Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Romney Wins By A Hair, Obama Loses By A Mile

Romney proved himself to be knowledgeable and thoughtful last night, and he showed himself to be quite Presidential. Obama also came across well, though not quite Romney’s equal – he was more political. Thus, Romney won the debate by a hair. But Obama made key mistakes that caused him to blow his last chance to win the election.

Bob Schieffer: Schieffer did an excellent job and should be commended. His questions were thoughtful, fair and he allowed a solid debate.

Romney Succeeds: Romney had one job last night and he did it. He needed to come across as someone you would trust as Commander in Chief. He did. He had much more knowledge than Obama on every single issue and clearly had thought through his solutions. He presented a solid vision, a plan to achieve that vision, and knowledge of the details of every single issue covered which helps you believe his plan will work. He passed the test.

Obama Strategy Fail I: Obama had two jobs last night and he failed at both. Obama’s first job, the one he really needed to achieve, was to give people a reason to vote for him. He didn’t. All he did was repeat his five point plan that hasn’t excited anyone yet and he attacked Romney as wanting to help the rich. These arguments failed in the first two debates and merely repeating them here won’t change anything. He needed something more and he didn’t give it. Indeed, his strategy last night was surprisingly stupid and I think he lost the election last night by default.

FYI, Obama plan: (1) he wants to help manufacturers invest here with tax code changes, (2) he wants to make our education system the best in the work and he wants to retrain workers, (3) he wants us to “control energy” by investing in clean energy, (4) he wants to tax the rich so he can “invest” the money in R&D, and (5) he wants to hire teachers (later he added hiring veterans to build roads).

Then he accused Romney of wanting to help the rich, of wanting to add $7 trillion in debt through military spending and tax cuts (all of which has been debunked), and said Romney wants social policies from the 1950, economic policies from the 1920s, and foreign policy from the 1980s. None of this helped in the prior two debates, and it won’t help now. To the contrary, all this did was open the door to Romney to repeat his devastating attack on Obama’s record which I’ve written out several times already. (see Romney’s Theme). Romney also repeated that he wants to champion small business, which will help him with the Tea Party, and he talked about education reform, which will help him with women. He also pointed out that he balanced budgets in private business for 25 years, at the Olympics, and four years as governor... Obama has yet to balance a budget.

Obama Strategy Fail II: Obama’s second job last night was to land a knockout blow on Romney. He never came close because the lines he used were horrible. They were petty and bully-like, and these detracted from an otherwise solid performance. Examples include:
● He condescended to Romney by trying to explain to him what an aircraft carrier is and what a submarine is.

● He described Romney’s foreign policy as Obama’s policies only “saying them louder.”

● He implied that the US jumped in on the side of the Arab Spring protestors right away, even though that’s false. But more importantly, he said this was his idea and he blurted out, “Me!” Kind of a Howard Dean moment there.

● He waved the bloody shirt of 9/11 by claiming that he brought “closure” to the son of someone who was killed on 9/11 – something the left (and Obama) savaged Bush for doing.

● Obama accused Romney of wanting to use military force as a first resort. This stupid attack, repeated throughout the night, let Romney demonstrate repeatedly that he is not reckless or bloodthirsty.
Obama lost the election on the above, the rest below is just details.
Obama Tactics Fail I: Obama’s biggest tactical mistake was using a shotgun approach on Romney. He attacked on too many issues and used too many details. Moreover, many of his attacks sounded like Obama was trying to pull quotes out of context, such as when he accused Romney of not seeing al Qaeda as a threat – no one will believe Romney said that. These fake attacks polluted all the rest of his attacks and made everything he said sound like a distortion.

Obama Tactics Fail II: Another tactical failure was accusing Romney of being a reckless warmonger, but then simultaneously accusing Romney of advocating the exact same policy Obama is following. That doesn’t work.

Key Moments: Here are the likely key moments:
● Romney neutered the bin Laden thing and bought himself serious credibility when he congratulated Obama on getting bin Laden and then said, “but we can’t kill our way out of this mess.” In echoes of my articles on the topic, he said we need a comprehensive strategy to get the Muslim world to reject extremism in their own ranks through promoting: (1) economic development, (2) better education, (3) rule of law, (4) gender equality, and (5) the creation of civil societies. This is brilliant because it stopped Obama from bragging and it highlighted that Obama has no plan – Obama later played “me too” and tried to claim this is what he’s already doing.

● Romney highlighted Obama’s failure to give a reason to vote FOR Obama by repeating, “Attacking me is not an agenda.”

● Obama said of Iran, “We cannot afford to have a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region in the world.” This is interesting because Paul Ryan said the same thing and Joe Biden called the claim ridiculous.

Israel: A lot was said about Israel, but Romney had the key moment and Obama may have blown a key moment. When Schieffer asked how they would respond if Israel called and said their planes were on the way to bomb Iran, Romney jumped in and said they shouldn’t answer a hypothetical like that. He also said that his relationship with Israel’s Prime Minister was such that this would never happen. This made Romney appear statesmanlike if he already has solid relationships with our allies. Obama ducked the question.

Then Schieffer asked if they would guarantee that an attack on Israel was the same thing as an attack on the US. Obama sort of said it was, but seemed to hedge. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. Romney then suggested that Obama was talking about helping Israel only diplomatically.
Obama Lies: At several points, Obama simply lied to hide his record. He claimed that he did support the Green Revolution in Iran, even though he remained silent for nine days. He claimed he did not propose $1 trillion in automatic spending cuts on the military, which is technically true but still a lie. Harry Reid proposed them and Obama demanded they be included in the budget deal. His claim to arm the Syrian rebels is a lie. He lied about not going to the UN on Syria. And he lied by claiming he had implemented non-existent policies to promote democracy overseas.

China: Obama made a huge mistake when he labeled China as our second biggest national security threat after terrorism (he forgot Iran) because China will not be amused. Our relationship with China is based on false facades of friendship, which both sides are careful never to violate. Obama did.

Romney then turned this against Obama by pointing out that China is an opportunity. He said (as I’ve suggested) that China could be made an ally because economic growth is vital to them as they need 20 million new jobs a year to maintain civil order. But we need to get our budget in order, we can’t cut our military, we must strengthen our commitment to our allies in the region (read: Taiwan), and we must go after China for unfair trade practices, currency manipulation, counterfeiting and stealing of intellectual property. Obama countered that Romney owned stock in Chinese companies. This was a mistake because whereas Romney gave a plan to fix the problem, Obama took a political cheap shot.

Romney also used China to talk about engaging Latin America in trade, which will help him with Hispanic business owners.

Syria: Obama did a lot of doublespeak on Syria. He talked about taking the lead in “mobilizing the world, providing humanitarian aid and organizing the opposition.” As with Biden, he implied that we armed the opposition and then turned around and accused Romney of being a warmonger for trying to arm the opposition. The arms actually came from the Saudis, not us. And Obama asked the UN to take the lead. Romney also denied wanting to send any American troops or planes to fight, proving he’s no warmonger, which caused Obama to flip his strategy on its head and accuse Romney of proposing to do exactly what Obama is doing, only being reckless somehow.

The Closings: The closings were interesting. Obama went negative. He blamed Bush for his problems and then accused Romney of wanting to help the rich before he repeated his five point plan. This was uninspired.

Romney’s closing was Reaganesque. First, he made two great points. He repeated Obama’s record and called it the President’s path. Obama said we shouldn’t go back to the policies of a decade ago, and Romney countered that we don’t want to relive the last four years. Then Romney made an appeal to bipartisanship, which will play well with independents. He noted that he worked with a legislature that was 87% Democratic in Massachusetts and he said he could work with good Democrats and good Republicans in Washington. Then he spoke about the greatest generation and how they have passed the torch and he described America as “the hope of the Earth.” Basically, he gave people a reason to support him. Obama didn’t. All of this is classic Reagan.

Good Night For Price: Romney tracked my foreign policy discussions on issue after issue. This is very encouraging because it sounds like he’s looking for real solutions and he’s no Bush neocon.

Conclusion: This was an odd debate in the sense that Obama didn’t really play to win. I’m wondering what he was thinking. Yes, he performed well, he was Romney’s equal most of the night, and he took some cheap shots that will thrill his ignorant base. . . but he played for the draw when he really needed a blow out. This makes me wonder if his campaign team just isn’t that bright or if he knows he’s lost and he’s look for future political opportunities. Whatever his plan, he failed to take the risks he needed to win the election.

I now expect the MSM to go into desperation mode to win the election for him. But the polls will show Romney climbing a couple percentage points more. At that point, the cracks will appear on the left and they will savage him for his bad campaign.



AndrewPrice said...


1920s -- Greatest period of economic growth in US history.

1950s -- Greatest period of social stability and growth of middle class, plus American values spread around the world.

1980s -- Defeated communism, freed hundreds of millions of people.

So perhaps Obama's line isn't as clever as he wants to believe?

Joel Farnham said...

In a way, I am glad Obama won four years ago. If Obama didn't have any record, he would be ahead now. Too many places where Obama has screwed up. Too many bleeding people, money and otherwise. Too many promises not kept.

Joel Farnham said...

Oh, and I agree with your column and your post Andrew.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Joel. I think Obama needs to be credited with saving conservatism honestly. Think back to 2008, conservatism was dead. The country was ready to move center left after 8 years of Bush and no one was willing to call themselves "conservative." But Obama came in and blew it so badly that he revived conservatism and disgraced liberalism. If Romney wins and can follow up his victory with solid government, look for a repeat of 1980 with a couple generations of conservatism to follow.

DUQ said...

Great job Andrew! Yahoo is already spinning. Their headline claims Obama "rattled Romney." When did that happen? And they claim that Obama's attack about horses and submarines "has gone viral." Yeah, right.

T-Rav said...

Guys. Don't get cocky.

That said, I'm encouraged by the post-debate numbers. From the CNN poll, voters said Obama won the debate, 48-40; but, 24% said they were more likely to vote for Obama, 25% said they were more likely to vote for Romney, and 50% said neither. In other words, this too was a wash. So the GOP momentum has not been stopped by this at all. And now I'm going to bed before I pass out.

LL said...

As usual, you're on the money with this.

Obama IS the Commander-in-Chief, he's supposed to win the foreign policy debate on content because he has access to volumes of information not technically available to Governor Romney.

But he didn't.

Romney came off looking presidential and came off looking like the man who will fix our broken economy. In this election, that's what it's about and most people know that a strong America at home is a strong America abroad.

The debate was a referendum on the economy because that is what people care about. It's how Bill Clinton beat George H. W. Bush, a true expert on foreign policy and a sitting president.

You're also right in that Obama deserves credit for creating the Tea Party and US, conservative bloggers, and forcing America to consider its roots and where it needs to go to prosper and retain its unique identity.

Tennessee Jed said...

I pretty much agree with your analysis, Andrew, although I have to cop to turning down the sound for awhile. The debate was such that either side can claim victory, but the reality is if Obama is truly trailing (I consider most polls to continue to over-sample for Obama) he failed to reverse things. Still, that this election is as close as it is reflects how many Americans don't understand economics or are happy to be on the dole.

The intellectual side of me says Romney will be the next President, but I always worry about something happening nobody foresees. Democrats have apparently done a good job of registering new voters. I'd like to think that isn't a game changer, but it will probably be a nail biter in two weeks.

StanH said...

Well done again Mr. Romney. The great Reagan is smiling down from heaven. “Rope a dope.” Romney remained cool while Barry attacked, this came off as petulant and snarky. Your overview of the ‘20s, ‘50s, ‘80s, Calvin Coolidge, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, wouldn’t it be nice to have any of the three. As far as who won, one must look at those goals, and who achieved their goals. I believe, Romney wanted to come off as reasoned thinker, level headed, definitely not a warmonger, on this he achieved his goal. Barry had to crush Romney so decisively that there would be nothing left of Romney, he missed by a long shot. So the victor by default, is Romney. As far as the election, I’m sticking with Romney 41 states, Barry 9. After all, we must remember what the Cue ball, James Carville told us in ’92, “it’s the economy stupid.”

Anthony said...

I saw/listened to maybe the first twenty minutes of the debate. Romney seemed to be focused on foreign policy (which stuck me as a difference of tone rather than substance), Obama seemed to be focused on Romney. Based on what I saw, the momentum should continue to be Romney's.

Romney's comprehensive strategy for the Muslim world didn't sound appreciably different from Obama's (or Bush 2's). The problem is that its damn hard to change societies from the outside on issues the society feels strongly about (not impossible, as the death of aparthied suggests, but hard) and impossible to do so quickly barring massive intervention.

Pakistan had a female Prime Minister (Bhutto) back when I was there but at the same time women were getting acid thrown in their faces in the Northwest Frontier Province for rejecting advances and in the same area many guys didn't divorce their wives, they burned them to death (I was initially confused by newspapers' daily recitation of deaths via 'cooking accident').

I support the Arab spring because Islamists in presidential palaces make very different calculations than Islamists in caves (Hamas and the PLO are exhibits A and B) but I don't really expect the societies/governments to resemble those of the US in the forseeable future.

*Shrugs* Still, Romney stikes me as a safe pair of hands in the foreign policy arena and its not like Obama has done so well his performance can't be improved upon (Benghazi aside, personal relationships are important components of foreign policy and by all reports Obama is as distant from foreign leaders as he is from his fellow Dems).

Tennessee Jed said...

Anthony - it is true that when it comes down to actual policy, it really doesn't change that much, nor should it. Just as you point out, it is damned hard to change societies from the outside, but also, it is important for The U.S.A. to appear stable. Sometimes, we can get an easy win, but other times, there simply isn't a whole lot we can do.

Obama, being desperate, seemed to make a huge gaffe by so quickly opening the door to go back to the economy. I guess he thinks (hopes?) that people buy into his b.s. that Romney's plan is mathematically unworkable. (He only barely maintains the illusion his plan does.)

tryanmax said...

All I've got today is my reaction to Obama's 5 Point Plan:

(1) help manufacturers invest here with tax code changes
translation: cronyism

(2) make our education system the best in the work and he wants to retrain workers
question: by what standard, seeing as it already is the best?
translation: perpetual training in lieu of actual jobs(see #5)

(3) “control energy” by investing in clean energy
translation: "Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket...Coal-powered plants, you know, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers...So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted." --Barack Obama, in a 2008 interview with the SF Chronicle

(4) tax the rich so he can “invest” the money in R&D
translation: government middleman picking winners and losers

(5) he wants to hire teachers
translation: repeat of #2

obiwan2009 said...

Perhaps the most interesting spin I have heard from most liberal media outlets right now is the Syria to the Sea meme. To which I wonder, does Iran have a coast on the Mediterranean Sea? I didn't think so. In fact, if I may iterate, that we restore and develop good relations with the restored Syria, we will have confined Iran in one direction, as Iran would need to go through Syria as a close means to getting to the Mediterranean? How stupid exactly do the liberal bloggers and mainstream media think I am? I can pretty much say how wrong they were!

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, It's time for the homestretch and Obama hasn't put together a case for himself, so I expect the media to do it for him. You will see them savage Romney in the next two week, surprise exposes, last second "newly discovered" reports they've been sitting on, and articles telling us of the wonders of Obama.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, What if we get chalky instead? ;)

I see nothing last night that will change the race's momentum. Obama needed to give a positive reason for people to vote for him and he didn't really try. A couple of tax breaks, a veteran preference for labor and hiring 100,000 teachers won't do it.

AndrewPrice said...

LL, Thanks!

I think this election will be 100% about the economy. I can't imagine anyone will vote for against either candidate because of their position on Syria or Libya. And Romney and Obama come across as similar on those anyway. So again, this all shifts back to the economy.

You are absolutely right that Obama is supposed to win the foreign policy debate, and he really didn't. He and Romney came across as equals, or Romney slightly better, which is very bad for Obama ultimately.

He did revive the right, though I think he will hate claiming credit for that! LOL!

Individualist said...


Obama made Romney look like a complete idiot. I mean didn't Romney see the Avengers movie.

We now have Aircraft carriers that can fly in the air. We don't need obsolete things like ships and bayonets. If you want to appear more Presidential in Obamatopia you have to watch more action movies. Then you'd be up on the latest technical innovations.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, From what I'm hearing, Romney has a truly solid ground game and Obama doesn't. Romney's campaign has met with more voters and basically is better organized. Obama is also pulling resources out of swing states trying to set up a fire wall in other states. That means he's getting desperate.

But as T-Rav suggests, don't get chalky.... the election isn't over yet.

I think the real story of last night, in hindsight, is that Obama failed to even try to do what he needed to do to win the election. He went in and proved he was Romney's equal and then took some shorts at Romney and handed out his "killer slogan" about the 1980s/1950/1920s, but that's all he did. That's not enough. It's like kicking the field goal when you need a touchdown to win.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I agree. Romney had one goal and he achieved it. In fact, Obama helped him by giving him openings to show how reasonable he was and by letting Romney turn things back to economics. Obama had two goals and he failed at one -- taking Romney out, and he never tried the other -- to win the public over.

Agreed on Coolidge, Ike and Reagan, three greats and for Obama to try to use those three as a smear was stupid. That's bubble thinking.

I don't have a state count yet, but Romney's momentum may finally push Wisconsin and PA into his column. Ohio is stubborn though, but I do expect Romney to win it.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, don't forget, he also met that girl Payton with 9/11 and all. So that should be a winning campaign.

Again, I ask, wasn't waving the bloody shirt supposed to be shameless and exploitative?

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I agree completely. Romney came across as safe, which is all he needed. Obama lost because he tried to attack Romney rather than help himself and he needed to sell us on some reason to keep him.

Also, the policy positions of the two aren't that different. And the reason is that our foreign policy is generally constant with the exception of rhetoric and a few big moments -- like missile decisions or executive decisions to go to war.

I support the Arab spring because Islamists in presidential palaces make very different calculations than Islamists in caves (Hamas and the PLO are exhibits A and B) but I don't really expect the societies/governments to resemble those of the US in the forseeable future.

I totally agree with this. Look at Hamas and the PLO, the moment you are charged with making sure that the water runs, that the garbage gets picked up, and that there are jobs, that entire revolutionary spirit vanishes.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I think the big problem Obama continues to face is that a sitting president can't beat an opponent by attacking the details of the opponent's plan unless it is truly offensive or crazy. Obama needs to explain his record and either tell us why it's better than we think or how he will fix it. He's not even trying to do that. So he will lose.

I agree that it's very hard to change other societies from the outside, but keep in mind that we aren't total outsiders. We provide the aid that keeps most of these countries afloat and have the power to flood them with economic opportunities if we want. We can use that to demand concessions and legal changes in most cases.

And as China has shown the world, if you build a strong middle class, all that other bad aggressive stuff suddenly stops because the population has too much to lose. The Middle East right now is broken into super-rich and ultra poor. Until they get a middle class, nothing will change.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Exactly on his five point plan. Plus, let me add that what he's talking about is a narrow plan. Here is who benefits:

1. 100,000 new teachers.
2. A couple thousand manufacturers.
3. Nobody wants to be retrained, they want jobs.
4. Money for college administrators.
5. A couple hundred green firms.

Why should anyone in the middle class be thrilled by that? He's offering nothing and that's his problem.

Now compare Romney who spoke directly to (1) women, (2) small business, (3) college kids (top 25% go to school free), (4) Hispanics, (5) old people, (6) Jews, (7) Tea Party types.

What Romney is offering gives 90% of Americans something they will like. Obama is offering 1% something they like.

AndrewPrice said...

obiwan, They aren't dealing with reality. They are looking for something... anything... they can attack. They still don't get (to paraphrase) "that you can't character assassinate your way out of the mess Obama has created."

Hence, all the desperate attempts to declare everything a viral meme which will finally undo Obama.

tryanmax said...

Shoot, I could've gone to school free under Romney's plan. I wonder if he'll make it retroactive. ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, The funny thing is that Obama had a solid comeback when he first opened his mouth, you can't compare the military of today to the past just by sheer numbers... but then he acted like an ass about it and overplayed his hand by becoming snotty. That's when he blew it and lost his point. He's done that several times in the debates because he lacks grace, which tells you when you've made your point in a likeable way.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, For years, the Democrats attacked that as shameless exploitation of 9/11. Obama himself has made that attack. But now he's desperate so he decided to do it. That's bad form and I think it will be seen as such. You just can't exploit national tragedies and get away with it.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Tell me about it! Actually, I doubt it will ever get passed except at state colleges, but it's an idea that will likely kill off any youth vote advantage Obama is expecting.

Individualist said...


Great analysis.

You know thinking about the Bayanet Defence it strikes me as indicative of how these debates went. Romney would latch onto something someone said or some fact and use it to make his point.

Obama would then address this point on the fly with ad homenim diatribes. Romney states that Naval commanders want 313 ships, that we have 285 and Obama wants to lower this to low 200's.

Obama responds with Bayonets, Horses and whatever. It just seems to me that if Obama wanted to make a counter argument he could have stressed something the defence secretary said instead of generalisties about they already have what they need or talked more about the actual state of the military.

It makes me wonder two things:

1) Is Obama really that ignorant of military requests and needs


2) Does Obama think the average American has headed so far down the path of the movie idiocracy that talking to the facts is somehow detrimental to making pooints with his argument.

Either really bothers me. This is not the first time he did this. The low gas prices = bad economy argument was even more ridiculous. All I can hope is that Obama is really just not knowledgeable and will simply lose.

I don't know.....

T-Rav said...

Andrew, and also it appears to have hacked off a lot of military folks. In other words, welcome back Virginia.

EricP said...

>>You just can't exploit national tragedies and get away with it. >>

Seems the VP's not as well-spoken as he thinks of his boss. You'd think by now Biden would have effectively instructed his boss to simply exploit personal tragedies. You'd think.

Once again, Andrew, thanks for the great summary and analysis! One of these nights I won't be reffing/umping when there's a debate or some speechifyin'. Till then, I appreciate these things you do so I can break my lib friends' hearts into a million pieces.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I think that Obama says whatever he feels he needs to. And I think he knew that Romney would say certain things because Romney had already said them, so his staff gave him zingers. Whether they make sense or not is not the issue to him, the only issue is that they sound good and they sound like he's making a fool of Romney.

The problem is that his staff is not good at writing zingers. Plus, he's not good at looking smarter than Romney, so his zingers come across as petty.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I would think it would bother the military. For one thing, he is lying about the cuts. That means fewer weapons, less support, fewer jobs, fewer benefits, and fewer defense contractor jobs. Hello Virginia.

But even moreso, it made Obama sound political about the military. A commander in chief doesn't turn the military into a taking point, and he did. That won't play well with the guy who really do risk their lives for this country.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. T-Rav, The Senate polls are starting to lean GOP again, which tells me that the public is indeed shifting right. ND and Montana are now moving firmly to the right.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Eric! Let's hope your liberal friends do finally see the light! :)

I know some liberals and they were happy with Obama last night, but they didn't realize that he failed to say anything to win over the middle. They just liked that he slapped Romney a couple times. But that is not how you win elections.

Romney, on the other hand, has played this election perfectly and last night was just another example. He realized what he needed to achieve, he set the right strategy to get there, and he did it. Now he moves on to the next phase.

Obama's campaign lacks that kind of strategic intellect for some reason.

K said...

Andrew: I think Obama needs to be credited with saving conservatism....

Well, he did say he wanted to be a trans-formative President like Reagan.

Did Romney mention Obama's record for accomplishing his "plans" from 2008 after Obama enumerated his plan for the next 4 years? Did he mention how many times Obama "pivoted" to jobs in the last 4 years?

ellenB said...

Thanks for the recap! I can't stand to watch Obama anymore. I want him gone. That is an interesting point about him not playing to win. I wonder if his team is just that dumb or if, as you say, he's trying for something else? He could be trying to go out sounding "responsible"? Maybe he is angling for the UN job?

AndrewPrice said...

K, Romney chose an interesting strategy. There were only a couple times that he attacked Obama and it was basically about Israel. Other than that he just kept saying that Obama hasn't provided leadership.

I think this really worked well actually because it made him appear calm and serious, and it gave Obama nothing to punch back at. That made Obama's attacks seem more desperate than they would have been if Romney had been slugging away as well.

I think it was a highly effective strategy actually.

AndrewPrice said...

Ellen, You're welcome. I don't know why Obama didn't try. It's possible his team just didn't get it or had nothing to offer? Or they think their strategy is working. I'm just not sure.

And while I do mention it, I doubt Obama is angling for the future. He wants to win, I just don't think he knows how.

obiwan2009 said...

Andrew, I agree, the bloggers/media couldn't be farther from reality, but the funny part about the whole story is that for me was the fact that when I heard the mention of Syria from the debates last night, I realized that

1) Unless loads of top secret info come out on Syria being a total danger, it's a good idea to ratchet Iran, including outcompeting it for favor with potential allies, Syria included.

2)If we can gain a foothold in the diplomatic contest by surrounding and isolating Iran by thicker margins, then it could magnify the pressure against Iran.

3) If Iran knows that it doesn't really have plenty of friends or capable allies around, then the intimidation factor heats up.

Second, I really found the whole statement of "eras", by Obama a little rediculous.

I mean, I don't think plenty of sane people would consider Russia a friend of the U.S. They should be dealt with caution. If there's anything that Obama has forgotten about the 1960s, it was the fact that JFK was at least willing to try pushing buttons and make the Soviets look like less of a threat. In the same sense, I do feel that we should be pushing a little to discourage potential or even current forces from bigger nations to keep their hands off the events in the Middle East, and leave it up to Iran to make the choice about saving its own face.

obiwan2009 said...

Ellen, IMHO, Obama was relying on the fanatical element to push his campaign for him. The problem is, he and his campaign team have a knack for overestimating the amount of people that are unquestionably leftist in the country.

Second, I do feel that Obama was over his head from the time he took office. He also failed a key point of politics that is critical in terms of making re-election the last priority when you start office. If that is done, then re-election will eventually fall into place, and you can walk to the podium with confidence, because your actions give you plenty to talk about. Obama was a different story, in fact, re-election was his priority more than anything else from day one. And the consequences are coming around.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I'm concerned about the Senate, but I'm hopeful that it will ultimately swing our way. The ones to watch for (I think) are Wisconsin, Virginia, and--ugh--Ohio. Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Florida bear watching too, but assuming Romney wins, his margin of victory will probably determine those three.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'm less concerned about the Senate now than I was a week ago. I still think we get 51-53 seats.

Right now, PA, Connecticut, Virginia and Missouri are possibles. North Dakota, Wisconsin and Montana I think will swing to us. I think we lose Ohio and Florida.

AndrewPrice said...

obiwan, Obama's understanding of history is truly skewed. He doesn't seem to get that people liked the 1980s and 1950s and no one looks down on the 1920s. He really needed to frame it all differently -- "policies that led to the Great Depression"... that sort of thing.

Plus, he's really wrong in his understanding of how the public perceived Russia. The public sees Russia as a hostile small power these days.

On Syria, that's a good question how much effect that would have on Iran. Iran sees itself as a power broker in the Middle East. They get that by standing up to us, which they parlay into friendships and alliances. And the more we can take away its friends, the hard it will be for them to maintain that image.

Other than that, Syria is truly irrelevant to us.

AndrewPrice said...

obiwan and Ellen, I think the real problem is that Obama's Team (and the left generally) no longer has any ideas. I would bet that they really do think that his five points will resonate with everyone, even though they sound like a shopping list for other people. I think they just don't understand that they need to offer something bigger.

In terms of playing to the base, what I find interesting is that he performances really haven't done that effectively either. He's placated their frustrations, but he's given them nothing to turn out to support.

I'm honestly finding his strategy rather questionable.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I would flip Ohio and Missouri. It's not out of the question that Akin could pull off the upset, but I don't see it happening. McCaskill is unloading a slew of ads here based around the whole "legitimate rape" thing. Mandel and Brown, on the other hand, are pretty much deadlocked. I don't trust that state any further than I can throw it, but the chances are better there than here.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I can't say that you are wrong, but it seems that McCaskill is unusually desperate for someone who should be winning by 15%.

I don't trust Ohio either.

obiwan2009 said...

A little update here, there was an earlier story from the guardian this year showing that Iran actually attempted to get a staging ground with it's military in Syria, somewhat exonerating to Romney right there, but frightening that our media would try and pretend that it never happened:


Tennessee Jed said...

Romney's strategy was really strong last night, I think. He backed off, looked presidential, and skewered "O" in that Romney way that I am beginning to appreciate more and more. The "apology tour." I mean really, who doesn't remember that.

The big difference between Romney and Obama? Romney's plan is to get the government off the backs of potential entrepreneurs. Obama's plan is to have the government become even more activist, spending evermore taxpayer dollars to promote social and economic justice. People are not stupid. Whether or not providing health care free to those that don't make much is a noble idea or not is debatable, I suppose. But not even Bo Obama actually believes all these goodies can be paid for merely by "asking the truly wealthy to pay just a little bit more." Rather than increasing taxes for all brackets, he takes the coward's way out and just grows the deficit instead. And, that doesn't even count all the hidden taxes and inflationary tax embedded in his policies.

tryanmax said...

Listening to the late broadcast of Glenn Beck, he's seemingly baffled that Romney didn't obliterate Obama last night. *sigh* To me, the obvious answer is that such would rally people to Obama.

Clearly, Romney is not the leader most self-described conservatives want. But here's hoping that he comes to be what the conservative movement--and the nation--needs.

AndrewPrice said...

obiwan, I have to say that the only thing that really worries about Iran or Syria is a nuclear bomb. Other than that, they are third rate powers and fail best. So I'm not really worried about them having an outlet to the Mediterranean.

Austin Powers said...

Only two things scare me, and one is nuclear war.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That pretty much defines the two approaches. In fact, I've never seen an election with a more clear ideological choice in my life. Typically, they're both closer to the "little bit of both" center. This time, Romney is talking about all around smaller government and less spending and Obama is talking about more of the same only with more money.

I agree that Romney's strategy was very strong last night. He achieved exactly what he needed and he let Obama spin his wheels in the process. As I've said several times above, what I don't understand is why Obama's team didn't do a better job of coming up with a winning strategy.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That is the classic example of how talking heads can mislead people to make themselves sound more impressive. There is no way to obliterate a sitting president in a foreign policy debate. It just doesn't happen.

So for Beck to claim Romney should have is total BS. But even more, it's deception because Beck is trying to suggest that he's a better leader than Romney because he would have done it. ... which of course, Beck could not have done.

In terms of want and need, Romney is what conservatives need and I suspect that in four years the Glenn Becks of the world will be claiming they always knew it and blasting anyone who isn't a 110% supporter.

AndrewPrice said...

Austin, What's the other? ;)

Austin Powers said...

Excuse me?

T-Rav said...

Incidentally, the Obama campaign now appears to be talking up their path to victory without Ohio. Which, they don't have one, but point is, they're obviously not feeling secure on that front.

AndrewPrice said...

Wow! If they are talking about trying to win without Ohio, then they are finished. They need Ohio, especially if they lost Florida and Colorado.

AndrewPrice said...

Austin, What's the other thing that scares you?

EricP said...

>>As I've said several times above, what I don't understand is why Obama's team didn't do a better job of coming up with a winning strategy.>>

Andrew, if I may paraphrase Dennis Miller re. K-Mart blue-light specials, 600 trillion of shit is still shit.

To Austin's other, I'm guessing a Dutchman starting the nuclear war.

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, On Austin, I'm pretty sure it's carnies... they have small hands.

On Obama, true. He hasn't exactly shown an abundance of competence in any facet of his presidency, has he?

EricP said...

Dammit, the carnies. How could I forget? ;-)

Austin Powers said...

Carnies. Circus folk. Nomads, you know. Smell like cabbage. Small hands. (Hey, you asked for it.)

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, No one suspects the carnies... or the Spanish Inquisition!

Joel Farnham said...

Off topic sorta

Gloria Allred is seeking to get some court record unsealed in Boston. Basically a gag order with Romney having made some sort of testimony.

Andrew, How hard is it for a gag order to be lifted?

tryanmax said...

Follow up question: How hard is it for Gloria Allred to have a gag order be lifted?

AndrewPrice said...

It should be really difficult to get a gag order lifted. They are typically imposed either because the law requires it (like in rape cases or cases involving children) or they are imposed for the privacy of the parties. The first can't be broken and the second can usually only be broken (1) with consent of the parties, (2) if there is no reason to continue the gag order, or (3) if it's been violated already.

Moreover, there is typically no public right to overturn these things. So unless someone can present a reason to overturn it other than "we'd like to know," then courts typically don't even consider the request.

Now, that could change if this was something official, i.e. done for Mass. But if that's the case, then the current government could actually request it be cancelled.

I'd need to know more about what it is and why the gag order was issued in the first place.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - "...I don't understand is why Obama's team didn't do a better job of coming up with a winning strategy?"

That's because Obama was waiting for all of the debates to end to announce his "plan" for the next 4 years.


However, he does not mention the specific kind of bus he will be using to drive us all over a cliff...

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Wow! That reeks of desperation. I guess they woke up this morning and realized they forgot something last night. LOL!

And it's a pamphlet, huh? Why not a cocktail napkin?

Here's the link: LINK.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, These are Obama's five point plan... they just lost a point somewhere along the way.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, your link is to the film site. LOL!

tryanmax said...

Obama can't even be accurate when he's mocking. He slams Romney's plan as "a one-point plan" but then goes on to name two points: "tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulate Wall Street"

So sad.

Jen said...

Tryanmax, maybe Andrew is looking for a little more action at the film site (Kirk seemed to have gotten just that), and this was the only way he could achieve it. LOL!

Jen said...

Tryanmax, you mentioned something about Beck, and how he's seemingly baffled that Romney didn't obliterate Obama last night. If you listened to Rush today, he was thinking the same thing for the first half hour. After that, he figured out what was going on, and was happy with the strategy.

tryanmax said...

Okay, I've seen the brochure. What stands out to me is that the greatest emphasis is on Obama quotes pulled from speeches that sound nice but say nothing or, worse, are distortions or bizarre fabrications. For example, the idea that a Medicare voucher would somehow rob retirees of their dignity. ???

The title headings and captions (all most people will read) are equally bad. (e.g. "President Obama believes investing in our children is the best way to invest in America's future and create opportunity for everyone.")

It looks obvious to me that a fair amount of time was spent putting this together, yet in all that time, no one thought well enough to put in some actual content. ;-)

My final thought is on what disturbs me, the very first line on the cover: "The New Economic Patriotism." It just sounds a little too FDR or LBJ to let me rest easy with it.

tryanmax said...

Jen, I missed Rush today. Wish I hadn't.

Jen said...

Tryanmax, Sometimes I can't always be right by the radio even though I have it on. If I miss something, I'll check the website. It isn't the same, but it will do.

Another thing: I know that sometimes Rush says things that don't go over too well with some people. When I'm listening, I don't have to focus on what I'm doing--on auto pilot, and don't have to divide my attention.

Jen said...

Tryanmax, I don't think you want to know what words I use for "FDR, and LBJ".

I was going to check out the brochure, but decided I probably wouldn't be able to stand it, so I'm going with your word on it.

tryanmax said...

Jen, now I kinda do want to know what words you use. LOL Skip the brochure. It's nothing you haven't heard from 0bama's lying lips already.

Jen said...

Tryanmax, I'll give you some hints. For "FDR", the 'R' stands for one of Andrew's favorite words (it's supposed to be a word we shouldn't use, think ret..d), the 'F' isn't hard to figure out, and it has an 'ing' at the end. The 'D', well, you can use a couple of words.

For "LBJ", the 'L' stands for liberal, and the remaining two letters, ain't hard either (think Lewinsky). LOL!

Hey, you're real good with Photoshop, right? I've seen a few things you have done, can you come up with something for the 'lying lips' part? This may sound as a surprise, but I've never done anything with Photoshop.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Ironically, I am shorting children in the market this week. I guess I lack economic patriotism. . . comrade.

tryanmax said...


AndrewPrice said...

Nice! :)

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