlands and I've lived in the mountains and the value of the mountains is much more than any coal they find.

        Even from just an economic assessment, I would bet the value of tourism is greater than the value of the coal. Now maybe in that part of Kentucky, they have not exploited the tourism value or they have ruined it by MTR and a dirty environment. But the pushing of MTR is a real threat to the economy of East TN.

        How anyone who lives in this beautiful landscape can even contemplate its destruction should look at pictures of what has happened to parts of WV.

        Is this man a union worker? If so, or if he would like to be, he should carefully think about what a Romney administration would do.

        You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

        by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:15:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is the answer: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sewaneepat
          in that part of Kentucky, they have not exploited the tourism value [and] they have ruined it by MTR and a dirty environment. But the pushing of MTR is a real threat to the economy of East TN.
          Yes, yes! I agree with all three of those statements. And that is what makes him sort of correct in his way of thinking- the neighborhood has been despoiled, and the difference between when I saw it in 1998 and again in 2011 only showed that, well, um...now they had three new areas of business with big box stores, indoor flea markets, and professional complexes of doctors and lawyers, carved into some shorter, but green and tree-growing mountainsides.

          I am against this spreading indiscriminately, but until we stop using coal I have to admit that my friend is right for his situation, and it's a big country to make one size fit all.

          In my area of NH there are areas of extreme beauty but also "miracle miles" of blacktop and concrete construction too...

          Personally I have an answer but I've been having trouble getting it across to people...Can we pleez haz Changing World Technologies?

          "Had we gone the invasion route, the US could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land." -- George H. W. Bush, "A World Transformed," 1998 memoir (explaining why the US did not occupy Iraq in the 1991 "Desert Storm" war)

          by nuclear winter solstice on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:43:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Style (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bluedust, fumie, GAS, sewaneepat

      I just don't find it all that stylish to lie non-stop to people whose votes you want.

      No matter how nasty and creepy you are when you do it.

      A bunch of people don't care what Romney says or how he says it as long as he continues to be not-Obama.

      With Syria/Turkey: I agree with you about the possibility that the president was likely engaged on that day with critical matters that none of us were aware of, and he would of course treat his presidential responsibilities as being a higher priority than the debate.

      Romney, of course, has been a full-time presidential candidate for five years. In that way, he differs from most nominees in recent years, people with day jobs like being senators.

  •  Bless you SeaTurtle for writing this summary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GAS, sewaneepat, SeaTurtle

    I hope we can have dinner again sometime. Your analysis is spot on.

    You could be listening to Netroots Radio. "We are but temporary visitors on this planet. The microbes own this place" <- Me

    by yuriwho on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 09:34:15 PM PDT

  •  Then you're in the majority of social (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North, Broke And Unemployed
  •  More on the creepiness (14+ / 0-)

    Quite a few people—especially female people—commented in post-debate diaries about Romney sounding just like the abusive boss, boyfriend, spouse, or ex-spouse they had known.

    I sure recognized Romney's type.

    That whole thing Romney did of interrupting Pres. Obama, determined to seize the floor from him by talking more and more loudly, and then demanding that Lehrer back off—since Romney didn't think any rules to him—all of that is so familiar to far too many women.

    That high-velocity loud yakking, trying to prevent the other person from getting a word in edgewise—that isn't associated (for many of us) with trustworthiness, integrity, respectability.

    It isn't just women who have encountered abusive bosses and partners, of course.

    Romney is a nasty piece of work.

  •  Mitt is in love (21+ / 0-)

    Mitt is madly in love with himself, and his embedded delusions of grandeur.  He exhibits an absolute incapacity to feel genuine empathy or compassion or concern for anyone he deems a lesser being.  He flat out doesn't care about anyone or anything that doesn't enrich him somehow. He feels no remorse or guilt for lying or for harm he may cause others.  

    Back in the day when I was still practicing as a Psych RN, this is the kind of person we most dreaded  to see admitted, because we knew the havoc that would follow. The term Borderline Personality Disorder was in use then. These folks fed off the other patients like a vampire, to pump up their delusions of grandeur and need for power and control over others.  They simply don't  care if others were harmed as long as they got their own needs met.

    As soon as he got going, Wednesday, I knew there wasn't a hell of a lot Obama could do to stop or divert or rebut the tsunami of rehearsed bullshit pouring out of old Mitt Mouth.  Not in that setting and certainly not without any effective moderation at all. I think Obama sensed that soon in, and choose not to bite the bait and get drawn into the planned chaos Mitt had ready for him.

    In the psych unit, we used the extinction technique with people who act like this. Non-response.  Turn and walk away until and if the person showed a willingness to engage in genuine two way communication.  Deprive them of an audience. It's no fun to act like an bloviating, blustering asshole if no one is listening.

    Mitt, in my opinion, is one very unstable and dangerous man who most definitely should NOT be allowed anywhere near the Oval Office.  His rage, when challenged or defied, is barely concealed sometimes. I actually shudder to think that this kind of person is this close to the Presidency.

    When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. Cree Prophecy

    by scribe on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:04:53 PM PDT

    •  Forgot to say (6+ / 0-)

      thanks Sea Turtle for sharing a very very good diary!

      When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. Cree Prophecy

      by scribe on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:08:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent comment, scribe. I agree, I think (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scribe, fumie, GAS

      Obama was just fed up with the outright lying and bullying and looked to me like he was thinking, "cripes, I"m worried about Syria tonight, and this fool .. it's like 'debating' Michelle Bachmann".

      "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

      by mumtaznepal on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:15:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is what the Republicans have brought us (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scribe, SeaTurtle
      His rage, when challenged or defied, is barely concealed sometimes. I actually shudder to think that this kind of person is this close to the Presidency.

      “My first choice is a strong consumer agency,” she said. “My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.”

      by mrobinson on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:47:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I only read about half your diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mirandasright

    I bailed after the discussion about the battle being on Romney's Field of Strength.

    So, Obama could very easily say:  "Jim, I can only speak for my positions; frankly I do not know what Mr. Romney's positions are; he has so many on each issue  You will have to ask Mr. Romney about his.  Maybe we can ask him what his position tonight is on 'xyz.'  Etc. Etc.

    Obama accepted being on Romney's strong playing field during the debate.  Bad Move.  I believe Obama could have moved it to his own playing field...

    Yes, it was a bad move.  The bad move had to have occurred LONG before the night of the debate though.  The conditions of presidential debates are negotiated over fiercely.  Before the precedings, it was announced that they had negotiated how many relatives of each side would be able to hug the candidates on stage post-debate.  Even to that level of micromanagement.  So you can be quite, absolutely, dead-certain that both candidates knew well ahead of time what Jim Lehrer's opening remarks (but not his questions) would be.  

    So when you say that Obama was on "shaky ground" from the moment of Lehrer's opening remarks that the next ninety minutes would be about "with an emphasis throughout on differences, specifics, and choices.....", the grave fault lies not with Obama's being in this position, but that his fuckwit campaign advisors KNEW he would be in this position in advance and yet they were too lazy and/or dumb to  give him the appropriate Sun Tzu speech on how to approach questions about Romney's positions.  

    I can't quote Sun Tzu on this, but I'm sure he would also have said that if you know ahead of time what kind of battle you're going to, take the correct armor and weapons and maps; don't just wing it.

    I, too, am baffled why he didn't say the following, which could have been prepared for him in case Romney pulled yet another switcheroo.  "I applaud Mr. Romney for abandoning his prior position on X and apologizing to us for it.  That was an apology wasn't it?  I'm not sure now..."

    He could have said some variant of that any number of times in the debate and highlighted the fact that Mitt Romney wasn't clarifying his position but CHANGING his position, and done it in a way embarrassing and provocative to Romney.

    Some people on the Obama campaign are badly overpaid.

    •  Let me clarify... (0+ / 0-)

      I've been critical of Obama in the past on a number of issues.  I'm not really criticizing Obama on his debate performance.  He performed as he was probably prepared to perform.  I'm criticizing the people who prepared him for the debate.  The aforementioned overpaid fuckwits.  If he followed the script, but the script was bad, then I only fault him for hiring fuckwits.

  •  Good point on Romney firing Lehrer & Big Bird. (3+ / 0-)

    He likes firing people, remember.
    Still, I would have liked the president to make him show his math.

    Who cares what banks may fail in Yonkers. Long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

    by rasbobbo on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:05:45 PM PDT

  •  Excellent analyis (7+ / 0-)

    Pretty sure this is the best diary I have read about the debate.  I saw the same one you did, not the one the hysterical pundits saw.  And I absolutely agree that Romney is a sociopath; I only wish there was some way to convince the non-Kos part of the electorate.

    On November 6 I'm voting for Citizenship and Arithmetic.

    by coffeeprocessingmachine on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:09:10 PM PDT

  •  Look, Obama was set up to fail. (7+ / 0-)

    First off, expectations were like 2-1 that he'd win.  That's a bad spot right there.

    Second, the format was ridiculous.

    But third, I feel that many people were offended at how passive and disinterested he seemed.  I was like, LOOK UP DUDE!!! WTF!!!

    If if he was winning on substance, he looked like a beaten dog.  When you're dealing with an alpha male wannabe, you gotta return the fucking favor and step up.  There's only one thing people hate more in a president than rudeness, and that's weakness.

    You're the motherfucker who saved Detroit and killed Bin Laden.  Fucking act like it.  It's who you are.  Tell the stupid advisers and handlers to take a fucking hike and be who you are.  Some passive mealy mouthed beta male didn't make those calls.  You did.

    Be who the fuck you are.  You're the commander in chief.  Act like it.

    VULTURE/VOUCHER 2012. FUCK YOU, MIDDLE CLASS!

    by GOPGO2H3LL on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:10:10 PM PDT

    •  He was acting like the commander in chief (8+ / 0-)

      He got stuck debating Romney, the petulant child with all the media pundit hangers on.

      Sure, Mittens gained a few points with his base, but Mittens HAD to act like a dick because he is losing and his base is a bunch of dicks anyway who only want to follow the biggest dick.

      Obama gained with independents. Not lost, but gained. They are the votes who matter--not the right-wing dicks who will never vote for a black guy anyway but were crying in their pillows because Mittens wasn't dickish enough for them.

      Mittens acted like a dick; Obama acted like a president. Unfortunately, the debate format favored the dick--but then again, Obama didn't know which Mittens would show up--and no one I knew expected Moderate Mittens to make a cameo appearance. It's like preparing to debate Jello.

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:36:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great analysis -- I experienced (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluedust, zane, sewaneepat, LynChi, SeaTurtle

    the debate much as you did in real time and was stunned by the immediate MSNBC meltdown. Next debate should be better for Obama as it is town hall style, with questions from undecided voters, and should play better to his strengths. I suspect that even an undecided voter will do better in framing the questions than Jim Lehrer and is more likely to be specific in framing the question . .

  •  This is the best thing I've read (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Broke And Unemployed, SeaTurtle

    about the debate. Thanks.

  •  Such a good, smart diary (6+ / 0-)

    Such excellent analysis -- so good to read.  I found myself nodding, "yes" so many times.

    Thank you.

    I am a Big Bird Democrat ~ Positronicus

    by noweasels on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:51:11 PM PDT

  •  I'm just going to say (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sewaneepat, LynChi

    that liberals went in expecting that Obama was going to land a knock out punch. If you went in expecting that, you were sorely disappointed. Apparently a lot of us did.

  •  Obama just needs to be more assertive. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David PA, eglantine

    Command the podium, and dismiss the Romney BS with segue-ways that remind people of his positions and their real-world implications.  

    He needs to more concisely launch his attacks using Romney's own words and positions.

    "Governor Romney called the Ryan budget marvellous....

    "Governor Romney advised that we should let Detroit go Bankrupt..."

    "Governor Romney called Russia our number 1 enemy..."

    "Governor Romney suggested that students just borrow money from their parents.."

    "Governor Romney vowed to reject the DREAM Act but believes in something called self-deportation..."  

    You don't need to follow a bullshitter down into the weeds where he makes up numbers and introduces discredited studies.  Just remind people what's been said on the record.

    I'm not sure what the gameplan was but he seemed way too reactive.  Even if you're unsure how your opponent is going to come at you, you should have a framework for dealing with varying scenarios.  And you must react assertively.  There should have been a very bold in your face opening script...and then you could make adjustments as you see where Romney goes.      

    1964 Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston, 1997 Masters Tiger Woods vs Field, 2008 Barack Obama vs Field

    by ZenMaster Coltrane on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:05:14 PM PDT

  •  The Moderator's question was complete BS (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GAS, bluedust

    The questions, beginning with that very first question (how will you create jobs future tense), did not allow Pres. Obama to tout any of the accomplishments of his term. The moderator's questions basically assumed that the last 4 years didn't exist, and that there was no Obama record.

    The first question was absurdly biased: What are the differences between the two of you in how you will create jobs?The phrasing implies (factually incorrectly) that jobs are not currently being created under Obama policies. It ignores the fact that 5 million jobs have been created under Obama policies and that we are already on track (even while doing nothing at all no matter who is president) to add millions more in the next four years. It was a total bullshit question. It does not make sense to ask this question when one of the candidates has guided a recovery that continues to add jobs every day. This question would make sense in a debate between two non-incumbent candidates running for office.

    The entire debate was framed so as to remove any advantages of incumbency. Nowhere in the debate did viewers hear about DADT, al Qaeda, the auto bailout, etc. Whether intentionally or not, the handling was anything but even.

  •  Surprised How The Two Personas Were Perceived (9+ / 0-)

    For months I was looking forward to Romney the spastic geek going against cool no drama Obama. I thought it would put Obama in a good light and he would be perceived as a winner. I was wrong and I'm thinking the Obama team was thinking the same way. Obama made the case in a fashion that may have been a tad too cool and laid back. Romney seemed energetic and  more than spastic. Factor in that the challenger to the incumbent is favored because he is finally on equal footing in the first debate.  So I watch the thing Wednesday and thought it was a tie. Flip the channels right after and hear David Gregory say "Chis Christie" was right. Flip to MSNBC and they are going ape shit. Then the group think comes in and we are off to the races. You can track people through tweets and on blogs who were watching the debate and were commenting positively on Obama's case and making fun of Romney. Then they join the group think afterwards. It is a great study in mass psychology.

    •  Yes people online liked Obama's performance or at (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bluedust

      the very least thought it was ok and the debate was a tie. I watched it on tv and thought it was a tie.

      It is the media who decided Mitt won the debate and all criticized and bashed the President.

      Of course, the media wanted a close election so I should not be shocked..I am convinced even if Mtt has a lousy night, media would claim him the winner.

      The media is absolutely giddy that now there will be a close election.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:54:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Perceived It As An Even Match (0+ / 0-)

        So I have to go on how I perceive others perceived it. The fast pace geekiness and phoniness that I see in Romney is being perceived as intense forthrightness. The deliberate pacing of Obama's presentation is being perceived as lackluster. Think Obama will up his game  in the next 2 debates. Think he should watch tapes of himself from a couple of years ago when he single handedly took on the GOP Congressional conference. Remember the Daily Show coverage of the session. Still, deliberate. Just a bit more confrontational by a notch. Confronting Romney will bring out the geekiness. It will bring out the "You want to bet $10,000" lines.

  •  I would like these debates to shift to the radio. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, 417els, LynChi

    TV is an awful medium for a debate. Visual stimuli go straight to the emotional venters of the brain not the cognitive, unlike hearing.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:33:07 PM PDT

  •  There's another possibility... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, fumie

    Watch the video, read the hypothesis...

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

  •  Interesting Theory (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, fumie, GAS, LynChi

    Your analysis makes sense from hindsight, but up until the debate Mitt had shifted to the right to rally his base. Thus a reasonable strategy would have been to try to paint Romney as someone who has sacrificed his true values to placate the Tea Party - or as someone who has become too extreme. Romney's move to the center seems to have caught Obama off guard, and he was uncertain on how to respond to Romney's strategy. For example, Obama had anticipated that Romney was going to defend tax cuts for everyone. Instead Romney said he wasn't going to give tax cuts to the wealthy at all. This was a curve ball and Obama did not know how to respond. To tell you the truth, dealing with curve balls requires a candidate to go off script, and neither Romney nor Obama are very good at going off script.

    I say "seem" to have caught Obama of guard, because we really don't know what was on Obama's mind during the debate. But news organizations hired lip leaders to find out what Obama was saying to Romney after the debate. It turns out that Obama congratulated Romney for a fine performance and Romney said thank you. This means that Obama knew that he had been losing throughout the debate. Thus, a good guess is that Obama had been caught off guard and knew that he was struggling to answer the questions.

    The good news is that Ryan and Romney are now committed to their strategy in the next two debates with respect to domestic policy. Thus, it will be easier for Obama to prepare for the next debate. Romney was able to get away with inconsistencies from what he said in the primaries and even through the convention because people regard those statements as part of a different game. However, the general election debates will all be regarded as one game and each candidate will be held accountable for what they said for the second presidential debate, and even in the third debate as Romney will link foreign policy to the economy. Moreover, Obama will no longer have to deal with overly high expectations.

    •  Excellent analysis Nice Ogre, I got the same (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fumie, GAS, LynChi, Nice Ogre

      feeling throughout the debate.  I know I was shocked that Mitt completely changed his opinions and policies from the last 18 months too !!

      It was a complete reversal and etch a sketch moment.

      I kept waiting for the President to say it is was obvious that Gov Romney did indeed use the Etch the Sketch and completely started his campaign over at the Debate with All new policies.

      It is hard to debate someone who has completely switched all their policies in 24 hours times.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:52:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  After watching him shapeshift for 18 months (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nice Ogre

      I cant believe they didnt prepare a line or two for a big reversal.

      Something like, "Well, for the last 18 months you have been promising to cut taxes for everybody.  Does this mean you are now promising not to cut taxes for wealthy Americans, and if so, what is the income level that determines who will get their taxes cut?"

      That said I think you are right, Obama didnt believe Romney would abandon his whole program right there on tv and thought he was making a fatal mistake when he did.  

      Still enjoying my stimulus package.

      by Kevvboy on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 05:03:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with a lot of what you said, but I believe (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nice Ogre

      the President would have said the same thing to Romney post-debate no matter how it had gone. He is a polite and respectful man.

      You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

      by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:23:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe (0+ / 0-)

        But perhaps Obama thought he was debating a different person than the old Mitt Romney he had grown accustomed, too. This seems to be confirmed by statements he made the next day.

        Debating in front of 67 million people is high pressure and tough. When you are very nervous and the pressure is on you, some people want to stick to a script. To many people, responding to some of Romney's assertions seem simple. But when you are under pressure, these simple responses escape your mind.

        •  I was just speaking to the part about his (0+ / 0-)

          congratulating and complimenting Romney. That is what I think he would have done even if Romney had been terrible.

          But I agree with you about simple responses escaping your mind, especially in these high stakes situations where one person has a lot more on his mind than the rest of us (and I don't discount the effect of coming from sea level to Denver just that afternoon either.)

          You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

          by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:09:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  after 43 years of voting (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jenfern17, GAS, eglantine, LynChi, zesty grapher, 42

    I said I would leave it up to the young people to vote and I would never vote again. and have vowed on this website I would never vote again,  but now I have to vote because after his performance in this debate, my blood pressure went sky high...... oh god .. where is President Clinton when we need him!

    I voted for our President in 2008 and have been disappointed in him in many ways.  But I would rather have our President stay in office... I vowed not to vote anymore after our President let us down in so many ways, but now I HAVE to vote because I cant take Mitt and his lying and the Supreme Court if Mitt wins.  Can we imagine if mitt wins what will happen to the Supreme Court? I am 75 years of age now, but I HAVE to vote for not just my self but son, my grandson and my greatgrandaughter

    He has to show up in the next debate, and he has to come out fighting if he wants to stay in office and he has to deliver and fight the republican party... no more 'pretty please'.
    And for goodness sake he has to take on the wimpy mitt and call him out on all of his lies.  Otherwise, well I will be dead whenever, the clocking is ticking at my age.  Our President has to look into the camera at us ,I think he did it twice, but he has to look us in the eye then look over at mitt, but must look at us, not down at his desk.

    •  Silverlil, Thank you (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GAS, Leo Flinnwood, eglantine, LynChi, 42

      I am ashamed because I did not vote in 2008 OR 2010. I felt jaded and cynical about the left and despised the right. I felt it was "all the same." I never thought I would get involved in politics.

      What happened to my rights as a woman after the 2010 elections changed my opinion completely. Here I am on a political website, vowing to vote as long as I have breath.

      •  Jenfern17 (0+ / 0-)

        Thanks for your response.  I hope you vote.  Romney will not be on our side when it comes to women.  Today, we have choices about having a child, back when I married, still to the same man, we had to take play safe so to speak. back in 1959.  We had one son, but when our son was 10 and my husband was about ready to retire from the Navy, I became pregnant, we had a choice between both of us to have an abortion, and we do not regret it for a miniute.
        If Romney gets in office, who knows.  He is dead against this, but he has pots of money and will see how this works in the Supreme Court.   I just read a story about a mother with 4 children and she nailed a 2 year old with super glue to the wall with the little girl's hands and beat her up so bad she was in  a coma for several days.  We are not from Texas but the y will rule in a few days.  

        I dont wan't to start a firestorm here, but Romney will take us back to the old days.  We need to move forward, so you must vote against him .  And the states will have to pay for the unwanted  and abused children.  Just sharing a personal story with you,  ... vote.

        We will have more choices with a democrat in office, in every way, not just the story  I shared with you..  Regards.

  •  Best Diary I've Read Recently (5+ / 0-)

    When I watched the Debate, I came away with the same impressions as you, Sea Turtle. What makes your diary special is that you analyzed things correctly and kindly. I felt that our Obama behaved with dignity; he was presidential. All I could see in Romney was someone who was at best rude and thoughtless and at worst downright cruel. I thought Romney was the real Loser.

  •  Thank you for the clearheaded analysis. The (3+ / 0-)

    conventional wisdom amongst the supposed liberals or presidents supporters says more about them than it does about him.

    Obama spoke calmly and didn't get flustered. But it seemed clear to me that he was not refuting every piece of garbage that was coming from Mit on purpose and not because he didn't have a clever response for it.  He was not hyper but he was not disengaged or alloof as some make him sound like.

    I was shocked by the reaction on MSNBC and think they did exactly as you said which is to react to their missed expectationtodo red based on how they as ratings chasing pundits would have responded rather than looking at the imperatives of a president aiming to convince 2% of the undecideds.

    Too bad the media impression was so negative, as Im afraid the meme will be hard to shake.

    "amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work every day" - unkonwn

    by dadan on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 12:39:55 AM PDT

    •  I agree. (3+ / 0-)

      I thought Obama's cool would contrast well with Romney's hot.  But the circus commentators were having none of it.  They wanted a clash.  They wanted someone to take up the msnbc cudgel and beat Romney with it, as they do every night.  I heard them say that:  "He should watch msnbc if he wants to know how to counter these arguments."

      It's clear, they want another kind of man than Obama.  Verbal destroyer is not his style, never will be.

      I think the only mistake Obama made was assuming that Mitt was hanging himself with his own lies, that they would be as obvious to the public as they were to me and you and the President.  He forgot that most voters are just tuning in.

      Still enjoying my stimulus package.

      by Kevvboy on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 05:00:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hope the Obama campaign reads this. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sewaneepat, SeaTurtle

    In the next debate, Obama could remark every now and then that he doesn't know what Rmoney's position is on an issue because he's changed it so many times.

    It's what he should have done this time but your advice is still valid for next time.

    In fact, Biden should heed your advice in the debate with Ryan.

    The case against Assange debunked: http://www.nnn.se/nordic/assange/suspicious.pdf

    by expatjourno on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 12:40:29 AM PDT

    •  There were so many ways Obama could have (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      expatjourno

      won the debate, and yet didn't. That's what's so upsetting, that he held back and didn't put Romney in a corner like he did Trump last year--or the debate equivalent, as humiliating Romney might have been a tad much.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:27:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I always viewed it as 10-9 each round (0+ / 0-)

    with no knockdowns.

    To continue the boxing analogy, as soon as one guy would try to throw a punch, there would be clenching.

    The debate is utterly memorable for not being memorable.

    I'll always be...King of Bain...I'll always be...King of Bain

    by AZphilosopher on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 01:17:18 AM PDT

  •  How Will You Create Jobs Could Have Been Answered (0+ / 0-)

    I've already created 5 MILLION jobs thru the stimulus & by rescuing the automobile industry.  American manufacturing is back, as we know.  I will continue my policies because they are working.

    We are no longer losing 700,000-800,000 jobs/month as we were when I was inaugurated.  Governor Romney wants to continue the same policies that brought us to the edge of bankruptcy.

    He could also have brought up Romney's comments on the 47% & people "can always go to the emergency room" for healthcare.  No ER on the face of the earth provides chemo, or life saving mammograms, or does surgical procedures.  No preventive care.  The President had the opening when Romney talked about the people asking for his help because they were going to lose their healthcare.

    It's not that difficult to switch it up & put Mitt on the President's playing field.   Opponents switch tactics all the time.  The President is a smart man & could have figured that out.  

  •  Romney ran a pack of lies ... (0+ / 0-)

    Obama let him run them to the max. If he had countered Romney there and then, it would have become "a difference of political opinion." Now the post-debate story has been that Romney ran a pack of lies.

    That said, it wouldn't hurt if Obama gave us the impression he wants another four years as president, a little vigor on behalf of the progressive cause is good.

    But do remember: we are all fired up progressives, and want our agenda front& center. After decades of GOP propaganda, independent voters and wavering Republicans aren't ready for full-on progressive policies. Obama has done a strong job of making people who are surprised to admit as much respect his efforts as president.
    The loons on the far right and the racists (often one and the same) are lost to the cause anyway, and not worth worrying about.

    "If you don't use your majorities, you lose your majorities."

    by SteinL on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 02:19:24 AM PDT

  •  Predatory (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    417els, zesty grapher, Char, SeaTurtle

    Your statements were exactly what I've been trying to articulate about Romney's performance that night, and all the time really.

    I think this is why he's doing so badly with women in particular, as we sense his insincere lascivious desire for power so strongly, we know he if he ever gained it, he would not use it for good.  

    His bullying, exploitative side shows far too easily.  I saw Obama letting Mitt just be Mitt.  Now Mitt will be even more confident in the next debate, and when Obama turns the tables Mitt will become incensed and then we will really see the wolf come out.

    Do you have a reccomendation for a class or companion book to Sun Tsu?  I'd love some help with understanding it better.

    •  as I am still learning about Sun Tsu (0+ / 0-)

      I will tell you what has made sense to me so far.

      The basic text of the Art of War is available in several translations, that each reflect the slightly different philosophy of the translator.  It helped me to find one that was easy to read.  There are some with explanatory notes and historical context.

      I enjoyed The Art of War, History Channel DVD, even though it got mixed reviews on Amazon.

      And of course, there are stacks of spin off books on Sun Tsu.
      Just put in Sun Tsu in Amazon and you will see what I mean.

      I hope you find what helps you.

      Take Care

      It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. ~~Joseph Stalin

      by SeaTurtle on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 02:11:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with your assessment; (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seriousaboutscience, SeaTurtle

    I just don't know what the President has to do to get some credit. The idea that Romney smashed him is a creation of the media and instant polling of superficial people.

  •   "hand wringing and gnashing of teeth" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kovie

    For a taste of your own attitude, here we go again - another condescending trip to Neverland.  

    Can any of you express your opinions without sounding as smug as Mitt looked during that debate?     The "attitude" expressed  in your diary is every bit as offensive.

    If money is speech, then speech must be money. Call your mortgage company and pay your rent now.

    by dkmich on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 03:07:44 AM PDT

    •  Denial doesn't win you elections (0+ / 0-)

      How folks here viewed the debate is irrelevant. We don't represent and are in no position to influence the views of swing voters (except ones we know personally or come across in GOTV and might be able to sway, but that's not a big number), whose take on the debate is the ONLY one that matters. And they seem to believe that Romney won it, no matter how "unfair" we think that win was.

      Guess what? Life isn't fair, nor is politics. Get over it people.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:25:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am not trying to influence anyone (0+ / 0-)

        except for the tone of Kossacks towards fellow Kossacks.   Why do they have to be so condescending?   They need to get over themselves.

        If money is speech, then speech must be money. Call your mortgage company and pay your rent now.

        by dkmich on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 06:22:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  MSNBC pundits had their own agenda (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Broke And Unemployed, LynChi, jofr

    I haven't watched the channel since the debate. I can watch FOX if I want to hear Obama bashing.

  •  We are talking about impressions (0+ / 0-)

    And if there are truly undecided voters, they are probably low information and so they would not have realized how blatantly Romney was contradicting his own speeches, policies and websites. That's what he was relying on. He wanted the votes of those who have paid no attention so far. He did get a few of them.

    I was disappointed in Obama for two things: One, he didn't look Romney in the eye several times when he spoke. I don't know if this is a mannerism, if he was truly a bit jet-lagged, or he just missed an opportunity. People want the President to be more presidential--especially those low information voters.

    But second, and here's my only REAL gripe. He should have said, loud and clear and in words of one syllable: "Social Security is not bankrupt. We may need to tweak what we are collecting in a decade or two, but I will NOT cut benefits." Then he would have WON the debate.

    •  Ummm, he did say social security isn't bankrupt! (0+ / 0-)

      Did I listen to a different debate than you?  

      This is another one of those where I think Obama made a mistake taking Lehrer's ground rules literally to contrast policy positions.  He probably should have said he had no idea where Romney stood on this issue.  Instead, he said that they both agree there was no major problem with social security.  Okay, but does Romney really think that?

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

      by noofsh on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:14:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Instapolls (2+ / 0-)

    Most of the crosstabs I've seen on the "who won the debate" polls seem to show Romney's likeability and standing improving among Republicans and Obama's improving among independents.  No doubt Romney fired up the troops, but it's not like most of those Repub "undecideds" were going to vote for Obama anyway.  

    I must admit that as I watched the debate (without reading any liveblogs or looking at anyone else's analysis) I found Romney, during the rare times he was not lying, to be blathering without saying anything.  He seemed frantic and phony.  Obama seemed like he was just trying to have a calm conversation with the American people.  I much preferred Obama's approach.

    It's sad to me that the media can announce a clear "winner" and then say, "Oh, by the way,  the guy we declared the clear winner was basically lying every time he opened his mouth."

  •  I agree with this in every way (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seriousaboutscience

    and felt I must really be out of step with America when I saw the post-debate reaction.

    But then I remembered that Jimmy Carter trounced Ronald Reagan in every one of those debates but the media seized on the "alpha male" qualities and declared him the winner.

    1,  Tell the truth, stay calm, and lose

    2, Lie in an overheated dramatic fashion, and win.

    Still enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 04:56:14 AM PDT

  •  Obama's only unforgivable error (0+ / 0-)

    Was his physical demeanor - which signalled weakness, defeat, exhaustion. I don't know why he wasn't warned about that beforehand. Seems like an amateur's error.

    He can recover from the missed opportunities to confront and correct lies. But unfortunately the visuals of him bowing his head, nodding when Romney attacked him, looking tired and unwell, etc ... those will linger, especially with low info voters who don't bother to ever go into the weeds of understanding policy positions.

  •  Where have I heard that before... (4+ / 0-)

    "How incredibly callous of Romney to tell Lehrer that he would not fund PBS and would fire him.  All the time with that sickly sweet smile on his face."

    Oh yeah.

    "I like being able to fire people."

    Romney as Shiva, the Destroyer...

    The only thing Romney ever built in his life was a ravenous corporate black hole, sucking the life and energy out of businesses and dreams.

    He built that.

    "When you're skating on thin ice, you might as well dance." Jesse Winchester

    by The Poet Deploreate on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 05:50:22 AM PDT

  •  About 30 percent agree with you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidkc, kovie

    And that's the problem. While you find Romney's style offensive and aggressive and Obama's reassuring and presidential, the majority of those viewing the debate took a different view. They saw a confident, lucid Romney and a cowed and subdued Obama. I wish everybody saw what you did, but they didn't.

    Romney's lies may come back to bite him in the ass later, but since they were unchallenged by Obama in the debate, the majority probably thought Romney was being truthful. In fact, Obama seemed to tacitly agree with Romney as he was lying by shaking his head up and down while Romney was speaking. I frankly couldn't believe how bad his body language was.

    •  Yes, that's part of the problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie

      People here need to stop trying to convince each other that the debate wasn't the disaster that it was. Time to move on.

    •  Mars retrograde (0+ / 0-)

      Too many people here seem fixated on proving that the sun really does go around the earth and there's a good reason that Mars retrogrades.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:20:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Women and "Undecideds" disagree (0+ / 0-)
      While you find Romney's style offensive and aggressive and Obama's reassuring and presidential, the majority of those viewing the debate took a different view. They saw a confident, lucid Romney and a cowed and subdued Obama. I wish everybody saw what you did, but they didn't.

      “My first choice is a strong consumer agency,” she said. “My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.”

      by mrobinson on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:54:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "These are the facts, Governor Romney." (0+ / 0-)

    Really that's all that needs to be done.

    Example $716B Medicare "cut" has been officially debunked.  It's not a cut in benefits...fact 1....and fact 2 it is a savings".

    There is no fact checker that would dispute that.

    I don't think anymore needs to be done.

    You confront the bully with the Truth.  

    We do have it on our side....let's use it!

  •  This diary seems to be self-conflicted... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kovie

    On the one hand stating that Obama's "big fail of the night" was allowing Lehrer to put him in a position wherein he had no choice but to articulate Romney's constantly-changing positions--that is, his lies--but then on the other hand berating those who wish Obama would have called Romney out on those lies.

    I don't think it can be had both ways.

    Obama definitely did fail. That doesn't mean he should have devloved into a screaming lunatic, shouting "Liar!!!" everytime Romney opened his mouth (though that would have been gruesomely entertaining). I don't think anyone is calling for that. But it would have been wonderful for Obama to look Romney in the eye as he spoke, and say things like, "That's interesting to hear you say that this evening, Governor Romney, as just last month you said the exact opposite of that." Instead we had Obama looking peeved and somewhat disinterested, nodding at times to Romney's words, staring down at his notes, and all the other bad "optics" we've hashed and rehashed here.

    There have been a ton of diaries here sticking up for and praising Obama's performance in the debate. The thing is, we here all know Obama won on truth and openness and accuracy and substance. But he's won our vote already, so we don't need convincing. Who needs convincing to vote for him are the many of this nation's still (somehow) undecided voters. And I can assure you that anyone still undecided at this point likely has only a surface interest in truth and openness and accuracy and substance; right or wrong, they'll vote for the person who puts on the best theatrical performance. And despite the protestations of many, Wednesday night that person was Romney.

    Obama can not allow that to happen again.

    Cogito. Ergo sum ​​atheus.

    by Neapolitan on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:03:06 AM PDT

    •  Apparently, in the post-post-debate debate (0+ / 0-)

      We are not allowed to claim that Obama lost. Apparently it means that we hate him and expect him to lose the election or something.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:19:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, that's not it! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SeaTurtle

        I saw the debate and did not think the President did badly.  I was appalled by Romney's bullshit.  I couldn't get pass that.  His off hand remark about Lehrer and Big Bird was icing on the cake.  Romney was lying and we all knew it.  Liars are like cheaters and should not be rewarded.

        •  How am I rewarding Romney (0+ / 0-)

          by acknowledging that a majority of people polled thought he won? Denying this is supposed to be good for Obama? I never understand how that works.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 03:37:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thank. You. Sea. Turtle. (5+ / 0-)

    I intentionally didn't tune into all of the "pre-debate" blathering.  I do NOT need anyone to tell me what I am about to see.

    After a presidential debate several elections ago, CNN John "If you will"  King said:

    "Now you've watched the debate.  We'll be right back to tell you what you just saw."

    No, John. I just saw what I saw.  I do NOT need you to tell me what I just saw.

    I quietly watched Wednesday's debate on C-span, without any pundit input, and came to my own conclusions regarding what I had just seen.  President Obama was the only adult on the stage. Period.  Willard was a disgraceful bullying loudmouth performing severely rehearsed, fact free, "theatrical aggression".

    Then I switched to MSNBC where I was astonished at the hysterical, knee-jerk reactions of Obama Failure!.  Then I came here, only to be astonished again at the lemming mentality following MSNBC right into Weird World.

    I am so pleased to find someone rationally discussing the Obama/Willard debate. Finally.

    "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

    by 417els on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:03:11 AM PDT

  •  You explained one thing to me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluedust

    This is Obama pointed out areas of agreement.  So perhaps Obama took the debate rules to heart but Romney rode shot gun over them and used the time to articulate an endless stream of lies.  

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

    by noofsh on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:05:52 AM PDT

  •  We can debate the debate all we like (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Micheline, Bri, frenchconnection

    But this is an echo chamber that most voters haven't heard of let alone read, and the majority of voters believe that Obama lost the debate. That's the only opinion on the debate that matters, that of the voters, who, well, vote.

    Btw I don't think it was anywhere near fatal, but Obama lost the debate, by not being in control of it, and instead letting Romney and to a lesser extent Lehrer dominate it. Sure, what Romney & Lehrer did wasn't fair, but you don't get to make excuses at his level, nor do our excuses for him matter with voters.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:16:44 AM PDT

  •  The answer is simple. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eglantine, dharmafarmer

    Obama has always been good at stating the obvious.  He should have done that.  He should have said I honestly can't tell you what Mr. Romney's policy on this issue is because it changes from week to week, if he gives any specifics at all.  This will be a good opportunity for the american people to finally see if Mitt Romney will tell them what he really believes.  

    I will tell you what we have done, and what we will continue to do...

  •  If Mitt flips 4 votes out of every 100 people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eglantine

      from Obama to Mitt, a six point lead for Obama changes to a 2 point lead for Mitt. If the aggressive, alpha male style does it, so be it. Considering the amount of low information voters out there, Machiavellianly speaking, and the fact that many vote from their gut, it's a slick move for Mitt. No, I'm not cheering for Mitt, I'm just stating the fact of what a (strategy) can do for him.

  •  the media is the problem & always has been. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Char

    ad dollars are their only priority & anything that keeps them flowing into corporate coffers is good, so extending the tension & hype of the campaign has to be job #1 b/c it attracts eyeballs & eyeballs equal sales for advertisers & that means more ad revenue, etc, etc.

    buying time on different tv stations & networks costs big bucks & requires enormous fund-raising efforts, so we have citizens united, which scotus in its infinite wisdom (cough, cough) put its thumb on the scale for big biz -- but none of this would matter that much if political ads were banned from tv.

    i've always wondered why the prospect of prohibiting tv advertisement for political candidates & causes is never considered in any discussion of campaign reform -- it seems like the obvious answer to me.  banning political ads from tv wouldn't be the 1st amendment breach as the media claims b/c other mediums would still be available, like print, radio, & the intertubes  :)  -- only tv ads would be banned.  just like cigarette ads are.

    of course the networks don't want to see this b/c they make a ton of revenue from political ads, which begs the question: why can't we try something different, when what we have is so obviously fucked up?

  •  Wonder why Obama lost so much ground in (0+ / 0-)

    the Ipsos and Gallup polls. Must be part of Sun Tzu's "lose now, hope you win later" tactic.

    Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

    by LongTom on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:49:09 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for saying what I have been feeling (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seriousaboutscience, SeaTurtle

    but hadn't even managed to get into words.   I hope our pundits think back on their reactions when they get into critiquing the rest of the debates.

    Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by maybeeso in michigan on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:01:15 AM PDT

  •  Wonderful, thoughtful, informed analysis. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seriousaboutscience, SeaTurtle

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:11:08 AM PDT

  •  A simply brilliant analysis. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seriousaboutscience, SeaTurtle, zizi

    Much more reasoned than what the media has to say about that debate.

    I also agree that Mitt Romney was rather disturbing in his ability to lie at will and have the public lap it up.  Let's just say it. The GOP candidate emanates freakiness--especially when he thinks he has the balls to single-handedly threaten the moderator with the loss of his job in front of a national audience of 50 million people.

    I don't think Mitt Romney won, per se.  The frame was already set up by the gate-keepers of the media.  The message the debate wanted to send was already on point.  Knowing that GOP money fuels the heads of the media in this country, that is what the audience was going to get.

    I think the POTUS knows that.  He did the only thing he could do in a situation that wasn't clearly in his favor:  give Mitt Romney the rope to hang himself.

    Being a grandiose narcissist, Mitt Romney was going to take it.  And guess what happened in the aftermath?

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

    by politicalceci on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:20:46 AM PDT

  •  The empty chairs were here and in the media… (0+ / 0-)

    allowing trolls frame and fuel reaction from the left. Sometimes when something hits you in the head, you gotta take another look at it instead of rushing to tell the world that you are the first to know that the sky is falling.

    I'm voting for the UPPITY ONE

    by qua on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:25:23 AM PDT

  •  What a nice reasoned diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seriousaboutscience, SeaTurtle

    with a lovely calm perspective. I watched the debate and did not freak out as so many did. I think you articulated my instincts on the matter. I do agree with you that President Obama might have re-framed the initial question (and that line of questioning) to his better advantage.

    I also felt that he came across and reasoned and Presidential. Romney's whole demeanor was very freakish too me. I commented to friends that he kept licking his lips and perhaps that fits in with your 'predator' thoughts. Everyone I know who watched the debate was unsettled by his smirk, and by the look on his face when he watched Obama. Maybe members of the media are used to it, because they seemed to have no problem with his behavior. Or maybe they are just used to people behaving in a false manner and playing a role. I felt the media were worse than ever after the debate.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your comments about the media wanting to turn this into a circus. That really isn't news. However, seeing Rachel Maddow, Andrew Sullivan and so many others that I have often admired behave so wildly was upsetting. It was like they had to start crowing into the circus cacophany without putting much thought into their behavior and reactions. It was unsettling. I thought there were people in the media I could still trust. I lost a lot of respect for them that night.

    "I think of the right-wing Republicans as jihadists; they’re as crazy as those people. They want to destroy the country that we want to save." Paul Auster

    by zesty grapher on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:31:57 AM PDT

  •  oh! ideas! Lead with these strengths: (0+ / 0-)

    Tell accomplishments clearly, like that great Simpsons-animator video (it ain't braggin', if tis true) ... things done, in spite of do-nothing Congress, pitfalls avoided, etc.  Mitt has NOTHING he can talk about, in response to that.  Last time, Mitt took the baton and ran, off the field, but he ran.  Obama needs to not even let him have the stick.  Ok, if he's really on his game, Obama could offer the stick, but fake-throw it, like dog owners do with clever dogs, to make the dogs run in a designated direction, anyway.  Then throw the stick in the OTHER direction & watch Mitt spin in circles.

    Another .. with humility (another area Mitt won't follow), admit to less-than-success areas, particularly where Congress/Senate COULD have helped, (must be handled in a savvy manner, can't ~just~ blame Congress, this is a fine line of healthy humility to express, but Obama has that grace) and then ask American voters "but we can do better, if you'll help me help you by electing more Democrats, or if you must vote Republican, then send Washington those Republicans who ~will~ work with us to move FORWARD."  (what? mention voting for Repubilcans?  yah, that's self-honesty, another Mitt-weakness, that there will be people who have that "R-only" choice firmly on their agenda... so challenge them to pick Republicans who really CAN work with the President.  I don't know who they are off-hand, but if he named one or two who aren't just butthead-stupid obstructionists, then Mitt STILL can't/won't follow that trail....)

  •  Gish Galloper/Bull$hit Artist Mitt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Char

    Upon rewatching this debate, two things are patently clear:
    1) Mitt used an otherwise illegal debate technique used by deceivers and liars in order to confound the opponent with a morsel of truth couched by a legion of lies;
    2) Mitt was high as a kite!  What I see from his strange red nose, lips, and eyes is that Mitt was on amphetamines (BIG TIME) which accounts for his motor mouth and damn near hyperventillation.  We surely don't need a man who cannot play by the rules and will run roughshod over anyone who wants to present a point counter to his.  He looked like a slimy snake oil salesman willing to do anything to dominate the conversation and befuddle anyone listening.

    I find it delightful that the only real takeaway from what Mitt said was that he'd fire Big Bird - this was a HUGE faux pas and I'd love to be a costume maker who will haul in a fortune this Halloween with Big Bird costumes!!  Nothing MItt said made any logical sense and the fact checkers have located 28 blatant LIES in what Mitt said.

    So who really won this debate?  Mitt showed, once again, that he's a rule breaker, pathological liar and a cheat.  Now all we need is Flynt's bounty to out the fact that he's a felon as well.  Can't wait to see what the real October surprise is going to be!!

    Pop the popcorn!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012! GOTV!

    by Bunbun on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:45:09 AM PDT

    •  Interesting take - high as a kite (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bluedust
      2) Mitt was high as a kite!  What I see from his strange red nose, lips, and eyes is that Mitt was on amphetamines (BIG TIME) which accounts for his motor mouth and damn near hyperventillation.
      People under the influence of drugs or mental illness are hard to tell apart - in short encounters, like on the bus. Romney's  screeching was so painful to hear that I walked out of the room and walked back in when I heard our presidents's calm intelligent reassuring voice.

      I encounter a lot of crazies on the bus. Once the acting out was so bad from one character that half the bus emptied out at the next stop. We sensed danger. Question is, why don't the pundits see his behavior, sense the danger? Why do they crown the rabid dog and not Atticus Finch?

      “My first choice is a strong consumer agency,” she said. “My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.”

      by mrobinson on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:16:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Amphetamines make you sweat! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau

    The dead giveaway about 5 minutes into this debate was the sweat forming on Mitt's upper lip.  He came prepared with a hanky (enclosing a cheat sheet?) because he knew this was a side effect of taking uppers.  The only way this man was capable of motor-mouthing as he neurotically did was with pharmacological assistance.  This is why he, literally, could not stop talking.  All of his speech was memorized and, if he had a cheat sheet enclosed in his hanky, it was filled with 'memory cues'.  I've watched the Daily Beast viral video of Romney glancing at the background camera and then shielding the podium and flipping in his hanky.  At the conclusion of the debate, there was something so damning on that podium that he had to double back to it, slide papers around, and then shake hands with Obama in front of the stage.  Ann's face on the video tells the tale:  She sees him with the paper, waving it around and cannot believe her eyes.  He then tries to stuff it into his jacket on either side and it doesn't work so he nervously hands it to his one son while his other son who is equally neurotic about being outed reaches over to try to snatch it from the Liar's hands.  It's no wonder this video has gone viral because I believe it shows us further evidence of what a cheater RMoney is who will stop at nothing to "win".  He was born a little too late....would have made a GREAT snake oil salesman!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012! GOTV!

    by Bunbun on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:50:40 AM PDT

  •  If you grew up with liars (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bunbun, SeaTurtle

    you know how to deal with them. Never debate their lies in front of your parents. They will tell more lies. You have to toss some hand grenades. The grenades have to  come out of the blue and be non sequitors and hint at saying things that are big secrets for the liar and have a hint of 'yes, Billy, I will go there in front of mom and dad unless you STFU', and touch on the liars crimes. You have to get the liar off balance again and again. You have to touch on things, allude to things, that terrify them, with a smile on your face. They say blah, blah, blah, and you say, "Caymans" or "moochers" or "100 millioon IRA" and smile and return to your own boring stuff as if you never said 'Caymans". You have to attack as if you didn't attack.

  •  As Olberman said...it's all about money (0+ / 0-)

    and that's precisely why the Oligarchs/Plutocrats who own the msm (all Republican, bTW) have decided that it must be a horse race for them to get ad sponsors, etc.

    It has zero to do with providing a service to the citizens of this country and everything to do with feathering their disgusting greedy nests!  

    Even MSNBC is owned by NBC - 'nuf said.  They're just smart enough to get 100% of the pie but their allegiance is hard right through their parent company.

    Young people are smarter than most of us - they don't trust the Republican owned mainstream media.  They do their own research online.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012! GOTV!

    by Bunbun on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:54:17 AM PDT

  •  Romney's smirk was disgusting and his constant (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle

    obvious lying was absurd and his non-stop verbal diarrhea was horrifying.  My first impression of seeing Mitt Romney in action for the first time was I'm watching a desperate, despicable snake oil salesman in hyperdrive bullying the president.  Yuk.  Creepy.

    And I am not alone.  Everyone I know had a similar response, but we all wanted our president to cut him down to size, chew him up and spit him out and we were disappointed that didn't happen.  Of course now, PBO can chew him up and spit him out on the campaign trail and come up with a response to Mitt's upcoming lies that shuts his flapping mouth when they get in front of that town hall.

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:59:34 AM PDT

  •  disagree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frenchconnection

    the problem was never strategy for obama.  the problem was emotion, passion, energy.  he did not want to be president that night.  i could not believe what i saw.  

    the strategy of killing the clock and letting romney draw first blood was fine. even if romney had won 60-40, fine. but to get trashed like he did and just stand there stuttering and stammering and bland. there's not upside.

    On DailyKos nothing is significant unless Obama doesn't do it.

    by glutz78 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:04:35 AM PDT

    •  That was just the point of this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glutz78

      I could not believe that he could not get the talking points in defense of the ACA out without stammering. There are 2 year old talking points that he has said hundreds of times. Romney's denying his position on taxes during the first questions of the debate really through him off and he was never able to recover. But I knew the game was over when he could not even get those talking points out smoothly. He also didn't seem to have a prepared closing statement, one of the only scripted moments of a debate. Not only did he not study, he didn't even cram last minute. A sitting President can lose the first debate, but they can neither get bullied nor seem unprepared. It makes people question their ability to do their job.  

      Maybe he thinks that being President is more important than running for President, but the problem with that position is that he will saddle us all with a Romney presidency. Bill Clinton essentially turned the country over to advisors for a few months so that he could devote his time to his re-election campaign. Obama probably needs to do this.

  •  The tell, enjoying the cruelty (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle

    Thanks Lilyvt for catching this spot of sadism. I know that smile while threatening something cruel - it's sadism. I've been close to people like that who enjoy making you feel bad. That's what the smile is about - enjoying watching your discomfort.

    And much has been made by pretty much everyone about Big Bird's' and PBS's demise as the result in cuts, but honestly, during a debate, even if you're explaining how you'd make cuts in spending what the hell possessed Romney to be so rudely crass to tell the elderly moderator he'd fire him?  Seriously, WTF?  
    by Lilyvt on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:27:14 PM PDT.

    “My first choice is a strong consumer agency,” she said. “My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.”

    by mrobinson on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:15:40 AM PDT

  •  Hunger Games (0+ / 0-)

    Watching the talking heads after the debate made me think of the judges in the Hunger Games book and movie....cooing over the glitzy outfits of the teams rather than analyzing who has the skills to win (and ignoring the overall context of why should we be playing these deadly games to begin with).  Who cares which candidate smiled at the wrong time, had a snappy comeback at the right time, missed an opportunity to refer instantly to a lie.  This is all "show" and has nothing to do with the principles or skills with which a person leads the country.  

  •  hey seaturtle, wonderful analysis (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, Arnie, SeaTurtle, bluedust


    but a couple of points on editing for future reference:  "samo samo" I think you mean "same old same old" - and "scott free" is spelled "scot free" - reference to a medieval tax called a "scoet."

    I think that your analysis goes to what the polls have begun to show us - that Obama lost no support, and gained a huge bucket of ad moments.  AFter all, we're still talking about Big Bird four days later!

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:23:23 AM PDT

  •  If you take the long view, Romney may have just (0+ / 0-)

    set himself up for failure in the next debate, provided the President and his team decide to play on Mitt's own field.  There has been so much made of the Governor's veracity that a large portion of the next audience will be much more acutely scrutinizing the candidates' words than their demeanor. He provided countless opportunities for Obama "zingers" that the sound-bite obsessed media will be looking for.  But our President has to be careful that they are on absolutely "unimpeachable" (OK - a pun) grounds and address Romney's most unpalatable errors, contradictions and lies.

    Further....does anyone else here agree that Rep. Barney Frank would've been a far more appropriate debate prep stand-in than was Senator John Kerry?  Or maybe Howard Dean?

  •  I like the analysis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, Arnie

    If the president was as aggressive as what I hear some are suggesting that he should have been, the GOP noise machine would have been screaming about the "angry black man." As it was, I think the "Obama was lacadaisical" claim was a pure myth and while the president may not have been at his best, he gave Romney lots of rope for him to hang on. Putting it mildly, Romney hung himself thanks to his highly offensive Big Bird remark (Can you imagine the fire Romney has come under from the millions who grew up and who continue to get educated by Big Bird and the other "Sesame Street" characters?) and his highly transparent lying and backtracking.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Gandhi

    by alaprst on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:38:31 AM PDT

  •  You make some good points. (0+ / 0-)

    It still seems as though Obama received some poor advice and should at least have looked into the camera or at Romney rather than down at the podium. I hope the next debate finds our president fired up and ready to go, the engaged and dynamic man we elected.

    "Let's stay together"--Rev. Al Green and President Obama

    by collardgreens on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:47:23 AM PDT

  •  Been saying this for several days now. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle

    Very few of the Very Serious People agree with me, though.

  •  Dear Diarist! May I add (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle

    I make it a point never to decide about current events such as the first debate....without watching Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

    Colbert's quick silent condensed version said it all for me! LINK.
    starts at 3:13 in this segment, worth sitting through ads:

    http://www.colbertnation.com/...

    Full episode with more about the debate = worth watching. LOL.
    "Thursday October 4, 2012

    Mitt's Socialist Rhetoric & Body Language
     Though Mitt Romney contradicted everything he said on the campaign trail, Fox News applauds his confident facial expressions during the debate."
    Use the slider to get to other clips:
    http://www.colbertnation.com/...

    Sickly smile of Romney, indeed.

    I enjoyed your diary and plan to read it again.

    My impression of Obama's strategy =

    GIVE YOUR OPPONENT A LONG ROPE. . . . .

  •  thank you. seriously (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle

    i watched the debate with my teenagers....we all thought the president did a fine job...we watched it on PBS & didn't stick around for any commentary....and all 3 of us were surprised to find out the next morning that Obama "lost."

    •  We were disgusted (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      northerntier, SeaTurtle, sjersey

      with Romney's manner, the hyperventilating breathless screeching voice, the leaning forward, the sticky inappropriate smile. Gawd it was painful to watch.

      “My first choice is a strong consumer agency,” she said. “My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.”

      by mrobinson on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:31:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle

    I could not watch the debate itself.  I care too much about the outcome.  But reading the various diaries on Daily Kos has helped me get a broad sense of how the debate came out as it did.

    Your diary was thoughtful, and very interesting.

  •  Very cogent analysis (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks.

    I do believe Obama could have called out some of Romney's lies without a disastrous end, but he would have had to use humor and mockery.  It would have to be a "there you go again" moment.  I'm dissapointed that Obama didn't prepare well, but there's still two more debates.

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:12:38 AM PDT

  •  I am dumbfounded by the denial of reality (0+ / 0-)

    I see by many on this site.

    You sound like the Republican ideologues who live in a world that is not fact based.  You are viewing the debate through the eyes of the true Obama believer that your are.  

    The voters who are swayed by the debate are not true believers.  Obama clearly lost the debate.  I am an unshakeable Obama supporter, but I can see that Obama lost the debate on style and because he didn't fight back hard enough against the BS of Romney's substance.

    It doesn't matter that Mitt Romney lied, because he was not called out on his lies by Obama.  He was not challenged by Obama and he beat Obama.  

    Yes Team Obama is now fighting back, but that's like putting a tiny correction on page 17 three days after your false front page headline.  

    The low information voter is not going to pay attention to the correction on page 17 or the Obama truth squad ad online. We are not dealing with a sophisticated or knowledgable electorate here.  Look how many people are willing to accept what Romney said in the debate even though it contradicts everything he said for the last few years.  

    I'm not saying that Romney will win, but I am saying that Obama took a huge step back in his lead.   Just look at the polls.  

    By continuing to deny this reality you are not doing Obama any favors.

  •  I think you have it nailed (0+ / 0-)

    It's not so much that Romney was lying about his positions as that he doesn't have any.  So if you're in a debate to discuss the positions of the two debaters, and one of them has positions and the other does not- the debate becomes a simple matter of a series of attacks on the real-world positions of the one who actually has positions.

  •  I appreciate your comments (0+ / 0-)

    and your analysis comes across as being balanced and reasonable.

    I think at the end of the day, Obama could have provided more balance between making sure that his positions and his vision for this country was stated as well as to have put it out there that Romney's position seems to change with the weather.

    Clearly Romney's strategy will not work again.  The President has to not seize the opportunity.

    "No, I'm being judged against the ideal. Joe Biden has a saying: 'Don't judge me against the Almighty, judge me against the alternative." --President Barack Obama, 12/11/11

    by smoothnmellow on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 12:00:18 PM PDT

  •  You can't make this stuff up! (0+ / 0-)

    After the "dust" has settled & posting, reading these last few days… My bottom line.
    I don't have a TV
    I watch things on the internet
    Different people can do different things.
    I watched a ton of the amazing Democratic convention. The speeches, how Incredible.
    I'm artistic so to watch the repuke convention & see a bunch of hysterical plastic surgery, stretched to the limit (reminds me of Halloween, really) & their grotesque trooopheee keepers is not something I have the capacity to stomach. It would give me a knot in my stomach, simply because it's hard to believe that some people's construct is to do away with other, we human beings, in all, with their cruel & twilight dead zoned unreal capacity. "Go to hell!"
    Watching the debate gave me that kind of knot in my stomach.
    Repukes will try & convince some it is because they won.
    Here is my own bottom line.
    I went from shock of the smirk, to realizing this insane asylum riding his imaginary horse with it's FROZEN smirk, reins & all, like there's no tomorrow, is a danger to all mankind. NOW: I really, really, really CAN NOT STAND HIM! From my artistic & word, point, from start to finish that was GROTESQUE!
    The few repuke people I know, are coming at me now with all their word games. Am I reacting. No! I'm Obama cool & angry. Their is no hook there, (UNDERLINED) because I'm now awakened. Now, I'm Fired Up.
    That us liberals after all these years can finally stand up for in 29 days,
    PBS (hurray!) & mentally think "See this fist, we are going to take care of some LOOPY loopholes, thanks very much!"
     :)

    •  Final Debate Post (0+ / 0-)

      I'm 61.
      One of the horror films of my youth
      Mr. Sardonicus
      A man whose face becomes frozen in a horrifying grin while robbing his father's grave. Wears a mask, when takes the mask off, people die.
      Reminds you of…

  •  This diary nails it for me. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Char, SeaTurtle, sjersey

    The media needs a horse race, and an Obama blowout doesn't sell advertising for them.  

    I think Obama could have been more assertive - could have been better - but some of the handwringing, particularly on Schultz and Mathews, has been over the top.  I think they want Obama to be some sort of Crossfire personality, and unless he is that way they won't be satisfied.  I turned off Schultz and Mathews for the last week.  I won't be back until they get some sort of perspective.

    Obama is Obama, and he will be better, and he will win.

    Yes, the media narrative is set, and we'll see where the polls go, but I'm proud of Obama, and I think if he continues to explain his policies to the people he'll be fine.

    Anyway, it is up to the media to point out that Romney has changed his policies because his Republican policies weren't selling - and I don't think the people are so foolish that they will fall for it.

    God is innocent: Noah built on a flood plain.

    by alphorn on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 01:00:01 PM PDT

    •  I did the same! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alphorn

      I can't bear to watch either of them.  

      What audience are they playing to?  Not me, that's for sure.  I am really pissed at them.  They were over the top.  I've been posting about this since Friday.  

      They don't deserve an audience.

  •  That was a very insightful analysis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle

    applying the fields of strength and weakness . . .   you are right, you know?  Lehrer probably thought he was trying to frame the debate on a level playing field or at least one that would force Romney to get specific, but he failed to fully appreciate Romney's shape-shifting nature.

    But, yes, the Prez could have and, in hindsight, should have rejected the framing and insisted on being more explicit about that rejection.  

    Although alongside this line of analysis, there is the optics, which from my POV worked against Obama more than they seemed to for you.  But a lot of that really does relate to the individual person.  I come from a family of arguers and don't shy from a debate myself, so watching someone stand there and let someone else repeat a series of whoppers makes me absolutely crazy, and I'm not a big fan of passivity in general.  For folks like me, Obama looked pretty bad up there.  But not everyone sees the world like me, and for a lot of people you are probably right that they were more tuned in to Romney's "overdrive" as you so accurately put it.  I thought Romney was very effective, but then I expect to see someone at a debate be very intense about pressing their point.

    In any event, it is all going to be fine.  Our Prez is not the greatest debater in the world and really doesn't like the format; it's not his style, but if there is one thing I know about him it is that he is brilliant and very competitive.  I fully expect a different Obama to show up at the next debate.

    "Put your big-girl panties on and deal with it." -- Stolen from homogenius, who in turn stole it from a coffee mug.

    by Mother of Zeus on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 01:55:02 PM PDT

  •  Seriously? (0+ / 0-)

    The number of diaries trying to deny and reinvent reality about last Wednesday's debate really are remarkable, particularly since just before Wednesday we were all guffawing at those silly idjuts over in Freeperland for denying the reality of the moment and questioning the veracity of the polls.

    President Obama lost the debate because his performance was awful. He did not engage. He allowed his opponent to spout lies and "new" positions unchallenged. He allowed his opponent to frame him negatively.

    Whether it was due to not preparing ahead of time, overconfidence (the spiking of the football at the 20-yard line syndrome), playing not to lose (prevent defense), or that his mind was distracted by geopolitical events, etc. doesn't really matter. The fact is that he lost the debate and now we all have to work with the current reality and work hard to reestablish the mojo -- and no one needs to work harder than the President.

    "A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future." – Leonard Bernstein

    by frisco on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:00:40 PM PDT

  •  Our take (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle

    My wife and I watched it on the Youtube feed (we don't have a tv, so haven't heard all that punditry).

    Romney seemed frantic, rude- interrupting all the time it seemed. Obama had more facts and logic in his answers.

    We just didn't see Romney as a 'winner' (whatever that means) at all.

    I do appreciate the OP comments on conflict and it did occur to me that Obama could have remarked that it was hard to compare positions, since Romney's change with the breeze (or something more elegant than that).

  •  WAKE UP, JUST WAKE THE F**K UP (0+ / 0-)

    From TPM:

    An additional poll by Gallup also shows that the public overwhelmingly identifies Romney as the winner of the opening debate: 72 percent of debate watchers gave the edge to Romney, compared with only 20 percent who said Obama did a better job.  According to the poll, conducted Oct. 4-5, approximately two out of three Americans said they watched the debate.  

    The 52-point win for Romney in the debate is the largest that Gallup has ever found in its post-debate polling, topping former President Bill Clinton's 42-point win following the town hall debate in 1992.

    TPM Article
  •  I think I had the same cold last week. (0+ / 0-)

    And I had much the same take on the debate, although I was away all week (yeah, that was fun) and didn't see the debate in its entirety, only in bits & pieces.

    Thank you for your analysis.  :-)

    "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

    by JBL55 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 09:02:53 AM PDT

  •  Like you I watched the debate as a re-run and just (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle

    like you I did not see any reason to say that Obama lost the debate badly.

    Mitt lied badly which if the debate were being scored as they are in scholastic circles would have disqualified him as not being accurate with his statements.

    Obama did the best one can do in this type of situation - especially when one is the  President and must appear to be Presidential - he quietly refuted what used to be Romney's position and set the record straight.

    I think by virtue of doing this he now has free license in tonight's debate to take an agressive tack and basically call Mitt a blatant liar at every opportunity.

    It's kind of like WWFL where the wrestler who got beat last week because of an illegal move by his opponent comes back this week and uses the same moves on him.

    We will see.

    •  thanks for your comment rontripp, (0+ / 0-)

      I am still puzzling about the intense negative media reaction to POB.  Granted, he did move out of his field of strength and so was cornered into a field of weakness, but like you I thought he handled that well.  

      Did you see the diary about Lawrence O'Donnell's comments that we are looking for a commander in chief, not a debater in chief?  Made sense to me.

      But there is still something that is still niggling at me about the instantaneous reaction of all the media.  I just don't think Obama's performance warranted all this.  Without going all tin foil hat, the media reaction felt a little bit overdetermined, preplanned almost....  I don't know what it was.....

      Yes, the friggin media has handled this as if it were the WWFL! And therein lies a huge part of the problem.  

      I do hope that Obama seizes and stays on his playing field of strength tonight.... I am highly suspicious of how the media plans to spin tonight.

      Oh Well!  As long as he is elected, eh?

      Tx for comment.

      It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. ~~Joseph Stalin

      by SeaTurtle on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 07:26:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What it really looks like to me is that the media (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SeaTurtle

        is trying to turn this into a three match spectacular.

        Romney wins round one, Obama comes back and wins round two and then everyone is glued to the tube for round three.

        Everyone loses sight of the fact that, on issues, this is the most important election of most of their lives.

        We must choose the right candidate and that is not Mitt Romney.

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