Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Second Debate Wrapup

I suspect last night’s debate was a draw. Obama’s performance will play well with his base, but I don’t think he gave independents anything to latch onto. Romney’s performance came across as solid but uninspired. He did make some points that could blow the race open, but they got lost in the muck, and their effect will depend on how he exploits them in coming days. Let’s discuss.

The “Unbiased” Moderator: Candy Crowley was highly biased. She kept cutting off Romney and tried to talk over him, but never talked over Obama. She helped Obama out of jams several times, and the questions she chose were mostly left or far-left questions.

Obama’s Theme: Obama’s theme was that Romney is rich and wants to help the rich. I don’t think anyone buys this because Romney’s denials are emphatic. Moreover, as I’ve pointed out before, Obama needs to give a reason for people to vote for him, not just against Romney. He still hasn’t done that. Obama’s reason to vote for him was: (1) he wants to give unspecified tax breaks to manufacturers whereas Romney wanted to bankrupt Detroit, (2) he wants everyone to go to college and he wants community colleges to retrain workers, (3) he wants energy independence, and (4) he wants to reduce the Obama trillion dollar deficits by taxing the rich and stopping the wars and spending that money on college and building roads and bridges. That’s a mishmash of small ideas that won’t resonate outside his base.

Also, Obama’s “Detroit” argument blew up on him when Romney pointed out that he wanted Detroit to enter bankruptcy so they could come out stronger, AND he pointed out that Obama did send Detroit into bankruptcy. In other words, Obama is smearing Romney for suggesting something Obama actually did. This stumped Obama and he basically said (paraphrase) “that’s different.”

Obama did better when he was asked to defend his record. Obama said he (1) cut taxes $3,600 for middle class families, (2) cut taxes 18 times on small business, (3) ended the war in Iraq, (4) killed Osama bin Laden and pursued al Qaeda, (5) passed Obamacare to stop insurance companies from jerking you around, (6) reined in Wall Street, (7) created 5 million jobs, and (8) saved the auto industry. None of this is true, but it sounded good and most people won’t know the difference.

Romney’s Theme: Romney attacked Obama’s record over and over. This produced an extremely devastating moment right after Obama gave the defense of his record mentioned above. Romney suddenly hit him with this: (1) Obama’s jobs plan was supposed to create 9 million more jobs than he’s created, (2) he said he would put forward a plan to reform Medicare and Social Security to preserve them from collapse, he hasn’t proposed one, (3) he said he would put forward a plan for comprehensive immigration reform in his first year, but he never did, (4) he said he would cut the deficit in half, but he doubled it, (5) he said middle income families would see their healthcare premiums go down $2,500 a year, but they went up by $2,500, and Obamacare will add another $2,000 a year, (6) Obama claims he created 5 million jobs, but that’s after he lost 5 million jobs, for a net of zero jobs – also, 5 million jobs doesn’t even keep up with population growth, (7) there are 23 million Americans unemployed, (8) one in six Americans lives in poverty, (9) there are 47 million Americans on food stamps, compared to 37 million when Obama took office, (10) growth this year is slower than last, which was already slower than the prior year, (11) family income is down $4,300 under Obama. This was a powerful moment and completely wiped out Obama’s recitation of his own record. If Romney puts this in a commercial, Obama is in trouble.

Where Things Got Tricky For Obama: Obama ran into some problems with his base last night and needed to do a lot of dancing. For example:
Feminists: A question came up from a whiny feminist about women being paid less than men. I’ll debunk this at some point. Anyway, what the chicky wanted was for Obama to swear that he would support equal pay laws. Obama refuses to do that and he ducked. Instead, he danced around the idea of equality and he talked about “continuing to push on this issue” without saying what he was actually pushing on. He kept talking about the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which is not what feminists want, and he kept blurring this with enforcing laws against discrimination. This won’t satisfy the people who care about this issue.

Romney, by comparison, gave the better answer for non-feminist women voters. He gave a general answer about seeking out women for his cabinet and about improving the economy so that workers would have more power over employers and thus employers would need to make accommodations for women – he should have mentioned the pay disparity in the White House. He also talked about 3.5 million more women in poverty today than when Obama’s term began. He also gave a vague statement that he doesn’t want an employer or a bureaucrat making decisions about contraception. This will work for independents, but will upset both the feminist left and the religious right as they will both interpret this negatively.

Gun Control: Obama was asked if he would ban “assault weapons.” This is a problem for Obama because the left has learned they can’t support gun control and win elections, so Obama has smothered every attempt to raise gun control as an issue. But his base wants this desperately. So Obama danced. He claimed to support the Second Amendment (which lost him his base right there) before he mumbled about working on a comprehensive solution to violence through education and faith based groups. He kept saying code words like “mentally ill” and he kept talking about “automatic weapons,” which haven’t actually killed anyone in the US since the 1930s, but he refused to say anything concrete.

Then Romney spoke about enforcing existing gun laws, talked about the need for improving our values through encouraging marriage and then attacked Obama on Fast and Furious. His attack was a bit of a ramble, but will probably get people asking what Fast and Furious is. Candy Crowley needed to save Obama on this.

Then something funny happened. Obama suddenly attacked Romney for signing gun control legislation in Massachusetts (with another assist from Crowley). Obama must think this will unnerve gun owners about Romney, but what it really did was again paint Romney as “not a right wing extremist.” This probably bought Romney lots of moderate votes, without costing him any gun owner votes, and confused the heck out of Obama’s supporters.

Outsourcing: A pro-union question was asked about outsourcing, and Obama walked right into a trap he set himself. First, Romney gave a solid answer on why Obama’s outsourcing claims are hypocrisy: (1) 500,000 jobs have been lost to China during Obama’s term because Obama made the US less attractive to business, (2) Obama failed to fight China on currency manipulation and refuses to label them a manipulator so tariffs can be imposed, (3) our corporate tax rate is 20% higher than Canada, and (4) Obama failed to China pirating American intellectual property. He should have mentioned Obama’s job’s czar outsourcing tens of thousands of jobs, but he didn’t.

Obama countered that he too wants lower taxes, which means his plan is the same as Romney’s plan, which he’s criticizing. He then claimed he wants to stop loopholes that let companies take deductions for shipping jobs overseas (fyi, there are no such deductions), and he claimed he has been fighting China. Next, he claimed Romney wants to make more deductions to ship jobs overseas, which comes across as an obvious lie. Then he tried to smear Romney by claiming that Romney invested in companies that sent jobs to China. He even claimed that Romney has invested in a company that makes surveillance gear which China uses to oppress its people. Bad Romney.

That’s when things went wrong because Romney pointed out that he does not control his investments because they are in a blind trust AND that Obama’s pension fund makes the identical investments Obama just smeared Romney for making. Candy Crowley again needed to save Obama at this point by cutting Romney off and talking over him. But the point was made, Obama’s outsourcing attacks are hypocrisy.
Immigration: Romney talked about America being a nation of immigrants and that he wants to stop illegal immigration because they are preventing legal immigrants from coming. He also said he wants to give green cards to people with accredited degrees. This could mean a boost in overall immigration or it could mean a shift back to seeking educated immigrants rather than laborers. This isn’t clear. He said he wants employment verification and he wants a path to “permanent residency” for children of illegals. Then he attacked Obama for saying in 2008 that he would present a comprehensive immigration reform bill in his first year, but never actually presenting such a bill. He even noted that the Democrats had a supermajority at the time.

Obama tried to dance around this by blaming Romney for opposing Obama’s plan in 2008, which he says ended bipartisanship. But as Romney pointed out, he wasn’t the leader of the party in 2008, and with a supermajority, there is no reason Obama needed the Republicans if he really wanted to pass such a law. This won’t play well for Obama with Hispanics. Obama then made it worse by basically taking the identical position as Romney except that he wants to make all young illegals citizens.

Obama finished by claiming Romney wants to deport immigrants and with a race-baiting appeal by mischaracterizing Arizona’s law as letting police target anyone who looks Hispanic or black, which it definitely does not do. In any event, this gave Romney a chance to say that he would not try to deport 12 million people, which probably helped him a good deal with Hispanics.

The Libya Muddle: Obama was asked who is to blame for the failure to provide security to our ambassador in Libya. Obama dodged and claimed he took responsibility in a general sense. He then claimed that he would not rest until they figure out who did it and got them. . . kind of like OJ?

Romney pointed out that rather than address this situation, Obama went to Las Vegas for a fundraiser the following day. Obama denied this and claimed he went to the Rose Garden and called this a terrorist act. Romney said this wasn’t true and said it took Obama 14 days to call this terrorism. Obama called that a lie and Candy Crowley backed him up.

Obama/Crowley lied. For 13 days, Obama blamed the videotape. He did use the word terror, but in a general context: “no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation.” Meanwhile, his administration kept blaming the videotape, calling this a spontaneous demonstration, and refusing to call this an act of terrorism. They said this on television, in press conferences and at the UN.

A Key Romney Point: It sounded to me like Romney proposed letting the top 15% of high school graduates go to college for free. If that’s true, then look for him to pick up a ton of young votes.

Another Key Romney Point: Finally, we come to a question that was meant to crush Romney, but may have provided him with a key moment. He was basically accused of being George W. Bush the Sequel. Romney countered that (1) he wants energy independence, Bush preferred dealing with Arabs, (2) he wants more free trade agreements in Latin America, Bush wasn’t into free trade, (3) he will balance the budget, whereas Bush had massive deficits (he used an Obama quote about Bush’s “outrageous $500 billion deficits” to slam Obama’s trillion dollar deficits), and (4) the biggie: “Our party has been too focused on Big Business for too long. I want to focus on Small Business.”

This last comment is an endorsement of the Ron Paul/Tea Party/Populist cause and this will align Romney with this vast group of people who see the government as a kleptocracy where Big Business rapes the Treasury with the consent of Democrats and Republicans alike. Do not underestimate the significance of that moment.

Obama countered with the usual of blaming Bush for his own failure and he tried to cast Romney as helping China. Then he did something really strange. He tried to paint the demonized, reviled George Bush as a moderate so he could claim that Romney was to the right of Bush. Not only will this not make sense to average voters, but it calls into question the legitimacy of all of Obama’s prior claims about Bush.
Based on the above, it sounds like Romney was a clear winner, but he wasn’t. Unless there is a devastating moment, debates are about impressions. And the impression last night was that they were evenly matched. That makes this a draw. . . at least for now.

By and large, the key points Romney made were lost in the muddle of the back and forth. But if Romney pushes those correctly, he stands a good chance of stealing young voters, Hispanics and independent women. He also will ignite the Tea Party and centrist populists. Obama, on the other hand, had no such moments, and he runs the risk of losing blacks and gays, who got nothing, and feminists, who found their demands rebuffed. It’s too early to tell any of this, so for right now, the debate feels like a draw.


AndrewPrice said...

Sorry about the length. They need to cut these debates down to the 30 minutes!

T-Rav said...

Is this a freakin' film review? :-)

I'm actually a bit more optimistic now about how the debate turned out than I was when it ended. I thought it was a draw too, and it very well may be, but the CNN post-debate numbers are very telling. Respondents broke for Romney in the following ways:

54-40 on the economy
49-46 on health care
51-44 on taxes
59-36 on the deficit
49-46 on leadership
49-38 on who has a clear vision for the country

The only thing Obama won was foreign policy, a narrow 49-47.

To be sure, the respondents did say Obama "won" the debate, 46-39. But I don't think that's a plus for him. It suggests to me that they think Obama was the better performer--that being the one thing he is usually good at--but Romney won on substance. If that's the case, and voters are now separating those two qualities, Obama may be well and truly screwed.

Or so I hope, at least.

DUQ said...

I saw that Romney won big time at Fox's poll. And I saw the CNN top line number so I figure it was pretty much a partisan split. MSNBC must be 100% to 0% for Obama.

Joel Farnham said...


Excellent breakdown and analysis as always.

This interruption on whether Obama called a terrorist act a terrorist act by Candy Cane has legs. It might even last up to the next debate.

Anthony said...

I didn't catch the whole debate, but based on the first forty minuty minutes of it, while Romney was better on the issues, I can see how both guy's supporters walked away from that debate happy. Both guys showed up and nobody tripped over their own tongue.

Patti said...

candy reminded me of the person that backs up her friend's asinine argument with loud "Ya-huh! IS SO!" so annoying.

Patriot said...

I'll state it again ....... Why do repubs keep agreeing to liberal moderators?! Unless they Newt them, then they will constantly be on the defensive. Why not one moderator picked by the repubs and one picked by the Dems? Each moderator asks the other candidate the questions. That way we will see a clear distinction between questioners for once.

Example: Mr. President...please explain your foreign policy of "leading from behind" and it's successes around the world.

"Governor Romney....please explain your opposition to equal pay for equal work and why you want to deport innocent brown babies"

The viewers will then have a clear difference in tenor, tone, subject matter and seriousness from the moderators.

FWIW, I couldn't stand the debate format last night

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - you did a great job of summarizing this one. The debate droned on forever, and I was so upset by the obvious set-up of the moderator and "undecideds", I had to tune out sometime after the "how are you not Bush" question when she cut off Romney from responding.

I would like to get your take on the equal pay thing, because I haven't been able to find anything that does so definitively, and my own experience in the corporate world would, at least anecdotally, tend to bear out that claim.
I truly hope Mitt and Ryan are able to exploit the openings.

StanH said...

The outcome amongst the chattering class was written in the tea leaves. When Barry was obliterated in Denver, if he showed up with a pulse in this one he’d be declared the winner, no matter the reality. But in real America, what they heard of Romney was, “jobs, jobs, jobs,” from Barry, “taxes, abortion, taxes,” or simply put, more of the same. Romney won the message, Barry slightly won the style. In the long run the message is more important for thinking people. Witless liberal myrmidons, it’s “eye candy”…Barry’s description of himself, or other such superfluous horse pucky. Gas prices are no joke, millions unemployed is no joke, a world set afire is no joke, trillions in wasted tax dollars, no joke. Barry and Biden are now proven jokes, except America isn’t laughing. That being said, in reality, Romney wins.

Note: Man, it’s so damned irritating that the RNC allows this crap with the “moderators.” Without exception liberal hacks, and next week Bob Schieffer. What could possibly go wrong? Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

The A/C is on the fritz here (i.e.: it doesn't work) which makes being home watching TV a chore, so I only watched a few bits and pieces... but was there a line about binders full of women? It seems to have become an Internet meme overnight. :-)

T-Rav said...

Scott, a question came up about what each candidate would do to ensure equal pay for women. Romney said that as governor, he'd been given a dossier of all-male candidates for some position, and insisted that his advisers look for qualified female candidates as well. That's where "binders full of women" came from. I really didn't think this would become a thing, but I guess that's how desperation works.

Anonymous said...

T-Rav -

I guess that's how the Internet works! I wasn't 100% serious about the question but when you're on Facebook and Twitter, you start to notice patterns during events like this.

Oh, and I smiled when I saw your "film review?" question to Andrew above. If only! :-)

BevfromNYC said...

I really wish that Romney would have put the issue of women getting paid less in the Obama WH out there. I would have loved to watch Barack and Candy sputter their way out of that.

tryanmax said...

The poll responses to this debate are restoring some confidence with me in the American voters. As T-Rav pointed out, they seem to be distinguishing between performance and substance (About damn time!) which can only mean good things for Romney and conservatism in the future.

Plus, the media on the left is calling it a draw, a clear sign that they now know they can't spin a win out of thin air. I'm not sure what the psychophants* at MSNBC are saying, but I'm sure they're the only ones saying it.

*psychophant noun 1. a person who acts obsequiously to the point of derangement 2. a show host on MSNBC 3. a mad elephant


A story that should be talked about but isn't is how the debate format kept evolving all the way up to and even during the debate. How can a candidate prepare for that? Candy Crowley was on 101 shows yesterday announcing different things she might try out during the event. And even as the event was going, she clearly made a rule-change, declaring the rebuttal period to be a sort of "free for all" (my words) when Romney asked where his response time went. If that had been decided beforehand, I'm pretty sure both candidates and most of the media would have picked up on such an unconventional format.

Writer X said...

Candy Cane was a disgrace. I really have lost what little respect I had for her after watching her in action last night. Running interference over Libya was the last straw. On the flipside, that's coming back to bite both Obama and CC today.

I thought most of the questions were terrible. Seriously, not ONE question about Obamacare?? The only question (and answer) that was riveting, besides the Libya debacle, was the question from the man who asked Obama, "I voted for you in 2008. Why should I vote for you now?" Obama's answer was weak. Romney's was compelling.

All that Romeny has to do is continue to point out Obama's dismal record. How he does it is even more important. Obama talked about doing all these great and wonderful things--how come he hasn't done any of them in the last 4 years? I think Romney needs to hammer that point home.

Individualist said...

Can you imagine the left's outrage if a repondant had asked Barack Obama "How have the last four years not been Jimmy Carter's second term"

I am glad Romney has the ability to respond cooly to these questions but I think the question above and the George Bush question are both a waste of our time. Not one question was asked on how Fannae Mae would be restructured so that the 2008 crisus would not be repeated.

These kind of questions are nonsense and leave us all uninformed.

Individualist said...

I hear that Cady Cane Alistair Crowley said after the debate that yes Romney was right but he did not explain himself in teh right way.

Still does not explain why she is contradicting Romney and talking about transcripts when it is clear she has no idea.

Individualist said...

T-Rav and Scott

there was some democratic pundit - weird guy with glasses on last night that was some sort of expert.

He was making the claim that Romney's statement about binder's full of women was a sign of mysognism because you should not talk of binding women or some such nonsense.

I guess the fact that Romeny had more women in his cabinet than any other governor does not matter cause he thinks he can bind women - whatever

Tennessee Jed said...

I try hard to not put myself in a position of ever being a tin foil hat type. But, and obviously I have no proof nor ever expect to acquire any that Ms. Crowley's bias went beyond just picking democrat friendly questions. Look, I understand Obama was going to be better prepared and more engaged. But there were a couple of times tough questions were directed to Romney, and it seemed so clear that Obama's rebuttal was well rehearsed that I couldn't help but feel a member of team Crowley might have "leaked" to someone in touch with team Chicago "be prepared for some zingers on this question." I say this with full realization that I am filtering things through my own bias prism, but I do believe the Obama campaign is:

1) in desperate trouble, 2) have no scruples, 3) their allies in the media have become increasingly obvious and transparent in their attempts to drag him across the finish line.

My main hope is that enough voters realize this about the media that they can recognize it, and actually hold it against the left.

Individualist said...

Tennessee Jed

We have the JounO List emails that show these media types openly talking amongst themselves of doing things exactly like this. Based on that and the Global Warming emails that showed complicit fraud to support a political agenda any suspicions shuld be taken seriously. You can't accuse without proof but you can be wary.

Personally I do not see any benefit to keeping a question secret from the candidate. What bearing should I place on a gotcha question answer that was not prepared as opposed to the answer to a prepared question that was not good.

LL said...

I give a clear win to Romney.

Sorry to differ.

Follow me briefly on this. Romney came across at the guy who can fix things. The rest of the arguments are fine for "we bloggers" and for the party faithful on both sides, but for people on the fence who simply want a better tomorrow ---and there are many millions in America today, Romney sold the deal.

Most voters can't point out Libya on a map or spell "Benghazi". Many voters who thought "Obama good - Romney bad" didn't see it that way in the debate. So those items are a push.

It's all about 50% of kids who graduate from college not working and living at home with parents. It's all about MASSIVE underemployment. It's about people having their jobs turned from 'permanent' to 'permanent part-time' to avoid having employers pay their ObamaCare burden, etc.

Taken as a whole, I give it to Romney not on style or the more esoteric problems created by the ObamaNation, but because he offered HOPE. And Obama essentially said it would be the same for the next four years.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That's interesting. I only saw the top line number last night that Obama won at CNN and Romney won at Fox. This morning, the MSM is of course declaring him the winner, but they are part of his base, so that was a given. I think we'll see that this doesn't win him any independents.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I would think MSNBC would be 100% for Obama and -100% for Romney.

rlaWTX said...

So, I didn't miss much - good to know. I got home in time for the last 5 or so minutes, so I turned it on. TOTUS was talking, and I just couldn't stay - he is SOOOOO frickin' annoying, especially when his lips are moving.

tryanmax - EXCELLENT word!!!!!!

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I thought it was highly inappropriate that she jumped in and defended Obama on Libya. It also struck me that she must have know that was coming and prepared for it. That wasn't just a spur of the moment thing. I don't know the effect on independents, but she certainly lit a fire under conservatives last night.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I think that will be the end result -- both guys walked away happy with their guys and the independents didn't see anything to change their minds last night.

That said, there is much more for Romney to exploit in this debate, but he'll have to do it now because I doubt anyone will take away much from the debate other than the big picture.

T-Rav said...

Ryan was already on ABC this morning blasting away at the whole "Rose Garden" terrorist claim. The campaign's almost certainly not going to let this go, nor should they; and I can't imagine Obama's going to want to be talking about this through the next debate.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, What I thought was interesting was that at first, she didn't bother me. Her behavior was one-sided by didn't seem too biased. But after a while because OBVIOUS that she was always giving Obama the last word and she was basically shouting down Romney while she wouldn't with Obama - she would try to stop him and then say, "go ahead" and would let him ramble. Then she stated defending Obama a couple times. Her performance was a classic example of what a moderator should not do.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, I found the debate surprisingly dull last night. They said a lot, but little of it was new and most of it was just discredited talking points. To me, it was largely a waste of time.

As for the moderators, they should eliminate them entirely and let them argue.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Jed! I agree completely about the "undecideds." First of all, how undecided can they be when they cheer the moderator defending Obama?

Secondly, the questions were a joke. With only the one exception, they people chosen were all members of Democratic interest groups -- minorities, women, Jews, an obvious feminist student, and a couple teachers (unions). And their questions were left or far left in content, topic and the way they were framed.

I'll debunk the pay thing. Studies have shown that in the past 20+ years now, when women follow the same trajectory as men in the workforce, i.e. they don't seek "feminine professions" and they don't drop out to have kids, they actually out-earn men. This pay gap is BS based on comparing "comparable" jobs that aren't comparable and looking at men v. women without taking account all the other factors like willingness to work full time and willingness to move to find work.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I wonder about the gas price question. It's hard to tell, but that one may resonate against Obama. The guy was concerned about gas prices, as millions of Americans are, and Obama offered him nothing other than "it could be worse." Romney had the perfect counter: "the proof of whether or not Obama's policies are working is at the pump."

As for the rest, I think, as you say, Romney won on substance and Obama won on style, but not enough to give a clear victory. I think that ultimately this just slows Romney's momentum but it still gives no one a reason to vote for Obama.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I have lost faith in internet memes. Everybody is trying to create one these days to help their side and none of them have legs. Those things need to be spontaneous, none of the recent political ones are.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott and T-Rav, If this had been a film, it would be dead at the box office before the weekend.

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

I agree. However, for what it's worth, I think it's worth noting that, while I'm not the most political person in the world, there are undoubtedly plenty of 20-somethings (and younger folks) who are even less political than I am... and Internet memes are one way they learn about certain things. (I could've phrased that a little differently but you get the idea.)

Of course, I benefit from the collective experience of everyone on this blog - most people don't. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Me too. That would have been my first response -- "you talk about equal pay and yet your administration pays women __% less than comparable men. There are no women in your inner circle. Several women have complained about the White House being a hostile workplace and about workplace discrimination. And while you just kept talking about opposing wage discrimination, you haven't done anything about in four years."

Then you launch into the economy and finding women in Mass.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I've heard several journalists call it an Obama win, and I think more will do so now that the groupthink is in place, but I don't think it will matter. Plus, I've noticed that they've been very tentative in calling it so.

Crowley was a horrible moderator. She had no fixed set of rules. She allowed Obama to do things she didn't let Romney. Clearly, at one point she created this rule suddenly that Romney couldn't go off topic in his rebuttal or she would take away his time. She clearly changed the rules halfway through and decided that if Obama dominates the rebuttal time, then they would move on, but if Romney dominates it, then she would extend it to give Obama time. And then she started "fact checking" (wrongly) in the middle of the debate to help Obama.

She was a disgrace.

T-Rav said...

Scott, I would have to agree. I've already seen people on Facebook talking up the "women in binders" thing this morning--and when I called them on it, said "It's just a joke." Which is bullcrap. When you put these things out there, people are going to start thinking that's the truth. Stuff like this is why the youth lean so heavily liberal (plus they're generally stupid).

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, She's the kind moderator that if she were a judge, you as an attorney would be putting her bias into the record so that you could appeal on the basis of her bias. "Your honor, if you're going to allow the ___ to ___, then I would hope we get the same privilege."

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, I agree completely. And I'll tell you, the big thing from last night... the important thing... is that Obama still has not given anyone a reason to vote for him.

Romney is brilliantly taking down Obama's record and he's making a very compelling case for how horrible Obama has done on these issues. Obama has no counter to that. What's more, he's given no reason to think anything will change in the future. That is a huge mistake. And no amount of biased moderators or evasive questions will help him.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, Crowley claims today that she didn't actually backtrack, but it sure sounded like it to me.

On the Bush question, that was an incredibly biased question. Think about it. This woman asked a question that has basically been Obama defense for the last four years. It's a defense no one take seriously anymore and no one believes. And the only reason she was allowed to ask it is because Crowley is a leftist who thinks like the idiots as MSNBC as thinks that tying Romney to Bush is the only way to make Romney offensive enough to turn out their base.

Fortunately, Romney handled the question incredibly well and he didn't try to defend Bush as something great. (Of course, it probably helps that the Bush people have been attacking Romney for six-plus years now.)

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I don't think he did a great job on that question with the binders, but it was not misogynism. Obama is actually a misogynist, but he's a liberal so that's ok with feminists.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I don't know if it was just being well-prepared or if he did have access to the questions. I have zero trust in the MSM at this point as they have proven to be so biased and so willing to do the dirty work for the Democratic Party that I have no reason not to believe that they shared the questions.

But even putting that aside, the questions she chose were chosen to help Obama by (1) playing to his strengths with women, (2) avoiding the controversies that hurt Obama with the public at large (race, gays, Obamacare), (3) offering narrow questions to allow him to explain away things that have slowed the campaign, and (4) offering attack questions that set Romney up for Obama's strongest attacks. These questions were very carefully chosen.

And then, every time when Romney got off script, she tried to stop him and give Obama a chance to get back onto safe ground.

Still, despite the obvious bias, Obama couldn't get a clear victory. That's telling, and that's bad for him.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, The Journolist stuff absolutely proves collusion among the journalist class. Also, don't forget how many of them are married to prominent Democrats or Democratic campaign managers and how many of them were prominent Democrats. They are an arm of the Democratic Party and they've shown that nothing is beneath them.

AndrewPrice said...

LL, Always feel free to differ! :)

That said, I don't think we differ all that much. 99% of what was said was lost in the weeds where only the bloggers/activists will care. The public will only take away the big picture of the debate. On that, Obama won on style, but (1) he failed to give them any substantive reason to support him, and (2) he failed to land any sort of knock out blow on Romney. That is a serious failure.

Meanwhile, as you say, Romney offered hope. He offered a plan, which sounds reasonable and workable. He assured people he wasn't looking to plunder the treasury for the rich, as Obama claims. He assured people he's not a right-wing crazy who only cares about abortion and guns and illegals. And he seems confident, caring and capable.

So yes, Romney probably wins. But overall, I still think it feels like a draw because Obama did win on style and that will buy him another chance to prove himself. If he'd fallen on his face, the race would have been over.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, You missed a dull debate that sounded informative but wasn't. It was full of talking points you already knew.

DUQ said...

Jeff Greenfield has an interesting take. He thinks Obama won, but doesn't seem to think it was enough and he says it was too late. Thoughts?

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'm glad he's attacking on the Rose Garden thing, but honestly, I don't think that will ultimately resonate. I think what resonates with the public is the economic message and Obama's record and I really hope they focus on that.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I think you overestimate the effect of internet memes. I've seen nothing that tells me they have staying power, not in politics, not in business, not in the culture. And having a bunch of leftist 20somethings pass around the latest garbage they've been spoon-fed by MSNBC and try to declare it as having a broad-cultural consensus just isn't going to create any sort of momentum or sway any minds. This is just the bubble talking to itself.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I really doubt it. When a true meme with staying power and effect come along, you will know it. This is not that. This just something a bunch of bubble-zone leftists are trying to force into the culture, just like the last two dozen "memes." This will be gone and forgotten by tomorrow morning. You just can't force these things.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I haven't had a chance to read it, but I'll check it out. The problem for Obama is that he created an image last time which has taken hold and this performance will only strike people as "at least he wasn't as bad as before." He still hasn't said anything that will win people over. That's the problem.

Here's the link: LINK

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I hope not. The problem is that even though things like this can be specifically refuted, they have a way of seeping into the public consciousness and subtly biasing people against Romney. Since this debate was so widely viewed (I saw 60 million somewhere), maybe enough people will know that's not what he was saying. But I assume nothing. And it infuriates me that crap like this is what the Left takes away from Romney's statements.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I can count on hand the number of times these things have had any real effect: (1) I can see Russia from my house, (2) potatoE, (3) Mike Dukakis in the helmet, (4) Bush Sr. and the scanner.

These things require something that truly strikes the public at large as out of touch. And a couple of twenty-something moron leftists trying to create something that didn't resonate with 99% of people when it was said simply won't work. I've paid attention to viral crazes and they just can't be forced.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, And don't forget, there have been similar memes produced every single day for months now on the left and none of them have taken hold either. They have their 2-3 days where all the leftists act all giddy that they created something which will finally win the race for them and then it fails and they move on to the next one.

rlaWTX said...

The only fb thing about "binders" I've seen was a spoof on Clinton - him popping out of the background saying "count me in" because someone said "binders of women"... but I know a lot of conservatives on fb :)

interestingly, my liberal fb friends have been cricket-quiet since the first debate. The most active one still comments on her friends' stuff, but her wall is silent... and my conservative friends are loud-loud-loud!

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, That's interesting. I would have suspected that last night would have energized the left, but apparently not. Apparently, it just stopped the bleeding? That's a really bad sign for Obama.

BevfromNYC said...

Since the next (and thankfully FINAL) debate will be on foreign policy, I think the Benghazi issue will come back to bite Obama. So, as per Crowley, Romney can set up the discussion using the correct words for the Monday debate.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Agreed. But in the end, I honestly don't think Benghazi will matter to this election. This election will be lost on Obama's record and his failure to come up with any idea to make people think the future will be different.

(Meanwhile, Romney keeps coming up with interesting ideas.)

tryanmax said...

The binders thing is just too clunky to stick. What does it even mean? That Romney ties up women in his basement? That's a tough sell. The play on words is perverse, juvenile, and awkward.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's the problem. For something like this to work, it needs to feel organic, meaning it needs to be believable and it needs to feel like something you could actually see the target saying/doing. This is just another attempt, like so many SNL skits, to attach something nasty to a Republican they don't like. It won't work.

Their better target would have been the 47% comment, but clearly they couldn't come up with anything that stuck on that.

Individualist said...


the comment I heard from the liberal expert when watching the after debate showw on the Breitbart feed was basically this..

Romney said Binders of Women

Horrible evil psychotics like to Bind women

romney should have been more sensitive and not used language that would evoke serial killing and rape in women. He did not say serial killing and rape but refered to them in boring academiceese.

It was all said in the center of an extremely long paragraph with so many other boring points that everybody slept through it anyways but tuned in as it was being said and the absurdity of what was being said by the accuser stucki with me which is why I remember it.

AndrewPrice said...

Wow! Check this out. Gallup's 7 day tracking poll shows Romney with a 6% lead (51% to 45%)!


Individualist said...

Questions that would have been asked if true indepenmdents were in the mix:

One) What are you going to do to stop teh Chrony Capitalism in government?

Two) What programs are you going to cut to reduce the deficit?

Three) How are you going to save social security?

Four) What is going to be our strategy in dealing with Islamists in order to ensure we do not have to go to wars in other countrues?

Five) When does the government stop trying to start businesses and eliminate subsidiaries.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I saw that, and if you notice, he's even got a two-point lead with registered voters. It's worth noting, of course, that this tracking poll is all pre-debate. But still.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, True, it is pre-debate and it's Gallup, which Obama has been attacking for months now. The left actually has been slamming Gallup all year.

Still, it's a fascinating trend.

Joel Farnham said...

After having a day go by, I think Candy Cane did us a huge favor. With her instant fact checking, she exposed these debate moderators and the so-called undecided audience members as false.

Look, going into this debate, most of us knew the left would pull this or something similar. Either stacking the deck with lefty questions or cutting off our guy. When Candy overstepped and acted like a ref tackling a runner to stop a touchdown and then the audience spontaneously clapping, it showed that this debate at best was a sham. It really doesn't matter if Candy was right.

It also exposes the left the next day when all they can talk about is Candy, not the substance of the debate. This debate shoots down any notion that the Legacy Media isn't in the tank for Obama.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, It also kept people from talking about "Obama did a lot better, didn't he?" Instead, most of what I've seen from the debate is about attacking/defending her. So basically, it helps to reduce the impact of Obama's improved performance. In other words, she stole the show.

Joel Farnham said...

Yes, she stole the show.

EricP said...

I admittedly came in for the last third of the debate (and flipped to the Tigers/Yanks game when the President became too much to stomach), so struggling to see how Obama won on style. Who and what I did see was the same lying and easily defensive person we've known for the last 4+ years.

Regardless, as always, AP, thanks for the classic summary/breakdown, ever the useful tool in educating my left-leaning friends.

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, You're welcome! I'm glad I'm useful. :)

I think Obama did better early on because he was bright and cheerful and almost friendly, while simultaneously being constantly on the attack. Toward the end, he ran down a bit and just remained on the attack, so he lost the positive aspect he had going. But the overall feel was that Obama was a little bit more in command, especially as Romney had to spend parts of the night fighting with Crowley.

That said, this was the same Obama we've known for four years. He spoke a little better (well rehearsed) but he had the same non-answers, the same smears and the same evasions.

Best of luck with your friends! Maybe one day they'll see the light? :)

EricP said...

I pray they do come around, sooner than later. I truly long for the pendulum to start swinging back to a sense of civility in the "agree to disagree" arena, something on which I also pray we've not passed the point of no return.

Re. Obama's cheerfulness fading, guess there's only so long to can train the circus clown to wear different shoes before he just has to return to his usual self.

EricP said...

Ahhhh, the ever-delusional Rolling Stone political hacks. Guess we all should stay home whatever day the First Lady erroneously said we should vote.

"As he was getting trounced in the second presidential debate last night, Mitt Romney also got weird ..."

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, Sadly, the days of civility are over right now and the left is to blame. They have opened the floodgates of hate and they aren't going to stop. The only way I see it changing is if the left splits into two parts -- crazy left and center left and the center left tells the crazy left to shut up. But that won't happen.

LOL! Yeah, Rolling Stone really has not clue, do they?

Joel Farnham said...


Did you notice that Romney nailed Obama down on saying it was a terrorist action in Libya? Almost like a lawyer nailing down an uncooperative witness?

Well, today, it has been questioned, "Why did Obama find it necessary for two weeks to claim the act was caused simply because of a video?" Hey, Obama even talked about it at the UN. Romney didn't need to call Obama a liar during the debates. Obama is being called a liar today.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, What Obama said was such a blatant lie, one which everyone knew was false because we all remember he whining about the video, that this lie was simply unsustainable. Moreover, he was so direct and clear in his lie that there's no explaining it. That's one of those little moments that undoes a lot of the good things he did for himself in the debate.

Koshcat said...

I missed this debate as well although caught the final statements. I thought the fact he saved the "47%" stuff to the final speech might have resonated more, but nobody seems to be talking about it.

Speaking of media bias, there was a video I believe on Brietbart or PJ TV where they were asking voters outside a polling site some questions. For example, when asked "who said I have been to all 57 states?" Nobody knew the answer. However, when asked "who said I can see Russia from my house!" Everybody answered Sarah Palin although that is incorrect since it was Tiny Fey. Which goes to show you don't even have to make the stupid statement to have it attributed to you.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, I think the problem with the 47% comment is that it sounded like a political smear. The way Obama presented it, it sounded like something he either made up or massively distorted.

And then, when he started saying that Romney thinks soldiers don't pull their own weight and basically accusing Romney of hating soldiers and people on social security, he WAY overplayed it and made the whole thing sound fake.

When you get a guy who says something potentially offensive, the worst thing you can do is to start embellishing, and that's what Obama did, and it switched it from Romney saying something offensive to Obama distorting something Romney said.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, That's often true that statements get attributed to people which they didn't actually say. BUT before that can happen, the person needs to be someone who has made themselves easy to parody. Palin did that. She came across as rock stupid and she said that she knows foreign policy because Russia is Alaska's border. That allowed the statement to take root.

It's impossible to attach a quote to someone unless people believe they might have said.

But that's not to say the left isn't trying desperately with this binder thing. Politico is running with the binder thing all across their site today because they want to give it momentum, but it's not working. And by the time SNL tries to pile on this weekend, people will have forgotten what it was even supposed to be about because no one can believe Romney meant it in any way that it is being interpreted. Sleazeball Bill Clinton... sure, but not dull Mitt Romney.

Jen said...

I can't understand what the big deal is about the "binders". I didn't find it offensive, and understood what he was talking about. I was listening more than I was watching (sitting in a different room, and taking a peek on occasion).

I guess I just put two and two together in that Romney was referring to "female applicants" when he made the comment--the binders being something one could actually hold in their hands to look at.

Recently, my mom made a comment about the Kool-Aid drinkers being brainwashed. I thought that at one time, subliminal messages were illegal? That's my only explanation for it.

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, There is no point. That's why it won't catch on. The left decided "that sounded awkward" and so they set out to give it meaning. But it has no meaning, so it will pass.

Jen said...

Andrew, I saw this right before I read your comment. I didn't bother to read it because I knew it would be garbage. Stupid women.

Breaking down Romney's 'binder' blunder

Yahoo! News columnist Virginia Heffernan explains what she thinks the comical quote reveals about him.

EricP said...

Koshcat, that was in John Ziegler's "Media Malpractice" movie, something which every conservative should own ... and, no, though I gladly pimp for John, I don't get any residuals.

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