Thursday, October 4, 2012

Presidential Debate Re-Cap

Last night was a clear Romney victory. Romney was incredibly well prepared, Obama was not. Romney came across as knowledgeable, professional and pleasant. He debunked all of Obama’s attacks over the past few months and presented a clear vision of what his administration would look like. Obama came across as flustered, angry, and lacking any plan for the future. Here are the highlights.

Romney Themes: Romney main theme all night was focusing on the middle class and on jobs, and he kept saying, “My priority is putting people back to work.” He did an excellent job of personalizing this too, which made him seem genuinely concerned about average Americans. To create jobs, he proposed (1) energy independence, (2) challenging China on currency manipulation, (3) balancing the budget, (4) cutting taxes on small business, and (5) improving retraining for workers.

Obama Themes: Obama never really mentioned the middle class. He spent the night attacking Romney for trying to cut taxes on the rich, even after Romney debunked this. He also kept attacking Romney for hiding the specifics of his proposals: “he keeps saying repeal and replace, but he won’t tell us what he’ll replace it with.” At first, this seemed to work. But Obama kept saying it on every issue and it began to sound fake. Not to mention, he would claim there were no details and then immediately attack specific details he’d just told us didn’t exist.

Romney Attacks Obama’s Record: Romney repeatedly hammered Obama on his record, noting “look at the evidence of the last four years”: (1) 23 million people unemployed, (2) the 37 million people on food stamps when Obama took office are now 47 million, (3) slower economic growth year after year, (4) middle class income fell $4,300 under Obama, (5) gas prices doubled, (6) health care costs rose an average of $2,500 per family, (7) food price inflation and electricity prices are up, (8) Obama said he would cut the deficit in half and he’s doubled it, (9) trillion dollar deficits every year, (10) Obama added more to the national debt than all other prior presidents combined, (11) 50% of recent college graduates can’t find work, and (12) one in six people is now below the poverty line.

At first, Obama tried to counter this by blaming Bush (war, economic crisis, unpaid-for tax cuts), but eventually he just sidestepped these attacks. At one point, he even seemed to ask Jim Lehrer to save him by suggesting they should move on. What’s worse, Obama offered no plan to fix this. All he proposed was taxing the rich, hiring 100,000 more teachers, building more community colleges, and giving a minor tax rate cut to manufacturers.

Obama Attacks Romney’s “Tax Cut”: Obama kept saying Romney wants a $5 trillion tax cut and an additional $2 trillion in military spending. Yet, at the same time, he claimed the average family’s taxes would go up $2,000 under Romney’s plan. Romney debunked all of this, but Obama kept repeating it, which gave Romney the perfect platform to loudly and clearly deny that he plans to raise middle class taxes – something Obama claims in television ads.

Whoops: The moment that really unsettled Obama came when Obama tried to demonize the oil industry for getting $4 billion in corporate welfare. Romney flipped this on him by pointing out that Obama sunk $90 billion into green energy companies like Solyndra, which is equal to 50 years worth of the corporate welfare Obama was attacking. Romney then went further and named the bankrupt green companies and mentioned they had been Obama contributors before zinging “you don’t just pick and winners and losers, you only pick losers.” Obama seemed stunned by the entire attack.

Romney later repeated this attack after Obama accused him of wanting to cut education spending. Romney used Obama’s own words about budgets exposing real priorities to point out that the $90 billion Obama sunk into these crony companies could have hired two million teachers – 20 times the 100,000 Obama wants to hire now. That stung.

Romney the Reasonable: All night, Obama did his best to make Romney seem extreme by claiming he wanted to repeal everything, that he wanted to cut taxes on the rich, eliminate all regulation, privatize social security, cut education spending, etc. Romney forcefully denied each of these claims and made it clear that he wants to fix what is wrong rather than wreck the system. This came across as very reasonable, especially as Romney could identify specific parts of each bill he thought should be repealed or saved. Obama seemed unprepared for this moderate approach and just kept repeating the debunked lines, which seemed more and more desperate as he kept doing it.

Deficit Plans: To cut the deficit, Romney wants to cut spending. His test is, “is this program worth borrowing money from China to pay for it.” He also talked about combining agencies, cutting duplicate programs, and cutting the number of employees, but mentioned this would be through attrition, which will make this a lot less controversial.

Obama countered by claiming he’d already prepared a plan to save $4 trillion, though Romney wondered why Obama hadn’t tried to get it passed. Obama also claimed Romney refuses to raise taxes and thus is not serious about the deficit. This led to an interesting philosophical argument about tax cuts and the economy. Obama insists that tax increases must be part of any plan to balance the budget. Romney claims raising taxes will depress economic growth and the real answer is to lower rates while eliminating loopholes to shift the burden upwards and then to grow the economy to bring in more revenues. That’s Reaganomics, folks!

Romney also pointed out that Obama said in 2010 that you don’t raise taxes during a recession, so he asked why Obama thinks its ok to raise taxes now, even though the economy is weaker. And he claimed Obama’s tax increases would cost 700,000 jobs. Obama had no answer.

Oil & Gas Obama: At one point, Obama tried to take credit for oil and natural gas production being up in the US. Romney countered that this was all on private land and that Obama has actually cut the number of permits on federal land by half. He did not mention the Keystone Pipeline, but he did mention that he favors coal, which Obama left out of his list of energies.

Medicare: Medicare came up repeatedly. Obama is trying to spin his $716 billion in Medicare cuts as savings which make the system stronger – he actually makes that claim in ads as well. Romney was ready for this. He claimed that these weren’t savings, they were simply rate cuts and that 15% of hospitals and nursing homes and 50% of doctors have said they won’t take Medicare patients if this happens.

Obama tried to counter by claiming that Romney wants to privatize Medicare and turn it into a voucher system. Romney responded that he wants to create a voucher alternative, so there would be two choices for people. Obama admitted this and backtracked to arguing this would leave people on the voucher system unprotected and would cost them $6,000 a year. Romney denied this, claiming everyone would be fully covered. Obama backtracked again and said this would bankrupt the government system because “clever insurance companies” would steal away healthy seniors, and he kept mentioning his grandmother.

Obamacare: Obama claimed Romney wants to get rid of all of Obamacare and he rattled off the popular provisions: (1) coverage of preexisting conditions, (2) keeping your kids on the plan until age 26, and (3) no arbitrary caps on coverage. Romney said he wants to keep the first two. Obama countered that Romney’s plan doesn’t keep the first, but then strangely proved that Romney’s plan actually does. Obama also got into trouble when he tried to counter Romney’s mentioning that a panel of 15 unelected bureaucrats will decide what kind of healthcare you can get. Obama denied this, claiming instead that they would try to force best practices on all hospitals. He cited the Cleveland Clinic as an example of how great this can work. Romney then flipped it around and noted that the Cleveland Clinic is a private business and thus proves the superiority of the free market to solve these problems. Obama had no answer.

After all of this, Obama tried to claim he copied Romneycare when he made Obamacare. This struck me as stupid because it made Romney the expert. It also let Romney explain where Obama failed to copy Romneycare correctly.

Who’s A Crony?: Obama kept accusing Romney of wanting to help Wall Street, but this rang hollow because he used it in response to everything from Obamacare to education, and because Romney pointed out that Dodd Frank was a “huge kiss” to New York banks because it designated 15 banks as too big to fail and guaranteed them taxpayer protection. Obama was caught off guard on this and clearly doesn’t know the provision. Combined with Solyndra, this nicely exposed Obama’s cronyism. He also accused Obama of harming the housing market because Dodd Frank penalizes risky loans, but hasn’t defined that term, so lenders won’t lend. This is a sore spot for Obama who faces fire from the left for not fixing the mortgage crisis.

A Jerk To The End: Right at the end, both were asked to describe their view of the role of government. Obama got down into the weeds and talked about hiring teachers and accused Romney of not wanting great teachers. Romney took this apart by explaining that Massachusetts is the top state for education because of his efforts. He then went on to describe his vision which was both positive and hopeful. He talked about the federal government’s job being the promotion of the values in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. He talked about protecting the life and liberty of the public through a strong military, about the right to pursue happiness including protecting those who need help, about preserving religious tolerance and freedom and letting Americans pursue their own dreams. This was Reaganesque. Obama looked petty.

Then the moderator asked them to explain how they would overcome the partisan divide. Romney talked about being governor of a solidly Democratic state and how he found common ground without surrendering his principles. He mentioned that both Democrats and Republicans love America and he said it takes leadership to bring people together. Obama then began his response with a poorly timed partisan swipe at Romney, followed by claiming credit for his own accomplishments and accusing the Republicans of trying to help Wall Street and taking away people’s healthcare. So much for bipartisanship.

The Reaction: The reaction has been brutal for Obama. All the pundits agreed Romney won and many seemed pretty despondent over Obama’s performance. T-Rav sent us this link of Chris Matthews blowing a gasket: LINK. Bill Maher tweeted that Obama made great points. . . for Romney. And the conservative world is intensely energized tonight.

In the end, what truly stood out to me was just how amazingly prepared Romney is for this job. Assuming he wins, he may be the most capable man to occupy the office in decades. Moreover, I am thrilled that his answers remained fundamentally conservative throughout as he never lost track of the true role of government and the limits on its power. This was a good night.

Thoughts? Anything I missed?

123 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

Sorry for the unusually long article, but there was a lot to cover. Please feel free to add all the stuff I missed -- my notes were 15 pages.

T-Rav said...

Ah, you included the link of mine. Goody. :-)

I'm still way keyed up.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'm not as keyed up because writing this article exhausted me. But I got several e-mails from people who's excitement level is through the roof. There is not doubt this was a HUGE victory for Romney.

T-Rav said...

That's understandable. I'm going to try and get some sleep now, because I need to, but first, I wanted to mention these numbers from CNN. No idea how scientific they are, and I don't have a link for it, but as of now, Romney has a 12-point lead over Obama on the economy, 55-43. He's also rated the better leader, 58-37, and even has a marginal lead in likability, 46-45.

In all, 67% say Romney won, versus 25% for Obama....in a registered-voter survey. Among independents, it's 75 to 17.

Think about that.

AndrewPrice said...

Wow. I'm sure that's entirely unscientific and therefore unreliable, but it certainly shows a dramatic sudden shift.

I really think this was a very, very strong performance by Romney and Obama looked spent. Both of those are bad.

(P.S. I love the Chris Matthews thing... he is truly angry at Obama.)

Joel Farnham said...

You didn't miss anything. We witnessed a prize fight between Urkel(Obama) and Rocky(Romney). One where Rocky was throwing the Referee(Lehrer) up against the ropes in his attempts to get at Urkel. I think the Referee had more visible bruises.

I didn't expect Romney to be this good. The Primary Debates were snooze fests in comparison. Romney mostly sat back and watched them. I hope this silences the punditry class. I don't expect it will, because they can't help it.

chunkstyle said...

Romney did mention the Keystone pipeline, but not by name: "…build that pipeline from Canada…".

All in all a good showing for Romney, and looking forward to the VP debates next week. Plugs will never know what hit him.

LL said...

Your analysis was concise and I think that the debate presented a clear distinction between the candidates.

The angry, bitter, smirking Obama or the Presidential Romney, in command of the facts and the arguments.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Excellent analysis of the debate, Andrew. I watched the highlights after the wife went to sleep (she can't watch the debates because Obama is in them and his repeated lies are like fingernails scraping over a chalk board).

I expected Mitt to do well, but not quite this well.

Nor did I expect Obama to do so badly...not because I think he's a good debater (Obama is not) but because I thought he would simply stick to his memorized talking points and drone on and on without actually answering any questions like he usually does.

Even with Lehrer's help (and he helped Obama a lot) Obama was clearly rattled and at a loss for words.

I think this is due, in part, to Obama being being around his celebrity pals so much. He's in a bubble where he is never challenged or questioned and his only exposure to conservative thoughts is caricatures.

Ergo, Obama hasn't been able to hone his debate skills or learn to lie more creatively.
Heck, Obama won't even talk to leftist reporters who might actually ask a serious question every once in awhile.

The other reason I think Obama did so poorly is that he's simply not very brigh. He does okay memorizing key talking points but he can't think on his feet (not even generally speaking) for very long, and obviously, someone as smart and well prepared as Romney is will make mincemeat of him.

The thing is, Mitt said nothing new (other than a few cool sounding zingers, like "trickle down govt."), but Mitt can obviously think on his feet and he knows what he is talking about and has done his research.
Not to mention, Mitt can lead.

Obama can do none of this. Obama also has to attempt to keep track of all his lies, which is no problem against someone like McCain but it's impossible with Romney, no matter how in the bag the "moderator" is for Obama.

It was all Lehrer could do to help Obama not to look like a complete blithering idiot by repeating Obama's own talking points over and over (like a lifeline) every time Mitt rattled him and he got lost.

Despite that, Romney crushed Obama and Lehrer.
Leftist moderators no longer concern me. Mitt has their number.
I can think of no moderators (Obama enablers) smart enough to give Romney any problems.
In fact, come to think of it, after seeing what Romney did last night, I suspect the next moderators will be terrified and probably actually hurt Obama more.

These lib reporters haven't done Obama (or America) any favors by being so easy on him the last four years.
Mitt is used to fighting tough and smart opponents (as well as dirty, I might add).

Obama isn't. Add to that a supersized ego, and a doting, incompetent staff and...well, let's just say Biden has a better chance against Ryan than Obama has against Mitt. :^)

BTW, I expect many on the left will make excuses for Obama. They'll blame the stress (which is real, despite Obama's smugness and ignorance but no excuse to vote for him), the moderator(s), Romney, Bush, the vast right wing conspiracy and everything else they can think of.

Regardless, none of that will help Obama.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

By "dirty" I meant that Mitt has faced dirty opponents in the past. Mitt doesn't hafta resort to cheating or fighting dirty to win.

ScottDS said...

I don't have much to add... I caught a large chunk of the debate in the middle and I think Romney acquitted himself nicely. I don't think Obama was wrong per se to mention his grandmother (i.e. I got where he was going with it), but when you've lost Chris Matthews and Andrew Sullivan, well, you know the rest.

And if my Facebook feed is any indication, most of my friends are upset... because Big Bird is upset. :-)

To quote Han Solo (re: Romney): "Great, kid! Don't get cocky!"

Tennessee Jed said...

You have done a great job how decisively Romney won this mismatch on substance. What is astonishing to me is how decisively won it on style, and make no mistake, the presidential debates have always been as much if not more about style. Maybe it helps when you are on the right side of the issues, but Romney looked like the sunshine falls on his face, that he KNOWS his material, and was energized. Obama was exposed as the former teflon teleprompter man. He was taken to the shed, and his head hung low. Only when referee Leher mercifully called a couple of standing 8 counts which preventd Romney from refuting a couple of talking points did "O" even comes close to a couple of ineffectual jabs.

Here are two favorite moments of the fight (I mean night!) Obama tries to define "middle class" and to taunt Romney about 3% with millionaires and billionaires. Romney was ready with the fact those 3% create over half the jobs. It was a sweeping right cross tht broke Obama's ribs and his heart. He couldn't even look up, and his eyes said "please don't hit me again."

The second was Dodd Frank when Romney called him out on the big banks. The actual substance might not be clear to a lot of folks, but what was clear was how Obama's eyes went wide with shock.

We of course must realize the election was not last night, but I truly was amazed at just how good Mitt has gotten. I always felt he was better than people realized, but I've never seen him better

Tennessee Jed said...

Oh, and to Ben's point . . . I agree the real reason for Obama's abject failure was because he has never been tested. The slobbering love affair of the media has protected this guy, but he couldn't hide last night.

Patti said...

As I write this in my office, I can hear the Today show ripping apart Mitt's "facts" but nothing on Barry's. It's laughable and they are smarting. Again, the left is so disconnected that they never imagined this could happen.

T-Rav said...

Some professor on Fox said a little while ago that this was the most sharply contrasted presidential debate since Kennedy-Nixon. That crossed my mind last night.

Individualist said...

Andrew

Absolutely great recap.

Many people always state that a CEO is out of touch and can't relate to the common man but in reality the reason he is there is he is intensely knowledgeable about finance and business and has the ability to lead people. Obama forgot this.

Here we saw the stark difference between a CEO and a Community Organizer.

Tennessee Jed said...

I guess fat Chris Matthews just can't get up for the Bamster anymore.

Patti said...

The libbie faction of facebook is absolutely silent this morning. Ahhh, i can finally hear the bluebirds.

tryanmax said...

For once, I'm actually entertained by the leftist spin machine. The desperation is palpable. Yeah, they are "fact-checking" Mitt an awful lot, but nobody--nobody--has the gall to claim Obama won. (Makes we wonder about that 25% in the CNN poll!?)

Even the ones trying to paint it as a draw have to load the assertion down with ridiculous caveats. (Obama was rusty. He was trying to keep above the fray. He didn't expect Mitt to be so nasty. Blah, blah, blah!) Strangest of all, a few are trying to claim the debate was dull and uninformative.

Lehrer did succeed in one thing (yes, I mean the moderator, not the president). He did successfully throw the idea out there that Romney didn't offer specifics, which the media is running with. He did this by responding to any specifics Mitt gave by asking for specifics. Never mind that, when pressed for specifics, Obama told people to go look at a website. How's that for specific? Come to think of it, Obama didn't even drop the URL.

Koshcat said...

The reports of Romney's death had been greatly exaggerated. I suspect the conservative pundunts will be so happy about the decisive outcome they will back off Romney. The state-run media look like fools so now for the next week they will be running damage control.

The style the Mitt took that was the most effective was letting Obama talk. You could see him wanting to jump in during the ramblings but held off. It was brilliant because the more Obama rambled the worse he looked. Mitt has the persona of a polished leader. Gave his points clearly and CONCISELY. Something the ONE simply cannot do.

I loved the term "trickle down government." I loved the fact he kept hammering the $700B Medicare cut in ACA, which Obama refused to address. And I loved the nod he gave to Federalism, which I would be shocked if Obama or his media cronies even know what that is.

T-Rav said...

Wonder what the media will have to do to keep Romney down in the polls. I'm thinking D+20 samples or bust.

T-Rav said...

Patti, you're luckier than I am. A few of my liberal friends are still at it, though most have given up. One is claiming that by shifting to the center, Romney's lost the conservative base and won't have a leg to stand on come Election Day. I don't think even he actually believes that.

tryanmax said...

The stock market likes a Romney win!

TJ said...

Thanks for the analysis, Andrew. It was very informative as always.

Wow, what a meltdown by Chris Matthews! Poor Chris, I guess the thrill up the leg is gone.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I knew Romney would be better because Obama just can't debate -- he barely beat Elmer Fudd in 2008. But I was surprised how strong Romney appeared. I expected him to be come across more "pissy," but he really didn't.

AndrewPrice said...

chunk, Thanks! I missed that. Excellent addition.

I think the VP debate is going to be really fascinating. Ryan is truly an accomplished speaker and Biden is an out and out fool who can't control his mouth. But you never know how things turn out. It's going to be interesting.

AndrewPrice said...

LL, Excellent summary of the two. That's how they came across to me as well. I think it's also interesting that for once they presented a very clear ideological difference. They weren't trying to tell us how similar they are and the difference they offered really were polar opposites.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Ben! I've never felt that Obama is very bright and even more importantly, he's untested. I look at his history and see nowhere that anyone ever held him accountable. That's horrible in terms of developing skills. And like I've said from day one, he comes across to me as someone who is faking is way through things with generalities -- and that was on display last night. The moment Romney got into details, Obama collapsed. He was fine with his memorized intro speech, but the moment he had to think on his feet and actually argue, he collapsed.

Obama also has an anger streak, which I think comes from never being challenged. Basically, he's so used to everyone saying "great" and patting him on the head that he doesn't know how to handle someone who won't do that. I've seen this a lot with kids from big name schools.

I agree that they'll spin this today into not a big deal, but this was a big deal. I think this probably changed the race permanently.

DUQ said...

I am so thrilled right now. This was so important.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, On the dirty point and the leftist moderators, they don't concern me because Mitt has a forceful personality. He would make a top notch litigator who does not let a biased judge cause him problems. This is sadly very rare in Republican ranks, but we have it this time. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I'm not saying he was wrong to mention his grandmother, but it came across as pandering because it didn't really make the point and it didn't strike me as genuine. He used her the same way he would some imaginary "a woman I met in Iowa with 2 kids and a car payment..."

In terms of acquitting, I think it was way more than that. Romney's performance totally energized the right and Obama totally re-demoralized the left. I think this shook up the race.

T-Rav said...

Personally, I was wired until about two this morning, meaning I got less sleep than usual. I was just too excited to shut down.

I think my favorite moment was near the end when Obama tried to paint Romney as anti-teachers, to which Romney replied, "With the 90 billion you put into green energy, you could have hired 2 million new teachers!" Awesome.

rlaWTX said...

I haven't read the article & comments here yet. I have read up on my fb and y'all's live feed (hysterical without context!!!!)
Here are what I have seen on fb:
conservatives are thrilled!!
Libs are quiet; not totally crickets, because I have heard that Big Bird is being fired/killed/going away, boo-hoo, but otherwise - silence...
:) :) :) :) :) :)

OK - back to the top of the page...

T-Rav said...

Incidentally, I'm about to get on the road, and I won't have access to the Internet where I'm going until a new modem arrives. So probably I'll talk to y'all again tomorrow. Until then, remain excited and confident, everyone.

T-Rav said...

rla, you don't want to see Big Bird killed, do you? DO YOU?

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Thanks!

I agree completely. Debates have largely been about style, not substance, and Romney won both last night. He came across as well-prepared, forceful yet courteous, professional, surprisingly pleasant, and caring about average people. Obama came across as aloof, confused and unpleasant. He kept looking like he was going to explode and then just rambled. That is a bad image to project for Obama and a really strong image for Romney to project -- much better than I thought he could do from the primaries.

I think the big bank thing was a fantastic point, especially combined with his other hints of cronyism all night. He basically made Obama out as a liar. He said:

"You talk about hating Wall Street, but you're in bed with the big banks."

"You talk about hating big business like oil, but you gave 50 times the money in crony loans to your friends."

"You talk about wanting teachers, but you blew the money on your friends."

etc.

Those aren't things that sit well in the present environment.

tryanmax said...

I think we can count the first criticism from the right against Romney's debate performance as coming from the Heritage Foundation (ironically). In the closing paragraph of their Morning Bell newsletter, Ryan Anderson bemoans that Romney didn't dig into social issues. Specifically, Anderson think he should have dragged in marriage (gays) and religious liberty (contraception). I guess some people just don't like winning.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I agree about Obama never being tested and I think it goes way, way back. I so no evidence that he ever did anything (job, school, politics) that required him to step up and perform at a high level. He's basically skated his way through life. That's why he failed as President and why Romney handled him so easily.

Next debate we get to see if he's a fast learner. I doubt it. But we'll see.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, That's what propagandists do -- they pick and choose what to tell you, they lie and distort, and they claim they are just being fair.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I would agree with that actually, both in terms of personalities and ideologies. Romney and Obama could not have come across more differently last night if we wrote their parts. Romney looked sharp, Obama looked dull. Romney looked up the job, Obama didn't. Bill Maher also said last night that Obama didn't look like someone who had come for a job interview.

In terms of substance too, they presented diametrically opposed positions. We haven't seen that in decades. Normally, the two sides try to claim how moderate and similar they are, but no last night. Last night was two opposite visions of the future. It was fascinating to watch.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Indi! I agree. I think Obama expected he was fighting a career politician who would try to muddle everything up, knew only one or two minor points and wanted to talk platitudes, and who wasn't going to throw real punches -- just "your side is evil" punches. Romney showed why top business men are worth so much money... they KNOW everything about what they are doing.

StanH said...

It was a wonderful display of experienced excellence, Mr. Romney, and the empty suit/chair their Barry, who doesn’t know a damn thing, unless he’s read it in a book or on his teleprompter.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I thought Matthews was going to explode. He came close a couple times. I like his use of the word "crap" on air.

That clip is evidence that Matthews has been in a bubble too long and he really has come to believe the spin that he and his MSNBC idiots put out. He is shocked and angry that Obama didn't just repeat his talking points and Romney didn't collapse like Chris's MSNBC's strawmen guests. But that's not the real world, Chris, that's your fake little bubble world.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, That's because they haven't been told how to spin this yet. They are a vast army of mindless drones waiting to be led and right now their leaders are in hiding... crying.

LawHawkRFD said...

Along with the shock evidenced by the Democratic loyalists, I'm anxious to see if Romney gets a healthy bounce after the dust settles. Romney looked presidential, Obama looked drugged. I'm just hoping the substance of what was said sticks along with the "appearance" of the two candidates.

rlaWTX said...

I am looking forward to the VP debate. I plan on being unavailable for clients that evening.

Thanks for the recap, Andrew!! I really hope that the real (intelligent) undecideds (although I do not understand that position) saw this, and see through the spin.

I'm going afield to see what the rest of the blogosphere thinks about last night (of course I came here first!!!)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think the idea that Romney didn't offer specifics just won't wash. People heard them last night. They heard them over and over. They heard him bury Obama in details on every single issue.

I think dull and uninformative simply translates to "I didn't hear anything that excited me." Meaning, Obama didn't inspire them.

In reality though, Mitt did everything he's been accused of failing. He was friendly and caring, not cold. He had a plan -- both specific and broad. He gave a positive vision of the future. He took apart Obama's record. And he gave reasons to vote FOR him, not just against Obama. Obama is the one who tried to give reasons to vote AGAINST Romney, but that doesn't work for an incumbent.

Tennessee Jed said...

on the criticism from the Heritage Foundation, I am disappointed. I understand that there is a social conservative wing of the party, but last night's debate was about economics. What the heck.

Andrew - I thought Matthew's performance is best described as flaccid.

rlaWTX said...

I just watched the Matthews clip - AWESOME!!!!!!!!
Total Truth Meltdown!

And the "debate is happening on MSNBC"??????? seriously???? Too, too funny!!!!!

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, I agree with everything you said. When your opponent is hanging himself... let him. And Romney was very smart not to interrupt or to make it look like he was causing Obama to lose concentration.

I also thought the constant nods to federalism and other conservative ideas were huge. They tell me that Romney is MUCH more conservative than people want to believe. He really has internalized conservatism.

On the conservative pundits, what I'm wondering now will be how they will spin their prior attacks on Romney with the new-found love they will be displaying? I'll bet they claim that they are the reason Romney "suddenly improved."

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, In all fairness, D+20 makes a lot of sense. The Democrats are totally demoralized and that means HUGE turnout, right? ;)

Individualist said...

Andrew

I think we need to give especially good praise to Mitt for the way he handled the Dodd Frank debate.

The Dems repeat this very tired refrain that "the GOP wants to help Wall Street by not regulatring nonsense". We know that the real issue is that they have essentially taken over the banking industy and that the bank failures in 2008 are a direct result of their policies (CIRA) and their governance (Barney Frank and friends refusing to limit Fannae Me in 2006 when told there was a real warning about a meltdown and basically lambasting OFHEO as racist for wanting to increase bank reserves).

The problem is that going over this requires a lot of specifics that make the average person's eyes glaze over. By pulling the one provision about Dodd Frank designating big banks as too big to fail he exposes all of this without having to resort to then details.

Of course they put that provision in there because the US government probably now owns mionority interests in each of them.

When you look at the specifics of the law and the Orwellian spin of the rhetoric you understand exactly how brilliant Romney and his people are in figuring out how to diffuse the point. Brilliant!

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, LOL! If your friend thinks that Romney shifted to the center last night, then your friend doesn't know where the center is. Romney was solidly conservative last night on everything. I don't think there was a single moment where he didn't push Reaganomics, Federalism, and the traditional view of America.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanamx, I hope so, but I long ago stopped looking at the stock market to determine rationality.

AndrewPrice said...

TJ, You're welcome! (Sorry again about the spam filter.)

Matthews was beside himself with anger. He really was on the verge of meltdown mode.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, Agreed. I feel the same -- very happy. :)

Jen said...

Although I have a very strong stomach, I (like Ben's wife) cannot stand to listen to, let alone see the Moron, so no debate for me (I did read the comments last night though). Besides, I was talking to a friend when it started. Thanks for the recap Andrew.

My friend (that I was on the phone with last night) says Romney scares the Hell out of her. Huh? I said "Oh, so you want four more years of what we've got?" I don't remember how she said it, but referred to all politicians dumb@sses and corrupt.

I'll see her later today. Any quick suggestions of what I could say to her? A few words as possible would help--I'm going for brevity. Thanks!

What I really want to watch is next week's debate: VP Smackdown 2012! :D

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That was a fantastic moment because he took Obama cheap shot about Ryan's budget showing Romney's "real priorities" and flipped that around and made Obama look like a total liar. It was brilliant and devastating.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, The Big Bird thing was hilarious. Romney was asked what kind of cuts he would make and he looked at Jim Lehrer and said, (paraphrase) "I like you Jim and I like Big Bird, but sorry, I'm cutting your funding." It was probably the funniest moment last night.

I am hearing nothing but silence and echoes of anger from the left this morning, and conservatives can't stop talking about it. This was a clear win.

AndrewPrice said...

Take care, T-Rav! We'll leave the blog on for you. :)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That criticism from the Heritage Foundation is absolutely ridiculous. Why in the world would Romney open the door to an intensely controversial area which Obama has been using against him for months and where Obama feels quite at home? That is just stupid. Talk about handing the other guy the rope he needs to hang you!

Not to mention, this debate wasn't about shoring up the base, it was about reaching out to the middle. And Romney managed to walk that truly fine line where he did both. Why should he suddenly undo all of that by morphing into Rick Santorum?

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, LOL! Obama might have been better served sending an empty chair. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, On the substance, I think last Romney night did something interesting. I think Romney stated his plans so clearly and with sufficient detail that he can claim a mandate if he wins because no one will be able to claim that he wasn't honest about what he hopes to achieve.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Thanks! Let us know how your field trips goes! :)

I think last night "moved the needle" with the undecideds. Unless Romney implodes in the next couple, then he grabbed another couple percent and he will start to build momentum.

I'm looking forward to the VP debate as well, though we'll have to see. There is a lot of random chance in these things and you never know what will happen. Still, I'm hopeful that Biden finally gets exposed as the fool he is.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Flaccid... LOL!

On the Heritage Foundation, I'm disappointed as well and amazed that they could be so stupid. If he had done what they suggest, he would have thrown Obama lifeline and lost his impressive victory in the final seconds.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, The Matthews clip is awesome. I recommend everyone watch it to see just how the left is feeling today.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I agree. His response to the Wall Street charge was brilliant. He pointed out that he did want to regulate, he was not looking to set them free. He pointed out that the Democrats did not regulate them well. And he pointed out the cronyism. All good!

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, The "they're all crooks" is how liberals respond when they know their own guy is a dud. You won't win her over.

You're welcome on the recap. This one was worth seeing.

Let's hope the VP debate goes well.

Doc Whoa said...

Thanks for hosting last night! That was a great debate and it was even better to hear everyone's thoughts.

I think this does change the race. I think the get Romney over that hurdle.

Doc Whoa said...

By the way, I hear the Europeans are all freaked out that Romney won and that he told the truth about Spain. Jerks. What a bunch of arrogant bastards to think they have the right to get involved in our politics.

Joel Farnham said...

In keeping with ScottDS, "Don't get cocky." quote, I keep on hearing the Duke and Robert Mitchum in El Dorado, "Well, we got away with it.", "Yeah, next time they will be waiting."

It has been gratifying all the gnashing of liberal teeth, and the caterwauling of the leftist pundit class. Already though, the whiners from the right, mostly the socons, are starting to complain. One even complained that it wasn't a knock-out punch. Kind of like, after Romney gave out specifics, Lehrer asks for specifics. Arrgh!

BevfromNYC said...

According to Algore, Obama's problem was the altitude in Denver. Note to debate coordinators, make sure all debates are scheduled at sea level...

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Wait a minute. Did he really say that?!! What magic trick did Romney use to beat the altitude?

Also, the altitude really only matters if you do hard exercise. I didn't see Obama doing wind sprints.

Unbelievable.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, The socons are going to drive me to violence. This is what happens when you succumb to an obsession, all you care about is having people tell you how much they agree with you no matter how inappropriate the timing or what the cost.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, You're welcome. On the euros, I'm not surprised. They've set up a house of cards as a governing system and an economy and they think that as long as everyone pretends everything is fine, then it will be. It's delusional and it won't end well, but that's what's going on.

tryanmax said...

The socons are unhappy because Romney was unable to make Obama repent of his sins live on national TV. Forget them! (Cee Lo Green can translate that phrase to reflect my true sentiments.)


AndrewPrice said...

Ah yes, Cee Lo Green, our greatest modern orator. LOL!

I think the problem is just that like all people who are obsessed with something, they cannot stand the fact that people want to talk about something else.

Individualist said...

Tyranmax

This is an economic debate. Gay marraige has nothing to do with economics.

The contraception issue is a red herring thrown out their by the Dems. They attack the Catholic Church to control them and demean the church in order to convince its follwoers not to pay attention to their own teachings. Obsms could care less if the government pays for or does not pay for contraception. The whole thing is a smoke screen. You don't throw up smoke in front of you before you want to fire on the enemy.

So the Heritage Foundation is foolish to mention this.

Tennessee Jed said...

I wonder what Gore's excuse was when he got his own ass kicked? I'm a boring idiot? Of course we didn't know then that he was Nobel and Oscar material, I suppose.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Gore was worried because he'd left the flood lights on at his mansion and that was burning through enough electricity to kill three baby seals per hour. That was his excuse. ;)

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, Some people really don't seem to care. They think that their issue is the only one which matters and they will jam it into anything they talk about.

tryanmax said...

Jen, RE: "Romney scares the Hell out of her."

I've heard a few people use that same excuse. First of all (and suspect you'll agree) I don't believe they're really scared. Either way, it's a phony excuse: they are trying to sound as though they've actually considered the options while tacitly admitting that they haven't. Ask the person "why?" and in most cases, their reason will fall apart immediately.

Joel Farnham said...

tryanmax,

Whenever someone says, "Candidate X scares me.", the mean comes out in me and I say, "You should be scared." and then proceed to scare them royally. Petty of me, I know, but I just can't help it. ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree entirely. That's a made up reason meant to sound like they have actually looked into the candidates, understand what they stand for, and have some serious concern about their policies. But it's also so obviously false and so over-the-top that it's clearly just an uninformed attack meant to stop debate.

AndrewPrice said...

58 Million viewers last night. That's big... very, very big.

I would guess that's just more than half of the number of people who will turn out in November.

sharpcookie said...

Thanks for the recap. Very thorough.

AndrewPrice said...

You're welcome cookie. :)

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

I saw it revised to 67.2 million people watched Obama and Romney.

I am still looking for a coherent media. I don't know how the MSM can come up with anything that will cover for Obama this time. Also, what the history states is the first debate is the most listened to debate. I have a sneaking suspicion that the next Presidential Debate will have more people than last night.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I just read that. I also read that this is the most that have ever watched a debate. Apparently, the most before this was 60 million. So that's more bad news for Obama that a ton of people are interested, and a record number saw him destroyed.

Joel Farnham said...

Yes, it bad news for Obama, but it is good news about the so-called disinterested. No longer is it about just us political-junkies watching the back and forth.

I think the next debate will be more than last night. Ryan and Biden. I thought the first one would be okay, but the real fireworks would have been with the VP debate. Now, I am beginning to wonder.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I think the numbers will go down from here because will decide they've seen enough. But we'll see.

On the VP debate, I'm actually a little cautious. Ryan should wipe out Biden, but Biden is a fool and a liar and it's very hard to argue with people like that because they are not bound by reality. So Ryan may find himself facing just a wall of BS that becomes very hard to penetrate.

That's why they say, never argue with a fool.

Joel Farnham said...

Yeah, we'll see on the numbers. What I was thinking is that the ones who missed it this time, might want to see a meltdown next time. Like a prize fighter who wins one against all odds. Can he repeat it?

On Ryan and Biden, I hear you, but I have more faith in Paul. He is more personable that Romney and quicker on his feet. It might be a situation where Ryan will have to hold up Biden to hit him properly.

T-Rav said...

Well, turns out the Internet was on this evening after all. Goodie.

Joel, folks at the NYT are saying that if you count those who watched the debate streaming on the Web and all that, the actual number is at least 70 million. This is getting a ton of publicity, just by sheer numbers. I'll link some stuff here in a bit.

Also, I want to mention that in Ohio, where early voting started this week, early returns from a couple dozen counties show double digit swings in favor of the GOP over 2008. I wonder how many panic buttons are being pushed in the White House right now.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, That could be. But in my experience, people lose interest fast once they feel they've seen enough to know what's going on. And I suspect that most everyone who was curious probably watched and now a lot of people will feel they know all they need to know.

Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of faith in Ryan, but arguing with a fool is a like fighting a tar baby... it's very, very hard not to end up covered in gunk.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That would be incredible if it was 70 million people. I only expect 110 million to vote.

I am very much encouraged that at least up to now, everyone admits that Romney won. Even Algore admitted that, though he tried to excuse it stupidly.

Wow, that would be good news from Ohio since this election will be about turn out. This debate couldn't have happened at a better time!

T-Rav said...

Andrew, indeed. :-)

It's kind of wonkish, but here we are: LINK

Basically, it tracks absentee ballot requests and the D/R split. In '08, it favored the Dems by 14 points; right now, it's about five and a half. Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) isn't down significantly, but the Columbus and Cincinnati metro counties are seeing swings toward the Republicans of 20 points or more in some cases.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Thanks! That sounds like good news, though it is still early in the process. At least it shows voter enthusiasm. :)

I'll check out the link when I get the chance.

Jen said...

Tryanmax, I don't get why my friend said what she did. We are basically on the same page when it comes to just about everything else, but this comment really threw me. I guess I should ask her who she would have really wanted for president, because I'm clueless.

I wish you could hear some of the stuff she says about stupid people, those who use food stamps, and welfare to buy ridiculous things that shouldn't be allowed, etc. I think her biggest problem is listening to what is on the news, and she lets that sway her decisions.

Another thing, she really gets into the conspiracy theory stuff (9/11 being an inside job, and such). Too much Jesse Ventura on TV for her. She believes a lot of what he says. I've never seen his program, so I can't comment.

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, There's your answer -- she's a bozo. The people who believe the conspiracy theory stuff are typically very poorly informed, have really extreme and often contradictory opinions, and attack all the mainstream candidates with invective rather than logic because they have no reason for their opinions except conspiracy crap they know no one else will believe.

You should ask her to back up her statement. What scares you? Do you have any proof? Where did you hear that?

Jen said...

Andrew, I was all ready to say something to her today, but she had her youngest son with her, so I couldn't.

I asked the question earlier in the day because my mind drew a blank at the time. Then, I couldn't get back online to check. It wouldn't have mattered anyway (because of her son being there), but she is supposed to stop by tomorrow.

Believe me, I've even sent her links to different things, and even to this blog. Politics is the only area she tends to swing left for some reason, unless it's something else I don't know about.

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, If she swings left, then you have your answer. :)

tryanmax said...

Jen, I know what you're talking about, the type who is conservative in every facet of life but votes Democrat. My grandparents are poster-people for that. My only insight is that it is a strange loyalty thing. I can't figure out exactly what it is these people thing the Dems have done for them, but it's apparently a helluva lot better than a free sandwich for every five votes.

Jen said...

Andrew, Something else I want to add. Her husband is in a union, and she supports that, yet complains about the guys who make note of every time the company "violates" something in the handbook. Her husband will operate any equipment they want him to, and couldn't care less about what is in the union handbook.

Last year, her husband's union was threatening a strike over having to contribute to their health insurance (yeah, one of those). My neighbor across the road wasn't very sympathetic to their cause (he met her, but only told me about this).

That union was also wanting to cause trouble over the Right to Work vote that came up. As luck would have it (against them), my state is now Right to Work. LOL!

tryanmax said...

Afterthought: of course there's always plain foolishness for an answer. It seems folks who are fooled in one area are fooled in all areas. It really is like a mental disorder.

Jen said...

Tryanmax, I've never asked her which party she votes for. I've only known her less than two years. I really thought she was on my side, but some of her beliefs defy logic to me.

AndrewPrice said...

Jen and tryanmax, West Virginia was full of those people too. They didn't share a single belief with the national Democrats, but they voted Democratic because the local Democrats were excellent at lying about what they believed and then voting differently in Washington. They also traced their loyalty back to FDR.

Jen said...

I've got another question. This subject may have been brought up here before, but I haven't been around long enough to know about it. What is the thought about Social Security and privatization?

My friend thought it was a very bad idea to privatize SS, and I did question her about why she believes that way. I'd just like additional opinions from here. Thanks!

tryanmax said...

The union thing might be part of the explanation. If nothing else, you have to be expert at keeping your blinders on to even be in one. My experience with unions (by proxy through my dad) is that they jack the members around, all the members know it, but they still blame the employer for all their beefs. It's not at all dissimilar to the way the Democrats jack their base around but their base still blames the GOP.

tryanmax said...

As I see it, it's either privatize SS or kiss it goodbye. There is no money in the SS system. It's literally stocked with IOUs. Technically, they are called "special issue securities" and they are backed by the "full faith and credit of the U. S. Government" for whatever that is worth these days. They are roughly equivalent to U.S. Savings Bonds, which no competent investor would recommend these days. And to further compound the problem, these are bonds that the government has issued to itself.

Jen said...

I used to work somewhere represented by a union. I didn't want to join, but at the time, we weren't a Right to Work state, so I know what you said is true.

Every election cycle was the same ol', same ol'. The only literature that would be on the breakroom tables was Democrat propaganda. The union even told everyone who they should vote for. It really ticked me off to be insulted like that--as though I didn't have a mind of my own, and could think for myself.

The fortunate thing was, I transferred to a department that was polar opposite of this thinking. We used to trash the Dem stuff (figuratively). We just disregarded every bit of garbage that these people (Dem voters) would say. I live in a red county, but it was starting to turn purple.

tryanmax said...

Another way to look at it is this: every time the gov't borrows money out of social security and replaces it with these securities, it is effectively printing more currency. So even if the securities are repaid with interest, they've been inflated to worthlessness.

The SSA is very proud to say that the government has always repaid SS with interest as a way of saying that the securities are sound. But that's like saying that the sun will never burn out because it hasn't yet.

Jen said...

Tryanmax, thanks for your input. I knew about the IOUs, but didn't recall if there was anything else I should know.

My friend kept saying, that SS money shouldn't be put into the stock market. I didn't hear just that reason. Is there another way? I can't think of what it is right now.

tryanmax said...

First of all, there is no compelling reason why SS should not go into the stock market. The market always grows in the long run and there are mechanisms that can be put in place to ensure that a crash does not destroy anybody's retirement. You hear all these Democrats talking about "betting on America." Well, to an extent, that's what putting money into the stock market is.

But to answer your question, yes, there are other things people could do with their money in a private system. You could put it in a simple savings account and draw the piddling interest that brings. You could invest directly into things outside the stock market. The plans proposed by those who suggest privatizing SS would basically make it manageable like a 401K is. People would be able to direct their money in a way that makes them most comfortable. No one is proposing a one-size-fits-all solution to the current one-size-fits-none problem.

tryanmax said...

BTW, if anyone wants to jump in and fact-check me, they are more than welcome to do so. This is my understanding of things, but I only claim to be human.

Joel Farnham said...

The last I heard about this was 401k was going to be raided by the government.

That is, all 401k are going to be nationalized to shore up SS. This was before Obama was elected and also before the Tea Parties. Now, I think the furor has died down.

Jen said...

She thinks that it's too risky for SS money to be in the stock market. I've suggested those other things you mentioned, but she thinks that if someone is foolish with their money, then they won't have anything left for retirement, and then what will they do?

I think Andrew may have triggered something. He mentioned the loyalty to FDR. Her oldest is big into all things JFK, and she really likes to hear him speak in the old videos she watches. She wasn't even born until long after he was gone. I'm sorry, but I was never impressed with his speaking.

tryanmax said...

If she's worried about people making bad choices for themselves, then she's a lost cause. People may make bad decisions, but the gov't invariably makes worse ones on their behalf. I'm sorry, but your friend is a nanny-state liberal if that is the crux of her reasoning.

If she loves JFK so much, she must somehow have missed the part about "Ask not what your country can do for you..." Liberals seem especially prone to the idea that all of a party's leaders are ideologically identical. Just look at the way they compare all Republicans to Bush.

tryanmax said...

Joel, I heard similar things about Roth IRAs. But I think the Tea Party scared most politicians away from those ideas.

Joel Farnham said...

That is good.

Jen said...

I don't think she even realizes that she's a liberal in that sense. She's always complaining about people who abuse gov't assistance, and yet still thinks this way. WTF???

I commented about her last week with this (in reference to food stamps):
My friend was telling me about Schwan Foods taking them as well. She said the stuff isn't cheap (she will buy things on occasion). She also gets upset when buying groceries. She looks for reduced price, store brands, or specials, only to see someone with name brand items, and they pay with their EBT card.

It's funny about what she thinks when it comes to Bush. She doesn't like the guy, but thinks he's sexy, and gets more so every year. LOL! She wouldn't be very happy with me right now if she read this. Oh well.

tryanmax said...

Jen, your friend is all over the board. One of the more dismal realizations I've come to lately is that most people don't understand simple cause and effect.

Jen said...

Tryanmax, I came to the same conclusion. With that being said, I really hope she doesn't vote.

She's not dumb, but there are some things that she knows nothing about, and I have tried to help her understand. One of these areas, and totally OT would be dairy cattle, and things that a person should pay attention to. They had beef cattle until they added to the herd with some they bought from me. I taught her do and do nots, along with other stuff. She was totally clueless about a disease I told her about, and why I follow certain practices. The good thing about it is, she does remember what I tell her.

Jen said...

Andrew, I realize this is a little late, but I'm surrounded by bozos. If it isn't friends or neighbors, it's family. There is no refuge here. So, I must be guilty by association/relation. I hope that helps explain some of my responses here.

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