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Thrilla or Vanilla?
October 3, 2012 9:23 AM   Subscribe

It's D-Day: Governor Mitt Romney debates President Barack Obama in Denver, Colorado. Will we see an epic game-changer or an airless, pre-orchestrated zinger-swap?

The consensus is that Mitt badly needs a moment and the hype machine is in full swing, with surrogates running to downplay expectations, media round-ups of past famous debate moments, an emphasis on fact-checking, and even some suggestions for a sweet debate drinking game.
posted by sallybrown (3068 comments total) 72 users marked this as a favorite

 
Just out of morbid curiosity, does anybody think that the debates are going to change anybody's minds?

This election cycle and the previous one have been some of the most divisive that I've seen on my short time on this planet, and it's hard to imagine anybody walking away from these thinking something like "oh, I didn't realize he actually thought that."
posted by Blue_Villain at 9:28 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I really hope Obama uses 5 minutes of his time to dance like Sam Rockwell.
posted by elizardbits at 9:29 AM on October 3, 2012 [22 favorites]


THANK YOU FOR THIS my browser is doing a juice-cleanse now
posted by lazaruslong at 9:32 AM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


My prediction is that it will be a total snooze. These two are too conservative (personality-wise) for anything that entertaining to emerge during the debates.
posted by murfed13 at 9:32 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE DRINKING GAME

1. When the debate begins, take a drink.
2. Check if you have any alcohol left. If you do, take a drink.
posted by theodolite at 9:32 AM on October 3, 2012 [180 favorites]


I really wish we could institute a system for this that was designed to downplay the effect of low-level cognitive biases on the process. The fact that a brief history of public reaction to presidential debates reads like this:
The most memorable moments — Richard Nixon's sweaty face (1960), Ford's gaffe on Eastern Europe (1976), Michael Dukakis' reaction to the hypothetical rape and murder of his wife (1988), George H.W. Bush's ill-timed glance at his wristwatch (1992) — were all mistakes.
...is just fucking embarrassing. At least if we could just limit it to audio-only broadcasts to filter out some of the more egregiously irrelevant events that would be an improvement.
posted by invitapriore at 9:32 AM on October 3, 2012 [14 favorites]


does anybody think that the debates are going to change anybody's minds?

Yes and no. The substance of the debate is unlikely to change anyone's mind, but the media spin, largely about the candidates' comportment, might.

Eg. if they decide Romney was looking natural, rather than like he has a huge Romney-shaped stick up his ass, that might give him a boost.
posted by Beardman at 9:33 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama is a well known commodity at this point. He's not going to fuck up the debates. Romney has to have a game changing moment, but people kind of already think he's an asshole, so he can't go after Obama too hard or it will backfire. I think it'll be a snooze fest.
posted by empath at 9:33 AM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


One of the great beauties of the American political system is how Americans take it very very seriously indeed, and yet ridicule it relentlessly. It's almost like Americans are large, and contain multitudes.
posted by chavenet at 9:33 AM on October 3, 2012 [18 favorites]


Mitt's best chance to score points is to rattle-off some completely out-of-left-field, hard-core tea-bag nuttery that no one would ever imagine a Presidential candidate stooping to, and, thus, catching Obama without a prepared response.

I'll be watching movies tonight, though.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:33 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Please remember that Barack Obama is a highly skilled and eloquent debater who can't get through a speech without a teleprompter, an academic professor that spent too much at Harvard who actually isn't very bright, and a radical Muslim who hangs out with Jeremiah Wright.
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:33 AM on October 3, 2012 [80 favorites]


I'd like the debate format to include, for the second and third debates, a preamble that discussed in some detail how factual each candidates was in the previous debates. And for the final debate, a substantial analysis covering the third debate and looking back on all three.

Because the debates themselves are not much more than a beauty contest held on a tightrope where each contestant must smile sweetly while maintaining their balance.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:34 AM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


no one ever answers the question anyways. they just say what they want.

like on the West Wing when Santos was running and Josh was telling him to not answer the questions, just say the pre-planned thing. (of course Santos didn't, but that's tv.)

but it is just like that tho. the debates or any townhall meeting is really just a speech interspersed with things other people say, it's not really a give and take.

at least, that what it seems like to me whenever i've watched debates in the past.

it's like you could ask them "what color is the sky?" and they'd say "well, the sky is up there, but that's debatable, the real issue is $MYAGENDAITEMUNRELATEDTOSKY."
posted by sio42 at 9:34 AM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


the debate is Mittens' chance to come across as 'presidential'. which, so far, I don't feel like he's been able to do. it IS important to have the candidates directly speak to one another in front of an audience. no matter your personal opinion of Obama, he certainly has the ability to convey his stance on presidential matters in a clear, educated way while relating to his audience. can Romney do the same thing? cause so far he seemingly stumbles when talking off-the-cuff and ends up with a news-cycle gaffe.
posted by ninjew at 9:34 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


elizardbits: "I really hope Obama uses 5 minutes of his time to dance like Sam Rockwell."

* the President shoots a 3-pointer *

"WHOOO!"

posted by boo_radley at 9:34 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


THANK YOU FOR THIS my browser is doing a juice-cleanse now

There's a non-negligible chance this thread will also get to 4000 comments before the debate starts.
posted by painquale at 9:35 AM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'd really love for the debates to have questions that came from actual humans, not questions that were chosen by huge corporations and vetted by the parties.
posted by DU at 9:35 AM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


also I know what a juice cleanse is now, so, you know, thread validated and everything.
posted by boo_radley at 9:35 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh how I wish Obama was so confident in his victory that he could waste America's time by rating the superhunks.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:36 AM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I read that Romney has been training LIKE ROCKY with the zingers for months. I'll be curious to see if he delivers any of them with the same leaden, graceless, robotic stridency on display from 2008, when he stood there bellowing "Have you forgotten 9/11? Have you forgotten 9/11?" as if saying it enough might cause Rudy Giuliani, of all people, to actually suddenly forget 9/11 and deliver a win to Mitt, who was the only one who remembered.
posted by mph at 9:36 AM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Bit late for me to watch live here in the UK, but, like Apple product announcements, I'll have to watch the whole thing the next day rather than trusting what $news_agency_of_choice chooses to show me. Also, I will be scrolling this thread alongside, so try to keep it under 2,000 comments, okay?
posted by Happy Dave at 9:37 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tonight's magic phrase is "I'll never apologize for America." If you hear that phrase, you must chug your entire drink, pull your pants down, and slap your butt.
posted by perhapses at 9:37 AM on October 3, 2012 [43 favorites]


Just out of morbid curiosity, does anybody think that the debates are going to change anybody's minds?

I'm always shocked when calling/canvassing how many people identify themselves as undecided. Still, now, really? I understand the partisan people on both sides, and the people opposed to politicians and voting, although I don't agree - but undecided?

Or maybe I should admire their open minds. I don't know.
posted by R a c h e l at 9:37 AM on October 3, 2012


We've all forgotten Poland.
posted by Aquaman at 9:38 AM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


THE SNORE-ADO IN COLORADO
posted by AugieAugustus at 9:38 AM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


I do wonder if the immense pressure on Mitt to make it a game-changer and what sounds like almost over-preparation by him will short circuit the Rombot and cause some bizarre outburst on stage.

(I also wish the fact-checking included a button the moderator could press that just shouted YOU LIE! ala Joe Wright.)
posted by sallybrown at 9:38 AM on October 3, 2012 [10 favorites]


Also please keep me and the other Coloradoans in your thoughts because CDOT and the Secret Service are shutting down six dang miles of the dang old aterial highway in Colorado starting at 5 freaking o'clock.
posted by boo_radley at 9:41 AM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Nobody's undecided at this point. They just don't want to tell you.
posted by Suddenly, elf ass at 9:41 AM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


The fact that a brief history of public reaction to presidential debates reads like this:
The most memorable moments — Richard Nixon's sweaty face (1960), Ford's gaffe on Eastern Europe (1976), Michael Dukakis' reaction to the hypothetical rape and murder of his wife (1988), George H.W. Bush's ill-timed glance at his wristwatch (1992) — were all mistakes.


This is pretty depressing, especially since there was a time when the public did in fact enjoy long, real debates. For example, the Lincoln Douglas debates took hours, during which they'd stop so attendees could go to dinner and then return for more.

I'd love to see debates with real meat to them, I'm sure I'm not alone. 2 minutes per response is just complete bullshit.
posted by odinsdream at 9:41 AM on October 3, 2012 [12 favorites]


I also predict Obama wishing his wife a happy 20th anniversary. Romney will then feel the need to mention his wife and offspring and their offspring's offspring.
posted by murfed13 at 9:42 AM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


murfed13: "I also predict Obama wishing his wife a happy 20th anniversary."

I heard that today is their actual anniversary. What an amazing gift for him.
posted by boo_radley at 9:43 AM on October 3, 2012


I'm waiting for the Veep debates I mean c'mon Smug, Petulant Teen Frankenstein VS. Everyone's Favorite Uncle!
posted by The Whelk at 9:44 AM on October 3, 2012 [48 favorites]


Note - YouTube is streaming the debates live.
posted by cashman at 9:44 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I can't wait to see the big board on CNN with the zinger count. I like how we've all agreed to call them 'zingers'.

Yeah, I'll be watching, excitedly, but there is absolutely zero chance of this debate changing my mind about either candidate. The most I am hoping for is some sort of car crash (which seems unlikely, admittedly) that might change the minds of people on the fence to vote for my guy.

But yeah: I fear that I agree with Suddenly, elf ass - "undecided" voters are primarily people who think it looks intellectually forward to not have made up your mind about something, when in fact the have known for a long time.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:44 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's a sitcom right there.
posted by Kabanos at 9:44 AM on October 3, 2012


Romney megathread 4eva!!!

j/k, can't wait to read the liveblogging in this thread later tonight.
posted by Theta States at 9:44 AM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Romney will then feel the need to mention his wife and offspring and their offspring's offspring.

MY LINE IS QUITE VIRILE AND NUMEROUS IN THE MANNER OF YOUR EARTH RODENTS.

I MEAN OUR RODENTS. ON EARTH.
posted by The Whelk at 9:44 AM on October 3, 2012 [74 favorites]


As President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney square off in the first presidential debate in Denver on October 3, Democracy Now! will broadcast live from Denver with a special expanded presidential debate from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. ET. We will air the debate, pausing after questions to include equal time responses from two presidential contenders who were shut out of the official debate: Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party.

posted by anarch at 9:45 AM on October 3, 2012 [19 favorites]


I thought the All Things Considered previews for Romney and Obama made for a good summary, and considering it boiled down to Romney needs to stop being spontaneous because he says the wrong thing, and Obama needs to be less wordy, I'm expecting a pretty Vanilla debate.
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:45 AM on October 3, 2012


Happy debate memory: My favorite political science professor hosted a viewing of the '88 vice presidential debate, where Bentsen delivered the "No Jack Kennedy" putdown to Dan Quayle. We all hooted like drunken gibbons. Even the peace studies kids.
posted by mph at 9:45 AM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


God, what a circus. You guys are fucked if you choose that other guy, but even the guy you have now is so scary conservative.
posted by clvrmnky at 9:46 AM on October 3, 2012 [19 favorites]


I feel, with the polls the way they are, that Romney's best chance is to start his opening address in this manner.

Oh please oh please oh please let this happen.
posted by Wordshore at 9:46 AM on October 3, 2012


. . . an airless, pre-orchestrated zinger-swap?

The interview with George Farah, founder of the bipartisan Open Debates, on "Democracy Now" this morning provides some critical context.

From Open Debates' site:

Presidential debates were run by the civic-minded League of Women Voters until 1988, when the national Republican and Democratic parties seized control of the debates by establishing the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). Posing as a nonpartisan institution, the CPD has often run the debates in the interests of the national Republican and Democratic parties, not the American people.

Since 1988, negotiators for the Republican and Democratic nominees have secretly drafted debate contracts that dictate how the presidential debates will be structured. The CPD, which is co-chaired by leading figures in the Republican and Democratic parties, has implemented those contracts.

CPD control of the presidential debates has harmed our democracy. Fewer debates are held than necessary to educate voters. Candidates that voters want to see are often excluded. Restrictive formats allow participants to recite memorized soundbites and avoid actual debate. Walter Cronkite called CPD-sponsored debates an "unconscionable fraud."

posted by ryanshepard at 9:48 AM on October 3, 2012 [56 favorites]


Boston Magazine: Mass Revolt - Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts just six years ago. Today he’s so unpopular here he’s barely bothering to campaign in the state. There are reasons for that—and they could spell doom for his presidential campaign.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:49 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just out of morbid curiosity, does anybody think that the debates are going to change anybody's minds?

In a recent aggregate of actual studies done on how debates have affected the outcomes of presidential elections, it seems they don't really change anyone's minds.

However, you all are welcome to take a look at this video of the dress rehearsal for the debates and decide for yourself.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:49 AM on October 3, 2012


I liked Ezra Klein's comment re zingers. "If your strategy to turn the presidential election around relies on Romney’s sense of comic timing, you might want to prepare a Plan B, as well."
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:49 AM on October 3, 2012 [28 favorites]


clvrmnky: “God, what a circus. You guys are fucked if you choose that other guy, but even the guy you have now is so scary conservative.”

You kinda tipped your hand with the last word there.
posted by koeselitz at 9:49 AM on October 3, 2012


I would give just about anything to have the League of Women Voters running the debates again.
posted by Aquaman at 9:49 AM on October 3, 2012 [17 favorites]


I'd love to see debates with real meat to them, I'm sure I'm not alone.

It's gotten to the point that I can't even imagine this. What would they say? Candidates are basically forbidden from articulating the particulars of their proposed policies, forbidden from doing anything, really, except delivering platitudes and casting aspersions on their opponents by taking facts (or half-truths) out of context. And anybody who could conceivably change that seems to like it that way.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:50 AM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Notes on format: a coin toss decided The President opens the debate, and Romney closes.

Topics:
Jim Lehrer has selected the topics for the first meeting between President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

This domestic policy debate will feature six, 15-minute segments:

Three about the economy
A discussion on health care
The role of government and governing

Lehrer noted the topics could change based on news developments, and will not necessarily be in that order.

The Oct. 3 forum at the University of Denver will begin at 9 p.m. ET and last 90 minutes.
Tickets were not available to the public, but were given out to University of Denver students.
posted by cashman at 9:51 AM on October 3, 2012


The one thing that could make the debates interesting is that Romney needs something big to shift the polls. With little time left, he's going to have to try something outside his comfort zone.
posted by drezdn at 9:51 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney's best or only chance is to start his opening address in this manner.

Heeeey, Wealthy Ladies!

Also on Youtube.
posted by zarq at 9:51 AM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


CSMonitor - Presidential Debate: What To Look For Beyond Who Wins or Loses
In a wide-reaching discussion Monday with journalists and academics – including veteran broadcast journalist Sander Vanocur, who served as a panelist in the first Nixon-Kennedy debate in 1960 – the Newseum's First Amendment Center and the National Communication Association explored what else citizens watching the debates should look for to get the most insight into the candidates.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:52 AM on October 3, 2012


Just in case anyone should have high expectations of me going into tonight's debate, I'd like to be clear that I'm really not much of a debater. I'm sure the other guy will do much better. I'm just not that kind of zinging, mix-it-up kind of fellow. I'm sure the other guy, with his years of experience with argument, will walk all over me. In fact, I don't really like arguing at all. I haven't won a debate in thirty years. There was a mock debate once in middle school, and when Ms. Jensen reminded me to make eye contact with my opponents, I curled up into the fetal position and started rocking while humming "This Land Is My Land" until the school nurse drove me home in the back of her station wagon. Flashbacks still make me freeze up at critical moments. My god, that station wagon was so warm and womb-like. In fact, I don't like speaking at all if I can avoid it. Sentences confuse me, unlike that big-shot other fella, who's going to be tap-dancing all around me for sure tonight with his fancy syntax. I wouldn't expect syntax out of me, or even words or basic hygiene. No, I think I'd count it a win if I was simply able to get through the night without dressing up in a clown suit and humping the podium until being dragged away by the secret service, and my dear old mom, murmuring "oh, there he goes again!" I hope you tune in.
posted by bicyclefish at 9:53 AM on October 3, 2012 [10 favorites]


CheeseDigestsAll: "I liked Ezra Klein's comment re zingers. "If your strategy to turn the presidential election around relies on Romney’s sense of comic timing, you might want to prepare a Plan B, as well.""

There's probably a GOP adviser tenting his fingers right now: "What if we... reintroduce him? Let the voters, you know, get to know him? Sort of... thing? Right?"
posted by boo_radley at 9:53 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Prediction: It will be childish and demeaning for the country.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:53 AM on October 3, 2012 [14 favorites]


I'm so excited I stayed home from work!

Actually, I'm working from home because I drive by DU every day, but tonight that section of I-25 will be closed and I really don't want to mess with traffic.
posted by jazon at 9:53 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I'll never apologize for America."

to be rejoindered by, "But America would have to apologize for you."
posted by edgeways at 9:54 AM on October 3, 2012 [23 favorites]


Just out of morbid curiosity, does anybody think that the debates are going to change anybody's minds?

They might if one of the candidates is new on the political scene, but generally I think it makes more sense to look at them sort of like the superbowl or world series. Just a chance to cheer for the home team in the gladiator's arena.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:54 AM on October 3, 2012


There's probably a GOP adviser tenting his fingers right now: "What if we... reintroduce him? Let the voters, you know, get to know him? Sort of... thing? Right?"

If that's true, then there will be a whole cadre of Obama advisers tenting their pants right now over how easy the win will be.
posted by chavenet at 9:55 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


jazon: "I'm so excited I stayed home from work!

Actually, I'm working from home because I drive by DU every day, but today that section of I-25 is closed and I really don't want to mess with traffic.
"

You lucky guy. I'm going from Englewood to Eire RIGHT AT FIVE. All of the light rail stations north of DU were full up, too.
posted by boo_radley at 9:55 AM on October 3, 2012


My fellow Americans... tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!!!.
posted by anarch at 9:55 AM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Tonight's magic phrase is "I'll never apologize for America." If you hear that phrase, you must chug your entire drink, pull your pants down, and slap your butt.

I have to wait until then?

*puts down drink*

*rebuckles belt*

*pouts*
posted by xingcat at 9:56 AM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


he's going to have to try something outside his comfort zone.
posted by The Whelk at 9:56 AM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: epic game-changer or an airless, pre-orchestrated zinger-swap?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:56 AM on October 3, 2012 [17 favorites]


I will watch this, and watch it hard, but let me register my disgust at how we treat this stuff like a big fricking football game.
posted by Think_Long at 9:57 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


So we basicaly have 2 robots ignoring the questions, sticking to their scripts, and hoping to avoid statements that will be edited in to attack ads within 12 hours?
Yes, please, drinking game for me.
posted by Theta States at 9:57 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


First Debate Often Helps Challenger in Polls (Nate Silver @ FiveThirtyEight)

The number of presidential elections decided by debates? Zero. (Ezra Klein @ WaPo)

News Coverage of Debates Matters More Than the Debates Themselves (Kevin Drum @ Mother Jones)

Debate Bumps, 1988-2008: The Chart (John Sides @ The Monkey Cage)

Presidential Debate Holds Slim Chance Of 'Game Change,' Polling Shows (Mark Blumenthal @ HuffPo)

Be Like Bill (David Kusnet @ American Prospect)

Why the Denver Debate Could Matter (Bob Moser & Jamie Fuller @ American Prospect)
posted by zombieflanders at 9:57 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm looking forward to the moment where Romney calls Obama a liar about something or other, and Obama cuts him off by catching the fly buzzing about with his bare hands.
posted by mkultra at 9:57 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


In an interesting third-party twist, Democracy Now! will be live-broadcasting an "expanded debate" containing equal-time responses from Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson alongside the two major-party candidates.

(Libertarian Gary Johnson was invited but declined to participate.)
posted by RogerB at 9:57 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's probably a GOP adviser tenting his fingers right now: "What if we... reintroduce him? Let the voters, you know, get to know him? Sort of... thing? Right?"

There is no probably about that 9at least the first part). Part of the Romney expectation of the debate is to "Introduce him to the American people".. no shit.
posted by edgeways at 9:58 AM on October 3, 2012


MY LINE IS QUITE VIRILE AND NUMEROUS IN THE MANNER OF YOUR EARTH RODENTS.

I MEAN OUR RODENTS. ON EARTH.


*bzzt* *sparks* *commercial break*
posted by ninjew at 9:58 AM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


You have to smoke a huge blunt if Romney says "Earthman" during the debate.

EDIT: You should probably smoke one anyway.
posted by Mister_A at 10:00 AM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I was thinking that having members of the public ask the questions would be the best way to inject some real impor into this. But then I realized that those questioners are probably vetted and pre-screened to within an inch of their lives, aren't they?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:01 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Heh, edgeways, I just went looking for your comment in the other thread quoting that line!
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:02 AM on October 3, 2012


There is already an open post on tonight's U.S. presidential debate ...
posted by mrgrimm at 10:02 AM on October 3, 2012


Slugfest
posted by zarq at 10:02 AM on October 3, 2012


Just putting my placeholder in for the liveblogging* tonight. I'm far more excited to see the zingers MeFites come up with about Romny than any potential "zingers" the Romney camp cooked up about Obama.

*I typed this as "lieblogging" at first, and seriously considered keeping the typo.
posted by Phire at 10:03 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


As far as debates mattering or not, I think the Bush/Gore debate changed a lot of minds. Gore whupped up on Bush, and went a long way towards not appearing like an animate log.

It wasn't enough, of course, but I think it made an impact.

For this debate, I'll just say: Barack him, Obamadeus.
posted by BeeDo at 10:03 AM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Romney will be all prescripted speeches and canned "zingers" but the zingers will suffer from his utter lack of timing and connection to his audience. If Obama can pull him off-script, he'll get flustered.
posted by tyllwin at 10:03 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


"How about a gentleman's wager. I'll bet you $10,000 that you were not born in the USA".

Now that would make for a very entertaining evening and a very entertaining tomorrow on the web.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 10:04 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Leaked debate footage.
posted by drezdn at 10:04 AM on October 3, 2012


The debate may not change people's minds or sway the fabled undecided voter, but the after-debate spin could really help/harm the candidates in terms of

1) donations- no one wants to give money to a big loser. Better to give to a close Senate race, etc.

2) voter turnout. (this point is especially important for people who don't like Obama and would vote Romney but just find him so unappealing. But it also applies to Obama- can he rally the troops like he did in 2008?)
posted by murfed13 at 10:05 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


You have to smoke a huge blunt if Romney says "Earthman" during the debate.

My plan calls for me to ram my ovadespositor down your throat and lay eggs in your chest.
posted by The Whelk at 10:05 AM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


please keep me and the other Coloradoans in your thoughts

I grew up in a house less than a mile from the DU campus. My parents have left town completely for the debate. I told them they should have rented out their house to the press.
posted by ambrosia at 10:06 AM on October 3, 2012


I'm personally pretty happy that the structure is going to be a little tighter than usual, as it may help them stay on point, and for CNN to voluntarily engage in post-debate fact checking is a real improvement. But it's still boring.

I mean seriously - you watch these things in the hopes to see your guy lay down the ICE BURN on the other guy, or to see the guy you dislike do something truly embarrassing, like fart audibly or accidentally swallow his microphone. I'm sure somewhere there's folks who sit down calmly in front of the TV with a yellow legal pad that has a ROMNEY and OBAMA column and take dutiful notes, but for most, I'd venture debates are the political equivalent of a pro wrestling match, only without so much integrity and honesty.

So if we're going to have the major networks hijacked by shameless peacocking, how about having these two do something truly entertaining? Like, run a Men Of Ninja Warrior obstacle course, or a Hell's Kitchen style cook-off, a dance contest, karaoke, solo battles against each other with their musical instrument of choice? Some combination of some or all of these? Because I'd totally vote for the guy who could hit the high parts of "Whenever I Call You Friend."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:06 AM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


"You're using 'your' in a nonspecific way," he said hopefully.

EDIT: @TheWhelk
posted by Mister_A at 10:07 AM on October 3, 2012


You want zingers?

In the course of his debates against Stephen Douglas -- a man of short stature but towering rhetoric -- Abraham Lincoln is supposed to have re-purposed a humorous story he'd been telling for years (paraphrasing):
The Senator reminds me of a trifling little steamboat I once made the acquaintance of, which used to bustle and puff and wheeze about the Sangamon River. It had a five-foot boiler and and a seven-foot whistle, and every time it blew the whistle, it stopped. Also, he's no Jack Kennedy.
Anyhow, that's how my granddaddy told it me.
 
posted by Herodios at 10:07 AM on October 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


"I liked Ezra Klein's comment re zingers. "If your strategy to turn the presidential election around relies on Romney’s sense of comic timing, you might want to prepare a Plan B, as well.""


Then they're in trouble, because Republicans really hate Plan B.
posted by curious nu at 10:07 AM on October 3, 2012 [44 favorites]


edgeways: "Part of the Romney expectation of the debate is to "Introduce him to the American people".. no shit."

The guy has run for President twice and has committed some major gaffes. How often are they going to pull this "political dark horse" bullshit?
posted by zarq at 10:07 AM on October 3, 2012


Obama is one of the great orators of this generation. No matter who you are, pinning your hopes on winning a debate against him is like betting on the 30-1 longshot at the track.

And if you have Romney's history of coming across like a badly programmed robot, it's more like betting on the 100-1 longshot.

Actually, there is one time where Romney didn't come across as a robot, and that was on the secret fundraiser film where he started talking about the 47%. You could see his pulse quicken and his tempo increase as he explained about these freeloaders who don't contribute -- you could tell that this was genuine, this was something he actually believed in. Too bad it's not something you dare say in public if you want those people to vote for you.
posted by localroger at 10:08 AM on October 3, 2012 [12 favorites]


wp on Lincoln-Douglas:
The format for each debate was: one candidate spoke for 60 minutes, then the other candidate spoke for 90 minutes, and then the first candidate was allowed a 30-minute "rejoinder."

[ . . . ]

Modern presidential debates trace their roots to the Lincoln–Douglas Debates, though the format today is remarkably different from the original.
Indeed.
 
posted by Herodios at 10:08 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


lots of video ahead:

Obama, Romney Set To Spar Amid Video Controversy

oh, livestream!

What You Need To Know Before Tonight's Debate!

ABC News Politics Center

ABC News Live Video Coverage

YOUTUBE LIVESTREAM LINK
8 pm Eastern Standard Time

iPhone, iPad and Android links
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:10 AM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Romney will have an excellent opportunity to introduce himself to the American people in his concession speech.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:10 AM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


How often are they going to pull this "political dark horse" bullshit?

Probably as often as the one about how W Bush was a folksy guy from Texas, and not a part of the political machine from Connecticut.
posted by inigo2 at 10:11 AM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


I would love to see Obama counter Romney's 47% speech with something like "My opponent has said it's not his job to worry about those of you who don't support him. For four years now, I have been President of people who support me and like me, of people who don't support me and dislike me, even of people who believe I lie about my religion and my place of birth. Every day of those four years, I have worked to make life better for each and every one of you, no matter your feelings about me, and I will continue to do so if you re-elect me. I consider it my job to worry about every single person in this country."
posted by sallybrown at 10:11 AM on October 3, 2012 [17 favorites]


YOUTUBE LIVESTREAM LINK

I am proud to be the first person in the world to "thumbs down" that video
posted by theodolite at 10:11 AM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Debates have never, ever changed the course of an election. Ever. Not even in 1960.
posted by Foosnark at 10:12 AM on October 3, 2012


Jim Lehrer has selected the topics for the first meeting between President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

OMG Jim Lehrer, with his big brown button teddy bear eyes. I love him.
posted by ersatzkat at 10:12 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I actually think the "zingers" leak is a Romney headfake. It's so out of character for him (he's a horrible showman) and it would play to Romney's weakness, not his strength. The only way for Romney to succeed in this debate is for him to know his stuff inside and out and beat Obama on points, not style. Obama gets flustered when he begins to doubt that he's the smartest man in the room. If Romney has done his homework on the federal budget, the debt and the economy, he has a shot at this. Leave the zingers out.
posted by BobbyVan at 10:13 AM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


This'll be interesting for people looking for either candidate to make an ass of himself (or being made one) through one, condensed, beautiful moment – that they can latch on for until November, as if it is somehow emblematic of everything that candidate represents.
posted by flippant at 10:14 AM on October 3, 2012


With those questions planned that pretty much means no moderator is going to ask the candidates any questions about "women's issues". Birth control, abortion, Lilly Ledbetter (sp?) Act...
posted by edgeways at 10:14 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Romney will have an excellent opportunity to introduce himself to the American people in his concession speech.

They won't really get to know him until his cryogenically preserved kidneys debate an Uplifted dolphin in 2348.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:14 AM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Float like a butterfly
Sting like a bee
His zingers can't hit
Because he's Mitt Romney (for Pete's sake)
posted by tonycpsu at 10:14 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I might watch the Democracy Now version though, with Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson.
posted by Foosnark at 10:15 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Nobody's undecided at this point. They just don't want to tell you.

I used to believe that, until I genuinely found myself undecided about this election. Should I be pragmatic and vote for Obama, or should I vote my conscience and favor Stein? I live in Maryland, a reliably blue state, so it wouldn't really matter. In the end I decided that I'll vote for Obama and donate some money to the MD Green Party instead, but for a moment there I really was an undecided voter. It actually happens.

(Of course, anyone who says they're undecided between Obama and Romney is either lying or an idiot. Or a lying idiot.)

I am proud to be the first person in the world to "thumbs down" that video

I was the second.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:15 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


At last we'll get our leaders on the hot chair. President Obama, can you explain how Homeland won both the Golden Globe and Emmy over Downtown Abbey, Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire AND Game of Thrones?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:16 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


PBS Newshour Stream

NPR live chat
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:17 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama gets flustered when he begins to doubt that he's the smartest man in the room.

[citation needed]

Also, while Romney certainly knows more than most of us about how to dodge taxes (legally of course) and hide income overseas and making money by gutting the ruins of floundering companies, it is plain to see that he has a vast ignorance on little matters like foreign policy or what it's like to be poor, and no amount of cramming is going to fill that void.
posted by localroger at 10:17 AM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


I'm going to pretend that Jim Lehrer is PeeWee Herman.
posted by perhapses at 10:17 AM on October 3, 2012


I actually think the "zingers" leak is a Romney headfake.

Probably right... remember how "tough" McCain was going to be?

Uplifted dolphin in 2348.

no way he has the musical ability to be Uplifted into a dolphin. Perhaps if they start uplifting cacti.
posted by edgeways at 10:17 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


If nobody is truly undecided, what would have to happen at the debate to make you reconsider your choice? I mean, even if my guy dropped his pants and started screaming profanity, I'd still be inclined to think, "Well, we all have days like that."

(Wait, you mean you DON'T have days like that?)
posted by Longtime Listener at 10:19 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Kaiser Health News is offering a BINGO game ("DEBATE-O") for the segment on health policy.
posted by Snerd at 10:19 AM on October 3, 2012


I'm prepared for this debate to be boring, but unlike many people I think there's the possibility for something exciting to break out for one simple reason:

Mitt Romney clearly does not think highly of President Obama (or most people) because Mitt Romney is That Rich Guy. Conversely, it has been quite clear all through this campaign that not only does Obama not like Romney, he doesn't respect Romney either.

Mutual intense dislike might not be enough to get some real sparks flying, but it's a better chance than anything else.
posted by mightygodking at 10:19 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


At last we'll get our leaders on the hot chair. President Obama, can you explain how Homeland won both the Golden Globe and Emmy over Downtown Abbey, Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire AND Game of Thrones?

Easy; the overlap between fans of the other programs split the vote. There's an important lesson there about 3rd party candidates, the ballot system and game theory.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:20 AM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Obama, Romney Set To Spar Amid Video Controversy

Tucker Carlson Wants You To Enlist In Race War Against Jive-Talking President
posted by homunculus at 10:21 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


localroger: Actually, there is one time where Romney didn't come across as a robot, and that was on the secret fundraiser film where he started talking about the 47%. You could see his pulse quicken and his tempo increase as he explained about these freeloaders who don't contribute -- you could tell that this was genuine, this was something he actually believed in. Too bad it's not something you dare say in public if you want those people to vote for you.

Yeah, that was the first time I ever believed anything Romney said. That was absolutely genuine, the real Mitt.

That's why he's so hard to read, most of the time, and why he doesn't seem to have any consistent positions. Demanding money from the 47% is his real position, but he can hardly go telling the 47% that.
posted by Malor at 10:21 AM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Over on the monster thread Phrie recently added
"Since you guys are the only ones I know who would care:

John Hawkins: "A white woman voting for Barack Obama is like a black woman voting for the KKK."

Follow-up: "Conservatives, including Mitt, have similar things said about them every day of week. The dif is Obama actually is a racist."

Who is John Hawkins, you ask? A blogger for Mitt Romney's official website.

So yeah."
posted by edgeways at 10:21 AM on October 3, 2012 [15 favorites]


It might be a head fake, but zingers are an accurate representation about what people remember from the debates.

Since Mitt's been prepping them since August, I'm hoping he drops something out of date....

Like "Obama is so misguided he thinks Detroit could get to the World Series, or Arizona could win the Super Bowl."
posted by drezdn at 10:21 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just out of morbid curiosity, does anybody think that the debates are going to change anybody's minds?

No, but like some co-dependent democracy addict, I'll tune in anyway and hold up my lighted iPhone in the darkness of the living room.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:22 AM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


If Romney has done his homework on the federal budget, the debt and the economy, he has a shot at this

Fat chance. Romney has refused to get specific about his tax and economic plans, for the obvious reason that they simply don't add up. And after the Bush presidency -- if not Reagan's -- the old voodoo economics arguments just don't work any more.
posted by Gelatin at 10:23 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Obama gets flustered when he begins to doubt that he's the smartest man in the room.

Please link to one, single clip of a flustered Obama.

Just one.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:24 AM on October 3, 2012 [20 favorites]


This page is already over 120 comments. At this rate it'll be bigger than the Romney gaffe page before the debate starts.
posted by nushustu at 10:25 AM on October 3, 2012


Still, now, really? I understand the partisan people on both sides, and the people opposed to politicians and voting, although I don't agree - but undecided?

There could be people who were considering voting Green. I was, before Bill Clinton happened at the Dem con.
posted by Malice at 10:27 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm going to wake up at 4am here in England so I can watch this. I'm particularly listening for dogwhistles...there's been a few that have been floating around this election season (illegals, voter ID, women's health, etc.) and I'm trying to update a paper with current data (so I can submit it to a journal for publication, hopefully). 2008 was rich, but that was oh so long ago.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:29 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hi new thread! Make us proud.
posted by diogenes at 10:30 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please link to one, single clip of a flustered Obama.

Not even yogurt can break Obama's Jedi-like powers of composure!
posted by sallybrown at 10:30 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama gets flustered when he begins to doubt that he's the smartest man in the room.

Huh?

If Romney has done his homework on the federal budget, the debt and the economy, he has a shot at this.

Of course, the easy response to this is simply for Obama to ask how his economic ideas differ from W.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:30 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Romney has refused to get specific about his tax and economic plans, for the obvious reason that they simply don't add up.

And this has me completely freaking puzzled. You're a politician, right? Been doing this for a while? Lie! At least make the effort! For God's sake, Obama is touting sequestration as the first step in his budget plan!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:32 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please link to one, single clip of a flustered Obama.

Some analysis I've seen that makes sense to me is the concept that Romney's failing to break through with independent voters in part because he's attacking an Obama that only exists in the 27%-crazification-factor, Tea Party, wingnut imagination. He has to keep attacking strawman-Obama to maintain any enthusiasm among his rabid base, but after four years of a mild, Eisenhower Republican-style presidency, most people just don't see him that way. (Case in point: the recent Drudge Report flop.)

That, and I agree that his Randian 47% comment is about the most genuine Romney has seemed in this election cycle.
posted by Gelatin at 10:32 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Even more unlikely than finding a clip of Obama being flustered is one that shows Obama doubting he's the smartest man in the room. I'm pretty sure that same confidence that makes me like him is what makes a lot of people not.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:33 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Conversely, it has been quite clear all through this campaign that not only does Obama not like Romney, he doesn't respect Romney either.

More than that -- he thinks it's a miracle that this guy is his opponent. An out-of-touch rich guy who wants to cut taxes on the rich and dismantle the welfare state, all while radiating contempt for the commoners? It's like a bad novel.
posted by leopard at 10:35 AM on October 3, 2012


I just hope Romney wears a monocle tonight, that's all I'm asking for!

EDIT: Also ROMENTUM BABY
posted by Mister_A at 10:36 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


And this has me completely freaking puzzled. You're a politician, right? Been doing this for a while? Lie! At least make the effort!

But he has been. Romney and Ryan have been saying for a while now that they can cut taxes for the rich, not cut benefits for or raise taxes on the middle class, and not explode the deficit. We've heard that song before*, though, and there's just no getting around the fact that the numbers just don't add up.

*Remember back in 2000 when George W. Bush complained about Al Gore's "fuzzy math"? Good times...
posted by Gelatin at 10:37 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you're interested in the history of the debates, UChicago Press is giving away an ebook.
posted by Runes at 10:37 AM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I like the raspberry Zingers.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:37 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


you watch these things in the hopes to see your guy lay down the ICE BURN on the other guy, or to see the guy you dislike do something truly embarrassing, like fart audibly

I could imagine Romney, stressed, farting audibly and starting to crack up, and descending into uncontrollable laughter. Sadly for him, it's about the most winning and endearing thing I could imagine him doing at this point.
posted by msalt at 10:38 AM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


BobbyVan: “Obama gets flustered when he begins to doubt that he's the smartest man in the room.”

A few people have demanded citations for this. I don't want to just add to the chorus, so I'll be as blunt as I can about how this seems to me:

The biggest liability Obama has is his extraordinary confidence, which borders on arrogance when he knows he's right. It reads as arrogance with conservatives, although most voters haven't picked up on that quite yet.

If I'm not mistaken, that's exactly what the Romney camp is hoping for as they head into this debate. They've had Romney stress that 'this isn't about winning or losing,' and while that's a standard hedge, I think it's fair to say that everything is planned on their side right now. I have a strong feeling that what they're hoping for is to make Romney look more human by catching Obama on the attack, by letting Obama come out with guns blazing (like I'm sure he wants to) and letting him appear to be a colossal jerk who's full of facts and figures but doesn't care who he hurts. That would humanize Romney greatly, and if Romney played it right it could be a win.

I have to say, though, that the idea that "Obama gets flustered" in any situation seems categorically wrong to me. Frankly, that's what conservatives generally hate about him so much – his ingrained confidence in anything and everything he does in public, and his refusal to let even the most dire situation unnerve him. Conservatives read that as arrogance – cold, untempered, unshakeable arrogance – and it seems to be a key part of their dislike of him.

But then, I'm not a conservative, so you can correct me if you think I'm wrong there.
posted by koeselitz at 10:38 AM on October 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


Who is John Hawkins, you ask? A blogger for Mitt Romney's official website.

Yeah, this was predicted in the MegaThread, too: now that he's behind and losing ground, they are going to uncork all of the nastiest, low-down attacks they can, and pray one of them sticks. Apparently, race baiting is the only hope Mitt has left in the swing states, and that's pretty sad.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:39 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


If Romney has done his homework on the federal budget, the debt and the economy, he has a shot at this.

If it was about doing "homework" Romney would be arguing for a second stimulus and a modest tax increase on the wealthy. The Republicans' economic theories don't line up with realistic goals, let alone their stated goals.

This has nothing to do with being the smartest person in the room; it's about how well Romney can sell and/or hide an ideological view on fiscal matters that would, in economic terms, objectively disadvantage most Americans.

The sort of fact-based prep you are talking about only works in empirical arguments when everyone more or less agrees on fundamentals and overarching goals. Romney and Obama do not share a consensus on reality, goals, or both. So this debate at best is a normative one, but more likely will have virtually no substance. Hence, "zingers" to hide an ideology.
posted by spaltavian at 10:40 AM on October 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


... I er.. kinda want the president to be the smartest man in the room. One of the things I disliked about Bush Jr. and Reagan for that matter was the certainty they where not all that smart. Bush Sr. I disliked on policy alone, but respected his intelligence. Which is why, I suspect, Bush Sr. is actually seen pretty favorably by both B. Clinton, and Obama. Clinton spends a lot of time with Bush Sr. And will even drop by unannounced.

He even has a (kinda positive) nickname amongst the numerous Bush clan.
posted by edgeways at 10:40 AM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


I don't have anything meaningful to contribute, but every time I read or hear the word "zing" or "zinger", I hear the "Zing of the day!" jingle from Radio Free Sealab.
posted by frijole at 10:41 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here's the real drinking game:

Watch the debate.

Realize these two are literally the best people either party could find to put forward for presidency of a fading superpower.

Drink.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:42 AM on October 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


mightygodking: “Conversely, it has been quite clear all through this campaign that not only does Obama not like Romney, he doesn't respect Romney either.”

Absolutely. That's Obama's biggest liability here. In 2008, Obama had an opponent he respected – and incidentally who respected him. That was good for Obama, I think, because it pushed this personal stuff to the background and made the issues a lot clearer.

This debate is Obama's to lose. The easiest way for Obama to lose it, I think, would be for him to go all attack-dog on Romney and make it clear how much he despises him. Which would be very easy, frankly.
posted by koeselitz at 10:43 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please link to one, single clip of a flustered Obama.

I think his exchange with Paul Ryan at the Blair House on health care is a good example of this. Ryan takes apart the President's health care plan with facts and statistics, and Obama responds rather weakly by saying "there are disagreements about the numbers" and totally avoids the substance of Ryan's critique by claiming that he doesn't want to get "bogged down" with details. Much of the remainder of his response is a defensive dodge, addressing Medicare Advantage and not Ryan's argument about the President's health care bill.
posted by BobbyVan at 10:43 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or this version of the drinking game: Get really drunk before the debate begins. At some point during the debate, vomit.
posted by perhapses at 10:43 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


God. I just realised I need to wake up at 3am, not 4am.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:44 AM on October 3, 2012


It reads as arrogance with conservatives, although most voters haven't picked up on that quite yet.

It might be that it comes across as arrogant to conservatives because they already dislike him, and if someone you don't like acts confident it always comes across as arrogance - most voters might not pick up on that because they aren't predisposed to disliking him.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:44 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just hope that people keep pumping nickels into the Romney Mechanical Turk so he doesn't seize up mid sentence.
posted by klangklangston at 10:45 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Frankly, that's what conservatives generally hate about him so much – his ingrained confidence in anything and everything he does in public, and his refusal to let even the most dire situation unnerve him.

I see that as being because conservatives want to see liberals and Democrats as losers and weaklings (hence the Republicans' ineffective attempts to paint Obama as an "appeaser" and generally cast him as Jimmy Carter Redux -- except that Obama's no Carter and, more importantly, Romney is no Reagan).

Even Bill Clinton's success was built in part around "triangulation" -- that is, appropriating, and therefore conceding, Republican frames. Obama is painted as "divisive" because he won't accept the standard Republican definition of "bipartisanship": Doing what the Republicans want.

Like Clinton -- whose confidence, I suspect, was part of what got under Republican skin too -- Obama just won't fit the weakling stereotype. Remember all the Republican whining when Obama meets with their leadership and refuses to concede their bogus math?
posted by Gelatin at 10:47 AM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


I'm more worried Mitt will just have a complete meltdown onstage, when it becomes evident that none of his zingers went off correctly and time has basically run out. He doesn't seem to have any kind of history of losing gracefully, and his wife's comment about mental health struck me as ominous and weirdly candid. For these debates to 'work' for Obama, Willard has to be able to soak up some damage.
posted by newdaddy at 10:48 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think Obama is going to go on the attack. He has no reason to. He's winning.
posted by empath at 10:51 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


By contrast, Mitt Romney and Ryan get flustered when asked for specific details about anything, instead trying to defer until after the election.
posted by cashman at 10:52 AM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I just hope that people keep pumping nickels into the Romney Mechanical Turk so he doesn't seize up mid sentence.

I've said this before: He slowly winds down like HAL dying in mid-speech
posted by The Whelk at 10:53 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mitt Romney also gets flustered when asked why he won't release a good amount of tax returns like other candidates for president do. Or when he is asked about his offshore accounts, and how there is almost no way he didn't get tax breaks as a result.
posted by cashman at 10:53 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


BobbyVan: “I think his exchange with Paul Ryan at the Blair House on health care is a good example of this. Ryan takes apart the President's health care plan with facts and statistics, and Obama responds rather weakly by saying "there are disagreements about the numbers" and totally avoids the substance of Ryan's critique by claiming that he doesn't want to get "bogged down" with details. Much of the remainder of his response is a defensive dodge, addressing Medicare Advantage and not Ryan's argument about the President's health care bill.”

This isn't "facts and figures." It's rambling, and it roams from a few numbers about the Senate bill (not "the President's health care plan" – Paul claims the Senate bill is "similar" and then goes on to talk as though they're exactly the same thing) to deeper issues about whether "the American people" want "a government takeover of health care." The latter, which constitutes the bulk of Ryan's question, is not a factual discussion; it is (quite frankly) a discussion laden with inflammatory posturing and deceptive phrases like "government takeover."

This guarantees that Obama's answer has to be abstract. And as Obama says at the beginning of his answer, there are significant disagreements about the numbers that Ryan quotes – numbers which are, in my view, entirely unreliable and not applicable to the bill in question.

More to the point, there is clearly no point at which Obama acts as though he's "flustered." If you see flustered there, you haven't watched many politicians before. One can claim that Obama is totally dodging the question, and that's fair (even if I disagree with it) but he does it confidently.
posted by koeselitz at 10:54 AM on October 3, 2012 [15 favorites]


Mitt Romney's head could fall off halfway through the debate, and as it rolls across the stage splashing gore on a horrified crowd Fox News will be be declaring him the winner based on his bold new approach to self-decapitation.

I predict a boring evening of predictable sound bites confirming my pre-existing prejudices.

Fortunately, I have beer!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:55 AM on October 3, 2012 [14 favorites]


Oh, that's good, Whelk:

Jim Lehrer: Final statement, Governor Romney?
MITT ROMNEY: WILL I DREAM
posted by boo_radley at 10:56 AM on October 3, 2012 [37 favorites]


I don't think Obama is going to go on the attack. He has no reason to. He's winning.

Yeah, I can't really imagine Obama going into attack mode here, either. And not just because he's winning; it's sort of his whole raison d'etre to be the cool cucumber in the midst of a debate. It's likely his responses will be impassioned, but not fighty. Romney's camp, by contrast, have already said that Mitt intends to be more aggressive. As easily as Mitt gets all blithery and uncomfortable any time speaking off the cuff is required, it will likely be a somewhat dull affair to see Obama respond to him. The least ABC could do was hire Ashton Kutcher to stand off-stage and yell "BURRRN!" every now and then.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:56 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just hope that people keep pumping nickels into the Romney Mechanical Turk so he doesn't seize up mid sentence.

I've said this before: He slowly winds down like HAL dying in mid-speech


His head makes one complete revolution just before that happens.
posted by Phyllis Harmonic at 10:56 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


What I would give anything for is a few inspired questions, ones that they can not give canned speech answers to.

"The US government has a complex and archaic structure for interacting with its Native American population. What works? What doesn't? What would you change?"

"This has happened to you many times in your life. A person on the street asks you for money. What is your response? And why?"
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:57 AM on October 3, 2012 [25 favorites]


Also, I remember watching that hearing that was linked, when it was happening. Barack was facilitating the meeting, and working with Republicans. It wasn't a debate. It was a place to get things done and solved, not to shout down Paul Ryan or eviscerate the points he made during 6 straight minutes of speaking.

And regardless, Obama goes into the details and talks about the purposes of the program. It's a great example of facilitating a meeting and trying to find agreement with people in the opposing party. And you finding that as a moment of weakness, is telling. As Jon Stewart said - you're hurting our country. Government representatives are supposed to work together when they disagree (but need to come to an agreement to get things done), and that was a moment of facilitation.
posted by cashman at 10:59 AM on October 3, 2012 [22 favorites]


Allow me to express my sincere doubt that Romney can go 'on the offensive' without saying something ...offensive.
posted by obscurator at 10:59 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


"An out-of-control train is hurtling towards a group of people, and the only way to stop it is to push a man next to you onto the track ..."

"Beatles or Stones, and why?"

"What is best in life?"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:59 AM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Romney has two possible strategies. One would be to come out and completely dazzle. Not necessarily in terms of personal charm, but in laying out a complete budget/healthcare plan. Actually show the business acumen he keeps claiming. Obama's lead is small enough that such a move, if it resonates, could actually turn things around on him. The other is to go on all-out attack and hope to win the public impression that way.

The problem with the second strategy is that Obama, as the current leader, will be completely unwilling to join a heated argument. The problem with the first strategy is that if Romney could do any of that stuff he wouldn't have waited for October.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:00 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama has the luxury of a lead; he will almost certainly try and get Romney so aggressive that he starts to drift away from looking presidential. Amusingly enough, it's exactly the game Romney played during the primaries. Obama has more to lose and the Angry Black Man thing to fight against, so it's hard to see what the advantage is for him in being the risk-taker.
posted by jaduncan at 11:00 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Right now in a secret bunker: Romney Training Montage!
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:01 AM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


I think his exchange with Paul Ryan at the Blair House on health care is a good example of this. Ryan takes apart the President's health care plan with facts and statistics, and Obama responds rather weakly by saying "there are disagreements about the numbers" and totally avoids the substance of Ryan's critique by claiming that he doesn't want to get "bogged down" with details. Much of the remainder of his response is a defensive dodge, addressing Medicare Advantage and not Ryan's argument about the President's health care bill.

Hilariously, almost every site that links to this video is from the Breitbart and right-wing bloggers fist-pumping how Ryan flustered Obama for all of 5 seconds, so way to go on following the talking points.

As for the substance, disregarding the problem for Mitt Romney in that he is neither as good with numbers nor as personable as Ryan, much of the gist of the argument was about Medicare and bluster about evil gubmint takeovers. So talking about Medicare Advantage isn't necessarily a dodge. And despite the fact that Obama says he doesn't want to get into the numbers, within a minute or two, that's exactly what he does.

And let's not forget that at the time, Ryan's plan wasn't getting mainstream Americans' attention. Now that it has, they really really don't like it, at least not outside the hardcore GOP base. So much so, that when pressed on it, Romney had to say that the Ryan plan wasn't the Romney plan (although that was a blatant lie). And unless he's come up with an entirely new tax plan, one that isn't scored by everyone but his campaign staff to massively jack up taxes on the lower and middle classes while slashing the taxes on top earners, I'm not sure where he's going to come up with a good economic argument without straight-up lying, which I don't see scoring him any points, rhetorical or otherwise.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:03 AM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


BobbyVan: "I think his exchange with Paul Ryan at the Blair House on health care yt is a good example of this."

In addition to endorsing koeselitz's comment that Obama was in no way flustered at any point during that video, I'd like to point out that Paul Ryan had the same "half a trillion" (actually $716 billion) in "cuts" to Medicare in his own budget. Talking about "raiding" a trust fund in the context of the federal budget is an old Republican trick, because though most funding programs like Social Security and Medicare come from dedicated taxes, they are not required to be firewalled from the federal budget, and since money is fungible, what really matters is the total funding for the program, not which revenue stream it comes from.

Ryan's complaint about a bill that the CBO couldn't score is particularly rich in light of how he instructed the CBO to look at his budget without detailing how he'd make the numbers add up.

The thing about these cuts is that they’re not really thought through. Ryan hasn’t said which programs they’ll hit. And he doesn’t have some theory about how we can spend less and get more, as he does for Medicare with his voucher plan. He’s just slashing things to make his numbers add up. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities ran the numbers and said two-thirds of Ryan’s cuts will end up falling on programs for the poor.

The reason he’s got to do that is that Ryan doesn’t raise taxes. But here’s the magic trick of Ryan’s budget, and this is really important. Ryan extends all the Bush tax cuts, and then he adds a bunch of new tax cuts costing more than $4.5 trillion. So how does he pay for them?

He doesn’t. But he told Congress’s budget guys to assume he’d figure out how to pay for them later. To pay for those, you’d need to eliminate almost everything else in the tax code — the home mortgage interest deduction, the Child Tax Credit, the deduction for state and local taxes, most all of it. Ryan hasn’t named one that he’d eliminate. So there’s a mystery $4.5 trillion in tax increases sitting at the center of Ryan’s budget promises.

So every time you see anyone say that Ryan’s budget reduces the debt, they’re assuming he really will find some way to pay for his tax cuts. If he doesn’t, then his plan blows a multitrillion dollar hole in the budget, even after cutting all that spending.
But I should know better than to let the facts get in the way of a good story.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:03 AM on October 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


This guarantees that Obama's answer has to be abstract. And as Obama says at the beginning of his answer, there are significant disagreements about the numbers that Ryan quotes – numbers which are, in my view, entirely unreliable and not applicable to the bill in question.

Exactly -- Obama refuses to concede Ryan's premise, and given that the latter dishonestly describes a health reform plan that originated with the American Enterprise Institute as a "government takeover," he's right to do so. (I'll admit that one well might be flustered at the breaqthtaking dishonesty of Republican operatives during the health care debate, but that's another issue, and anyway Obama didn't seem so.)

And yet, simply by refusing to accept false Republican premises, it's Obama who's labeled as "uncivil" and "divisive."

All of which whining, really, is an admission that Ryan's little speech doesn't stand on its merits.
posted by Gelatin at 11:03 AM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


In an interesting third-party twist, Democracy Now! will be live-broadcasting an "expanded debate" containing equal-time responses from Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson alongside the two major-party candidates.

Oh for fuck's sake.

I have the exact same chance of being elected president as either of the two of them and will receive the exact same percentage of the popular vote as them on Election Day, factoring in a 2% margin of error. Yet somehow my cries of injustice that I am also not given free time to discuss my thoughts on Presidential policy with the only two people on earth who will have the possibility to actually enact Presidential policy in January go unjustly ignored. Shame. SHAME, I say!
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:06 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Foosnark: I might watch the Democracy Now version though, with Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson.

Yeah, me too. Either that, or I run down the street yelling whatacrock at the top of my lungs.

Okay, wait. I gottabetteridea.

No debate. They play cribbage. Lehrer handles the cards. If Obama wins I vote for him. If Romney wins, I vote for Obama.
posted by mule98J at 11:07 AM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


God. I just realised I need to wake up at 3am, not 4am.

Iamkimiam, London is five hours ahead of ET, no? So you'll need to get up at 2am to see a debate that begins at 9pm ET, unless I'm being stupid about this for some reason. (I was already thinking about this because I had to call London earlier today.)
posted by Mothlight at 11:09 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


In the opposite universe, Obama is always flustered. Also wears a goatee. Still fucking sexy as hell.
posted by angrycat at 11:09 AM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I remember I mentioned it somewhere during the Republican debates, but really there isn't any reason why we can't have some live fact checking during the debates. Before asking a question to the candidate, the moderator can list all of the things that the candidate said in his last answer that were wrong. (My other suggestion for the primary debates, waterboarding the candidates before asking them the questions, doesn't really apply as well here).

Alternate debate suggestion, since we've given up on substance in debates anyway, is to lock someone in a room and make them think they're doing a Turing test when instead they are actually asking the debate questions. My prediction is that both candidates would be ruled to be computers.
posted by ckape at 11:14 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Forgive me if this has already been voiced in the above comments)

Unless Mitt Romney faints, vomits or otherwise physically melts down on stage, the media will be all atwitter about how well he did and how this changes the race. It is in the media's best interest. Romney has done them the favor of having a craptastic, self-inflicted-woundfest of a September, but this only adds to the drama of a surprising reversal... and so that's what we will be told will happen.

It hardly matters what they say. It hardly matters which of them actually does well. The media machine (regardless of its leanings) needs the drama, and so the machine will create it.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:16 AM on October 3, 2012 [27 favorites]


OMG Jim Lehrer, with his big brown button teddy bear eyes. I love him.

Wow. Never really thought of the country's most respected news person and it's widely recognized, if unofficial, Dean of Journalism and ex-marine as a teddy bear with "big brown button eyes," but I think you're totally right...

He's a bit of hero of mine, mostly because he's so imminently professional, but also because he knows when he's hit a nerve and it's time to probe a bit, and I'm really hoping he gives Romster enough time and enough angles of gentle encouragement with follow-up questions about his "47%" comment to basically allow the man to self-combust once in for all tonight and supernova himself spectacularly as a lesson for one and all on the dangers of vanity, vapidity, self-absorption, hubris and mistaking wealth for inner wisdom or leadership skills.
posted by Skygazer at 11:18 AM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Iamkimiam, London is five hours ahead of ET, no? So you'll need to get up at 2am to see a debate that begins at 9pm ET

Correct. It's 02:00 UK time.
posted by jaduncan at 11:19 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


DreamLehrer: You’re in a desert walking along in the sand when all of the sudden you look down, and you see a tortoise, it’s crawling toward you. You reach down, you flip the tortoise over on its back. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t, not without your help. But you’re not helping. Why is that?

But it'll never happen, as the Voight-Kampff test would be decried for being biased against replicants.
posted by frimble at 11:21 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I remember I mentioned it somewhere during the Republican debates, but really there isn't any reason why we can't have some live fact checking during the debates.

Honestly, I would like if they just put the full text of the question on the screen as each candidate answers.
posted by spaltavian at 11:21 AM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


I don't know if this is really a good article or not, but I think it solidified in my head the underlying philosophies on either side. It also makes me a bit more enthusiastic about voting for Obama as it reminds me that the jobs issue is about demand and not supply.
posted by charred husk at 11:22 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney spikes to 29.1% on Intrade!
posted by Theta States at 11:22 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


As an Obama fan, I'm okay with the idea that the media may spin things in Romney's favor no matter what, to heighten the drama of the horse race. It will drive me nuts and force me to change channels during the news lest my mood be ruined, but it will probably also help keep me, and others like me, from getting too complacent about Obama's chances in the election.

I think democratic turn out will be higher if the election looks likely to be reasonably close than if Romney continues to look so politically weak. His perceived non-threatening-ness might be one of his biggest assets at this point, suppressing turn out among his opposition. So, okay, let the media play up his chances, and fire up his opposition.
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:23 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama gets flustered when he begins to doubt that he's the smartest man in the room.

That's bullshit. I don't particularly like his record, but I have never once seen him get flustered. Not even with Ryan's proposal. Citation please.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:23 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Lehrer: The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping. Why is that, Mitt?
posted by entropicamericana at 11:24 AM on October 3, 2012 [14 favorites]


Beaten by frimble, blast it!
posted by entropicamericana at 11:25 AM on October 3, 2012


That's bullshit. I don't particularly like his record, but I have never once seen him get flustered.

Yeah, his MO is to be chilled so the other person turns up the volume and looks unreasonable.
posted by jaduncan at 11:25 AM on October 3, 2012


Obama gets flustered when he begins to doubt that he's the smartest man in the room.

I'm seconding B. Pileon. That's a load of horse-pucky. Obama simply does not do "flustered."
posted by Skygazer at 11:26 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think his exchange with Paul Ryan at the Blair House on health care is a good example of this. Ryan takes apart the President's health care plan with facts and statistics, and Obama responds rather weakly by saying "there are disagreements about the numbers" and totally avoids the substance of Ryan's critique by claiming that he doesn't want to get "bogged down" with details. Much of the remainder of his response is a defensive dodge, addressing Medicare Advantage and not Ryan's argument about the President's health care bill.

In the video Paul Ryan said, "This bill does not reduce deficits." That's not a fact. You are confusing facts and statistics with things you happen to agree with. Obama said that he had a different view on the numbers because there are different views on the numbers, and those differences remain:
In a new study, Chuck Blahous, who is a public trustee for Medicare and Social Security, concludes that the 2010 health law will add at least $340 billion to the federal deficit from 2012-2021. This is contrary to the official estimates by the Congressional Budget Office, which initially figured the Affordable Care Act would reduce the deficit by about $132 billion from 2012-2019.
Paul goes on further to say that the big difference between his party and the President is that "We don't want government to be in control of all of this. We want people to be in control of all of this."

Unless, of course, those people elect politicians who promise to introduce health care reform.

That's my basic problem with the Romney/Ryan ticket. They campaign under the idea that they are the defenders of freedom, but when you look at their record, they defend private wealth and power, period. Instead of being conservative on tax policy, including rolling back the tax breaks for the wealthy that we can no longer afford, they are staunchly set against any tax increases for the wealthy. They oppose reductions in "defense" spending. The are only conservative about money when that money goes to help anyone they don't approve of. Take a look for yourself:
In 2001, Ryan led a coterie of conservatives who complained that George W. Bush’s $1.2 trillion tax cut was too small, and too focused on the middle class. In 2003, he lobbied Republicans to pass Bush’s deficit-­financed prescription-drug benefit, which bestowed huge profits on the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. In 2005, when Bush campaigned to introduce private accounts into Social Security, Ryan fervently crusaded for the concept. He was the sponsor in the House of a bill to create new private accounts funded entirely by borrowing, with no benefit cuts. Ryan’s plan was so staggeringly profligate, entailing more than $2 trillion in new debt over the first decade alone, that even the Bush administration opposed it as “irresponsible.”
Romney's record surely doesn't need an accounting, but if you've been living under his car elevator for the last ten years, I can provide more detail about his unwavering support for all Americans who are exactly like himself.

The bottom line is that claiming to state facts and actually stating facts are not the same thing, especially concerning Paul Ryan. I'll give him credit for at least reading bills, but let's leave the parades of adoration for the day when he understands them.
posted by deanklear at 11:28 AM on October 3, 2012 [19 favorites]


Things would have to be vastly worse for Obama to be in danger of losing it. He may get cocky, he may come off as too cerebral or arrogant or whatever, but an Obama meltdown/tantrum/ragefest would indeed be a genuine shocker, and only a fool would put money on that.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:29 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, if Lehrer were to get all Paxman during the debate and keep repeating the Voight-Kampff question until he got a straight answer or Romney walked out, it would be one of the most gorgeous TV moments ever.
posted by frimble at 11:29 AM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Guys, he would say, well, of COURSE I would turn the turtle over and that's what the churches do, turn turtles over, but why did the turtle get on its back in the first place? ENTITLEMENT CULTURE OF DEPENDENCIES TEACH A MAN TO FISH BUT DON'T FEED THE FISH
posted by angrycat at 11:32 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm fine with the debate format. Because if you have watched the "debates" on the Sunday morning talk shows, you know that just because people are live, with questions coming at them they don't know in advance - it means nothing.

They still give non-answers, turn everything to what they want to say, misstate and mischaracterize the opposition, and just run out the clock until the host has to move on to the next question that will be not-answered.

It is infuriating.

There is no way we can have a debate in the society we live in because someone aside from the debate participants will always go the low, cheap, easy route. I wish we could have a real debate. I mean how is it that you have NFL games that last 4 hours easily, preceded by 4 hours of actual analysis and stories, and followed by an hour or two of breakdown, but we're choosing a president and it's only 90 minutes long.

It should be an all-day event, like a retreat. Like a planning session. The candidates should go through everything point by point. With Cameras on them, they should have the internet and an agenda, and they should source their statements and fact check things and actually do a thorough review of "women's issues", the environment, health care, the economy, national security and war, race relations - everything. And the entire month of October should be that.

In America, sometimes it just feels like we're in a toy society. A bunch of children afraid to get serious and work on things in a way that results in a largely stable society where things make sense.
posted by cashman at 11:32 AM on October 3, 2012 [42 favorites]


My debate fantasy: Match Game format!

"Inflation has finally hit Fairy Land. Times are so bad, that the Little Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe just had to move into a ______."
posted by Room 641-A at 11:32 AM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


They still give non-answers, turn everything to what they want to say, misstate and mischaracterize the opposition, and just run out the clock until the host has to move on to the next question that will be not-answered.

And that's why, today, I give myself a moment to mourn the loss of Governor Perry from this race. A candidate who shows up to a debate a little buzzed is a leader who knows what makes good live television.
posted by gladly at 11:34 AM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


his refusal to let even the most dire situation unnerve him

There was a piece in the Sunday New York Times a ways back about Obama's childhood in Jakarta, and how badly he was teased for being foreign, mixed race, not muslim. I can't remember now whether it was explicitly stated in the article, or a comment from mr. ambrosia (who lived in Indonesia for a while), that it's really important in Indonesian culture to never lose your cool. No matter how angry or upset you are, showing it is a terrible loss of face. That's why we see him as unflappable: he learned at an early age never to give them the satisfaction of pissing you off.
posted by ambrosia at 11:35 AM on October 3, 2012 [21 favorites]


Instead of being conservative on tax policy, including rolling back the tax breaks for the wealthy that we can no longer afford, they are staunchly set against any tax increases for the wealthy.

That'd be bad enough, but they actually favor further tax cuts for the wealthy.
posted by Gelatin at 11:37 AM on October 3, 2012


Obama also devotes time in his autobiography to how cool and unflappable his Indonesian step-father was.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:38 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dawson/Reilly in 2016!

Sure they're dead, but they're still more fun than the Republicans.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:38 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


humans are pack animals, politics is just a substitute for sniffing behinds and biting throats. We repeat the attack lines often times with minimal thought because the pack does
posted by edgeways at 11:39 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


the country's most respected news person and it's widely recognized, if unofficial, Dean of Journalism

I wouldn't contest this characterization, but, weirdly, I still think of him as Robert MacNeil's sidekick.

Democracy Now! will air the debate, pausing after questions to include equal time responses from two presidential contenders who were shut out of the official debate: Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party.

Really, anyone can join the debate. Just pause after each question and deliver your answer.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:39 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


No debate. They play cribbage. Lehrer handles the cards.

Obama: Look. That's 15-2, 15-4, 15-6, 15-8, run for 3, another run for 3, another run for 3, and a double for 2.

Romney: His nobs.
posted by Beardman at 11:39 AM on October 3, 2012 [10 favorites]


Right now in a secret bunker: Romney Training Montage!

Right now in a secret bunker: Romney Training Reprogramming Montage!

very concerned looking nerds with laptops connected to Romneybot with cables while guys in suits in the background rack the slides and fill the magazines on their sidearms
posted by ninjew at 11:39 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


very concerned looking nerds with laptops connected to Romneybot with cables while guys in suits in the background rack the slides and fill the magazines on their sidearms

And one...just one at the back with a sinking feeling thinking that they should really have updated him from Windows 98.
posted by jaduncan at 11:42 AM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I still think of him as Robert MacNeil's sidekick.

Me too! Calling the PBS news program: The Newshour, with Jim Lehrer, has never flown off the tongue as elegantly or happily, as The McNeil-Lehrer Newhour.

Even if McNeil is still present in the deep background as executive producer. (I believe that's his title?)
posted by Skygazer at 11:43 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


No matter how angry or upset you are, showing it is a terrible loss of face. That's why we see him as unflappable: he learned at an early age never to give them the satisfaction of pissing you off.

Yeah, they tell you that over and over again in teacher credentialing classes: never let students see you upset, 'cause it gives them the power and lets them feel like they've won, etc. In general I'd say this is good advice, but sometimes you run into students who honestly think you don't care about their behavior--or about them as people--until you get upset at them.

Lotta mixed expectations in the world.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:43 AM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


cashman: Your last line from that comment is absolute gold and sums up a key aspect of the experience of living in America better than I've seen before. The really frustrating thing is that there are a ton of people working their damnedest to do grownup things within American political culture, and it's hard to tell exactly who's to blame for the dangerously childish mode we're forced to operate in. I want to jump up and down and shout media media IT'S THE MEDIA OUR MEDIA ARE CAUSING THIS, but it's never quite so simple as all that -- and it's been this way all the way through at least one major shift1 in how our media works.


1: I'm convinced television will be almost completely irrelevant in 2020 at the latest (or rather, that the broadcast aspect of television will become more and more of a retro appendix associated with a few major websites)... but I'm also convinced that our media in 2020 will be nearly as stupid as our media today, unless the global climate disaster forces us to stop paying attention to the awkward mix of lullabies and horror stories we're getting today and forces us to engage with reality.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:45 AM on October 3, 2012


I am having the hardest time not trying to reconstruct that cribbage hand from the information we've been given...

[on edit: wait, can it work? how do you get three runs and only one pair? wouldn't you have to have a triplet?]
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:47 AM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Matt Taibbi: "This presidential race should never have been this close. [...] Romney is an almost perfect amalgam of all the great out-of-touch douchebags of our national cinema: he's Gregg Marmalaard from Animal House mixed with Billy Zane's sneering, tux-wearing Cal character in Titanic to pussy-ass Prince Humperdinck to Roy Stalin to Gordon Gekko (he's literally Gordon Gekko). He's everything we've been trained to despise, the guy who had everything handed to him, doesn't fight his own battles and insists there's only room in the lifeboat for himself – and yet the Democrats, for some reason, have had terrible trouble beating him in a popularity contest."
posted by daniel_charms at 11:48 AM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Being correct about anything comes off as arrogant to conservatives.

It's their natural cognitive defense mechanism.
posted by Aquaman at 11:50 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


You Can't Tip a Buick: "I am having the hardest time not trying to reconstruct that cribbage hand from the information we've been given...

[on edit: wait, can it work? how do you get three runs and only one pair? wouldn't you have to have a triplet?]
"

The hand, having scored 19 points, is apparently impossible. (cite)
posted by boo_radley at 11:52 AM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


You do have to give the Republicans credit for vast improvements on their technology with the Romneybot. Remember that debate between Bush and Kerry where W. had the earpiece and the lump under his jacket?
posted by perhapses at 11:53 AM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


We are an enigma, wrapped in mystery, infatuated with electronic communication devices.
posted by mmrtnt at 11:54 AM on October 3, 2012


Matt Taibbi is a terrible writer. Romeny is really none of those things; in terms of public persona he's stiff and awkward; a Republican John Kerry, in essense. It's only quite recently that his ugly side what displayed to everyone and his popularity has directly suffered, negativing Taibbi's over-heated thesis.

The election is close because the economy is terrible. It's Obama's strengths, Romney weaknesses and memory of the Bush catastrophe that have made this Obama's election to loose. Taibbi is petulant because he doesn't understand why his personal distaste for Romney isn't the default feeling of everyone else.
posted by spaltavian at 11:55 AM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


NYT should have given Romney red hands, let Obama keep the blue hands:

What Romney and Obama’s Body Language Says to Voters
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:57 AM on October 3, 2012


Dear You Can't Tip A Buick and boo_radley, it makes me feel much better to realize I wasn't the only one to look at that count, try to reconstruct in my head, and go "hey waitagoshdarnminute..."
posted by Tknophobia at 11:59 AM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thank you for this FPP ... now our browsers get some relief!
posted by ericb at 12:03 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama gets flustered when he begins to doubt that he's the smartest man in the room.

Must be on the Republican Talking Points list for today! As always, not based in reality.
posted by ericb at 12:06 PM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


In an interesting third-party twist, Democracy Now! will be live-broadcasting an "expanded debate" containing equal-time responses from Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson alongside the two major-party candidates.

Oh for fuck's sake.

I have the exact same chance of being elected president as either of the two of them and will receive the exact same percentage of the popular vote as them on Election Day, factoring in a 2% margin of error. Yet somehow my cries of injustice that I am also not given free time to discuss my thoughts on Presidential policy with the only two people on earth who will have the possibility to actually enact Presidential policy in January go unjustly ignored.


The two people actually on the stage will be able to dodge the questions asked because there won't be another candidate up there willing to actually answer the questions.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 12:08 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


The two people actually on the stage will be able to dodge the questions asked because there won't be another candidate up there willing to actually answer the questions.

Woosh!
posted by zombieflanders at 12:08 PM on October 3, 2012


ericb:
"Thank you for this FPP ... now our browsers get some relief!"
The debate isn't on for another six hours and this post has picked up over 200 comments in the last two. Your browser will be in tears again before the night is over.
posted by charred husk at 12:10 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am part of the problem!
posted by Mister_A at 12:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yet somehow my cries of injustice that I am also not given free time to discuss my thoughts on Presidential policy with the only two people on earth who will have the possibility to actually enact Presidential policy in January go unjustly ignored.

I have no idea what you are whining about. Demands from third parties for inclusion (ed.) in the electoral process are ALWAYS ignored.

You think that giving third-party candidates a outlet on Democracy Now is some sort of injustice?!?!?! What on fuck has Nader Scapegoating wrought?
posted by mrgrimm at 12:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Whelk: I'm waiting for the Veep debates I mean c'mon Smug, Petulant Teen Frankenstein VS. Everyone's Favorite Uncle!
I'll be disappointed is Biden doesn't take off his shirt and start at Ryan with, "Come at me, Bro!"
posted by ob1quixote at 12:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Speaking as a Canadian, here are two ways your debates could be made more interesting.

1) Add a Spanish language debate. I've noticed that seeing candidates debate in something other than their first language often reveals a lot about their character and the way they think. Take Gilles Duceppe, who typically presented himself as a firebrand true believer in the French debates and a detached ironist in English.

2) Go multipartisan. Minor party leaders have less to lose, so they tend to be far more aggressive and interesting. Nobody pushed Stephen Harper harder on Canada's involvement in the Afghanistan war than Green Party leader Elizabeth May. Jill Stein and Gary Johnson aren't going to get many votes, but they could force the big two to answer some uncomfortable questions if they had the chance.

I'm aware that there is zero chance of either of these happening in America.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


The hand, having scored 19 points, is apparently impossible.

You guys, these are the kind of gotcha questions that make Americans lose faith in politics.
posted by Beardman at 12:18 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Tonight a white man and a black man are fighting over who will become President. The black man is winning. I don't see this happening in Europe or China or India in the next 20-50 years. Not even in South America.
posted by deo rei at 12:18 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Fred Barnes, Mine Canary
[H]e’s just not the kind of guy who is likely to lob grenades into his “own” camp. And as recently as September 24, he was penning a column blaming Obama’s lead mostly on media bias and the power of incumbency.

His latest essay is a pretty clear sign that if Romney plays small-ball tonight, and it doesn't work, the entire conservative media universe is going to start preparing itself to blame Mitt for an eventual loss due to his stubborn refusal to run as an updated version of Barry Goldwater. When you are a Republican presidential candidate and you lose Fred Barnes, you better hope you know something he doesn't know.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:20 PM on October 3, 2012


When I think of Jim Lehrer, I don't think of bears OR deans, I think of birthday cakes.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:21 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Somehow, I just can't imagine Romney speaking Spanish. I mean I can't formulate a mental movie of it.
posted by angrycat at 12:22 PM on October 3, 2012


Note: In Canada the debates do matter. Jack Layton crushed Gilles Duceppe in the French language debate in the last election by arguing (apparently successfully) that a nationwide leftist party could represent Quebecois values better than a literally provincial leftist/sovereigntist party. The debate shifted the election results by dozens of seats and made the socialist NDP our official opposition.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:23 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Here's something interesting, if people have the stomach for it – the full debates between Ted Kennedy and Mitt Romney in 1994. Debate 1 / Debate 2. This was Romney up against an incumbent, making a lot of the arguments he's making now: the incumbent has had a chance but it's time to try something else, etc.

In my opinion, Romney's shining moment was his rebuff of Kennedy in the midst of a discussion of crime. Kennedy brings up gun control, apparently because it's a good way to change the subject and to refer to his brother John's assassination:

Kennedy: "... let's hear on those three issues where you stand about guns. I'm not yielding to anyone about guns in our society. I know enough about them, Mr Romney."

Romney: "You do know enough about it, Senator – we've heard that before. That's the last resort each time this question comes up. But it's not necessary here. The question was..."

It seems like, if Romney's prepped for certain lines of attack, he can handle them well. I don't know that there are any easy lines of attack here, though – that is, I think Obama's people are pretty good at mixing it up and not relying on the same tactics over and over again the way that a Senator might have had to in debates.
posted by koeselitz at 12:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


ob1quixote: "I'll be disappointed is Biden doesn't take off his shirt and start at Ryan with, "Come at me, Bro!""

Biden cracks a beer, hands it to Ryan. Ryan looks at it, unsure of what to do. They sit on the back porch. Biden squints at the sunset, dipping over a stand of trees. "Hard time out there with the big guy, I'm guessing?". Ryan sips at the beer, nods unsteadily as his eyes become bright and shiny. He remains composed, though. "It can be hard, champ", Biden says. He claps the younger man on the back. The cicadas start whirring as twilight falls. "It can be hard."
posted by boo_radley at 12:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [39 favorites]


Honestly, I see Romney more as a Lundburgh archetype than a Gordon Gekko. Ah yeah, we're ah, gonna need you to go ahead and give up your dependency culture here. Go ahead and be a team player.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


We have friends that share an apartment with Jill Stein's son, and they really want her to win so they can have Secret Service protection.

If Romney wins, I expect him to knock down the White House so he can build a bigger mansion on top of the remains, something with an elevator for his many Cadillacs.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:26 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I still think of him as Robert MacNeil's sidekick.

Me too! Calling the PBS news program: The Newshour, with Jim Lehrer, has never flown off the tongue as elegantly or happily, as The McNeil-Lehrer Newhour.


You'll perhaps be pleased to know that since the various format changes and de-emphasis on Lehrer as a sole anchor it's now just PBS Newshour. (I admit I occasionally refer to PBS news as "MacNeil-Lehrer" too.)
posted by aught at 12:31 PM on October 3, 2012


Unless Mitt Romney faints, vomits or otherwise physically melts down on stage, the media will be all atwitter about how well he did and how this changes the race...
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:16 AM on October 3 [+] [!]


Exactly. I predict the first words out of the mouth of whichever talking head gets the first post-debate word will be "Mitt Romney came out and did what he had to do tonight." And then some stuff about how he proved he could "stand toe-to-toe with the president" and debate the issues without getting flustered. Oh, also about how one or another of his quips (or "zingers", as we've decided to call them) showed a more "human side" of the challenger. And, of course, the obligatory closer: "Hold onto your hats, folks, this race just got a whole lot more interesting!"
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:37 PM on October 3, 2012 [18 favorites]


So basically Barack Obama wasn't satisfied with playing 12-dimensional chess and decided to start playing impossible cribbage too?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:38 PM on October 3, 2012 [22 favorites]


In my opinion, Romney's shining moment was his rebuff of Kennedy in the midst of a discussion of crime. Kennedy brings up gun control, apparently because it's a good way to change the subject and to refer to his brother John's assassination

It's probably an understatement to say that there's a big difference between the debate styles of Ted Kennedy and Barack Obama.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:39 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


@deo rei inre a sampling of racial diversity among past & present presidents/prime ministers in South America

Leonel Fernandez Reyna, afrodominican, President, Dominican Republic
Juan Evo Morales Ayma, Native Aymara, President, Bolivia
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Indo-Trinidadian, Prime Minister, Trinidad&Tobago
and of course, there's the ultimate mestizo, Venezuela's Hugo Chávez
posted by liza at 12:41 PM on October 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


So basically Barack Obama wasn't satisfied with playing 12-dimensional chess and decided to start playing impossible cribbage too?

I think you mean Creebage.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:41 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Tonight a white man and a black man are fighting for a chance to become President. The black man is winning. I don't see this happening in Europe or China or India in the next 20-50 years. Not even in South America.

Yeah, the hell with all those women Prime Ministers!
posted by alex_skazat at 12:41 PM on October 3, 2012 [16 favorites]


As far as debates mattering or not, I think the Bush/Gore debate changed a lot of minds. Gore whupped up on Bush, and went a long way towards not appearing like an animate log.

It wasn't enough, of course, but I think it made an impact.


From the mega-thread (courtesy of Secret Life of Gravy):

Mother Jones: News coverage of the debates matters more than the debates themselves
Test subjects who just watched the debate itself thought Kerry won in a landslide. Test subjects who watched the debate plus 20 minutes of analysis on NBC thought Bush won in a landslide. And test subjects who watched the debate plus 20 minutes of CNN commentary were more likely to think that neither candidate won. Obviously public perception of a debate can depend pretty heavily on the spin given to it afterward by the news coverage.
Whoever spins last wins.


Atom Eyes: I predict the first words out of the mouth of whichever talking head gets the first post-debate word will be "Mitt Romney came out and did what he had to do tonight."

I initially rejected the Think_Long's notion that the presidential debates are treated like "a big fricking football game," until I read Atomic Eyes' comment, and realized it was true.

"His head was in the game, and he pushed where he could, and stood his ground. He played the game as best he could." -- It could be about sports or the debate. It's empty talk, trying to make up something quickly to say about a vanilla debate. Things only get interesting A) once there is more detailed criticism of the debate, or B) if someone says or does something really dumb.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have the exact same chance of being elected president as either [Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson] and will receive the exact same percentage of the popular vote as them on Election Day, factoring in a 2% margin of error. Yet somehow my cries of injustice that I am also not given free time to discuss my thoughts on Presidential policy with the only two people on earth who will have the possibility to actually enact Presidential policy in January go unjustly ignored. Shame. SHAME, I say!

"Exigology (noun): A statement whose converse is its own explanation."
posted by invitapriore at 12:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


What Romney needs to win this thing is some sort of image makeover. A new look perhaps...
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:44 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


If I was king of the world, well, first, we wouldn't be having debates or elections, but assuming I had granted some sort of dispensation, I'd love to see how either Obama or Romney fared against Deep Blue. If it can beat Ken Jennings, it may have some real answers that the American people need to hear! (In the form of a question.)
posted by klangklangston at 12:45 PM on October 3, 2012


Because the debates themselves are not much more than a beauty contest held on a tightrope where each contestant must smile sweetly while maintaining their balance.

Jim Lehrer:
Governor Romney, during this campaign we have heard very little to none of your plans for reforming education in this country. Along those lines, why do you think one-fifth of Americans can't locate the United States on a map?
Governor Romney:
I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don't have maps and uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, in South Africa, and uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uhhh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for us.
Mr Lehrer: Mr. President, your rebuttal.

President Obama:
That's an easy one. Homeschooling with text books which devalue science, geography, and other important subjects. Oh, and the fact that many in the Tea/Republican party consider a college education to be only for snobs!
posted by ericb at 12:47 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


What Romney needs to win this thing is some sort of image makeover. A new look perhaps...

I'm Mitt Rom Burgundy?
posted by zombieflanders at 12:49 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


billyfleetwood: "What Romney needs to win this thing is some sort of image makeover. A new look perhaps..."

Que es mas macho? Obama? O Romney?
posted by boo_radley at 12:49 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Somehow, I just can't imagine Romney speaking Spanish. I mean I can't formulate a mental movie of it"

Apparently he knows how to say "I'm a big fan of vagina." but the Fidel Castro language tapes aren't really helping.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:52 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


liza, none of them is "black" in the US sense, i.e. they more or less fit the majority racial profile, granting that in SA it's difficult to say what that is - more prosaically, they are not significantly more dark-skinned than their countrymen, which seems to be the criterion that dooms individuals the world over - you might have mentioned Venetiaan in Surinam as a better example.
posted by deo rei at 12:53 PM on October 3, 2012


"...and yet the Democrats, for some reason, have had terrible trouble beating him in a popularity contest."

Really, Matt? The economy is crap, and yet the incumbent Democratic Party has maintained a consistent lead since the start of the year, which only grew once people started paying attention. And the fact that they are not somehow winning by a larger margin is their fault?

Matt Taibbi has his moments, but when he's not writing about a story that conforms to his particular worldview, he's patently awful. He's like Tucker Carlson with better reporting skills and profanity.
posted by breakin' the law at 12:57 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


none of them is "black" in the US sense

But you have to change your frame of reference to fit the country. Go look at every president of Bolivia prior to Evo Morales, for example, and you will see a string of white men going back to independence.
posted by ambrosia at 12:57 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I hope you all wait until Thursday's Fox and Friends before you come to any conclusions about the debate:

We'll break down the results from the crucial first presidential debate with Ann Coulter, Rick Santorum, Michelle Malkin and Larry the Cable Guy.
posted by Killick at 12:57 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Matt Taibbi has his moments, but when he's not writing about a story that conforms to his particular worldview, he's patently awful. He's like Tucker Carlson with better reporting skills and profanity.

Hmm, I hadn't really thought of this before, but now that you mention the name Tucker, really the person whose writing style Taibbi's reminds me of the most is Tucker Max.

:P
posted by adamdschneider at 12:59 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tonight a white man and a black man are fighting over who will become President. The black man is winning. I don't see this happening in Europe or China or India in the next 20-50 years. Not even in South America.

I will be *very* surprised if the debate ever ends up being a black man and a white man to be President of China.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:00 PM on October 3, 2012 [21 favorites]


Hey, the president of Africa is a black guy.
posted by Mister_A at 1:01 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm looking forward to the moment where Romney calls Obama a liar about something or other, and Obama cuts him off by catching the fly buzzing about with his bare hands.

For those not familiar with this reference here is Obama doing just that in an interview on CNBC (July 2009)
posted by ericb at 1:04 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Tonight a white man and a black man are fighting over who will become President. The black man is winning. I don't see this happening in Europe or China or India in the next 20-50 years. Not even in South America.

I think that America got very, very lucky when Obama was born here. Otherwise we might not have had a black president for another 20 to 50 years.

Now that I have caught up with this thread, I am off to the gym. But when I get back I have cleared the decks and have nothing else to do. I bought the large bottle of Findandia and I have an unopened can of Habanero BBQ almonds. But I do have to pace myself-- I don't want to run out of favorites before the debate even starts.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:10 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


OMFG!!11one

Barak Obama... flyslayer.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:12 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama is touting sequestration as the first step in his budget plan!

And Romney would likely be touting sequestration and dressage for the 1%.
posted by ericb at 1:13 PM on October 3, 2012


File this as a mouse fart of a rumor (being ever so faint), but there is at least some talk that if/when Obama wins Paul Krugman may replace Alan Krueger as the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers.
posted by edgeways at 1:13 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


But you have to change your frame of reference to fit the country.

The countries in South America are somewhat special in the sense that, like in most if not all ex-colonies, the ruling class, esp. the figure-head, is drawn from a minority population. What we see there in the example of eg. Morales is not so much increased acceptance of darker skinned folks, which is at least nominally what's happening in Obama's case - never mind that I know Finns who are darker skinned than he is - but change from minority to majority rule brought about by decolonization, emancipation, self-actualization, etc.
posted by deo rei at 1:16 PM on October 3, 2012


Tonight a white man and a black man are fighting over who will become President. The black man is winning. I don't see this happening in Europe or China or India in the next 20-50 years. Not even in South America.

What an ignorant thing to say. Lets just look at Mexico.

Vicente Guerrero was half Spanish and half African/Amerindian when he was elected president of Mexico in 1829.

Benito Juarez was a full Zapotec indian who was president of Mexico 5 times, elected for the first time in 1858.

If the USA is already behind Mexico at least 150 years. I find it hard to believe there will be a Native American president of the USA in the near future..
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 1:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [14 favorites]


Why the debate is crucial for Obama too by David Gergen

I don't think anyone has posted this link yet. He has an interesting take on the election in that if Obama can win big, he can claim a mandate and use that to progress his second term agenda.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 1:26 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


doroteo, I'm well aware of that, but I think there is a big difference between the examples you mention and the presidency of mr. Obama. These people were simply not significantly more dark skinned than the majority population. But I will grant that the race situation in SA is wonderfully complex and it is my firm hope that SA can help lead the world in exploding the entire notion over the next century.
posted by deo rei at 1:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]



Vicente Guerrero was half Spanish and half African/Amerindian when he was elected president of Mexico in 1829.

Benito Juarez was a full Zapotec indian who was president of Mexico 5 times, elected for the first time in 1858.

If the USA is already behind Mexico at least 150 years. I find it hard to believe there will be a Native American president of the USA in the near future..


That doesn't make any sense. The majority population in those countries are at least mixed-race. Your argument is like saying we're behind China because they had an Asian leader before we did.
posted by spaltavian at 1:31 PM on October 3, 2012


SA has some pretty major governmental systemic problems right now, from lack of textbooks due to apparent kickback schemes to Jacob Zuma's ever long list of potential corruption charges, which just this week includes the story of him diverting 24 million to upgrade his personal private residence.
SA is not, and should not be leading anyone anywhere until it gets it's collective shit together. the ANC has been pretty horrible in a lot of respects.
posted by edgeways at 1:38 PM on October 3, 2012


On lack of preview, deo rei's argument looks a lot better after his clarification, but it still has the lingering smell of American Exceptionalism.

I see some members of currently or formerly oppressed classes doing great in world politics. We have yet to see a viable presidential candidate in the USA who is openly atheist or gay, for example.
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 1:39 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Spaltavian:

I specifically picked Guerrero because there is a tiny minority of African or African/Amerindian people in Mexico. There is also a small minority of full blooded Amerindians. And both classes of people had been considered subhuman up until the 1820s.

The equivalent would be the USA having a black or Native American president 30 years after the emancipation proclamation.
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 1:41 PM on October 3, 2012


This debate will require popcorn coated vicodin.
posted by clavdivs at 1:54 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Britain had a Canadian Prime Minister in the 1920s. I reckon America should try that next.
posted by dng at 1:55 PM on October 3, 2012


How Obama handles discussing Republican obstructionism in Congress will be key. Has to nail that without looking whiney.

And yeah, watching the spin is often more entertaining and ultimately meaningful for end result purposes than watching the debates themselves.
posted by Rumple at 1:57 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just as long as it's not sweater vest Haaaarper
posted by edgeways at 1:58 PM on October 3, 2012


....Mr. Lehrer, the former anchor of “PBS NewsHour,” has been seething. He said he was outraged by suggestions that he was a “safe” and uninspired choice to moderate the first of four debates. And he is offended by reports that questioned whether this — his 12th presidential debate — might be one too many.
posted by mediareport at 2:01 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


i'm happy to learn so many people play cribbage!
posted by sio42 at 2:02 PM on October 3, 2012


Twitter Launches Dedicated Presidential Debate Page -- "Political junkies and first-time debate watchers alike can get the latest punditry and reaction to the first face-off between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney tonight on Twitter's special page."
posted by ericb at 2:03 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


An online metafilter cribbage group would be fun, we're such a thing possible.
posted by Rumple at 2:06 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm trying to picture Jim Lehrer in a seethe, and it just doesn't work. The best Imaginary Jim can manage is an annoyed Colbert Eyebrow.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:09 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Cribbage

Paul Ryan: I got 19
Joe Biden: Bullshit you little weasel, and I got 29
posted by edgeways at 2:10 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


crush up some vicodin nice and fine and sprinkle generously over the popcorn...
posted by supermedusa at 2:10 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


8 memorable moments from Obama and Romney's past debates
posted by zombieflanders at 2:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


The quote that I can't get out of my head from the other thread:

filthy light thief: "Ann clarifies: "Mitt doesn't disdain the poor" The leaked video was all taken out of context.
"Mitt wants to bring better economic oportunities to the country. ... It's what we're facing in America. More and more people will become dependent on the government, and he doesn't want that.

... Women are coming to me. I have a lot of time to talk. They are hoping that Governor Romney will have answers.

[Mitt] doesn't need to do this for a job, he honestly believes he can help many Americans by getting in there... and bring more certainty to women.

The one story I love for people to know... [Mitt visited with a family who had a boy dying of leukemia, and Mitt was there, you know, as a human friend]"

Even Ann seems to feel the need to use the qualifier "human" when referring to her husband.

posted by futz at 2:27 PM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


....Mr. Lehrer, the former anchor of “PBS NewsHour,” has been seething. He said he was outraged by suggestions that he was a “safe” and uninspired choice to moderate the first of four debates. And he is offended

Imagining Lehrer seething is kind of unsettling. I expect he would get a little bit of spittle in the corner of his mouth, his eyes would roll over like a shark's and he would just start wailing on you like "Answer the QUESTIONNNN!".
posted by cashman at 2:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Cribbage is okay but I think euchre is where it's at if we're going to perform a head to head evaluation of the two President/Vice President teams.
posted by Fezboy! at 2:31 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have a little bit of trouble with the notion that the "zingers" stuff is just a smoke screen being put out there to misdirect the Obama campaign. It's not because I think OFA is too smart for it, although they probably are, but just because at this point, it's hard to ascribe intent to what looks like yet another pandering mistake. I think I said something similar before, but it's not like the Romney campaign has been so competently run that a basic mistake like telegraphing that they have a terrible strategy the day before their critical moment is beyond them. Maybe this is just my own partisan bias, but at this point it's just really hard for me to see anything the Romney campaign does as being strategic at all.
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:31 PM on October 3, 2012


About that top secret Obama video that was released earlier this week...
[People will say] this has already been reported. Actually, it hasn’t been reported. I know because I reported it the first time.
--Tucker Carlson
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:32 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


I think this thread has already shown that, if the presidency were decided on zingers, Metafilter would be hosted from the Oval Office.
posted by Panjandrum at 2:35 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


GOP operative Bob Price registers on Something Awful Dot Com, posts a dumb, leading question thread about the debates, gets caught by moderators, currently getting a beating in the face and ass. A beating that includes a favorite theme here on metafilter:

Senior Woodchuck posted
Bob Price, you’re in a desert walking along in the sand when all of the sudden you look down, and you see a tortoise, crawling toward you. You, Bob Price, reach down, you flip the tortoise over on its back. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t, not without your help. But you’re not helping, Bob Price. Why is that?
posted by boo_radley at 2:35 PM on October 3, 2012 [17 favorites]


GOP operative Bob Price registers on Something Awful Dot Com, posts a dumb, leading question thread, gets caught by moderators, currently getting a beating in the face and ass.

"I am a proud Obama voter who supports gay marriage, Affirmative Action and gun control."

Oh god, this is like that scene where Pee Wee Herman goes to the biker bar, only I reckon this will not end with being lent a motorcycle.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:42 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


NPR: How Politicians Get Away With Dodging The Question, and how to identify a 'pivot.'
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Heh, that SA thread has the best shill statement ever from Price:
"TexasGOPVote.com is not owned by or affiliated with any political party. We just bring conservative political news."
posted by jaduncan at 2:44 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Tonight a white man and a black man are fighting over who will become President. The black man is winning. I don't see this happening in Europe or China or India in the next 20-50 years. Not even in South America.

Nelson Mandela just called. All he said was, "stranger things" and then hung up.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 2:45 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I can't imagine what Bob Price thought was going to happen.
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:46 PM on October 3, 2012


Oh god, this is like that scene where Pee Wee Herman goes to the biker bar, only I reckon this will not end with being lent a motorcycle.

falsetto voice: "I say we let him go."
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:46 PM on October 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


Just out of morbid curiosity, does anybody think that the debates are going to change anybody's minds?

The only two debates that were found to have a notable effect on the election was the first televised debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon in 1960 and a debate between Al Gore and George W. Bush in 2000.

The Gallup report calls these particular debates the “two exceptions” to the rule “whereby the ultimate winner moved from a deficit position to front-runner.”

posted by Golden Eternity at 2:47 PM on October 3, 2012


[People will say] this has already been reported. Actually, it hasn’t been reported. I know because I reported it the first time.

--Tucker Carlson


Brilliant! He needs to use this in an ad for his show: "When Tucker Carlson reports something, it hasn't been reported." *swooshy graphics*

He DOES have a show, right?
posted by AugieAugustus at 2:50 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]




Aside from SA googlebombing Bob Price, one comment made a very good point:
Pipski posted:
If you'd checked it out a little more thoroughly, you'd have found that, in the last month, your preferred candidate tried to publicly exploit the murder of one of our site's members for political gain - so the prevailing sentiment here tends to be that he's a vacuous loving shitbag pillock with the morals of a vampire. Go to hell."
posted by inigo2 at 2:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [21 favorites]


He DOES have a show, right?

Are we counting when he goes home, puts his head inside a cardboard box and shouts at an empty chair representing his crushed dreams and Jon Stewart?
posted by jaduncan at 2:53 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


What about his crushed dreams about Jon Stewart?
posted by subbes at 2:55 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


What about his crushed dreams about Jon Stewart?

No, no. Every night of his slumber Jon loves him, it's only when Tucker wakes up that nobody returns his calls.
posted by jaduncan at 2:57 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Clinton on Romney: "Now, the guy with a tax account in the Cayman Islands is attacking other people for not wanting to pay income tax? I mean, you've got to give him credit."
posted by ericb at 3:06 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


And, of course, the obligatory closer: "Hold onto your hats, folks, this race just got a whole lot more interesting!"

And those "objective" observers, of course, have no personal interest whether or not the election is close, lol.

Cribbage is okay but I think euchre is where it's at if we're going to perform a head to head evaluation of the two President/Vice President teams.

No, Pitch (though I'd bet Biden is a master at stealing the deal in Euchre.)
posted by mrgrimm at 3:06 PM on October 3, 2012


If Lehrer is offended by being viewed as a safe choice, maybe he should actually moderate the debates instead of letting the the candidates ramble on with their preferred talking points and instead keep them to the question that was asked.
posted by winna at 3:07 PM on October 3, 2012 [10 favorites]


Astrophysicist who correctly predicted last two elections, predicts again:
"This week, their method places Obama with 348 electoral votes. Governor Mitt Romney trails with 190. The only place Colley sees room for Romney to gain electoral votes without great difficulty would be North Carolina." *
posted by ericb at 3:07 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


The two people actually on the stage will be able to dodge the questions asked because there won't be another candidate up there willing to actually answer the questions.

This, but also something more important. Right now, Romney can attack Obama from the right, and Obama can attack Romney from the left, and all they have to do is be more conservative/liberal than their opponent to get damn near half the country walking in lockstep behind them. Stein's presence, however, would force Obama to defend from the left, and show his actual positions there - as Johnson would force Romney to defend from the right.
posted by corb at 3:08 PM on October 3, 2012


Every time he appears it's very clear that Bill Clinton is having the time of his life being on the campaign trail again. This time he's also a bit less fettered as he's now not the candidate. It's taken years off his face.
posted by jaduncan at 3:11 PM on October 3, 2012


Today I'm in Chicago visiting the Obama campaign office. The lead up the the debate tonight has been interesting to say the very least. I tend to avoid debates knowing that I'll catch the salient points in the post-game, but I'm really looking forward to experiencing the debate with the staff.
posted by FlamingBore at 3:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Johnson would be a great wildcard. Somebody coming at Romney from the right on spending, coming at Obama from the left on drug policy, and coming at both of them from whatever-direction-sane-is on defense would be a nice break from “talking point, talking point, EMPHATIC TALKING POINT, focus-tested zinger, talking point.”
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Tonight a white man and a black man are fighting over who will become President. The black man is winning. I don't see this happening in Europe or China or India in the next 20-50 years. Not even in South America.
I know your point has been pretty much rebutted, but for good measure, here's a foto of #1 and #2 in the most powerful country in Europe.
posted by Jehan at 3:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Although a tiny part of me wants to stay up and watch the debate, I think I'm going to collapse into bed.
posted by knapah at 3:33 PM on October 3, 2012


Stein's presence, however, would force Obama to defend from the left, and show his actual positions there - as Johnson would force Romney to defend from the right.

Which of Romney and Obama's opinions are you not clear on?
posted by spaltavian at 3:37 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is a crummy image, but here's a convoy of police vehicles and unmarked SUVs preparing to SHUT DOWN I-25

It would have been better but I was driving, etc, etc.
posted by boo_radley at 3:40 PM on October 3, 2012


If Lehrer is offended by being viewed as a safe choice, maybe he should actually moderate the debates

Yeah, I don't get the Lehrer love from some folks above; I've been watching him for decades and he's always seemed a remarkably tame presidential debate moderator with only rare moments of holding his subjects' feet to the fire. It's no secret he's preferred by candidates of both parties, and has been for years, as a safe choice who won't rock the boat, and it's outright bizarre of him to suddenly act outraged about that.

We can only hope his seething actually gets him off his ass and asking sharp questions over and over again. That's the only thing I can think of that will make tonight's puppet show something other than a snoozefest.
posted by mediareport at 3:41 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does anyone know if the debate will be available on youtube in full later on tonight, after the live youtube broadcast?
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:41 PM on October 3, 2012


Does anyone know if the debate will be available on youtube in full later on tonight, after the live youtube broadcast?

Yes, it will.
posted by jaduncan at 3:42 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


It would have been better but I was driving, etc, etc.

America is tired of excuses. We're tired of being let down. We need a radley that can return us to the glory days of well-photographed highway stoppages.
posted by cortex at 3:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


Thanks, jaduncan.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:44 PM on October 3, 2012


From the 8 Memorable Moments link posted by zombieflanders
3. Romney's problems with "illegals" surface... again
Perry had a knack for getting the best, or worst, out of Romney. In another back-and-forth over illegal immigrants working at Romney's house, Mitt explained that he had gone to a company that was doing a project for him and said, "look, you can't have any illegals working on our property. I'm running for office, for Pete's sake, I can't have illegals." Sometimes its hard to square the candidate on stage with the real person underneath, says Jonathan Chait at New York, but this "one delicious, authentic moment" was an instant classic because it offered ammunition to critics looking to paint Romney as a calculating elitist.
I gotta say that as little as I like Romney, he was in a lose-lose situation here. If he had not checked and it turned out illegals did some construction work that would be bad, so he did check...and that was bad. What was he supposed to do? Hold all remodeling until after his political career was over?

This is one of those things (like smoking pot) that is a minefield for politicians today. Maybe I sympathize just because I used to live in California where illegal immigrants fill the domestic service, restaurant, and landscaping industries which makes it difficult not to have some interaction with them. Hell, I married an illegal immigrant. So I guess I will never be able to run for political office. I should have thought of that when I was 22 and in love.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:44 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Secret Life of Gravy. Think the particular issue with that quote(in my mine at least) is that he was only worried about their being illegals there BECAUSE he was running for office. The jive I get, is that he wouldn't care if he weren't running.
posted by Twain Device at 3:46 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I gotta say that as little as I like Romney, he was in a lose-lose situation here. If he had not checked and it turned out illegals did some construction work that would be bad, so he did check...and that was bad. What was he supposed to do? Hold all remodeling until after his political career was over?

he could have said - "hey, if you have any undocumented workers, I can't have them here. However, America can always use good workers. Let me know if I can help them get documented."

Or something.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:47 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not seeing the convoy in that photo.
posted by perhapses at 3:47 PM on October 3, 2012


My first comment after the Edit button pony and I get to actually use it. Not sure if fail or win.
posted by Twain Device at 3:48 PM on October 3, 2012


here's a convoy of police vehicles and unmarked SUVs preparing to SHUT DOWN I-25

Is...is that a dog on the roof of that SUV?
posted by Room 641-A at 3:48 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


is Jim Lehrer pissed off? that's effing awesome. a pissed off Lehrer with something to prove should make for an interesting debate tonight. let's see if he takes the dare and comes out swinging with the "47%" or, hey! even NDAA (if only)...

btw: at what time is the debate and on which channel? (i know, i suck)
posted by liza at 3:49 PM on October 3, 2012


It was a lose-lose situation, but Romney, as per his chief talent, made it even worse.

"Look, you can't have any illegals working on our property. I think employing illegals is wrong because it only encourages more illegals to come here and I'm against any violations of our southern border."

This puts Romney on a moral stance and not openly admitting he did something solely because he worried what voters would think. You never ever admit that.
posted by honestcoyote at 3:49 PM on October 3, 2012


Tonight a white man and a black man are fighting over who will become President. The black man is winning. I don't see this happening in Europe or China or India in the next 20-50 years. Not even in South America.

It's probably not happening in Europe or China because the "black" populations there are so much smaller than in the US. Probably because so many of the people from Africa sold into slavery were sent to the Americas. And, as others have noted, things are much more complicated in Central & South America because the die-off of Native Americans wasn't as thorough as it was in North America.

So while I got a nice little kick out of voting for an African-American in 2008, I don't feel the same desire to brag about it.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Think the particular issue with that quote(in my mine at least) is that he was only worried about their being illegals there BECAUSE he was running for office. The jive I get, is that he would care if he weren't running.

Yeah I can see that. But again I ask, what should he have done? Should he have not said the part about running for office-- to me that just sounds like he was underlining the importance of not having illegals working for him.

I think employing illegals is wrong because it only encourages more illegals to come here and I'm against any violations of our southern border."

That makes him sound worse-- like he is a prissy little Goodie-Two-Shoes.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:52 PM on October 3, 2012


cortex: "We need a radley that can return us to the glory days of well-photographed highway stoppages."

cortex, other members of metafilter: Let me be clear. I understand your desire -- your need -- for clear highway stoppages. But I had, in my car, my dear dog spispopd. Now, as some of you may know, spispopd has just been released from the vet after a leg amputation. He's been a huge part of my family and I know that my wife and my son (both of whom are looking at or around me right now) have loved spispopd since he was a tiny puppy we rescued from the humane society. I also know that they would have been devastated if my three-legged dog, spispopd, were to no longer be with us. The radley family spent no expense -- no expense! -- on our beloved pooch. Part of this meant giving up my dream for a wonderful high resolution Nikon camera, but if you're a dog lover like me and my family and our spispopd, you'll understand that no picture of any highway stoppage -- I-25, I-80, even the venerable Pennsyvania Turnpike -- can replace a beloved pet. Is the picture the best? No, absolutely not. Am I a proud American who's happy to be with his three-legged dog. Undoubtably.
posted by boo_radley at 3:52 PM on October 3, 2012 [27 favorites]


i know that's the term Perry & Romney used, but just saying this as a reminder that "illegal", especially used as a noun, is a slur that many latin@s consider to also have racist connotations. please let's not use it liberally in these here parts of the interwebs. thanks!
posted by liza at 3:54 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


he was in a lose-lose situation here

That one is easy: he sends a trusted adviser to explain/demand the worker situation to the subcontracting company. The adviser takes the heat for being extra diligent because of the upcoming campaign. Romney himself maintains deniability of any undocumented workers and of the request.

Do you really want someone handling international diplomacy who can't avoid embarrassing himself when dealing with the people working on his house? Or who doesn't have the sense not to mention it during an interview on stage?
posted by ceribus peribus at 3:57 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Al Jazeera wants the Reddit community's live opinion on tonight's Presidential Debate!"
posted by humph at 3:59 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I also know that they would have been devastated if my three-legged dog, spispopd, were to no longer be with us.

Look, if you've got a dog, if you've got a license for a pet, if you've bought dog food to feed it, if your dog is missing a leg, it's—you didn't build that. Someone along the line helped out, created a licensing bureau, invented cell division, created the infrastructure for having fewer legs than other dogs.
posted by cortex at 3:59 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


That interview with the Open Debates founder linked early in this thread is a must-read for anyone who wants to know the bullshit history of the Commission that hired Lehrer, et al:

GEORGE FARAH: The best part of the history starts in 1980. In 1980, John B. Anderson, an independent candidate for president, runs against Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. President Jimmy Carter absolutely opposed independent candidate John Anderson’s participation in the presidential debates, and The League had a choice; do they support the independent candidate’s participation and defy the wishes of the President of the United States or do they capitulate to the demands of President Jimmy Carter? The league did the right thing, it stood to the President of the United States, invited John B. Anderson. The President refused to show up. The League went forward anyway and had a presidential debate that was watched by 55 million Americans. You fast forward four years later, Amy, and the Walter Mondale and Ronald Reagan campaigns vetoed 80 of the moderators that The League of Women Voters had proposed for the debates. The were simply trying to get rid of...

AMY GOODMAN: Eighty?

GEORGE FARAH: Eighty. They were trying to get rid of difficult questions.

AMY GOODMAN: Eight-zero?

GEORGE FARAH: Eight-zero. Eighty. And The League didn’t just say, OK that’s fine we’ll allow you to select a moderator that’s going to ask softball questions, The League held a press conference and lambasted the campaigns for trying to get rid of the difficult questions. Of course there was a public outcry. So The League marshaled public support to criticize when they attempted to defy our democratic process and the result was fantastic. For the next debate, the campaigns were required to accept The League’s proposed moderators for fear of an additional public outcry. And you fast forward four more years later and you have the Michael Dukakis and the George Bush campaign’s drafting the first ever 12-page secret debate contract. They gave it to The League of Women Voters and said please implement this. The League said, are you kidding me? We are not going to implement a secret contract that dictates the terms of the format. Instead, they release the contract to the public and they held a press conference accusing the candidates of "perpetrating a fraud on the American people" and refusing to be "an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American people."

Well, Amy, conveniently, just a year earlier, the Republican and Democratic parties had ratified an agreement "to take over the presidential debates, and they created this artifice, this commission, and the commission was waiting in the wings and stepped right in and implemented the very same 12-page contract that The League had so effectively denounced, and ever since we’ve had a contract.

AMY GOODMAN: Since The League did release it — The League of Women Voters at the time — what was in this 12-page contract, at least then?

GEORGE FARAH: The 12-page contract then said very specific provisions that the candidates cannot actually ask each other any questions during the debates, that no third party candidates would be permitted to participate in those events, that there would be a certain number of audience members that would be supportive of the various candidates. Actually, it is quite tame compared to the contracts we have seen in recent years.

posted by mediareport at 4:00 PM on October 3, 2012 [23 favorites]


Here's another fave bit:

GEORGE FARAH: Frank Fahrenkopf and Paul Kirk were the original co-chairs on the Commission on Presidential Debates. Frank Fahrenkopf is the former hair of the Republican party, and Paul Kirk is the former chair of the Democratic party. When they created the commission, for 15 months, they simultaneously served as co-chairs of their respective parties and the commission, so, it was of course by definition an entity that was absolutely loyal to the two parties. Well, guess what, Frank Fahrenkopf still is co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, decades later. And he has one other job, his day job; he is the director of the American Gaming Association. In other words, he is the nation’s leading gambling lobbyist
posted by mediareport at 4:01 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Three-legged dogs are fine and all, but as someone whose dog had to have its dog amputated, I sympathize but have to ask if your privilege of having a dog with three quarters of its legs has blinded you to the fact that there are those of us holding an empty leash? A clear photo of a string of SUVs would have been something to see.
posted by maxwelton at 4:02 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay, the only one I've found so far is being done by a guy who claims he's the most unbiased reporter ever whose page is covered with crazy anti-Obama stuff. I have class tonight. Anybody know of somewhere online that will have a live text transcript, even if it's not a pretty one? I don't care if it's not pretty, I just can't watch something with audio.
posted by gracedissolved at 4:02 PM on October 3, 2012


maxwelton: " I sympathize but have to ask if your privilege of having a dog with three quarters of its legs has blinded you to the fact that there are those of us holding an empty leash?"

Maxwelton, this is a fair point. I invite you, and I also invite Cortex to my place. We will have a milkbone summit and a brief ceremony for those among us who have lost our dear four legged family members.
posted by boo_radley at 4:04 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


AMY GOODMAN: Eighty?

GEORGE FARAH: Eighty. They were trying to get rid of difficult questions.

AMY GOODMAN: Eight-zero?

GEORGE FARAH: Eighty.

AMY GOODMAN: Ten times eight?

GEORGE FARAH: Eighty.

AMY GOODMAN: Five times sixteen?

GEORGE FARAH: Eighty.

AMY GOODMAN: One hundred minus twenty?

GEORGE FARAH: Eighty.
posted by perhapses at 4:05 PM on October 3, 2012 [15 favorites]


The youtube feed will likely be closed captioned if that helps.
posted by feloniousmonk at 4:06 PM on October 3, 2012


mediareport, do you have any suggestions for getting rid of this scripted nonsense? Because I was actually thinking about this very topic on the way to the gym and I feel completely powerless to affect a change.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:06 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Being aware of the scam that is the Commission on Presidential Debates - and how completely ridiculous it is for Jim Lehrer to "seethe" at accusations that he's a nice safe pet for both candidates - is as good a place to start as any, I guess.
posted by mediareport at 4:08 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


mediareport, do you have any suggestions for getting rid of this scripted nonsense? Because I was actually thinking about this very topic on the way to the gym and I feel completely powerless to affect a change.

Don't watch.
posted by junco at 4:10 PM on October 3, 2012


....Mr. Lehrer, the former anchor of “PBS NewsHour,” has been seething. He said he was outraged by suggestions that he was a “safe” and uninspired choice...

Lehrer: Speak! Romney! Governor! Do not sit in silence and allow the blood that now boils in my veins to ooze through cavities of unrestrained passion and trickle down to drench me with its crimson hue!
posted by mcmile at 4:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


Don't watch.

Ouch. Well I won't be watching it on TV so there's that.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:19 PM on October 3, 2012


OMG Jim Lehrer, with his big brown button teddy bear eyes. I love him.

You mean, he's The Cinnamon Bear, with the shoe-button eyes?
posted by msalt at 4:30 PM on October 3, 2012


He has an interesting take on the election in that if Obama can win big, he can claim a mandate and use that to progress his second term agenda.

That "mandate" sounds like GWB's "Political Capital"
I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style. That’s what happened in the — after the 2000 election, I earned some capital. I’ve earned capital in this election — and I’m going to spend it for what I told the people I’d spend it on, which is — you’ve heard the agenda: Social Security and tax reform, moving this economy forward, education, fighting and winning the war on terror.
I think it would be easy enough to replace "political capital" with "mandate," and replace the war on terror with something else. I know, Obama would say it differently and with less bravado, but given that political elections are so divisive, and won by a simple majority, claiming that "the people" gave him anything sounds (to me, at least) that he's disregarding the significant portion of people who voted for the other guy.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:32 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I posted this elsewhere, but it's just as relevant here: Rigging the Presidential Debates

Both Parties agreed that they would:
(1) not request any additional debates,

(2) not appear at any other debate or adversarial forum with any other presidential or vice presidential candidate, and

(3) not accept any television or radio air time offers that involve a debate format. Were this deal to be between two corporations, they could be prosecuted for criminal violation of the antitrust laws.

posted by dunkadunc at 4:35 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Thanks for the photo, boo_radley. Makes me extra glad I stayed home. Good luck to dear old spispopd.
posted by jazon at 4:40 PM on October 3, 2012


Debate drinking game for Mormons: drink every time Mitt discusses his policy details.
posted by triggerfinger at 4:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [15 favorites]


I feel pretty bad for Jim Lehrer. He's just one employee in a vast media structure that perpetuates the debate system as it is now. There are a lot of his bosses and other higher-ups to call out.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:43 PM on October 3, 2012


FLT,

To be fair, Gergen was talking about a significant victory something on the order of 54%-55% of the popular vote.
W claimed a mandate w/ a much slimmer victory
posted by JKevinKing at 4:44 PM on October 3, 2012


It's probably not happening in Europe or China because the "black" populations there are so much smaller than in the US. Probably because so many of the people from Africa sold into slavery were sent to the Americas.

A wonderful twist for a people who didn't want to pick their own goddamn cotton.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:44 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just want to wish you all good luck. We're all counting on you.
posted by zardoz at 4:46 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Holy shit mediareport. I knew that there was some behind the scenes wrangling but had no idea of the history. Thank you.
posted by futz at 4:56 PM on October 3, 2012


I know, Obama would say it differently and with less bravado, but given that political elections are so divisive, and won by a simple majority, claiming that "the people" gave him anything sounds (to me, at least) that he's disregarding the significant portion of people who voted for the other guy.

Considering the Rs in house and senate are doing everything they can to disregard the MORE people that voted for Obama (how many times did they try to repeal healthcare, or just generally be obstructive, rather than doing something productive?), maybe he needs to be a bit more forceful.
posted by inigo2 at 5:01 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


They aren't going to get rid of the scripted nonsense.

Neither candidate wants to hear any hard questions, because both candidates agree on the answers to the hard questions. They aren't going to turn the Bill of Rights back on, they aren't going to stop assassinating people at will, they aren't going to stop spying on us, neither war criminals nor financial criminals will see the inside of a court room let alone a jail cell, they aren't going to legalize pot nor dial back the war on drugs, and they aren't going to do anything significant about climate change "because jobs".

This is as usual just a sports event. The only excitement worth seeing is if someone actually makes a "terrible mistake" - but frankly, even gaffes aren't going to change anyone's mind - or if there's some other catastrophe like a candidate having a heart attack or something...

I shall be having a peaceful night at home listening to music and not paying the slightest bit of attention to this pointless timewaster.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:02 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


Debate? Where are their giant cases of evidence, and a strict adherence to Solvency, Harms, Inherency, Topicality and Significance?
posted by drezdn at 5:03 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


frankly, even gaffes aren't going to change anyone's mind - or if there's some other catastrophe like a candidate having a heart attack or something...

Gallup: "83% of Americans who say they will vote for either Obama or Romney claim there is nothing that the other candidate could do or say in the debates that would cause them to change their mind."
posted by jaduncan at 5:09 PM on October 3, 2012


The Obama surprise break to pray in the direction of Mecca and call all Christian babies heathens who deserve death may stretch that 'nothing' though.
posted by jaduncan at 5:11 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just out of morbid curiosity, does anybody think that the debates are going to change anybody's minds?

THis morning I asked a close friend a similar question - whether the debates as theyexist right now actually serve any purpose of necessity in our democratic process. His (quite good, I thought) response was that, yes, we need to see these two stand on the same stage without a firefight breaking out.

I also think that, yes, it will change some minds and help make up quite a few more. We have fun with the undecideds because we see them as people who still, still somehow can't discern between these two guys? how is that even possible after all this!? But the truth is that the undecideds right now are disaffected voters, mostly self-identified Republicans, if I had to guess, who can't get excited about Romney because it is almost impossible to get excited about Romney, and have seen the GOP move pretty swiftly from "more or less accurately reflects my values" to "batshitinsane." They don't like Obama, but they aren't in the 27% crazification factor either.

Similarly, I know some disaffected libertarian-leaning liberals who are looking for Romney to say anything that will make them believe he could be a decent alternative to Obama.

My own belief here (and I am pretty firmly in the Obama camp and in no way in the Romney camp) is that while Obama will almost certainly kick Romney's ass tonight (and in the others) this will still lead to greater ground gained for Romney. Basically, he's the guy with something to win here. I feel like in a country this deeply divided, Obama is pushing at the upper limit of the support he's going to reach. There's also the expectations game, which after The West Wing exposed it so much I'm still surprised to see played so baldly.

BobbyVan got a lot of shit for his comment way above about Romney possibly flustering Obama. While I agree that "flustered" simply isn't an emotion that Obama can exhibit, I think there was something astute beneath all of that: Romney's best shot for tonight is letting himself be Mitt Romney. Romney is so uncomfortably awkward in the "candidate suit" that his whole campaign has been a variation of the Dukakis tank picture. If there's a zone that he can get in (like he was in during the leaked 47% video) then he has a shot of making up a terrifying amount of ground tonight. I don't think his numbers can sink much lower and people HATE him in the "candidate suit," so drop it already and just say what you mean, Mitt.

All of that said, unlike Obama, Mitt gets flustered at the drop of a hat. He can't handle confrontation and generally wears an exasperated expression of one incapable of suffering fools, who must somehow find a way to do so anyway. If he gives up trying, tonight, the debate is his to "win," even if he won't have facts or rhetoric on his side.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:11 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's almost like Americans are large, and contain multitudes.

WE ARE! AND WE DO!
posted by QueerAngel28 at 5:14 PM on October 3, 2012


As lupus_yonderboy says, basically it is a debate between a Protestant and Catholic on who gets to have the religious facility and, more importantly, the tithe -- for the next four years. It's not like Judaism or Islam or Buddhism is in the room much less on the table. We'll be queueing up before the altar of the Almighty no matter what, the only difference being whether the poor get wafers or a kick in the ass.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


In an interesting third-party twist, Democracy Now! will be live-broadcasting an "expanded debate" containing equal-time responses from Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson alongside the two major-party candidates.

(Libertarian Gary Johnson was invited but declined to participate.)


What about Vermin Supreme?
posted by homunculus at 5:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I asked my husband if he was going to watch the debates with me and he said "Why? Nothing that will happen on them is going to make me vote for Romney, so why would I bother?" Which...ya know...makes sense.

I think if I weren't looking forward to reading the liveblogging here and the Monster Thread of Evil Romney; I'd probably just go play a game.
posted by dejah420 at 5:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


David Gergen on CNN that Romney always has a notecard on the podium with the word 'Dad.'

The talking heads were just now debating his 'Daddy' issues ... Oh, my.
posted by ericb at 5:17 PM on October 3, 2012


Now, they're talking about Clinton and Obama's relationship with their fathers.

BREAKING NEWS: Lucy Van Pelt has just constructed her fruit stand booth (Psychiatric Help -- $5 -- adjusted for inflation and health care taxes) in the media 'spin room!'
posted by ericb at 5:20 PM on October 3, 2012


Ahahaha Sam Donaldson is bugging out.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:21 PM on October 3, 2012


ericb, for real? Not Onion?
posted by futz at 5:22 PM on October 3, 2012


That makes sense. Sam Donaldson is at least 50% insect.
posted by Atom Eyes at 5:22 PM on October 3, 2012


a reminder that "illegal", especially used as a noun, is a slur that many latin@s consider to also have racist connotations.

"Illegal immigrant" is not a slur and should not be interpreted as one. It's an accurate descriptor neutral enough for Wikipedia an the New York t
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:23 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney's dad issues sort of push him from the category of comic relief to slightly tragic
posted by angrycat at 5:24 PM on October 3, 2012


Me on Romney in the other thread: Romney is a man who spent his life and sold his soul trying to do what his daddy couldn't, and is about to fail anyway.
posted by jaduncan at 5:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Illegal immigrant" is not a slur and should not be interpreted as one. It's an accurate descriptor neutral enough for Wikipedia an the New York t

Man, I bet you're glad for that edit window. Also, calling someone 'an illegal' is a smidge different than calling them 'an illegal immigrant'.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 5:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


They showed Reince Priebus and I hissed at the screen.
posted by cashman at 5:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


BobbyVan: "addressing Medicare Advantage and not Ryan's argument about the President's health care bill."

It strikes me as unlikely that you can't understand the relation between the two.
posted by wierdo at 5:26 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


CNN is having obsessive coverage of the debate, pre debate. They're also having a hilarious amount of technical issues.
posted by hellojed at 5:26 PM on October 3, 2012


Will there be holograms this year?
posted by Atom Eyes at 5:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Tonight a white man and a black man are fighting over who will become President. The black man is winning. I don't see this happening in Europe or China or India in the next 20-50 years. Not even in South America.

Btw, the first lesbian (Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Iceland) and gay (Elio Di Rupo, Belgium) elected heads of government were European and the mayors of Paris and Berlin didn't have much trouble getting (re)elected. I love this part: When Hamburg's former vice mayor Ronald Schill outed the city's Mayor Ole von Beust at a press conference in 2003, Germans mocked Schill, and Von Beust went on to win the 2004 elections in a landslide. It's not a contest about who's more open-minded. Other places should look to the U.S. for inspiration and vice versa. Having an African-American serve as POTUS for 8 years is undeniably great though.
posted by ersatz at 5:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


lupus_yonderboy: "They aren't going to get rid of the scripted nonsense.

Neither candidate wants to hear any hard questions, because both candidates agree on the answers to the hard questions. They aren't going to turn the Bill of Rights back on, they aren't going to stop assassinating people at will, they aren't going to stop spying on us, neither war criminals nor financial criminals will see the inside of a court room let alone a jail cell, they aren't going to legalize pot nor dial back the war on drugs, and they aren't going to do anything significant about climate change "because jobs".
"

Don't vote Obama or Romney - Vote Wikileaks in 2012

Neither party is going to stop the abuses, because the abuses have bipartisan support. It's time we had a regime change.

Organizations like Wikileaks are what's going to change things, by undermining and delegitimizing the current regime. If the USG gets scared enough, they will lash out and alienate everybody.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Don't blame me, I'm voting for Kodos.
posted by subbes at 5:30 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


OK, so I have the following television-related things:
  1. A huge television
  2. A complete lack of television service (no cable, no satellite, no rabbit ears)
  3. An XBox 360
  4. An XBox Live account
  5. Streaming Netflix
  6. Amazon Prime
  7. A laptop running Windows 7
  8. Windows Media Center running on that laptop
  9. Potentially other things that I don't know are applicable to the current situation
Is there a way for me to watch the debate on my huge television rather than on my laptop?
posted by Flunkie at 5:30 PM on October 3, 2012


I imagine that at the end of every day Wolf Blitzer goes home and just screams into a mirror for like 20 minutes straight.
posted by hellojed at 5:31 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


My Xbox has been excitedly suggesting to me that I use it to watch the debates, so that should probably do you.
posted by cortex at 5:31 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


OKAY LETS DO THIS I have this tab, this tab, and this one open (and this metafilter thread open), a tasty 6-pack of local beer, and a healthy disregard for the health of my liver. LET'S GET THIS GOING.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:32 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, illegal immigrant isn't a slur or super offensive, "illegals" is. "Illegals" is dehumanizing and reduces a whole group of people to their legal status and gets into uncomfortable "your existence is illegal" places. I think "undocumented worker" is one of the more neutral terms if you're trying to avoid any judgment about legality/illegality at all.
posted by yasaman at 5:32 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


The ABC YouTube stream is doing it for me.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:32 PM on October 3, 2012


Yes, it's on Xbox Live and (amusingly) if you watch 3 out of the four debates on XBL you get a free suit of CUSTOM HALO ARMOR!!!
posted by jaduncan at 5:33 PM on October 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


free suit of CUSTOM HALO ARMOR

oh my god you weren't kidding.
posted by xbonesgt at 5:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thanks cortex!
posted by Flunkie at 5:34 PM on October 3, 2012


But... but... MST3k is also streaming on Xbox Live...
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:36 PM on October 3, 2012


Can MST3k get me a suit of Halo armor?
posted by Flunkie at 5:37 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


ABC youtube keeps crashing for me, but then, youtube on mac sucks across the board -- I'll try PBS.org when the thing actually starts.
posted by Rumple at 5:37 PM on October 3, 2012


Are undecided voters just slack-jawed yokels or what. Fuck, people.
posted by angrycat at 5:39 PM on October 3, 2012


Yes. Servo Armor.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:40 PM on October 3, 2012


The suspense is probably knocking a few seconds off my total lifetime.
posted by drezdn at 5:41 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Make sure you signed up for XBOX Live Rewards or it doesn't get you the armor set.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 5:42 PM on October 3, 2012


No, Flunkie, but it can get you a new trucker body.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:42 PM on October 3, 2012


I think some people are just really indecisive. Like the person who can't make a decision at the restaurant until the waitress is waiting to take their order, like the person who fills up a shopping cart and then winds up putting most of it back, some people are just fundamentally incapable of making a decision until they are standing in the voting booth.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 5:43 PM on October 3, 2012


awwwwwwww
posted by cashman at 5:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Make sure you signed up for XBOX Live Rewards or it doesn't get you the armor set.

It's the armor that comes with the surely widely desired special 'now also a target for political voice chat' feature in multiplayer.
posted by jaduncan at 5:44 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I immediately regretted that comment. Sorry, undecided. Don't understand you, but hey, you're probably okay.
posted by angrycat at 5:44 PM on October 3, 2012


(Those people make me crazy, BTW).
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 5:45 PM on October 3, 2012


ZOMG cashman that's adorbs
posted by angrycat at 5:46 PM on October 3, 2012


Custom halo armor might make me watch instead of just following this thread.
posted by mrzarquon at 5:47 PM on October 3, 2012


Someone should live write a fanfic of a romance between Barack and Mitt during the debate, based on what they say.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:48 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


The suspense is probably knocking a few seconds off my total lifetime.
The XBox thingy that's going to show the debate now actually has a COUNTDOWN TO THE DEBATE clock, ticking down second by second. 11:28! 11:27! 11:26! It's killin' me!
posted by Flunkie at 5:48 PM on October 3, 2012


Wait, they're playing Halo? That's not a debate.
posted by dirtdirt at 5:49 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's a little awkward how hard I ship Barack and Michelle Obama. I actually got a little misty-eyed when Obama's tumblr had a picture of the two for their anniversary.
posted by yasaman at 5:49 PM on October 3, 2012


Sorry, Romney family, but if you're playing Jenga and it doesn't involve getting a good windup and knocking a piece out with a swung butter knife, you're not playing real Jenga.
posted by cortex at 5:49 PM on October 3, 2012


I immediately regretted that comment. Sorry, undecided. Don't understand you, but hey, you're probably okay.

NPR was interviewing an undecided voter I think about a week ago. The conflict (for the voter) was that she was a women, but also a small business owner. In her mind, Romney would be good for business, but bad for her as a woman RE: health and reproductive rights.

Like, no one should have to make that choice. Basically.
posted by hellojed at 5:50 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney is going to score easy points by congratulating Barack and Michelle on their 20th anniversary - and if his advisers didn't tell him to do this they should be fired.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


OK PEOPLE AM FULL OF DELICIOUS PERNIL LET'S DO THIS!!!!!!!
posted by liza at 5:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah!!!!!!!! We live a mile up the road from DU. All the roads are shut down or empty. I-25 was nearly empty when I walked over the bridge and there were several groups waiting with cameras to photograph it in its empty state. I've never got to the liquor store and back with so little traffic.
posted by NailsTheCat at 5:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


While preparing my evening of pumpkin cider, live (debate) action, and sweatpants, I did receive the strangest text from "romneywins0@obamaloses328.com" which read, in toto,

Romney Defeats Obama in Debate!

Is this some weird torture inflicted on residents of real states? I've never gotten to vote for real electoral votes before*, but either this is the weirdest attempt to get me to buy Viagra or the least-targeted Mittens fervor ever.


* sorry DC I love you so much but you are 99% blue and burdened with so few electoral voters
posted by jetlagaddict at 5:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney is coming in from the Left and Obama from the right?! Oh that is so wrong.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:53 PM on October 3, 2012


Wait, they're playing Halo? That's not a debate.

That actually sounds substantially more entertaining and possibly more informative than the actual debate...
posted by jetlagaddict at 5:53 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


COME ON MEFI, I GOTS MY BEERS AND AM READY TO ROLLLLLL!

(ps: anyone have a youtube livestream that isn't ABC News? I don't want to listen to commentators predicting the tweets volume...)
posted by Theta States at 5:53 PM on October 3, 2012


CNN needs to start playing this over their pre-debate commentary
posted by hellojed at 5:54 PM on October 3, 2012


ABC has a person who has promised to report back with the most shared .gif on Tumblr.

Guys, can you smell the Pulitzers in the air tonight?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:55 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Theta States, here is the PBS UStream.
posted by davidjmcgee at 5:55 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Debate is already breaking Twitter, it's sloooooow.
posted by emjaybee at 5:55 PM on October 3, 2012


First up -- oh, they're complaining about the XCom demo. There's a crowd pleaser.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:57 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney is going to score easy points by congratulating Barack and Michelle on their 20th anniversary - and if his advisers didn't tell him to do this they should be fired.

Or they should just be fired anyway.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:57 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


They're telling humorous anecdotes about dark monitors on PBS.
posted by winna at 5:58 PM on October 3, 2012


I'm doing PBS but the sound keeps cutting in and out.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:58 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm reminded of the first words uttered (by Brian Johnson) at the start of an AC/DC concert I attended not too long ago: "The party starts RIGHT NOW!"
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 5:58 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney is coming in from the Left and Obama from the right?! Oh that is so wrong.

That's to match up with the backwards political colours.
posted by pompomtom at 5:59 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney is going to score easy points by congratulating Barack and Michelle on their 20th anniversary - and if his advisers didn't tell him to do this they should be fired.

And, while he first shakes his hand, he'll ask: "Hey. Can I call you Barry?"
posted by ericb at 6:00 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Awww, come on. XBox counts down to zero seconds, shows me an ad for XBox, and then errors out.
posted by Flunkie at 6:00 PM on October 3, 2012


ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL
posted by cortex at 6:00 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


IT BEGINS
posted by qnarf at 6:01 PM on October 3, 2012


Here is the YouTube link for 2012TheVoiceOf (?) livestream.
posted by davidjmcgee at 6:01 PM on October 3, 2012


And, we're off!
posted by ericb at 6:01 PM on October 3, 2012


AND ITS ONNNNNNNN
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 6:01 PM on October 3, 2012


its go time! Jim Lara in the house!
posted by rebent at 6:01 PM on October 3, 2012


oMG SHUT UP DAVID BROOKS.
posted by emjaybee at 6:01 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


I just want to wish you all good luck. We're all counting on you.
posted by zardoz at 6:02 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wow, Jim Lehrer is positively seething!
posted by Servo5678 at 6:02 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Red tie on Jim Lehrer. Surprised that wasn't part of the negotiations, neutral colours.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:02 PM on October 3, 2012


Wow. I was rolling my eyes about the armor but it even works on MeFites. Can't argue with results, I guess. Now let's go go go.
posted by jaduncan at 6:02 PM on October 3, 2012


DABESTIC ISSUES - LETS GO
posted by cashman at 6:02 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Politifact live fact-checking
posted by rebent at 6:02 PM on October 3, 2012


OH SHIT LEHRER DIDN'T ASK THE COMMISSION FOR APPROVAL

HELMETS ON
posted by cortex at 6:02 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Does Jim Lehrer have eyes?
posted by Flashman at 6:03 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


He said emphasis on specifics... hahahaha.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 6:03 PM on October 3, 2012


Lehrer can't keep a straight face when mentioning that the audience has promised to remain quiet.
posted by qnarf at 6:03 PM on October 3, 2012


I'm watching the C-SPAN live stream and it has no talking head douchebag commentary, just the feed.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:03 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


here we gooooo!
posted by Theta States at 6:03 PM on October 3, 2012


Lehrer looks like a silent film star.
posted by mynameisluka at 6:04 PM on October 3, 2012


So exciting...shhh...
posted by Skygazer at 6:04 PM on October 3, 2012


I am pondering why "You can't stop Katy Perry" is listed as a related post
posted by angrycat at 6:04 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love Lehrer talking about how there is to be no noise so we won't be distracted from the important content of the debate while ABC smothers half the screen in useless blowhard bullshit Twitter comments.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 6:04 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


MSNBC has not had any commentary over the debate so far either.
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:04 PM on October 3, 2012


I love that Obama has a blue tie and Romney has a red tie.
posted by hollygoheavy at 6:04 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is anyone else nervous? I AM.
posted by murfed13 at 6:04 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Aww, anniversary mention.
posted by Phire at 6:04 PM on October 3, 2012


Awww...
posted by Skygazer at 6:04 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Obama's playing it safe...
posted by JoeXIII007 at 6:05 PM on October 3, 2012


Come on Obama, get angry. He looks bored already.
posted by zardoz at 6:05 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Awww he calls her sweetie.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:06 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wish everything could come with an undecided voter gauge.
posted by mynameisluka at 6:06 PM on October 3, 2012


When you say 'resilience', I hear 'Brazilians'.

ECONOMIC RECOVERY THROUGH WAXING
posted by mikurski at 6:06 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I feel bad, but even when he's "relaxed" Romney's smirky expression grates on me.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 6:06 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's my birthday, and I'd like Obama to cream Romney for my birthday present - go Pres!
posted by syzygy at 6:06 PM on October 3, 2012


ha, "helping companies that invest in the unitied states".

ZING
posted by Theta States at 6:06 PM on October 3, 2012


shout out to education!
posted by angrycat at 6:06 PM on October 3, 2012


MSNBC has not had any commentary over the debate so far either.

I'm in favor of semi-random Chris Matthews "HA!" interjections throughout the debate.
posted by palidor at 6:06 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Obama won the coin toss, he is Fortuna's chosen.
posted by homunculus at 6:06 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


CBC showing it live in Canada.
posted by arcticseal at 6:06 PM on October 3, 2012


"a new economic patriotism.' good line.
posted by qnarf at 6:06 PM on October 3, 2012


Barack is rusty on the debate stage - as I expected.
posted by cashman at 6:06 PM on October 3, 2012


He's looking right at me!
posted by Babblesort at 6:06 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Economic Patriotism. It's about time.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:06 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


HUMOR MODULE ACTIVATE
posted by goHermGO at 6:06 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I love that Obama has a blue tie and Romney has a red tie.

It's so they don't kill their own team members.
posted by Theta States at 6:06 PM on October 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


A "tender topic"?
posted by zardoz at 6:07 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


oh man, Romney. That was actually kinda funny.
posted by murfed13 at 6:07 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


And there's the Romney-anniversary compliment!
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:07 PM on October 3, 2012


I'm listening to it on NPR, and periodically checking a CNN window. I like that CNN has the question posted.
posted by dejah420 at 6:07 PM on October 3, 2012


Holy shit! Mitt made a funny that didn't suck!
posted by Skygazer at 6:07 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tender topic? What is?
posted by angrycat at 6:07 PM on October 3, 2012


I thought the crowd was supposed to be silent?
posted by inigo2 at 6:07 PM on October 3, 2012


CBC is showing it? With or without vacuous commentary?
posted by maudlin at 6:07 PM on October 3, 2012


"Sorry, you're the 47%, I can't help you"
posted by arcticseal at 6:07 PM on October 3, 2012


I am transfixed by CNN's incredibly meaningless undecided voter graph.
posted by lalex at 6:07 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Boy that was a real grin from Obama over Romney's mention of his anniversary
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:07 PM on October 3, 2012


Oh god, the humanising anecdotes for Romney.

The answer was yes? Surprised. I was banking on "I'll never convince you people".
posted by jaduncan at 6:07 PM on October 3, 2012


yup. romney is explaining his "plan" - why didn't he do this weeks ago?
posted by rebent at 6:07 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Crack down on China? That's...strongly stated.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:08 PM on October 3, 2012


And here comes the tide of bullshit
posted by angrycat at 6:08 PM on October 3, 2012


Did Romney seriously just say the U.S. doesn't have the best schools in the world?
posted by MegoSteve at 6:08 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney wants to get small businesspeople growing again.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:08 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


romney looks knife edge. he started this question very relaxed, and the more he talks, the more his mouth starts to run from him.
posted by qnarf at 6:08 PM on October 3, 2012


OH DISSIN TRICKLE-DOWN LIKE IT'S A DEM IDEA

BALLSY MOVE
posted by Greg Nog at 6:08 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


I know what it takes to get small businesses growing. BULLSHIT, Flippy.
posted by ericb at 6:09 PM on October 3, 2012


Youtube Livestream's debate dial is a skeuographic (?) GUI from a recent dystopian movie. Unnerving.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:09 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Trickle down government is a good phrase.
posted by bq at 6:09 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama taking Romney's lead on the numbered arguments.
posted by murfed13 at 6:09 PM on October 3, 2012


Did he just say that Obama's plan was "trickle down economics"?!? wtf
posted by Rhomboid at 6:09 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Did...did Lehrer have his eyelids done?
posted by emjaybee at 6:09 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's sad / funny / not even remotely surprising when they don't even try to answer the question.
posted by insectosaurus at 6:09 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney: scribblescribblescribble
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 6:09 PM on October 3, 2012


BULLSHIT, Flippy.

His new nickname, courtesy the 47% remark thread, is "Alternator".
posted by cashman at 6:09 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


"tell me about trickle down"

"OK, well let me tell you about something else entirely..."
posted by Theta States at 6:10 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


It's true what he says about small business--my dry cleaner is now sending all my shirts to India.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:10 PM on October 3, 2012


Mittens is smirking. Why is Mittens smirking?
posted by dejah420 at 6:10 PM on October 3, 2012


This is not an answer damnit
posted by aspo at 6:10 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney is going to attack in seconds, I think.
posted by cashman at 6:10 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney is playing OPPOSITE DAY by calling Obama's plan "trickle down economics". i can't.
posted by liza at 6:10 PM on October 3, 2012


CNN, you're men's focus group response line obscures the line for the women in our focus group. A little awkward...
posted by dry white toast at 6:10 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did he just say that Obama's plan was "trickle down economics"?!? wtf

No, he said "trickle down government", flipping the idea.
posted by Jahaza at 6:10 PM on October 3, 2012


It's early, of course, but we're going with the traditional "give the prepared speech which is at least tangentially related to the question" approach I see.
posted by Justinian at 6:10 PM on October 3, 2012


The Twitter feed at the bottom . . . man, as a lifelong MSTie, I never thought I'd say this, but there really is such a thing as too much talking during the show, even if you're funny.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:10 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Erg. Why did Obama twice say he and Romney agree?
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:10 PM on October 3, 2012


i wish they'd pull back and show both at once so i can see the other's facial expression. is there a feed showing a ful view? i'm on abc youtube feed right now.
posted by sio42 at 6:10 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama's warming up now. Getting into his stride. Saving his white hot/ fastballs arm for the later innings....
posted by Skygazer at 6:11 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama actually looks nervous. I'm assuming he's going to warm up.
posted by jaduncan at 6:11 PM on October 3, 2012


He's kind of smirky.
posted by bq at 6:11 PM on October 3, 2012


I'm hoping they get all their talking points out of their system soon and then start answering questions!
posted by iamkimiam at 6:11 PM on October 3, 2012


all three of them seem drunk.
posted by qnarf at 6:11 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Trickle down government was supposed to be a zinger but he muffed the delivery.
posted by ghharr at 6:11 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I still think all politicians' "A citizen I met" stories should be in limerick form.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:11 PM on October 3, 2012 [32 favorites]


Ooh, direct question - there's a good one.
posted by koeselitz at 6:11 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney is smirking. He just can't help himself.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:11 PM on October 3, 2012


I'd like to read Romney's paper. Bet it says "ohshit ohshit ohshit"
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 6:11 PM on October 3, 2012


OMG direct questions. IT'S ON.
posted by jaduncan at 6:11 PM on October 3, 2012


It's cute that Lehrer thinks he can actually make them answer his questions.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:11 PM on October 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


Romney seems to be attacking Obama from the left. What the hell?
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:12 PM on October 3, 2012


This doesn't sound like a question to me.
posted by insectosaurus at 6:12 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh fuck you Romney. You really care about the middle class, you super douche...
posted by Skygazer at 6:12 PM on October 3, 2012


slo42, CSPAN shows both heads right next to each other - no frills. Pretty great.
posted by troika at 6:12 PM on October 3, 2012


"middle class has been buried" has just entered the argument – yeah, they'll hit that hard.
posted by koeselitz at 6:12 PM on October 3, 2012


what Romney is a middle class champion now?
posted by zardoz at 6:12 PM on October 3, 2012


The Economy Tax? Oh Mitt, you can't play populist now...
posted by dejah420 at 6:12 PM on October 3, 2012


Middle income according to Romney: $200,000-$250,000
posted by obscurator at 6:12 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


romney is talking to obama like, this is stuff obama has never heard before. Which is kinda true... no one has heard this from romney before... they've heard it from obama
posted by rebent at 6:12 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romeny is on right now, you guys.
posted by murfed13 at 6:12 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney: "High income people are doing just fine in this economy." Will be a soundbyte.
posted by beagle at 6:12 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


someone told obama: do not make eye contact with romney. don't show him the respect.
it's already making romeny mad, every time.
posted by qnarf at 6:12 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Getting it live in Canada, because if I get a job in Van I'll want to know if the loonie will drown on the back of a sinking american dollar and if I don't get a job in Van I want to know if I'll drown on the back of a sinking american dollar.

Also, WTF ROMNEY just claimed he wouldn't cut 1% taxes, tries to take Obama's middle class policies as his own.
posted by Slackermagee at 6:12 PM on October 3, 2012


DRILL BABY DRILL
BALANCE THE BUDGET
KILL REGULATION
VOTE ROMNEY
posted by angrycat at 6:13 PM on October 3, 2012


Oh NOW Romney is all worried about the middle class.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:13 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this is the longest question in history.
posted by koeselitz at 6:13 PM on October 3, 2012


sooooooooooooooooo scripted.
posted by futz at 6:13 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama actually looks nervous. I'm assuming he's going to warm up.

He's rusty. People kept assuring me he wasn't, and that Mitt hadn't already been through 20 debates this year, but the start of this debate looks just like I thought it would. Mitt is doing well. Barack is rusty.
posted by cashman at 6:13 PM on October 3, 2012


Gas prices have doubled in the last four years?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:13 PM on October 3, 2012


I'm hoping they get all their talking points out of their system soon and then start answering questions!

Oh wow Kim, you're up at 3AM watching this?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:13 PM on October 3, 2012


I like Coal. Fuckwit.
posted by arcticseal at 6:13 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I like coal."
posted by xbonesgt at 6:13 PM on October 3, 2012


He MENTIONED CUTTING TAX DEDUCTIONS.

That will go over like a lead balloon with middle income people.
posted by winna at 6:13 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I like coal!!!!"
posted by rebent at 6:13 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


WHOA PIPELINES FOR EVERYONE

I LIKE COAL

(was coal/crushed a pun? I HOPE SO)

(drinking now)
posted by jetlagaddict at 6:13 PM on October 3, 2012


ROMNEY LIKES COAL!
posted by jazon at 6:14 PM on October 3, 2012


I'm waiting for Obama to respond with, "Heh. Okay Mitt."
posted by Room 641-A at 6:14 PM on October 3, 2012


I LIKE COAL MY CORE CAN BE RETROFIT TO RUN ON COAL
posted by qnarf at 6:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


drill baby drill. And coal! He is an 1850s villain!
posted by dejah420 at 6:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I LIKE COAL
posted by ocherdraco at 6:14 PM on October 3, 2012


I LIKE LAMP, I MEAN COAL!
posted by Windigo at 6:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


"And by the way, I like coal." *twirls moustache*
posted by mynameisluka at 6:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Clean coal? Really?
posted by SillyShepherd at 6:14 PM on October 3, 2012


'And by the way, I like coal!"

O.0
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:14 PM on October 3, 2012


"Clean coal"? Romney's trying to bait him into losing Pennsylvania.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


OBAMA GET ANGRY PLEASE
posted by zardoz at 6:14 PM on October 3, 2012


Ah yes - sweet. sweet. CLEAN coal!
posted by obscurator at 6:14 PM on October 3, 2012


He likes Coal's contributions to his campaign war chest.
posted by arcticseal at 6:15 PM on October 3, 2012


With all this "North America" talk, seems Mitt is thinking that if this whole President of the U.S. thing doesn't work out, he could maybe apply for King of Canada.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


So apparently we NONE of us misheard the coal bit.
posted by Windigo at 6:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


TWO am! I went to bed at 8.30.
posted by iamkimiam at 6:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama is taking Romney's "I'm not raising taxes, I'm cutting deductions" and shoving right up Romney's ass.
posted by xbonesgt at 6:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


obama is relaxing into this in a hurry.
posted by qnarf at 6:15 PM on October 3, 2012


Gas prices have doubled in the last four years?

Yeah but that's only because it dipped dramatically right when the economic crisis hit in the last months of Bush's presidency.
posted by cashman at 6:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh here we go, Obama's getting poised...squared...

Romney's going to blow a CPU unit any minute...
posted by Skygazer at 6:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm a little bummed that Ghost Hunters didn't have a special debate episode tonight.
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Come on Obama, go for his throat
posted by angrycat at 6:15 PM on October 3, 2012


Clean coal? Really?

Romney 2012: A chimney-sweep for every middle class family!*

*renters need not apply
posted by jetlagaddict at 6:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


here comes the math!
posted by jazon at 6:16 PM on October 3, 2012


122 new comment holy looooool
posted by boo_radley at 6:16 PM on October 3, 2012


Gas prices have doubled in the last four years?

Only if you forget that gas was cheap in late 2008 because the economy had tanked.
posted by drezdn at 6:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Don't interrupt Jim.
posted by bq at 6:16 PM on October 3, 2012


Crap, Romney seems more engaged and is talking in shorter sentences. I hope people are actually listening.
posted by rmless at 6:16 PM on October 3, 2012


Oh god yes, clean coal, please talk more to me about that...

Mmm...

What, I LOVE fantasy.
posted by Imperfect at 6:16 PM on October 3, 2012


Wipe the smirk off your face, Romney. It's reminiscent of Gore's audible sighs.
posted by ericb at 6:16 PM on October 3, 2012


Thank You, Obama, for throwing the numbers back in his smarmy, entitled face.
posted by Slackermagee at 6:16 PM on October 3, 2012


Which swing states are coal states?
posted by The Hamms Bear at 6:16 PM on October 3, 2012


STOP SMIRKING YOU BASTARD, I'M RUNNING OUT OF BEER!
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


LEHRER quiet RAGE
posted by goHermGO at 6:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


but but but but but
posted by murfed13 at 6:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lehrer is fucking awful.
posted by inigo2 at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Lehrer just held up two index fingers and I was really hoping he would ask each candidate to kiss each one
posted by Greg Nog at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


oh, jim, you just lost control.
posted by qnarf at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2012


Yeaaaahhh rom on the defensive, wires starting to fray
posted by rmless at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2012


Ohio. Romney is going for the Ohio vote with that coal talk.
posted by zardoz at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Refusing to reveal details of your plan and then accusing your opponent of misrepresenting it is such an amazingly brazen move.
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [10 favorites]


Zinger.
posted by glhaynes at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2012


OH GOD

"This plan I've been promoting isn't my plan at all! I've got five boys who are full of shit! Like you!"
posted by rebent at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


OOO. Zinger alert!
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


He all but called Obama a liar. Gah.
posted by jaduncan at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


And Mitt's first zinger!
posted by zardoz at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2012


I HAVE FIVE BOYS AND THEY ARE FIVE OF THE WORST FUCKING LIARS IN THE WORLD I AM USED TO LIARS
posted by qnarf at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


Oh my god Romney just compared Obama to his kids telling lies but keeping repeating it.
posted by winna at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2012


Ohio is a coal state.
posted by drezdn at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2012


Did Romney just Godwin the debate?
posted by Yowser at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2012


Calling your sons liars is kind of a weird joke.
posted by Jahaza at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [18 favorites]


"I'm used to talking with people who peddle inaccuracies"

COMEDY GOLD.
posted by Slackermagee at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I've got five boys" – there's HUMANIZIN' moment, folks
posted by koeselitz at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2012


I'm note sure comparing Obama to a petulant child is good tactic.
posted by Panjandrum at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I thought Romney couldn't use contractions?
posted by mediated self at 6:18 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney tries the I'm Rubber, You're Glue strategy: "No, YOU'RE going to raise taxes!"
posted by maudlin at 6:18 PM on October 3, 2012


Mitt's getting croaky and about to blow.
posted by arcticseal at 6:18 PM on October 3, 2012


so is mitt straight up lying?
posted by changeling at 6:18 PM on October 3, 2012


Did Romney just actually compare Obama to his sons? Really? Did that really just happen?
posted by cjelli at 6:18 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


No YOU are going to raise taxes
posted by rmless at 6:18 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow, he's just lying outright while calling Obama a liar.
posted by wierdo at 6:18 PM on October 3, 2012


Holy crap, Romney took the bait on taxes.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:18 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Shit is boring. I tuned in for zingers and I am getting two dudes arguing about loopholes. This shit won't last even 1 season if all the episodes are like this.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:18 PM on October 3, 2012 [24 favorites]


I has seen a study y'all, 6 uther ones in fact... that beat your 1
posted by JoeXIII007 at 6:18 PM on October 3, 2012


So he is not cutting taxes or raising rates. Got it. Just closing loopholes.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:18 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney's gonna crack.
posted by snsranch at 6:18 PM on October 3, 2012


Did Romney just call Obama "boy"?! Wow.
posted by stoneweaver at 6:18 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


"His big bold idea is - NEVERMIND"

Got him.
posted by cashman at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I thought these debates were supposed to be moderated.
posted by mikepop at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Nevermind!
posted by Babblesort at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012


math math sweet math, mr. president!!
posted by jetlagaddict at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012


"NOT POSSIBLE" oh god yes, call him out on that shit.
posted by Imperfect at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have five sons, by which I mean corporations, who are people my friend.
posted by obscurator at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


OH YEAH OBAMA!!!
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012


arithmetic. nice.
posted by xbonesgt at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama: Now Romney says "Nevermind"


HA HA~~!!!
posted by Skygazer at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think Mittens just accidentally called his five sons liars.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012


Note the stress blinking in both men. Very intense.
posted by Algebra at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012


Never Mind.

/Emily Litella
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney has dry mouth.
posted by futz at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012


My feed is clearly behind all of yours. It was really disconcerting reading through this discussion, before I realized that.
posted by meese at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012


Now we know why Romney won't give details on his plans, so he deny anything that's said about them.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


IT'S MATH, BITCH
posted by chaff at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Never mind". First actual zinger goes to Obama.
posted by gimonca at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


But will he raise taxes on higher-income families?
posted by SillyShepherd at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012


i came here for zingers. i am thus far disappointed.
posted by qnarf at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012


nevermind.
posted by Golden Eternity at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012


Arithmetic!
posted by JakeEXTREME at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama is loosening up a little.
posted by winna at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012


To be fair, Obama is as handsome as Tugbg Romney.
posted by drezdn at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


*yawn*

I think I heard Mitt say "I will not lower the taxes paid by higher-income Americans", though, which seems interesting.
posted by frijole at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012


dammit, internet, stop bieng slow!!
did romney really call obama boy??!?!?!
posted by sio42 at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2012


Mitt, stop linking your chops and squinty your gaze when the President speaks. Makes you look weak.
posted by ericb at 6:20 PM on October 3, 2012


So I am watching this on my Roku and I'm clearly a couple minutes behind the actual love debate, so reading this thread is like a glimpse into the near future. Wooo time travel debates!
posted by DiscourseMarker at 6:20 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did Romney just actually compare Obama to his sons? Really? Did that really just happen?
posted by cjelli at 9:18 PM on October 3 [+] [!]

Worse, he called them "boys."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:20 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ha! TRUMP BURN!
posted by maudlin at 6:20 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


sorry
posted by chaff at 6:20 PM on October 3, 2012


See, you don't address the entire nation, you speak to the states where you need votes.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 6:20 PM on October 3, 2012


For a second, I thought when Obama said, "it's math," what he had said was "it's mad." I sort of wish for that.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:20 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow. Mitt's got the "Deer in the Headlights" smirk, now. I didn't expect him to break so soon.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:20 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is romneys mouth frozen like that?
posted by rmless at 6:20 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Donald Trump doesn't like to think of himself as small anything - O

BA BAM
posted by Slackermagee at 6:20 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


'I know Donald Trump doesn't like to think of himself as small anything.'
posted by winna at 6:20 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney looks like he's holding back tears.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:21 PM on October 3, 2012


Trump bashing? Come on, Obama. Bust out the good zingers.
posted by zardoz at 6:21 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney looks like he's about to puke. Or cry. One or the other.
posted by stoneweaver at 6:21 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


did romney really call obama boy??!?!?!

No.

A Trump joke? FFS.
posted by Jahaza at 6:21 PM on October 3, 2012


Ha. The undecided men did not appreciate the Trump remark; women did.
posted by mynameisluka at 6:21 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I can't READ ALL THE THINGS and actually absorb any of this! How are you people doing this?
posted by gladly at 6:21 PM on October 3, 2012


Both candidates: "The rich will be fine. The real people who are suffering and need our help are middle-income Americans."

So I guess the poor just don't exist?
posted by lostburner at 6:21 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Romney's being so rude to Jim!
posted by murfed13 at 6:21 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh my god who is this moderator?
posted by Defenestrator at 6:21 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Everything he just said about my tax plan is inaccurate" - this is only true because nobody knows what his tax plan actually entails.

So... I think I've just nailed down the Romney campaign strategy.
posted by honeybee413 at 6:21 PM on October 3, 2012


romney defines this as fun?
posted by qnarf at 6:21 PM on October 3, 2012


Now we know why Romney won't give details on his plans, so he deny anything that's said about them.

To be fair, it is literally Electioneering 101 for a challenger candidate to be vague, for exactly this reason.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:21 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lehrer: "We're way over the first fifteen minutes, but... if you don't have a problem, I don't have a problem."

Good thing he's not letting the candidates run the debate. Such a strong moderator!
posted by koeselitz at 6:22 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Obama, don't even look at him. Don't act like you're hearin it
posted by rmless at 6:22 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney's plan is transparent. Deny his plan is his plan and dare Obama to call him a liar.
posted by Justinian at 6:22 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


The poor exist, they just don't vote.
posted by murfed13 at 6:22 PM on October 3, 2012


Uh oh, small business electronics store story coming in.

Also, when did Obama say he was going to raise taxes to 40% on business?

The hell did that come from?
posted by Slackermagee at 6:22 PM on October 3, 2012


romney has talked to a man with a very small business.
posted by qnarf at 6:22 PM on October 3, 2012


I am super distracted by Romney's USA/China pin.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:22 PM on October 3, 2012


Man, Mitt is just so rude. I get that Lehrer isn't standing up for himself very well, but dude, would it kill you to be polite?
posted by jetlagaddict at 6:22 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Okay... I'm drunk. But is Romney really saying that he won't make any tax cut that reduces revenues?

Really?

OMYGODEDITWINDOW
posted by deanklear at 6:22 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


ok, internet is back streaming just fine.

i was hoping for more from lehrer. hmmm.
posted by sio42 at 6:22 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thinks that an urge to puke or cry while debating the President is the first sigh of humanity exhibited by Romneybot.
posted by wintermind at 6:22 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now Obama's turn to smirk.
posted by zardoz at 6:22 PM on October 3, 2012


Obamasmirking
posted by HyperBlue at 6:22 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't READ ALL THE THINGS and actually absorb any of this! How are you people doing this?

We're ignoring what they're actually saying. Sad but true.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:23 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


So much for Lehrer.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:23 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think Obama has got a handle on business-speak w/o sounding like a boring asshole, as most business speakers sound. While Romney sounds like he's overheating by trying to sound sincere.
posted by angrycat at 6:23 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Math, bitches,!!!
posted by rmless at 6:23 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, cut deductions? Like the ones for your horse share? Because your horse is worth more in deductions a year than I am.
posted by jetlagaddict at 6:23 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


i see obama's point here, but he's articulating it poorly.
posted by qnarf at 6:23 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm as big an Obama fan as they come, but I feel like he's smirking and it's not doing him any favors. He needs to put on his professor face.
posted by anastasiav at 6:23 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Math, common sense and our history show this will not work.

BURN

And then he rams Bush's economic policies down Romney's throat!
posted by winna at 6:23 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh ho ho, nice comeback with the Bush smear.
posted by jaduncan at 6:23 PM on October 3, 2012


The poor exist, they just don't vote.

More to the point, if they do vote, they are not undecided.
posted by jessamyn at 6:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


FOX News tomorrow: Obama says to Americans: "Governor Romney's plan may work for you"
posted by shortfuse at 6:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama just used the "C" word-- commonsense.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:24 PM on October 3, 2012


By saying "jobs" as often as he can, Romney's helping employ one of his key constituencies: robots in the machine transcription sector. (Like how Nixon won in that Futurama episode).
posted by audi alteram partem at 6:24 PM on October 3, 2012


I can't READ ALL THE THINGS and actually absorb any of this! How are you people doing this?


We're all actually small businesses, employing people to comment for us so we don't have to. Job creation, yay!
posted by cjelli at 6:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Anyone got a link to a site where they're doing live fact checking?
posted by arcticseal at 6:24 PM on October 3, 2012


They're both very technocratic guys when they want to be, aren't they?
posted by benito.strauss at 6:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama is now equating Romney with W (without mentioning W). Interesting move.
posted by koeselitz at 6:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


cnn's SCIENCE TRACKER is really bored by obama's pushback on romney.
posted by qnarf at 6:24 PM on October 3, 2012


I GET THE LAST WORD.

-Entitled.
posted by Slackermagee at 6:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Throw a tantrum, Mitt!
posted by absalom at 6:24 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama: Maybe we should move on, but... let me talk on anyway!

Romney: I get the last word!
posted by jazon at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012


"The rich will be fine. The real people who are suffering and need our help are middle-income Americans."

So I guess the poor just don't exist?


Didn't Ryan basically say the same thing yesterday? And how the middle-class like owning homes or something?
posted by Room 641-A at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012


OOh, Romney's being a dick. He lost his good start.
posted by cashman at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012


Wow, Romney is rude!
posted by insectosaurus at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012


Wow Romney is very obviously panicking.
posted by Defenestrator at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


My plan is made from magical fairy dust.
posted by arcticseal at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


How is Romney being crazy rude to the moderator playing with the focus group?
posted by winna at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012


why does Lehrer not have two big red buttons that disconnect each candidate's microphone?
posted by xbonesgt at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


Governor Romney, heh.
posted by SillyShepherd at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012


JESUS CHRIST LEHRER SHOW A SPINE!
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm judging it pretty smirk-neutral so far. Neither candidate is winning there.
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012


mitt looks so incredibly uncomfortable. jesus god. mitt is insane. is this how the debates always are, with the running roughshod over the moderator? i can't remember.
posted by sio42 at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012


JIM JIM THE RULES I KNOW THE RULES I HAVE THE RULES PROGRAMMED INTO ME JIM JIM I HAVE THE BOOK OF RULES I STAYED UP LATE READING THE RULES JIM I WILL SPEAK NOW IT IS THE RULES
posted by qnarf at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [28 favorites]


Money paid to employees is a business expense and is thus 100% subtracted from taxable earnings, no? How is it rational to say raising taxes on small businesses would cause them to forego potentially necessary (and tax deductible) business expenses?
posted by nobody at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


JIM, JIM, JIM, I THINK WE ALL KNOW THAT I DEFINE THE RULES OF THE DEBATE HERE JIM
posted by Flunkie at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Lehrer! MODERATE! Tell Romney it's time to step away from the thread!
posted by Panjandrum at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


The undecided tanked when Mitt shouted over Jim.
posted by dejah420 at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is it just me, or does Mitt Romney come across as an insufferable asshole?
posted by syzygy at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


(preferably Romney's spine)
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012


I can't READ ALL THE THINGS and actually absorb any of this! How are you people doing this?

Read less. Drink more.



Yikes... Romney is the interrupting cow.
posted by zennie at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [12 favorites]


QUESTION: what is the black thing on Romney's american flag pin?
posted by Greg Nog at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012


How can anyone know your fucking plan when you won't tell us?!!!!
posted by zerbinetta at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2012


This moderator couldn't moderate his way out of a wet paper bag.
posted by Dr. Send at 6:26 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I dunno, I think Romney is doing not too badly. I mean, I hate what he's saying but he's delivering his message.
posted by Rumple at 6:26 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Uh oh, I missed it. What was point 1 again?
posted by birdheist at 6:26 PM on October 3, 2012


Wow, Romney's plan has never been tried before. Does he not remember the Tax Reform Act of 1986?
posted by wierdo at 6:26 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney ----> ABORT ABORT ABORT!!!!
posted by Skygazer at 6:26 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney is looking sweaty and nervous. His voice is on the edge of breaking.


Christ, he's practiced that smile, though.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:26 PM on October 3, 2012


Lehrer: "Aaaaight...."
posted by Mapes at 6:26 PM on October 3, 2012


My plan is not the plan that you are thinking it is...my plan is MAGIC magic that has never been seen before.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:26 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney likes that number 47, doesn't he?
posted by SillyShepherd at 6:26 PM on October 3, 2012


ha ha i am jim lehrer and i have completely blown this ha ha
posted by qnarf at 6:26 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


The moderator should have two "cut the mike" buttons. And should be willing to use them.
posted by Flunkie at 6:26 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Damn, that's all I can watch. Off to the salt mines. I hope Romney trips up, but he's a pretty decent debater. Obama needs to get a LOT angrier and put Romney in a corner he has to fight his way out of. then we might see some panic.
posted by zardoz at 6:26 PM on October 3, 2012


I'm voting for an emergency swap with jessamyn. This needs people to follow the rules and not derail.
posted by jaduncan at 6:26 PM on October 3, 2012 [20 favorites]


Is Lehrer the moderator for the other debates?
posted by inigo2 at 6:27 PM on October 3, 2012


deficits are immoral? that's a weird way of putting that.
posted by qnarf at 6:27 PM on October 3, 2012


Big Bird and Obamacare? what the fuck is Romney going on about?
posted by xbonesgt at 6:27 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I like it!"

Ha. Nice riposte.
posted by absalom at 6:27 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


OH NO HE DINNENT (threaten PBS to Jim PBS Lehrer)
posted by HyperBlue at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is Lehrer the moderator for the other debates? Nope - Candy Crowley, and the other one is Bob Scheiffer.
posted by cashman at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012


"I love Big Bird"
posted by MegoSteve at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012


What is this about Big Bird, what did he even just say

what
posted by jinjo at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


inigo2: "Is Lehrer the moderator for the other debates?"

I hope not.
posted by dejah420 at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stop the subsidy to PBS. That seems gutsy.
posted by koeselitz at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012


He's attacking PBS now?!?
posted by Rhomboid at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012


We're in 26 minutes and ROmney's going to choke. He's over-extended....


I LIKE BIG BIRD!!!



Squee...
posted by Skygazer at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012


OMG Romney is going to kill Big Bird what?
posted by Room 641-A at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney just said that he'd kill Sesame Street? Really?
posted by wintermind at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012


Hey Romney, very little of federal borrowing comes from China.
posted by wierdo at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012


When Romney's pitch goes up he sounds just like George HW Bush.

Also he loves Big Bird. And coal.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think he likes Guy Smiley more.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


holy fucking shit is he really saying that???
posted by sio42 at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


did he just threaten PBS's subsidy WHILST ON PBS?
posted by jetlagaddict at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [12 favorites]


Oh man unraveling
posted by angrycat at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012


WELL BIG BIRD DOESN'T LIKE YOU.
posted by changeling at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [19 favorites]


I can't watch; it's too awful. I decided to try reading this thread as proxy, but it's still making me sick to my stomach. Ugh. Can't we just vote now?
posted by tzikeh at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


cut pbs
posted by HyperBlue at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012


I just love the repeated implication that Obama doesn't want to create jobs and grow the economy. "Oh, I totally want to create jobs. This is an incredibly novel idea that has not been tried before."
posted by cjelli at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


BIG BIRD GO BYE BYE, BITCHES.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


HA HA JIM I AM GOING TO CUT YOUR FUNDING AND SEND YOU TO JAIL WITH BIG BIRD YOU WILL DIE IN A HOLE HA HA
posted by qnarf at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


He will pry PBS from my cold, dead hands!
posted by Diagonalize at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


HOLY COW HE SAID HE'S CUTTING PBS. And then he referenced Big Bird! Yes, Romney is going to cut Big Bird.
posted by winna at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney likes lots of of the things he wants to kill.
posted by zennie at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


You are fired Jim! Love, mitt
posted by rmless at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


oh my big bird he is off the rails
posted by iamkimiam at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Top things not to say to the moderator:

1. I'll be cutting funding for your job.

WTF Mitt!
posted by cashman at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012


WOOOOOOOWOOOOOOOOO

Romney's train is jumping the rails!
posted by Slackermagee at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012


MITT ROMNEY WANTS TO CANCEL SESAME STREET!
posted by inigo2 at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012


"I like Big Bird" Really?!!!
posted by nooneyouknow at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012


My Facebook feed (which is full of idiots) thinks, pretty much across the board, that Romney is knocking it out of the park here.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I'm going to cut the subsidy to PBS."
Wow, Romney just put out a cigar on Jim Lehrer's forearm.
posted by obscurator at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


That's it, Lehrer's out of there. Put Jessamyn in.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


The president doesn't have a line item veto. He can't just slash programs like that.
posted by Jahaza at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012


This Romneytude is going to piss off people. But he likes Big Bird.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012


ROMNEY LIKES COAL AND LOVES BIG BIRD! I HAD HIM ALL WRONG! I LOVE YOU MITTENS!
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mr. Dennit President, with all due respect, and remember I'm sayin' it with all due respect, that idea ain't worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin' it on.
posted by frijole at 6:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is Romney word-spamming the word-clouds-to-be?
posted by SillyShepherd at 6:29 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney is killing it.
posted by Perplexity at 6:29 PM on October 3, 2012


I'm sure cutting the PBS subsidy will just about eliminate the deficit by itself.
posted by SubterraneanRedStateBlues at 6:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Cut ALL the programs!

You're program gets cut! and Your program gets cut! And Your program gets cut!
posted by jazon at 6:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


What other programs could be run more efficiently at the state level?

Can you imagine Sesame Street, Arkansas?

Downton Abbey, New Mexico?
posted by goHermGO at 6:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I Love Big Bird" Romeny Autotune in 5...4...3...2...
posted by nosila at 6:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Clearly Mitt has never watched Mr. Rogers defend PBS funding.
posted by thack3r at 6:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Aww, how could Romeny cut Big Bird. Why does Romeny hate Big Bird?
posted by Ad hominem at 6:29 PM on October 3, 2012


Mittens: OK, senior citizens who have Medicare and people who love Sesame Street, may I have your attention? I HATE YOU. YOU ARE COMMIE CHINESE SYMPS.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:29 PM on October 3, 2012


I want to see Lehrer get really passive aggressive. "*sigh*, we were only supposed to only spend 15 minutes on that question, and I thought it would be time to move on by now, but it's not like I was ever a governor or president so what do I know?"
posted by mcmile at 6:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


LEAVE BIG BIRD ALONE!
posted by ericb at 6:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney: I LIEK BIG BIRD.
posted by InsanePenguin at 6:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney likes Big Bird. I like Big Bird too, but Romney looked like he was losing his shit there. Let the man rant.
posted by marxchivist at 6:29 PM on October 3, 2012


Hey, Big Bird, I'ma let you finish, but not-you is the best thing to fund of all time

OF ALL TIME
posted by cortex at 6:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


Days like this, the favorites cap needs to be lifted. LIFT THE CAP MATHOWIE!
posted by drezdn at 6:29 PM on October 3, 2012


inigo2: "Is Lehrer the moderator for the other debates?"

Is he the moderator for this debate?
posted by mikepop at 6:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [44 favorites]


Romney: I like to fire people...and Big Bird.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:30 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama's poised, he's paced, precise, polite, pithy and professional....

This is ON MOTHERFUCKERS!


Romney is FUCKED.
posted by Skygazer at 6:30 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Big Bird is a little large to be considered a varmint.
posted by Flunkie at 6:30 PM on October 3, 2012


smarmy sumbitch - no way someone can look at Romney and like the guy.
posted by syzygy at 6:30 PM on October 3, 2012


obama is winning this by being boring. every time he says things my brain turns off and i think 'i like him'. when romney speaks he talks about murdering a beloved childhood icon of mine.
posted by qnarf at 6:30 PM on October 3, 2012 [12 favorites]


What's the highest res live debate feed?
posted by nosila at 6:30 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney mad cuz he knows The Count is way better with numbers.
posted by raztaj at 6:30 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's on the website and you can look at the numbers. Where are your numbers Mittens?
posted by arcticseal at 6:30 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama needs to come back with "and Mitt, leave Big Bird out of it."
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:30 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Jesus. If he'd said he'd cut Elmo, I might see his point. But Big Bird? Asshole.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 6:31 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Put Jessamyn in.

I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.
posted by jessamyn at 6:31 PM on October 3, 2012 [57 favorites]


Perplexity: “Romney is killing it.”

Surveys are still out on what "it" is, however.
posted by koeselitz at 6:31 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


My husband won't let me mute Romney. *sigh* maybe just turn it off.
posted by Kronur at 6:31 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama is not doing well, he's wandering and imprecise.
posted by Rumple at 6:31 PM on October 3, 2012


I hope that Obama stays chill while Mitt bursts a gasket.
posted by murfed13 at 6:32 PM on October 3, 2012


any club that would have you as a member is probably a club you don't want to be a member of :-)
posted by syzygy at 6:32 PM on October 3, 2012


The Twitter feed on ABC News is occasionally hilarious: "I am watching this at the same time as Paranormal Activity and I'm not sure which is freaking me out more."
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:32 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oooh, finally getting heated back-and-forth
posted by koeselitz at 6:32 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama barely held from bursting out laughing when Romney said that he wouldn't do Simpson-Bowles, he has "his own plan".
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:32 PM on October 3, 2012


I have my own "plan" but you have to guess what it is.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:32 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama is succeeding in painting romney as out of touch and not aware of the realities of being potus.
posted by stoneweaver at 6:32 PM on October 3, 2012


Did Romney not recognize Simpson-Bowles?
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:32 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney hates yellow birds.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:32 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


"You've been President for four years!"
posted by koeselitz at 6:32 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


XBOX says 69% for Obama 27% Romney
posted by JakeEXTREME at 6:32 PM on October 3, 2012


right so the debates are really two people are having a conversation with someone other than the person who they are talking to.
posted by sio42 at 6:32 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama please just shhh and let mitt keep digging himself deeper.
Maybe he will kill Raffi next
posted by rmless at 6:32 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Jesus. If he'd said he'd cut Elmo, I might see his point. But Big Bird? Asshole.

Them's fighting words. Leave Elmo alone.
posted by Skygazer at 6:32 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


men really like it when mitt starts yapping FOUR YEARS at obama, according to cnn's TRACKING OF THE UNDECIDED. women seem... concerned by it.
posted by qnarf at 6:32 PM on October 3, 2012


Mittens got claws!
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:32 PM on October 3, 2012


Jill Stein is making me hungry for bread.
posted by homunculus at 6:32 PM on October 3, 2012


PBS just chunked out on me. GRAR
posted by winna at 6:33 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama is gonna get angry and say what he really thinks. GAME OVER ROMNEY.
posted by snsranch at 6:33 PM on October 3, 2012


For those not watching, under a Romney administration Big Bird is toast. No word yet on Santa and the Easter Bunny.
posted by any major dude at 6:33 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney was doing well up until he pledged to kill PBS. I wish they would just spend the rest of the debate actually nailing down the impossibility of Romney's budget plan, though: Like Obama said, there just aren't enough loopholes for the rich to offset the tax cuts.

There's already a lot more substance than the 2008 debates, though.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 6:33 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't want to kill jobs, just Big Bird.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:33 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


We missed the small detail of Mitt's plan - he'll cut programs if it's not worth borrowing money from China. Implication: he'll fund the government by borrowing 100% from China! He can cut taxes all he wants, just take out another loan!
posted by jazon at 6:33 PM on October 3, 2012


SPAIN... SPAIN

He doesn't want to go down the path to Spain!
posted by winna at 6:34 PM on October 3, 2012


I would like to go to Spain thanks
posted by rmless at 6:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


deficits are immoral? that's a weird way of putting that.

It's from the Pope, among other places as excerpted in this article:
Pope Benedict XVI was asked recently about morality the accumulation of colossal debts by governments, with particular reference to Germany. His interviewer Mr. Peter Seewald finished his question asking, "Isn't that also an insanely big moral problem?" The Holy Father responded:
Naturally, because we are living at the expense of future generations. In this respect it is plain that we are living in untruth. We live on the basis of appearances, and the huge debts are meanwhile treated as something that we are simply entitled to. (Light of the World, Ignatius Press, 2010, p. 47.)
posted by Jahaza at 6:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


After seeing how you behaved in the UK, pretty sure Spain doesn't want you to come over either.
posted by goHermGO at 6:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


THE REVENUE I GET IS BY MORE PEOPLE WORKING
FOR ME
I WILL MAKE YOU WORK FOR ME
SPAIN SPAIN SPAIN SPAIN
I HATE SPAIN I AM MITT ROMNEY I WILL GO TO WAR WITH SPAIN
posted by qnarf at 6:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think Lehrer is throwing this so no one fucking bothers him again.
posted by Slackermagee at 6:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [10 favorites]


MISTER PRESIDENT, YOU'VE GOT SOME ENSPAINING TO DO
posted by cortex at 6:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


The pain in Spain stays mainly on the JOB CREATORS.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:34 PM on October 3, 2012


"I don't want to go down the path to Spain" - MR

mixed metaphor fail.
posted by iamkimiam at 6:34 PM on October 3, 2012


It must be hard to advocate your own policies when you don't know what they are.
posted by rtha at 6:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


YOU WON'T LIKE MITTENS WHEN HE ANGRY.
posted by Theta States at 6:34 PM on October 3, 2012


What's CNN / Youtube audience polling saying so far? Is there a clear trend?
posted by dontjumplarry at 6:34 PM on October 3, 2012


THE JOBS PROBLEM IS A DEMAND PROBLEM NOT A SUPPLY PROBLEM. SAY IT OBAMA SAY IT.
posted by charred husk at 6:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Oh here comes Corporate Welfare!
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:34 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney THE VULTURE CAPITALIST believes in getting more people working for higher wages. What a crock.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:35 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well I've never been to Spain, but I sure do like the music...
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 6:35 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wonder how many supercarriers Spain has?
posted by rosswald at 6:35 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney: Big Bird Killa.
posted by honeybee413 at 6:35 PM on October 3, 2012


Zing!
posted by Dr. Send at 6:35 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


So Romney's proposing major income tax hikes on the hypothetical "middle-class" jobs that he plans to create, as part of the welcome package?
posted by obscurator at 6:35 PM on October 3, 2012


obama's like yeah, i wanna do what he said, BUT I HAVE A PLAN.
posted by sio42 at 6:36 PM on October 3, 2012


If you got a corporate jet...
(looks over at Romney)
..and tiny weak quads...
(looks at Romney's legs)
... and secretly you're keepin a finch in your pocket...
(points discreetly at Romney's suit jacket)
posted by Greg Nog at 6:36 PM on October 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


Exxon Mobile and corporate jets! You tell him, President Obama.
posted by misha at 6:36 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


yeah honestly if this were the path to Spain I would expect substantially better tapas in my face. but I see no tapas, Mittens. Team Tapas.
posted by jetlagaddict at 6:36 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait, it's 9:36. Are they still on question 1?
posted by anastasiav at 6:36 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's from the Pope, among other places as excerpted in this article:

i get it, it's just... unusual to put it that way? religiously bent, but in a backhanded kind of way? if that makes sense?
posted by qnarf at 6:36 PM on October 3, 2012


Uh oh, don't do it Obama, don't go to the 'I met a guy/gal who knew...'
posted by Slackermagee at 6:36 PM on October 3, 2012


Or how many supermax prisons
posted by Rumple at 6:36 PM on October 3, 2012


Did Romney not recognize Simpson-Bowles?

No, and in fact he had referred to it earlier before the most recent time it was brought up.
posted by Jahaza at 6:36 PM on October 3, 2012


I like this debate so far. Romney has had his jackass moments, but he's still hanging right there. Obama needs to raise the republican obstructionism somewhere in here. How can I get shit done when your party keeps blocking everything we try to do to fix it? And bam, bring in the Veteran Jobs bill the republicans scuttled last week.
posted by cashman at 6:36 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Obama keeps bringing it around to education.
posted by jazon at 6:37 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama looks flustered. Asking moderator to change subject was weak... As is his tendency to look down when Romney delivers attacks. Romney was smart to leave most of the zingers out...
posted by BobbyVan at 6:37 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama: please don't talk about the chicks you met in Vegas. It should stay in Vegas!
posted by kmay at 6:37 PM on October 3, 2012


mister president needs to speed it up.
posted by changeling at 6:37 PM on October 3, 2012


The lack of practice is hurting Obama...a lot of Um's and Ah's.
posted by packfan88c at 6:37 PM on October 3, 2012


They're going to cover 2 questions if they're lucky. If I was Jim Lehrer I would just drop the mic and walk out at this point.
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:37 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is anyone else noticing on CNN how there's almost always a gap between men and women when Obama is talking (with men lower than women)? It doesn't seem like it's there when Romney is talking. I'd loooove to see the statistics on that.
posted by Osrinith at 6:37 PM on October 3, 2012


this debate isn't so much moderated as it is watched by a tired, shrimpy old man with tiny button eyes
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:37 PM on October 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


how can you like coal AND clean energy?
posted by xbonesgt at 6:37 PM on October 3, 2012


Mitt, do NOT try to defend the Oil&Gas companies. That's not going to go well.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:38 PM on October 3, 2012


Oil industry tax breaks largely go to small businesses? Seriously?
posted by koeselitz at 6:38 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


XBOX says 69% for Obama 27% Romney

You don't say.
posted by MrBadExample at 6:38 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes killing green energy is like the best ever idea.
posted by stoneweaver at 6:38 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney just called Tesla losers.
posted by MegoSteve at 6:38 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fuck your oil addiction. Give me solar.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:38 PM on October 3, 2012


"I had a friend say"... cowardly move there Mitt.
posted by cashman at 6:38 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Zing! Losers!
I am a mitt winner job creator words!
posted by rmless at 6:38 PM on October 3, 2012


Mrs A is so bugged by Romney speaking that she's put headphones on.
posted by arcticseal at 6:38 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I don't want to go down the path to Spain" - MR

Well, no, he is Mormon. His running mate is Catholic, so Ryan is more likely to be found on the trail to Santiago de Compostela.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:39 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Poor Jim.
posted by absalom at 6:39 PM on October 3, 2012


Lipstick Thespian: "ROMNEY LIKES COAL AND LOVES BIG BIRD! I HAD HIM ALL WRONG! I LOVE YOU MITTENS!"

I PLAN ON PUTTING BIG BIRD IN A COAL MINE HA HA GUESS HE'LL HAVE TO BEND OVER A BIT HA HA
posted by boo_radley at 6:39 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


I like the way Obama slows down. Romney starts speaking too fast which is from a combination of nerves and trying to cram too much information into a two minute segment. Obam sounds more authoritative and in command just by speaking slower.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:39 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I like that Obama speaks slowly. Romney sounds frenzied and nonpresidential.
posted by murfed13 at 6:39 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney's an asshole, but he's doing OK, mostly by walking all over Lehrer.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:39 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone else enhancing their viewing experience by playing "Duel of the Fates" in the background?
posted by mediated self at 6:39 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Romney: "let me correct a thing or two about shipping jobs overseas..."
posted by Theta States at 6:39 PM on October 3, 2012


DO NOT MITT ROMNEY START TALKING OUT YOUR ASS ABOUT CARING FOR THE POOR YOU SUNAVABITCH OHGOD
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:39 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama really needs to stop nodding on Romney's attack lines.
posted by jaduncan at 6:39 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Neil DeGrasse Tyson Via twitter: Hmm. Obama & Romney spent 22 min on job-creation with hardly a sentence on the seminal role of sci-tech innovation in 21st century economies.
posted by jazon at 6:39 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


I NEED TO GET AN ACCOUNTANT THAT WILL TELL ME HOW TO GET TAX BENEFITS FOR SHIPPING JOBS OVERSEAS.
ALL THE JOBS I SHIPPED OVERSEAS WERE SIMPLY TO HEAR THEIR CHILDREN CRY, NOT FOR TAX PURPOSES.
posted by qnarf at 6:39 PM on October 3, 2012 [16 favorites]


Obama looks flustered.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
posted by inigo2 at 6:39 PM on October 3, 2012 [12 favorites]


Wait..."your poor"? Whose poor? Obama has his own personal poor?
posted by Diagonalize at 6:39 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


yeah - i feel like obama is speaking naturally while romney is reciting.
posted by sio42 at 6:40 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Big bird trending on twitter.
posted by stoneweaver at 6:40 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


The way Romney says the word 'poor' says it all, really. He can't hide the loathing - it's like he's holding the word with tongs.

Also, Romney has talked way more than his share in my perception.
posted by winna at 6:40 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wait, it's 9:36. Are they still on question 1?

They've just moved to segment three, but the first two were largely on the same topic.
posted by Jahaza at 6:40 PM on October 3, 2012


xbonesgt: "how can you like coal AND clean energy?"

Because it's clean coal. What else are we going to do with those unicorns that eat coal slurry and shit rainbows?
posted by tonycpsu at 6:40 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ooooo entitlements. The hot topic. Be wary.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:40 PM on October 3, 2012


I think Romney has that sort of professional sports broadcaster false urgency going on. Sort of an inarticulable rage.
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:40 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney looks like he has a huge Romney-shaped stick up his ass.
posted by syzygy at 6:40 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ugh, are they ever going to get to other domestic issues - what health care can your employer choose to deny you?
posted by Kronur at 6:41 PM on October 3, 2012


Also, I wish when Romney was talking about not saving money sending jobs overseas, Obama had just said "well, why did you keep doing it?"
posted by inigo2 at 6:41 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Stop trying to make 'flustered' happen, dude.
posted by cashman at 6:41 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Noooo, Obama, you're better than grandma stories.
posted by Diagonalize at 6:41 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


That was not a graceful pivot, Mr.president. And now slowly talking about you grandma...
posted by charred husk at 6:41 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney likes big bird - can't wait for him to flip-flop on this.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:41 PM on October 3, 2012


Needs much more focused questions. These open ended ones are just an invitation for a firehouse of talking points.
posted by Rumple at 6:41 PM on October 3, 2012


I think Obama sounds authoritative and Romeny sounds like an Internet crank who just googled a bunch of shit and is trying to spit it all out before he forgets it.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:42 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Eponysterical, Inigo!
posted by BobbyVan at 6:42 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Very good that Obama calls out the nastiness of the term "entitlements".
posted by maudlin at 6:42 PM on October 3, 2012


Yeah go to Medicare!!
Remind everyone to boo Ryan!
posted by rmless at 6:42 PM on October 3, 2012


no, it's good to do the granma story to remind women & elderly why they need to rage against the capitalist.
posted by liza at 6:42 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Obama looks flustered. Asking moderator to change subject was weak... As us his tendency to look down when Romney delivers attacks. Romney was smart to leave the zingers out...

You seem kind of flustered... all these ellipses...
posted by stavrogin at 6:42 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Noooo, Obama, you're better than grandma stories.

The CNN line for undecided female voters moved UP during that. Not a bad move.
posted by maudlin at 6:42 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney: I'm a bigass hog that's going to talk over Jim Lehrer every chance I can get, because I'M ROMNEY BOT AND BZZZ SPSSSTTTZZZ BRRIIIIIZZZ!!!
posted by Skygazer at 6:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


inigo2: "Also, I wish when Romney was talking about not saving money sending jobs overseas, Obama had just said "well, why did you keep doing it?""

The Republican-Democrat debate agreement only allows them to ask questions about hypotheticals.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:43 PM on October 3, 2012


Mitt: Earmuffs, Grandma!
posted by goHermGO at 6:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt: If you're old, stop listening.

WHAT
posted by troika at 6:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Facebook just got a Save Big Bird page
posted by obscurator at 6:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


UH OH HERE COME ZINGER
posted by qnarf at 6:43 PM on October 3, 2012


Humor is not romney's strong suit.
posted by stoneweaver at 6:43 PM on October 3, 2012


"You have two minutes to answer... HAHA LOL j/k you can just talk over me its cooool."
posted by zennie at 6:43 PM on October 3, 2012


Did he just Shell Game retirees?
posted by JakeEXTREME at 6:43 PM on October 3, 2012


The same 716 that Ryan has in his budget plan...
posted by packfan88c at 6:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now Obama only has to say that he thought Romney didn't have to care about those people. (Seniors depending on entitlements)
posted by JoeXIII007 at 6:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey olds, you can stop listening to me now.
posted by Babblesort at 6:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can't believe Romney keeps repeating the Medicare cut line.
posted by murfed13 at 6:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did you know that if you're old, you don't give a fuck about what happens to anyone else?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


If you are 60....damn. I turned 55 this year. Sucks to be me.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:43 PM on October 3, 2012


i wonder if some of those rules mediareport was linking to earlier have something to do with why obama didn't/can't say something like inigo suggested, calling him out directly on something.
posted by sio42 at 6:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Their poor", "our seniors" ... dear Mitt, these are actual PEOPLE you're talking about.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 6:44 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


That was a terrible "oops I forgot about this" twist to get to the supposed $700B cuts.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:44 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh I just thought of one? Are you in 7th grade?
posted by aspo at 6:44 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Viewers' reaction shot
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:44 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Mitt: If you're old, stop listening.

WHAT


It was a trick, he's now going into some kind of mathemagic about how Obama 'cut' Medicare.
posted by winna at 6:44 PM on October 3, 2012


Time out! I need a new Lie Meter. Romney broke mine.
posted by snsranch at 6:44 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney is quintipling down on the 716 billion dollar cut LIE.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:44 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


IF ONLY WE HAD UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE, MITT, JUST LIKE MASSACHUSETTS
posted by jetlagaddict at 6:44 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


whenever romney speaks... passionately to obama, he starts to look like he's just seconds from throwing his podium aside and slamming his fists into the ground over and over again
posted by qnarf at 6:44 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney, are you not aware that Medicare Advantage costs more than regular Medicare, and that providers agreed to the Medicare cuts in exchange for the individual mandate?
posted by wierdo at 6:44 PM on October 3, 2012


murfed13: "I can't believe Romney keeps repeating the Medicare cut line."

Programming fail. Stuck in a loop.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 6:44 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you had 716 billion on your bingo drinking card, get to a hospital now.
posted by mikepop at 6:44 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Christ, Romney's strident arrogant tone, just makes me want to punch him.

GAHHH...
posted by Skygazer at 6:44 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


And what would those proposals be, sir?
posted by blurker at 6:45 PM on October 3, 2012


Amy Goodman is having a much easier time moderating the third party candidates. Go figure.
posted by homunculus at 6:45 PM on October 3, 2012


I'm so confused.
posted by bq at 6:45 PM on October 3, 2012


THAT'S FOR FUTURE PEOPLE
posted by qnarf at 6:45 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Future People!
posted by hellojed at 6:45 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


finally, a Ryan mention.
posted by xbonesgt at 6:45 PM on October 3, 2012


if you're 55, might wanna listen.
boom.
posted by qnarf at 6:45 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Romney is blinking more than Hugh (Blinky) Grant does in any given movie!
posted by ericb at 6:45 PM on October 3, 2012


We're overtime, handball on the right hand foul, move back five bases and repeat first down.
posted by Slackermagee at 6:45 PM on October 3, 2012


Did you know that if you're old, you don't give a fuck about what happens to anyone else?

If the retirees in my Y can be judged as a sample, lots of them don't.
posted by winna at 6:45 PM on October 3, 2012


Oh oh oh My president just told me to listen! Shout out to the 55ers
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:46 PM on October 3, 2012


Are we absolutely sure that Romney doesn't take caffeine?
posted by Flunkie at 6:46 PM on October 3, 2012


remember how i had a grandmother, guys? i mentioned her earlier. anyway, mitt romney wants to kill and eat her.
posted by qnarf at 6:46 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


come on, obama, say something about Romney developing that healthcare plan that worked out pretty darn well.
posted by sio42 at 6:46 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's a blink a second! One Mississippi, Two Mississippi ...
posted by ericb at 6:46 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


@FiredBigBird account now live.
posted by stoneweaver at 6:47 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


If Obama doesn't get around to stomping on the $716 billion crap, I will be very angry.
posted by koeselitz at 6:47 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know. Are we listening to the same debate? I'm an Obama supporter, and I'm surprised at Obama's lack of edge in this debate. As much as you want to believe that Romney sounds "falsely urgent" or whatever, my Republican relatives are out of their seats cheering at this point. Sorry.

What I wish I had was a "Ryan-cam" right now, because some of these economic issues that Romney is taking a stand on is not what Ryan has said he believes will reduce the deficit. It will be interesting to see the size of the smoke screen the GOP has to create in order to avoid reconciling that.
posted by jeanmari at 6:47 PM on October 3, 2012 [18 favorites]


oh god romney's smile at the obamacare joke obama made was hideous. like a basilisk.
posted by sio42 at 6:47 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Christ, Romney's strident arrogant tone, just makes me want to punch him.

I think that is what is really, really hurting him. He's okay with what he's saying for the most part, but he's just being a colossal dick up there. Interrupting Jim, interrupting Obama. Hell, he even interrupted himself.
posted by cashman at 6:47 PM on October 3, 2012


gifwich is killing it, right now.

some favorites: posted by heeeraldo at 6:47 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


"I support no change for current retirees"

But everyone else...vouchers
posted by packfan88c at 6:47 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


GAH how could you let that go, Barack? How could you not address that?
posted by koeselitz at 6:47 PM on October 3, 2012


"I have become fond of this term...ObamaCare." OH SNAP.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:47 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm worried that the press will label Romney's stridency and breathlessness as showing passion strength, and Obama's calmer tone as hesitancy and sluggishness.
posted by shortfuse at 6:48 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are we absolutely sure that Romney doesn't take caffeine?

Fuck that. He's acting and sounds like he's been snorting crystal meth...
posted by Skygazer at 6:48 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, Jim is getting bullied all over the stage by Mittens.
posted by dejah420 at 6:48 PM on October 3, 2012


I LIKE TO FIRE COMPANIES TOO
posted by qnarf at 6:48 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney: "I'm rich enough to buy whatever healthcare I want, so fuck everyone else."
posted by xbonesgt at 6:48 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


RIGHT BECAUSE YOU CAN AFFORD IT ROMNEY GRAR
posted by sio42 at 6:48 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Because I like firing people!
posted by blurker at 6:48 PM on October 3, 2012


Hey, the crazy rich guy prefers having a private health plan, who knew??
posted by inigo2 at 6:48 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Romney's smirk comes off as him not use to listening to people.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:48 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


TWO free plans IMPROVES efficiencies. OF COURSE.

WTF?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:49 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama's missing opportunities for death hugs.
posted by stavrogin at 6:49 PM on October 3, 2012


This voucher system is a nightmare, and I hope Obama points out that the last thing that the elderly want to do is fucking pore through the minute details and differences of healthcare plans, on a screen or in a gigantic paper packet.
posted by cashman at 6:49 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh well, at least Romney considers me young.

Heh! Romney prefers private health care-- Gee I wonder why?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:49 PM on October 3, 2012


If I weren't listening to any actual words that are being said during this debate, I'd say that Romney is killing it. :/
posted by thack3r at 6:49 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney is by far and away the Angriest Politician I've ever seen - he looks just like Michael Douglas from Falling Down in this debate.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:49 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't know. Are we listening to the same debate?

You're watching the one Andrew Sullivan is.
posted by waitingtoderail at 6:49 PM on October 3, 2012


Getting all gestalty here with the CNN live tracker, I can see Romney consistently moving the needle on undecided men, while Obama consistently appeals to undecided woman. Put aside the media spin, and it looks like a draw so far.
posted by maudlin at 6:50 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow. So Obama's team clearly decided to completely ignore the "$716 billion" accusation. Wow.
posted by koeselitz at 6:50 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also @bigbirdromney https://twitter.com/bigbirdromney
posted by honeybee413 at 6:50 PM on October 3, 2012


EVERYONE YELL EVERYONE YELL
posted by qnarf at 6:50 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


LEHRER IS HOPELESS.
posted by shortfuse at 6:50 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mitt is just being a huge ass. He's really hurting himself.
posted by cashman at 6:50 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney's blinking so much his eyes are getting red ... and soon he's gonna break out crying like the prep school classmate he pinned down and forcefully cut his long blond hair.

Come on ... Mitt start bawling like Scot Farkus.
posted by ericb at 6:50 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


oh my god jim cut him off!!!!
posted by sio42 at 6:50 PM on October 3, 2012


I don't know. Are we listening to the same debate? I'm an Obama supporter, and I'm surprised at Obama's lack of edge in this debate. As much as you want to believe that Romney sounds "falsely urgent" or whatever, my Republican relatives are out of their seats cheering at this point. Sorry.<>

I agree. If you don't know about the details of the system, it sounds like Romney's "It's so simple just do this" approach sounds good.

posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:50 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


ssssssssssssssshhhh

shushushush
posted by jinjo at 6:50 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have never seen any reason to be frightened of saying Voldemort’s name Obamacare.
posted by frijole at 6:51 PM on October 3, 2012


Can the two of you agree that I'm the damn moderator?

No?

Oh, carry on then.
posted by absalom at 6:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Mr. Moderator, you are being a weenie. There, I said it.
posted by Diagonalize at 6:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why the hell can't Romney seem to keep himself from interrupting Lehrer? Is he running for debate moderator or president?
posted by saulgoodman at 6:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


OMG, what a fucktard. The schnapps are kicking in (sent straight from my girlfriend's aunt's mountain farm in the Austrian Alps).
posted by syzygy at 6:51 PM on October 3, 2012


is there an @jimleherer meme twitter ye that just says 'aaawwwraaaight'?
posted by qnarf at 6:51 PM on October 3, 2012


I work in a hospital that's usually about 55-60% Medicare patients. I really need more information than this, gentlemen.

Every four years I forget that I hate the modern debate format. Fool me (*counts on fingers*) six times as a voter. Maybe they should just do an AMA together and let Reddit handle it.
posted by catlet at 6:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


You're watching the one Andrew Sullivan is.

I'm watching CSPAN. Is Sullivan watching CSPAN? Believe me, I want Obama to crush this guy. But I'm not seeing it happening. (And I'm a decided woman who would never vote for Romney.)
posted by jeanmari at 6:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Mitt can not stand the fact that he can't control the debate. STFU. STOP INTERRUPTING THE MODERATOR.
posted by ericb at 6:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yay, private health insurance companies have done such a great job of lowering costs. Magic of the market place and all that.
posted by octothorpe at 6:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Banks are underregulated?
posted by benito.strauss at 6:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


yeah, screw you health care company, you don't want to pay for my hip replacement? I'll get rid of you and find another insurance company that is happy to fork over the 50k for the procedure in my first year with them. The free market saves the day!
posted by any major dude at 6:52 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


BRB, opening a bank out of my garage.
posted by mynameisluka at 6:52 PM on October 3, 2012 [12 favorites]


I don't think Obama's doing well but Romney just said "Regulation is essential."

Also he wants to fire Big Bird. And wants banks to fail, presumably as long as they're New York banks, and not Swiss banks.
posted by jetlagaddict at 6:52 PM on October 3, 2012


Is he now crying? He has started to rubbing his eyes. Boo--hoo, hoo, Mittens.
posted by ericb at 6:52 PM on October 3, 2012


"Let's not!"
posted by goHermGO at 6:52 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe they should just do an AMA together and let Reddit handle it.

WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA?
posted by Jahaza at 6:52 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I would love to see Linda Ellerbee moderate.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:52 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


No no, let's not.
posted by stoneweaver at 6:52 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


YAY JIM LEHRER, finally!
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:52 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Finally Jim stands up to Romney.
posted by mediated self at 6:52 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


NO LET'S NOT.
Thank you.
posted by charred husk at 6:52 PM on October 3, 2012


Awh, I've hit my favorite limits for the day...
posted by dejah420 at 6:52 PM on October 3, 2012


Mitt's interactions with Jim are just painful to watch.
posted by cashman at 6:52 PM on October 3, 2012


oh man, obama can barely contain himself. romney just shit the bed over dodd frank. what a terrible answer.
posted by qnarf at 6:52 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama just chuckled.
posted by SillyShepherd at 6:53 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney sounds panicked

good for you Jim
posted by hellojed at 6:53 PM on October 3, 2012


There you go Jim!
posted by ReadEvalPost at 6:53 PM on October 3, 2012


Genuine Obama smile in the midst of horribly rude Interruptasaurus.
posted by gladly at 6:53 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


You could just as easily make the argument that Romney speaks quickly because he thinks quickly, he is familiar with facts and is a passionate politician.
posted by quosimosaur at 6:53 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I agree Romney is interrupting Lehrer but Obama is TALKING FOREVER. Don't open your mouth and remove all doubt. BE QUICK ABOUT IT!
posted by glaucon at 6:53 PM on October 3, 2012


At this stage Romney has gotten combative with the moderator. Obama has kept his cool. What impact does this dynamic have on those watching?
posted by ericb at 6:53 PM on October 3, 2012


"LET'S TALK ABOUT..."

"Well, no, let's not."

Finally, Lehrer.
posted by Flunkie at 6:53 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney, the champion of small banks. LOL
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 6:53 PM on October 3, 2012


Yeah, I agree with jeanmari. I have a feeling that a lot of people are going to view this as a Romney win.
posted by Windigo at 6:54 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama keeps having slow starts and lots of pauses as the beginnings of his answers but he picks it up every time
posted by rmless at 6:54 PM on October 3, 2012


I agree. If you don't know about the details of the system, it sounds like Romney's "It's so simple just do this" approach sounds good.

I agree too. Romney has said some things that I'd like if I believed him --- he deeply misrepresented his own budget plan in the beginning. And now Romney is championing regulations? What is this bizarro-world shit? Romney will gut regulations if elected.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 6:54 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama keeps emphasizing how they agree, I think it's a chess move to remind his base that he's not a total tea party fanatic.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:54 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama isn't killing it, but he doesn't have to. Romney does and he isn't. Obama is doing what he usually does, appear calm and Presidential, as opposed to flailing around as Romney is.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:55 PM on October 3, 2012


WALL STREET ZING.
posted by Theta States at 6:55 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Given the challenges this format presents to having a substantive discussion, I've taken to wondering about more picayune matters. Like, what the heck is that black spot on Romney's tie pin? "An antenna for the aliens?"
posted by audi alteram partem at 6:55 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can't we get Judge Judy to moderate these things? The moderator is just a sham anyways, at least SHE wouldn't be walked all over
posted by packfan88c at 6:55 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


Romney is winning this debate because he's changed his positions since two days ago, and Obama didn't see it coming.
posted by koeselitz at 6:55 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Obama has had a few chances to make very hard strikes. Being too polite...maybe.
posted by snsranch at 6:55 PM on October 3, 2012


I agree. If you don't know about the details of the system, it sounds like Romney's "It's so simple just do this" approach sounds good.

See, this is what I'm most worried about. Many of the Republicans in my family are judging the debate thusly:

1) Does my guy sound like a fighter? I like a fighter!
2) Is he stomping all over that commie moderator from PBS? Suck it, liberal moderator!
3) Does my guy sound like a fighter? Hell, yeah! I want a fight!

Yeah, want to come over for Thanksgiving dinner? Good times.
posted by jeanmari at 6:56 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


ROMNEY IF YOU INTERRUPT ME ONE MORE TIME I'M GOING TO KICK THE FUCK OUT OF YOU
posted by nushustu at 6:56 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lehrer: "Aaaaaight."

"Er..."

"Kay..."
posted by Mapes at 6:56 PM on October 3, 2012


ooo, healthcare. BRING THE PAIN
posted by qnarf at 6:56 PM on October 3, 2012


"Dodd Frank had too much regulation! And also too little! This is a completely consistent position to take!"
posted by cjelli at 6:56 PM on October 3, 2012


I really want to see the breakdown of talking time by each candidate. Romney is just running all over the time, and jumping on Obama. I'm coming close to thinking that Obama is clearly losing this partly by having maybe a third less time?
posted by jaduncan at 6:56 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wolfed down my dinner and came back to find 150 new comments! Romney hasn't exploded yet?
posted by arcticseal at 6:56 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney has gotten combative with the moderator.

And the moderator is a known Liberal Media Hack so he's winning points with the Conservative Base.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:57 PM on October 3, 2012


BITCHSLAP HIM JIM!!! DAMMIT I'M JUST A VIEWER NOT YOUR ASSISTANT!!


JIM!! JIM!!! JIM!!!

YELL AT ROMSTER...
posted by Skygazer at 6:57 PM on October 3, 2012


AP: Romney's lapel pin has the Secret Service logo - a star - on it. The Secret Service agents who protect him gave it to him.
posted by Rangeboy at 6:58 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Skygazer: "Romney: I'm a bigass hog that's going to talk over Jim Lehrer every chance I can get, because I'M ROMNEY BOT AND BZZZ SPSSSTTTZZZ BRRIIIIIZZZ!!!"

LOVE ME
posted by boo_radley at 6:58 PM on October 3, 2012


SHUT UP ABOUT SMALL BUSINESSES

NOT ALL OF US ARE RANDIAN FUCKSTICKS WITH VC CAPITAL AND A BUSINESS PLAN WRITTEN ON A COCKTAIL NAPKIN
posted by hellojed at 6:58 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


"I don't want an unelected board deciding what medical treatments I can have," because an unelected, opaque profit-making company makes much better decisions about that!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:58 PM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Ooooh, death panel dog whistle. I honestly wasn't expecting that!
posted by Flunkie at 6:59 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


IT ISN'T AN ENTITLMENT WHEN YOU PAY INTO THE SYSTEM
posted by ninjew at 6:59 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


I think Romney just perfectly cued up "716 billion" PERFECTLY for Obama. Take it! Take it! (It might need a zinger added to get the attention of the mouthbreathers.)
posted by maudlin at 6:59 PM on October 3, 2012


actually, CNN is showing the amount of time each candidate speaks, and they're pretty neck and neck.
posted by nushustu at 6:59 PM on October 3, 2012


I have to agree Mitt Romney is losing the debate. Badly. It's kind of embarrassing for CEOs everywhere. He thinks that by lying about his positions in a way that cuts off Obama's criticisms of them, he can fool people into forgetting what he's been caught saying at private fund raisers and has actually put forth as proposals and in campaign ads for the last 18 months. Does he think we're so dumb we'll forget all the things he's been saying up until now because we're dazzled by his subtle rapid eye-blinking hypnosis technique?
posted by saulgoodman at 6:59 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


THE STATE LEVEL IS MAGICALLY NOT GOVERNMENT
STATE LEVEL STATE LEVEL STATE LEVEL
posted by qnarf at 7:00 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


"they have to let you keep your kid..."

ROMNEY GONNA STEAL YOUR BABIES
posted by Greg Nog at 7:00 PM on October 3, 2012


death hug!
posted by stavrogin at 7:01 PM on October 3, 2012


Expensive things hurt families. Isn't Mitt an Expensive Thing?
posted by jazon at 7:01 PM on October 3, 2012


Restore Glass–Steagall!
posted by homunculus at 7:01 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romneycare!
posted by octothorpe at 7:01 PM on October 3, 2012


The fact checkers MIGHT be finished by the next debate.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:02 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama interrupts and it's a funny moment between him and Jim. More and more this is just a sloppy debate overall.
posted by cashman at 7:02 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did he just *blame Obama* for 'pushing through Obamacare without a single Republican vote'?...
posted by jinjo at 7:02 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Please, please, please, please, please keep the topic on Romneycare=Obamacare. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.
posted by Slackermagee at 7:02 PM on October 3, 2012


#OCCUPYSESAMESTREET
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:02 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Obama isn't answering shit. That really pisses me off.

And I disagree, saulgoodman. Romney is winning this debate. He's putting up obnoxious, false talking points, and Obama is letting them stand so he can explain stuff.
posted by koeselitz at 7:02 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Is anyone keeping count of the 716 billion dollar mentions?
posted by murfed13 at 7:03 PM on October 3, 2012


Look UP Obama - don't look down, it looks like defeat.
posted by syzygy at 7:03 PM on October 3, 2012


i think mefi's server is sweating under the load of all of this silliness.
posted by qnarf at 7:04 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh NOW he wants to own RomneyCare. He has been running away from it the entire campaign.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:04 PM on October 3, 2012


Adam Nagourney in NYT has started this BS already: Obama Passive, Romney Assertive
posted by shortfuse at 7:05 PM on October 3, 2012


Say no to Voodoo Economics!
posted by homunculus at 7:05 PM on October 3, 2012


Actually I'm surprised at how civil everything's been so far.
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 7:06 PM on October 3, 2012


Fuck you, Mitt Romney. Blue Cross Blue Shield has a board. I can't vote for it. I can't afford to.

My mother's replacement thyroid medicine was denied despite it being essential to her life.

Oh, we fixed it. But fuck you. There are already boards voting. For profit.
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:06 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


I have a feeling that a lot of people are going to view this as a Romney win.

Won't matter.

1) Does my guy sound like a fighter? I like a fighter!
2) Is he stomping all over that commie moderator from PBS? Suck it, liberal moderator!
3) Does my guy sound like a fighter? Hell, yeah! I want a fight!


Won't matter.
posted by mediareport at 7:06 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama: I had five seconds left before you interrupted me... now let me talk for 45.

THE STATE LEVEL IS MAGICALLY NOT GOVERNMENT

It's not that it's not government, but it is closer to the people and more responsive. There's a reason we have state governments.

Obama is saying, "It's the same plan," but really it's not, because doing something at the federal level is a key difference from doing it at the state level.
posted by Jahaza at 7:06 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's already offered in the private marketplace (keeping your kids till 26 on your policy).

YEAH, BECAUSE OF OBAMACARE. FUCK YOU AND YOUR HALF-TRUTHS, MITT.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:08 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Greg Nog: "QUESTION: what is the black thing on Romney's american flag pin?"

According to the BBC live blog, it's the US Secret Service star. I guess that's Romney's attempt to put himself on the same level as the President. Sort of like when your kid wears a sheriff's badge when he's playing cops and robbers.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:08 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


DEATH PANELS!
posted by zennie at 7:08 PM on October 3, 2012


is "mandate" a dogwhistle?
posted by rebent at 7:08 PM on October 3, 2012


Metafilter's Down (And So I Hit F5)
posted by Flunkie at 7:09 PM on October 3, 2012


I wish Obama would stop defending and start attacking
Don't let mitt run this!
posted by rmless at 7:09 PM on October 3, 2012


it's the US Secret Service star.

dang it looks like a lyme disease tick
posted by Greg Nog at 7:09 PM on October 3, 2012


Thread is locking up for me. I think Obama saw it coming, koeselitz - hence the "Mitt's big bold idea - Nevermind". But I do agree he is leaving a lot of things unchallenged.
posted by cashman at 7:09 PM on October 3, 2012


ok seems interesting now. calling out romney on some specifics.
posted by sio42 at 7:09 PM on October 3, 2012


I'M A BUSINESSMAN! I KNOW BETTER THAN TO THINK THAT A HIERARCHICAL STRUCTURE WOULD BE A GOOD THING!
posted by cortex at 7:09 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


HOT DOG ROMNEY
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:09 PM on October 3, 2012


Did we break metafilter?
posted by insectosaurus at 7:09 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


TIMED OUT BY THE SERVER ALL MY LIFE!!
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 7:09 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


something fell down behind obama while romney was talking. obama looked over, made a funny face. romney just kept spitting words. sorta the difference between the two, there.
posted by qnarf at 7:09 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do you think Romney purposely wore an American flag pin that would be larger than Obama's?
posted by Windigo at 7:10 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama is wasting time reasonably explaining everything, but Mitt's at 12 lies/minute
posted by Theta States at 7:10 PM on October 3, 2012


Thread is locking up for me.

I think it's the auto-update stuff; F5 is working a lot better than that for me. (Though, does that mean I'm just increasing load? Sorry if so...)
posted by inigo2 at 7:10 PM on October 3, 2012


yeah, wow, you worked with democrats in a congress that was 83% democratic? no shit? I wonder why? Meanwhile Obama is not getting the votes of any Republicans in congress and somehow this is because Obama is partisan? Get fucked Mitt.
posted by nushustu at 7:10 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Obama's big talking point is that Romney won't talk specifics. I'm getting bored with it.
posted by gaspode at 7:10 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama hammers on this whole secret plan nonsense.
posted by winna at 7:10 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just realized that this is a red tie vs. blue tie debate, and I think most of us know who is likely to win in a visibly red vs. blue match... hopefully we have an outlier here...
posted by JoeXIII007 at 7:10 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


ColdFusion ran out of beer for a minute, no worries.
posted by cortex at 7:11 PM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


is the reason that governor romney keeping these plans secret because... HE IS GOING TO SMASH YOU WITH HIS IRON CLAWS?
posted by qnarf at 7:11 PM on October 3, 2012


One hour in, Obama finally goes on the offensive. Thank god.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:11 PM on October 3, 2012


This shit about panels. He has obviously never had to rely on private health insurance for the big bills. If Ann needs something that her insurance doesn't cover you can bet that Mitt has no problem paying out of pocket.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:11 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Smirk. Blink. Smirk. Blink. Smirk. Blink. Smirk. Blink. Smirk. Blink.
posted by ericb at 7:11 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Romney is definitely doing much better than I expected...Anti-Christ anyone? Great talk, all talk, horrible atrocious personal philosophy.

Obama has missed too many chances to really drop the hammer and break the Romney.
posted by snsranch at 7:11 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


nooo Metafilter don't leave me drinking alone nooo
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:11 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney really is just ignoring Lehrer isn't he?
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 7:11 PM on October 3, 2012


Ah, memories of jrun!
posted by ericb at 7:11 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


THE GIPPER THE GIPPER THE GIPPER THE GIPPER
posted by Slackermagee at 7:11 PM on October 3, 2012


Jim, stand up out of your chair and cut him the fuck off!
posted by rmless at 7:11 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


it's the US Secret Service star.
So... it's a government handout.
posted by Oddly at 7:11 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


FOR FUCK'S SAKE, JIM
posted by cortex at 7:11 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Someone screengrab Lehrer, finger up, eyes closed, letting Romney step all over him again.
posted by shortfuse at 7:11 PM on October 3, 2012


From my Facebook feed: "Does Romney sound like Daniel Plainview?"
posted by You Guys Like 2 Party? at 7:12 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Lehrer closes his eyes, mouths "i hate you i hate you i hate you"
posted by cortex at 7:12 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


Obama has ruined everything, but my plans keep everything that his plans do - plus unicorns!

That's some stupid fucking logic, there.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:12 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm pretty much like Reagan, people.
posted by Theta States at 7:12 PM on October 3, 2012


Didn't debates used to have buzzers when the candidate went overtime?
posted by octothorpe at 7:12 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I HAVE A PLAN !
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 7:12 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lehrer makes L-shape with hand, mimes blowing his own brains out
posted by cortex at 7:12 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


No kidding - Anyone else think Lehrer will never get invited to do another one of these?

TOTAL failure to control the stage.
posted by pla at 7:13 PM on October 3, 2012


"I do have a plan. And it's a good one. And when I tell you about it, you'll be all, 'Whoa, that's the best plan ever!' So take that!"
posted by Diagonalize at 7:13 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


People disagree about things. It's a fact! Personally, I'm incredibly put off by controlling, type-A personalities like Romney's.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:13 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama has missed too many chances to really drop the hammer and break the Romney.

It's clear that isn't his goal for this debate. He's not trying to lang a knock out punch or score points.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:13 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


So much blinking! He must have just had those eyelids installed.
posted by painquale at 7:13 PM on October 3, 2012


Lehrer googles "knitting basics", start working on needle discipline
posted by cortex at 7:13 PM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Role of government: how quick will we get to the 47% comments?
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:13 PM on October 3, 2012


Dammit, Jim! You're a moderator, not a lump of warm butter!
posted by koeselitz at 7:13 PM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


This would be the right place to bring up the 47% thing -- will he ?
posted by Perplexity at 7:13 PM on October 3, 2012


Didn't debates used to have buzzers when the candidate went overtime?

A gong would be more appropriate for this one...
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:13 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hasn't Lehrer moderated like a dozen debates? Maybe it's time to hang up the spurs, Jim.
posted by Panjandrum at 7:14 PM on October 3, 2012


I thought that Jim was bad last time, but he was Bismarck in comparison to this one.
posted by winna at 7:14 PM on October 3, 2012


And there it is! Mitt goes faux tenther!
posted by tonycpsu at 7:14 PM on October 3, 2012


When can Obama tap out so Bill can come in and finish?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Sure obama, we can start a business, but can't open a bank in a garage.
posted by hellojed at 7:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


the first role of the government is to keep american's safe. like, you know, osama bin laden being dead now.
posted by qnarf at 7:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Single-payer system!
posted by homunculus at 7:14 PM on October 3, 2012


Didn't debates used to have buzzers when the candidate went overtime?

I'm sure that's one of the many rules they agreed on secretly beforehand.

Fuck Jim Lehrer. When the goddamn League of Women Voters is your go-to bulldog, you know you're in trouble.
posted by mediareport at 7:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


No kidding - Anyone else think Lehrer will never get invited to do another one of these?
He's spineless just like the debate council wants. If they wanted real moderation the League of Women's Voters would still be running the show.
posted by charred husk at 7:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [12 favorites]


Romney knows he better answer this question right or Grover Norquist will storm the stage and try to drown him in the bathtub.
posted by You Guys Like 2 Party? at 7:14 PM on October 3, 2012


How about playing music if the candidates begin to speak overtime? Like the Oscars. Except get the Roots or something.
posted by shortfuse at 7:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Come on, quote the Preamble to the Constitution... "promote the general welfare"... do it do it do it
posted by Flunkie at 7:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


This would be the right place to bring up the 47% thing -- will he ?

*FINGERS CROSSED*
posted by Panjandrum at 7:14 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama is talking about Lincoln. Awesome.
posted by koeselitz at 7:14 PM on October 3, 2012


Why doesn't Romney just slug ol' Grampa Lehrer in the nose and get it over with -- you can tell he wants to. Jesus, Mittens.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 7:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are we forgetting that Obama's not allowed to come across as too angry or aggressive lest he be confused with a scary angry black man in the press?
posted by saulgoodman at 7:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [19 favorites]


This would be better if Lehrer were also playing a drinking game, instead of letting Romney get away with saying things like "NO BUT I NEED TO TALK" and then five seconds later "But I'm good with people and bipartisanship."
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Remember that news item about how Lehrer was "seething" about people complaining about him? Where's that anger now?
posted by shortfuse at 7:15 PM on October 3, 2012


seriously, though, where are the zingers?
posted by qnarf at 7:15 PM on October 3, 2012


saulgoodman : People disagree about things. It's a fact! Personally, I'm incredibly put off by controlling, type-A personalities like Romney's.

I don't think either of them wins the moral high-ground there... Obama sounds a bit cooler, but neither has exactly followed the rules of the debate. :)
posted by pla at 7:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


The neighbors are having a drum circle right now. Makes this kind of surreal.
posted by charred husk at 7:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Obama, again, brings it back to education. And Mitt gives teachers some lip service too.
posted by jazon at 7:16 PM on October 3, 2012


Oh NOW he loves teachers.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think Romney's running the pursuit of happiness kritik.
posted by feloniousmonk at 7:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


tell me he didn't try to quote the preamble and fucked up!
posted by sio42 at 7:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I only vote for candidates who observe proper debate decorum.
posted by You Guys Like 2 Party? at 7:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


lehrer looks even stupider for having "bristled" earlier in the day when it was expected that he would be a doormat. this is what happens when reporters have a cozy relationship with politicians.
posted by twist my arm at 7:16 PM on October 3, 2012


Yes! Let Lehrer drink and give him a baseball bat!
posted by rmless at 7:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


seriously, though, where are the zingers?

They're out, plenty of Swiss cake rolls, though
posted by hellojed at 7:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Massachusetts, our schools are ranked number 1

So let's follow that model then, instead of whatever mystery magic Romney is proposing?
posted by Panjandrum at 7:16 PM on October 3, 2012


"I love great (private) schools."
posted by clearly at 7:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney is coming off like a hectoring, meth-fueled trucker
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Romney's voice sounds JUST LIKE REAGAN... my skin is crawling.
posted by Wordwoman at 7:16 PM on October 3, 2012


Okay, if Romney gives one more frickin' numbered list... Argh!

/ Takes another drink
posted by pla at 7:16 PM on October 3, 2012


You could cut our military by half and it would still be second to none, Romney.
posted by charred husk at 7:16 PM on October 3, 2012


The key to great schools is having a culture that values education, which you have significantly more of in Massachusetts, and is why I now live here.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


the less fortunate must care for one another?
did romney just say that?
posted by qnarf at 7:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


he's going to start singing, isn't he?
posted by benito.strauss at 7:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Are we forgetting that Obama's not allowed to come across as too angry or aggressive lest he be confused with a scary angry black man in the press?

I agree, but we have seen him be forceful, like when he was hitting mccain with the "You were wrong" thing in the 2008 debates. Granted, the right wing did go batshit insane painting him as angry black kenyan blah blah, but I do think he can do more challenging of Mitt than he has been.
posted by cashman at 7:17 PM on October 3, 2012


Key difference between the candidates: Obama is <ul>, Romney <ol>.
posted by cortex at 7:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


Wow, there comes the god card. He sounded arrogant as hell doing it.
posted by obvious at 7:17 PM on October 3, 2012


Jesus H. Christ and the Angel Moroni, is this really the direction Mittens wants to go?
posted by Diagonalize at 7:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama needs to point out that 'we have a duty to care for the less fortunate' isn't what Romney thinks when he's at his swanky 50K dinners.
posted by winna at 7:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Mitt Romney: Massachusetts could be a model for national health care reform.

Flip. Lie. Flip. Lie. Blink. Smirk. Blink. Smirk.
posted by ericb at 7:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney: EXHIBIT Q!!!!
posted by mikepop at 7:17 PM on October 3, 2012


"We are a nation that believes we are children of the same god." err.... we do?
posted by murfed13 at 7:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Romney hits LSD-subroutine.
posted by Skygazer at 7:17 PM on October 3, 2012


Religous tolerance, if you don't tolerate people not tolerating your lack of religion then you're fired.
posted by Slackermagee at 7:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


what is romney going on about? he keeps sputtering and i'm not sure if it's the internet connection or rombot on the fritz. i thought he didn't care about these people.
posted by sio42 at 7:17 PM on October 3, 2012


Jesus what would have happened if one of them had shown up with a green tie? Would they lose voters?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


"The helpless should take care of each other."
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:18 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Lehrer: Let's go through some specifics.

GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!
posted by Panjandrum at 7:18 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is SHIT!


Obama never gets to properly address Romney's kak...WTF...
posted by Skygazer at 7:18 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


the "trickle-down government" thing again? It doesn't work that way, sorry.
posted by xbonesgt at 7:18 PM on October 3, 2012


mittistalkingsofastrightnow
posted by qnarf at 7:18 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney is pushing hard, like a guy down in the polls who needs a win.

Obama is playing it laid back, playing defense like a guy in the lead.

I honestly don't know who is doing better.
posted by Frayed Knot at 7:18 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


This just sounds like a kid trying to get elected president of the senior class in high school. Life! Liberty! Children of the same God! What are you even talking about? The pursuit of happiness? Why? Free people? This is just a gibberish mismash of platitudes and Magnetic Poetry Declaration of Independence quotes.
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:18 PM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Seems like a tie. Lot's of noise, nothing special. Both sides will claim victory, but Romney'desperation won't play well.
posted by rosswald at 7:19 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney says "poor," and "lower income." F**k knows what his metrics are for those terms...
posted by obscurator at 7:19 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama needs to point out that 'we have a duty to care for the less fortunate' isn't what Romney thinks when he's at his swanky 50K dinners.

Obama seems to be almost not attacking at all. So many things to hit Mitt on, and he isn't doing it. How do you not bring in the 47%?
posted by cashman at 7:19 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I like Big Birds and I cannot lie.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:19 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


obama is talking so slowly
posted by qnarf at 7:19 PM on October 3, 2012


I'm not loving Obama's holding a giant cheeseburger hand gesture ho ho ho.
posted by winna at 7:20 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


If I met either of these two men for the first time politically during this debate, I would in no way trust Romney. He's a syllable away from foaming at the mouth. Scary Pol Blinks and Foams.

MITT FRIGHTENS HORSES!
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:20 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


You other muppets can't deny.
posted by cortex at 7:20 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Secret Life of Gravy: "Jesus what would have happened if one of them had shown up with a green tie? Would they lose voters?"

I don't know, maybe ask Bob Dole.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:20 PM on October 3, 2012


Señor Chang for President!
posted by Diagonalize at 7:20 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm a little tired of hearing what Obama and Romney agree on.
posted by hollygoheavy at 7:20 PM on October 3, 2012


Sidebar: I am running out of snack mix. What should I chomp on nervously for the second half?
posted by rmless at 7:20 PM on October 3, 2012


obama wins by not losing, here. he's got no reason to attack, particularly, unless he sees blood in the water. if romney looks like he's really about to lose his mind, he'll go in, otherwise his job is to just not have a 'who am i, why am i here' moment.
posted by qnarf at 7:21 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Barack must be saving it for the next 2 debates. Because he's just up there like this is an interview. Maybe he'll attack in the next 2 debates, and hit back on Mitt's lies. But during this one, he is content to....well, be content I guess.
posted by cashman at 7:21 PM on October 3, 2012


And yet Obama has spoken for five more minutes than Romney. The art of talking slowly or seekrit librul conspiracy with the moderator?
posted by charred husk at 7:21 PM on October 3, 2012


does this go a certain time or until they've covered all the questions?
posted by sio42 at 7:21 PM on October 3, 2012


I feel like Obama is tripping all over his words. Romney is coming across much more clearly.
posted by !Jim at 7:21 PM on October 3, 2012


And Obama is the g-d President - why is he begging for time to speak from the moderator and Foamy McMormonton is rasping all over everyone like some hideous undead lich from Dungeons and Dragons????
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:21 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I honestly don't know who is doing better.

There is relief on the GOP side that Mitt isn't totally fucking this up. He'll probably get a bounce for coming off as knowledgable, but it won't matter in the end.

Obama could be better, but he's not terrible.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:21 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm certainly voting Jim Lehrer for nothing ever.
posted by jaduncan at 7:21 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


Sidebar: I am running out of snack mix. What should I chomp on nervously for the second half?

You know, doesn't tuna casserole sound good right now?
posted by cashman at 7:21 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Borrow from your parents, ZING!
posted by blurker at 7:22 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Right now Biden is driving the country around in a joyride-jacked Vette, shirt off, chucking beers at old high school jerks.
posted by cortex at 7:22 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


cortex: "Key difference between the candidates: Obama is <ul>, Romney <ol>."

Romney is one of those tech support sites that you would assume has helpful information based on its popularity, but when you try to go there it's just blurred text underneath a prompt for your credit card info.
posted by Riki tiki at 7:22 PM on October 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


From the Huffington Post twitter: @HuffPostHill: Don't worry, Jim Lehrer, it gets better. #stopbullying
posted by Windigo at 7:22 PM on October 3, 2012 [10 favorites]


There's one of those Zingers! And, predictably, it fell flat.
posted by Frayed Knot at 7:22 PM on October 3, 2012


'You're entitled to your own house, but not to your own facts.'

OH HO HO I THINK WE HAVE ONE OF THE ZINGER SUBROUTINES RIGHT HERE
posted by winna at 7:22 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama is trolling Romney, LOL WE AGREE SO MUCH. ROMNEY AND I HUG ALL THE TIME. ROMNEY FRIENDSHIP BRACELETS. <3 <3 <3
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:22 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Mitt: I won't cut Education! (guess that's worth borrowing money from China for!)

(p.s. PBS is 0.012% of Federal Budget)
posted by jazon at 7:23 PM on October 3, 2012


AIR FORCE ONE IS AN ENTITLEMENT!
posted by clearly at 7:23 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney has not claimed he would be cutting ANY spending and has emphatically claiming he won't cut this and that but he says he'll cut taxes... MATH!
posted by JakeEXTREME at 7:23 PM on October 3, 2012


So, whatever else happens, we can mark this debate as the moment when the Etch-A-Sketch got shaken: suddenly Mitt Romney doesn't want to cut taxes that much, wants to save Medicare, wants to regulate banks, wants to save schools, and wants to make sure health care is affordable to people.
posted by koeselitz at 7:23 PM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


disabled kids kids with disabilities
posted by Hicksu at 7:23 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


WHY ARE YOU PUTTING 90 BILLION INTO GREEN JOBS FOR FUTURE PEOPLE
WE HAVE ALREADY TALKED ABOUT THE FUTURE PEOPLE AND THE VOUCHERS THEY'LL DIE HOLDING AND THE JAIL THEY'LL GO TO WITH JIM AND BIG BIRD
posted by qnarf at 7:23 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Can't believe that Romney just flat called Obama corrupt by accusing him of steering green energy money to his supporters. Bold.
posted by wintermind at 7:23 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Forgive me sir!"
posted by jessamyn at 7:23 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


obama: you've done a great job.
jim: no.
posted by qnarf at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


YOU HAVE DONE A POOR JOB, JIM!

F-
posted by Panjandrum at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


yes, let's definitely see where the energy companies are spending their monies, Mr. Clean Coal and Unicorn-Staffed Pipelines
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think we can all agree that Teddy Roosevelt was the real winner tonight.
posted by schmod at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Speaking of Dodd-Frank: Wall Street Rolling Back Another Key Piece of Financial Reform
posted by homunculus at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


"You've done a great job." Biggest lie of the night, Obama.
posted by Diagonalize at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


can't believe romney is going to get through this entire debate without some sort of "REPUBLICANS ARE SCARY CRAZY PEOPLE WHY ARE YOU PRETENDING OTHERWISE" moment.
posted by twist my arm at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2012


"YOU'RE LIKEABLE ENOUGH, LEHRER."
posted by Mapes at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh Jim, don't go fishing for compliments like that.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama told Lehrer "You've done a great job." Was that a jibe at Mr. Bossypants?
posted by obvious at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2012


Lehrer: "I'm not going to grade you on your response times, or say... uh... that I've done a bad job...

Obama: "You've done a great job, Jim."
posted by koeselitz at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2012


I expect Obama will learn from this debate. He is a brilliant politician and he will look at the tapes and see what he needs to change. In other words no one could have predicted that suddenly Romney is busting out all kinds of new crazy shit-- absolutely making stuff up that goes against what he has been saying all along. So Obama will learn from that. Plus I guarantee that Romney will be overweening-- taking faster and telling more lies and making up new plans on the spot because he will think he got away with it.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


how much time do we have Jim?
posted by Jahaza at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2012


I don't know. Are we listening to the same debate? I'm an Obama supporter, and I'm surprised at Obama's lack of edge in this debate. As much as you want to believe that Romney sounds "falsely urgent" or whatever, my Republican relatives are out of their seats cheering at this point. Sorry.

Agreed. I'm not sure it's the calamity that Andrew Sullivan is calling it, but I keep wanting to yell WAKE UP at the president. He doesn't seem all that engaged. Likable, thoughtful--but not urgent at all. Also, a lot of you seem to think Romney's coming off as scary--to me it just comes off like he's talking fast and getting a lot more of his points made than Obama is.

Okay, that "entitled to your own house and airplane" bit just now was assholish and WAY tone deaf coming from Romney.
posted by torticat at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


"WE ONLY HAVE 3 MINUTES LEFT.... so remember we only have 3 minutes ... so I want to say ... and remember we only have 3 more minutes ....."

SHUT UP JIM LEHRER !
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


How do we only have 3 minutes left? Didn't I watch the fucking Packers play Seattle longer than this? Isn't the future of our country dependent on this? Ridiculous.
posted by cashman at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I want a wind farm on top of every mountain pass. They'd look pretty baller.
posted by dobi at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2012


i hope for his closing statement obama holds up osama bin laden's lime-preserved head and does the running man to the big daddy kane song
posted by elizardbits at 7:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


Obama: "You've done a great job, Jim"
Fact checkers: *explode*
posted by Defying Gravity at 7:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


Romney is really moving to the center now,. He should have done this before, but the 47% gaff pushed him back to the right. His tax deductibles cap seems increasing taxes on the rich - if he would actually follow through on it which is dubious. Someone really needs to talk to Norquist about this. The GOP must have muffled him.

I like Obama's response that the reason Romney won't tell you the details of his plan isn't because they are so good for everyone, it's because they will hurt the middle class. He needs to hammer on this point. Probably what will happen is Romney's plans will star to look more and more like Obama's.
posted by Golden Eternity at 7:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is it perhaps three minutes?
posted by Jahaza at 7:25 PM on October 3, 2012


Jim in these last three minutes, I'm grading your performance. D - .

Would have been an F, but I adjusted for the curve.

Maybe time to retire?
posted by ericb at 7:25 PM on October 3, 2012


"Let me emphasize this: we have THREE MINUTES, so whoever starts talking better milk that shit because who knows what'll happen. See you in ten minutes."
posted by cortex at 7:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


I said to another when this thing started, 'The only way this thing can come across as a success is if Jim has a stroke live on TV.' Having watched Jim loose control early on, I suspect I was right.

I hope Gwen Ifill host EVERYTHING PBS DOES IN THE FUTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(and I pay for PBS)
posted by QueerAngel28 at 7:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I hope Romneys secret plans are better than the plans he is telling us about.

I dunno guys, Romney has been defending his supposed plans all night and we don't even know what they are. All I know is he loves teachers, hates big bird and wants to cut like 1000 trillions dollars.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


You can't sit down with the teachers on day one - that's the day you're gonna repeal Obamacare!
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm an Obama supporter, but I have to agree with people who are getting the sense that Romney is running away with this debate. Obama is just letting Romney repeat lie after lie after lie (e.g., that 700 billion cut to Medicare for example). Repeat a lie enough times.....
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:25 PM on October 3, 2012


Waiting for Mitt to rip off his disguise to reveal he is actually LieBot.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


The reason I'm in this race is because there are people who are really hurting in this country..."

...and I can't resist kicking someone when they're down.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Governing in a state with an 87% Democratic majority is easy; you don't even get an option to veto anything.
posted by clearly at 7:26 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Romney is like a stock photo of the search term "politician".
posted by ninjew at 7:26 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


LEADERSHIP! IF I SAY IT LOUD ENOUGH, PEOPLE WILL BELIEVE I AM A LEADER!
posted by Diagonalize at 7:26 PM on October 3, 2012


ZING! FINALLY.
posted by nushustu at 7:26 PM on October 3, 2012


I beat the prez to that one.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:26 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


wants to cut like 1000 trillions dollars.

cutting faster dollars an hour!
posted by clearly at 7:26 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Obama does this every time he speaks. He refuses to go for the fuckin' jugular. So many lost opportunities. Not just tonight but every day for the duration.
posted by snsranch at 7:27 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think that first day zing backfired.
posted by murfed13 at 7:27 PM on October 3, 2012


"You're going to have a busy first day, Cutting obamacare while meeting with democrats"

yessss
posted by hellojed at 7:27 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Don't cry, Mittens.
posted by You Guys Like 2 Party? at 7:27 PM on October 3, 2012


Bin Laden! BINGO!
posted by dejah420 at 7:27 PM on October 3, 2012


So Obama gets closing statement right??

I mean RIGHT?? Since FATMOUTH COULDN"T STFU!
posted by Skygazer at 7:27 PM on October 3, 2012


Okay ... Girding my loins for watching the 'spin room' and talking heads, pundits and surrogates. Dammit ... Wish I had another bottle of wine.
posted by ericb at 7:27 PM on October 3, 2012


Occasionally you have to say No.

SAY NO!
SAY NO NOW!
posted by RedOrGreen at 7:27 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama is not effectively responding to the "you have your own facts" thing. They need to do that, absolutely need to do that. It's a character issue, and they need not to cede that ground.
posted by jaduncan at 7:27 PM on October 3, 2012


I'm shocked that the PBS/CTV people hadn't already locked down the @bigbird twitter account. Elmo & Cookie Monster, yes, but not Big Bird? They're kicking themselves.
posted by anastasiav at 7:27 PM on October 3, 2012


can't believe romney is going to get through this entire debate without some sort of "REPUBLICANS ARE SCARY CRAZY PEOPLE WHY ARE YOU PRETENDING OTHERWISE" moment.

Dude, so wrong on this. Mitt is plenty scary up there right now and has been all night. I've seen rabid animals being shot who had more sensitivity and awareness.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:27 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama gets opening statement first, Romney gets closing statement last. I believe.
posted by shortfuse at 7:28 PM on October 3, 2012


"I'll sit down with the Democratic leaders..."
And do what when they filibuster every damn thing?
posted by charred husk at 7:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did Obama forget where he was for a second?!
posted by Yowser at 7:28 PM on October 3, 2012


"Romney is not willing to say no to the more extreme members of his party." BOOM. And with no time for a rebuttal. ULTRAZING
posted by gimonca at 7:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney just wiped the spittle off his mouth. Bad body language!
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 7:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


snsranch : Obama does this every time he speaks. He refuses to go for the fuckin' jugular. So many lost opportunities. Not just tonight but every day for the duration.

In this case, it has worked to his advantage, because comes off a bit less like a rabid wombat.

A bit.
posted by pla at 7:29 PM on October 3, 2012


I'm repeating what I posted September 18th in the 47% thread:

"Mitt has been debating a good amount of this year. Nobody said it would win him the debate or the election. 20+ debates is not like 3, or 4. Mitt sounded confident in the video about his debate skills, and the President has not stepped on a debate stage in years. I'd love for Obama to wipe the floor with Mittens, since Mitt seems to not care about being president to help the country. However, Obama is rusty, and Mitt has had lots of practice. Those are just the facts. It doesn't mean Mitt will win the first debate, but it does mean that he should fare pretty well. It doesn't mean Obama will lose the first debate, but it does suggest that he will fail to capitalize on some opportunities, and in general, look rusty debate-wise."
posted by cashman at 7:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


So I guess the Democrats aren't trying to cast the GOP as "The party of 'no,'" anymore?
posted by Jahaza at 7:29 PM on October 3, 2012


Yeah, the Republicans have much to cheer about after this one. They like bullies. They like "brash, bold statements" even if they have nothing to do with reality. I think the POTUS played it too cool.
posted by dejah420 at 7:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


In other words no one could have predicted that suddenly Romney is busting out all kinds of new crazy shit-- absolutely making stuff up that goes against what he has been saying all along.

I don't know. That's actually one of the most consistent things about the guy.
posted by weston at 7:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


The debates almost over and I'm calling it -
Obama's definitely using Grecian formula on his temples.
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 7:30 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Unless Obama pulls an ace out of his sleeve right now in the closing comments, he's going to come out of this looking weak and unfocused. I wasn't really worried before, but I am now. I know that Romney is full of shit, but a lot of "undecided" voters don't and are lapping his shit right up.
posted by lydhre at 7:30 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fivethirtyeight's "Now-Cast" is showing a 96.9% chance of Obama winning the election...was not that high earlier today.
posted by obscurator at 7:30 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney: I'M NOT CUTTING ANYTHING... EXCEPT TAXES!
Obama: MATH DAMMIT!
HyperBlue: MOAR WHITE RUSSSSSSIANS!!!!111!
posted by HyperBlue at 7:30 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


*Flicks V's at Romney's fake concern*
posted by arcticseal at 7:30 PM on October 3, 2012


He etchasketched. Again.
posted by jaduncan at 7:30 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


concerned mitt is concerned.
posted by qnarf at 7:30 PM on October 3, 2012


Did he just thank Obama for "tuning in"? As opposed to dropping out?
posted by blurker at 7:31 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think mitts closing is going better. I wish Obama had rehearsed his more
posted by rmless at 7:31 PM on October 3, 2012


Heh, YouTube just cut the live stream at the start of Willard's statement.
posted by waitingtoderail at 7:31 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Youtube just cut off Romney's closing because of the time limit. WHOOPS!
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:31 PM on October 3, 2012


"Mr. President, thank you for tuning in this evening."?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:31 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Aaaand Youtube just cut Romney off at 10:30.
posted by Yowser at 7:31 PM on October 3, 2012


Both candidates needs to fire up the base, and woo the undecideds.

I've been watching Twitter this whole time, and it's clear Romney's base loves him right now. They see him as "kicking ass" and "talking tough."

Obama's base is very "meh," more pissed at Romney for interrupting and "acting like a jerk" then pleased with Obama's "lackluster" performance.

On the "Fire Up the Base" front, Romney won this debate, hands down.

The polling over the next 24 hours will tell us what happened on the undecideds.
posted by Frayed Knot at 7:31 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


fack youtube
posted by syzygy at 7:31 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


The President needs to come out next time and bring his "Angry Tired Babysitter" mode a la "Let Us Be Clear...."
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:31 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


What kind of America do you want to have for yourself, and for your children, and maybe fuck other people if necessary.
posted by cortex at 7:31 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Mitt, your magic 12 million jobs are the ones forecast to be created anyway, with or without you.
posted by xbonesgt at 7:31 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


The last 4 year aren't the problem...it was the PREVIOUS 8 YEARS! GWB and 911!
posted by snsranch at 7:31 PM on October 3, 2012


12 million new jobs, yo! (Ask me about how many jobs we'd have if I did nothing at all.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 7:31 PM on October 3, 2012


And yeah, Obama and Romney hate each other.
posted by jaduncan at 7:31 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


He continues to blink ... eyes reddened. Let's see if pundits comment on it, as previous ones did on Nixon's slop sweating. His voice is also cracking.
posted by ericb at 7:32 PM on October 3, 2012


"If I'm elected we won;t have Obamacare ... also 716 Billion dollars something something..."
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 7:32 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=raMaxA7hsCs
posted by smithsmith at 7:32 PM on October 3, 2012


YOU LYING PIECE OF TURD TWADDLE.

/Rom's close
posted by Skygazer at 7:32 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney lied very well tonight.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:32 PM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Reminiscent of the Lyon MacKenzie King/James Shaver Woodsworth debate of 1939.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 7:32 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


That was crap.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:32 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


lydhre : but a lot of "undecided" voters don't and are lapping his shit right up.

Don't believe it - As an undecided (or rather, still trying to decide whether to go for Stein or one of these two clowns) - I honestly feel a bit more favorable toward Obama after this.

Probably not enough, but more.
posted by pla at 7:33 PM on October 3, 2012


So, in summary--

ROMNEY: You're a liar.
OBAMA: No, you're a liar.
LEHRER: Uhhhhhh...
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 7:33 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Lipstick Thespian, i mean, obama didn't call romney on the republican obstructionism and tea party nastiness. also i feel romney will not look crazy to people who are holding their nose and voting for him. they already knew what he was.
posted by twist my arm at 7:33 PM on October 3, 2012


Also, say "your own state" one more time, Mittens. Maybe you should tell them that most of us here in MA think you're a bag of poop.
posted by lydhre at 7:33 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


So the negative take is, Obama failed to sufficiently kick Romney ass. Positive is, Obama's just biding his time and will have lots to work with/be less rusty next debate. Also the slim hope that pundits will talk about how full of shit Romney was. Yes? Not the slam dunk I wanted.
posted by emjaybee at 7:33 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


obama spoke for 4 minutes longer than romney.
posted by qnarf at 7:33 PM on October 3, 2012


I have to agree with people who are getting the sense that Romney is running away with this debate

Won't matter.
posted by mediareport at 7:33 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm worried :(
posted by peacheater at 7:33 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh lord, no now I really do not agree with Andrew Sullivan, who just posted:

How is Obama's closing statement so fucking sad, confused and lame? He choked. He lost. He may even have lost the election tonight.

Definitely some missed opportunities for the president tonight, but there is no way that debate swung the election. Good grief.
posted by torticat at 7:33 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Bag of gas now fully deflated.
[aah, the relief]
posted by obscurator at 7:33 PM on October 3, 2012


I wish Obama did an eminem style "here's what he's going to say about me ...716 billion..." and then Romney wouldn't have been able to change course bc he practiced and memorized his shtick and choked.
posted by rmless at 7:33 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wow, Rachel Maddow's first comment was something like "I don't know who won, but I think we saw this debate format die a painful death tonight."
posted by feloniousmonk at 7:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [33 favorites]


it's interesting though: if you watched this on CNN, they had a little ticker at the bottom w/ undecided voters. during the final speeches, the undecideds really really liked what obama was saying, but they were pretty much flatlined for Romney's final speech.
posted by nushustu at 7:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Boy, in all honesty, the whole Jim Lehrer thing was just sad.
posted by Flunkie at 7:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


That was the rhetorical equivalent of a plastic shopping bag caught in a tree branch in the wind.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


OBAMA: You're wearing a red tie.
ROMNEY: I'm not wearing a red tie. I don't know where you get these crazy ideas. $716 billion.
OBAMA: [fails to rebut point]
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [15 favorites]


Well that was depressing.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Flustered.
posted by BobbyVan at 7:35 PM on October 3, 2012


Right off the bat PBS gives it to Romney.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:35 PM on October 3, 2012


WORST DEBATE EVAR
posted by armage at 7:35 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


As an undecided (or rather, still trying to decide whether to go for Stein or one of these two clowns)

If my own experience is correct, I'm not sure that makes you really "undecided" vis a vis Obama or Romney. I'll be voting Stein (because my presidential vote never matters, thanks Electoral College!), but I'd eat a shit sandwich before voting for the shit sandwich that is Romney.
posted by Panjandrum at 7:35 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Andrew Sullivan (and a lot of other people who watch politics closely) tends to really mess up his reading of Obama in situations like this. Sullivan wants Obama to talk to him -- the rabid politics-junkie who wants blood and gore and already trusts that Obama is on the right track. Sullivan is eternally disappointed that in events like this, Obama is calm, pleasant, and agreeable. And, heck, I'm disappointed as well -- I want blood and gore and to see Obama just punch Romney in the gut.

But Obama doesn't need to convince me, or Sullivan. He's not talking to us. He's talking to the people who need to be convinced that he's calm, pleasant, and agreeable.

Maybe this is me putting too much trust into the three-dimensional chess... But I think Obama did what he wanted to in this debate. Probably not as well as he would have liked, but I think he hit the target he was aiming for.
posted by meese at 7:35 PM on October 3, 2012 [20 favorites]


He may even have lost the election tonight.

Hahahahahahahaha.

*wipes eyes*

Oh, that Sullivan. What a clown.
posted by mediareport at 7:35 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


The coin flip gives Obama the red tie next time.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:35 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


oh crap. even the spin on msnbc is sounding terrible for the Pres.
posted by murfed13 at 7:36 PM on October 3, 2012


the NARRATIVE is going to be that romney WON and this is a GAME CHANGER.
it's not.
obama didn't go for a knock out, and romney managed to not punch himself in the dick. obama didn't punch himself in the dick either, and that's what's important when you're leading. shoot big, miss big. no reason to do so, when leading.
posted by qnarf at 7:36 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Taking some solace in believing that really you don't easily budge the electorate, media narrative notwithstanding.
posted by ghharr at 7:36 PM on October 3, 2012


I don't think the debates are going to change who wins, and I think Obama is pretty sure he will win. In that situation, it seems his style is to be (infuriatingly) conciliatory.

I'm all about peace and love, but it would be nice if just once the President of the United States would call bullshit.
posted by Mooski at 7:36 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Right off the bat PBS gives it to Romney.

That's the Stockholm Syndrome talking.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:37 PM on October 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


It isn't the first debate that matters the most, but the last. Obama needs to get a bit sharper, but he's doing fine. Romney needs to be less Romney. He's still not going to go over well with the independents.

I'll call this a draw. Romney did better than expected and Obama could have definitely been better. But I suspect Barack still came off as more President, as the guy more people want in the White House.

Andrew Sullivan is pretty far off the mark.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:37 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Romney : I'll give you a pony!
Obama : Where are you going to get all these ponies?
Romney : I'll give you a pony AND you won't have to pay for it!
Obama : Where are you going to get all these ponies?
Romney : LALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU LALALALALA PONY PONY PONY PONY PONY!
posted by Afroblanco at 7:37 PM on October 3, 2012 [33 favorites]


I have to say, this debate was surprising.

I mean – a lot of people felt that he was going to choke, that he wouldn't make it through this debate alive, but really he did okay. There were a lot of moments when he seemed to be apologizing for even being up on stage, but a lot of other moments where he did lay down the law and insist on being heard out. Still, he was sure to make himself appear to be human and accommodating by never being too forceful. I read a few analyses that claimed that his performance in this debate would mean he'd be facing retirement in a few weeks, and while I can't deny that that's probably true, I think he didn't embarrass himself too bad.

So I guess what I'm saying is that Jim Lehrer probably still has a few good years in him, even if they won't be on television.
posted by koeselitz at 7:37 PM on October 3, 2012 [25 favorites]


Dude, quit trying to make flustered happen.
posted by cashman at 7:37 PM on October 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


oh crap. even the spin on msnbc is sounding terrible for the Pres.

That's because he lost, badly, and MSNBC isn't (quite) Fox.
posted by The Bellman at 7:37 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


"When was the last time you heard a Republican talk about the need for more regulation?"

Yeah PBS is lapping up Romney's new moderateness.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:37 PM on October 3, 2012


David Gergen on CNN "A week ago we were saying this was over. Now we have a horse race."
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 7:38 PM on October 3, 2012


At least Al Sharpton is defending him.
posted by murfed13 at 7:38 PM on October 3, 2012


Mitt Romney keeps saying "I have a Plan!"
But then again so did the Cylons
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 7:38 PM on October 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


I wonder if Obama was taking it easy because he's ahead in the polls. Really should have gone all out.
posted by hellojed at 7:38 PM on October 3, 2012


the NARRATIVE is going to be that romney WON and this is a GAME CHANGER.

I agree with your general point. Furthermore, there's almost zero chance the narrative would've been anything else.
posted by meese at 7:38 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Obama's closing statement really sucked.
posted by smithsmith at 7:39 PM on October 3, 2012


Yeah, Al Sharpton is kinda rockin'.
posted by The Bellman at 7:39 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney : I'll give you a pony!
To me, it seemed a bit more:

Romney: I'llgiveyouapony!Ilikeponies!Ihavenothingagainstponies!NooffensetoponiesbutI'mgoingtokillalltheponies!ButIlikeponies!Sevenhundredsixteenbilliiondollars!
posted by Flunkie at 7:39 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


horse races can be won by a nose.
they can also be won by many, many lengths.
posted by qnarf at 7:39 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chris Matthews is totally dissing the debate
(actually he's going a bit apoplectic about it)
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 7:40 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney said he isn't against regulations, doesn't want to cut taxes, and that he is proud of Romneycare. The base might be fired up in the heat of the moment but how does that play tomorrow?
posted by feloniousmonk at 7:40 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


This made the bottom drop out of my stomach. If Romney lies, Obama needs to say so. Right now there's Romney repeatedly calling Obama a liar, and Obama not denying it effectively or countering.
posted by jaduncan at 7:40 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Mitt Romney keeps saying "I have a Plan!"
But then again so did the Cylons


NO THEY DIDN'T THAT WAS THE WHOLE PROBLEM WITH THAT SHOW'S LAST SEASON OMG

(there should have been a plan, they promised one in every commercial!)
posted by heatherann at 7:40 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


"A week ago we were saying this was over. Now we have a horse race."

Classic. Just fucking classic. The meaningless national polls tightening will be all over the news next. Just keep an eye on the electoral blowout instead. See if *that* changes.
posted by mediareport at 7:40 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Am I the only one who thinks Obama just threw his re-election away? Like, with both hands?
posted by tzikeh at 7:40 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


james carvell is an actual scary monster from an actual child's closet.
posted by qnarf at 7:41 PM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


"Now we have a horse race."
Unfortunately, Mitt knows nothing about said race, and won't be attending. That's Ann's deal...
posted by obscurator at 7:41 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I thought horses were for dancing about to win medals
posted by ninjew at 7:41 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Mitt Romney keeps saying "I have a Plan!"
But then again so did the Cylons


I'm sure the latter's plan is just as coherent as the former's.
posted by Panjandrum at 7:41 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


HOLY GOOD GOD. Chris Matthews is FUMING.
posted by murfed13 at 7:41 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I would guess the news media stands to profit a bit more with calling this a Romney win. It keeps up the energy. Beyond that, though, I'm fine if people who support Obama get a little freaked out (even though I don't personally get that) if it makes them more likely to go vote.
posted by bizzyb at 7:41 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Furthermore, there's almost zero chance the narrative would've been anything else.

Because otherwise, the talking heads would have had nothing to talk about for the next month. Also, political ad sales.
posted by Slothrup at 7:41 PM on October 3, 2012


The president had better be treating this like the first period of a sporting event where you know the opponent is down and is going to throw everything at you. Your job is just to withstand the run, and stay consistent, and when they tire out, beat them.

Romney definitely went on a run tonight. Mitt will gain (as predicted) in the polls, and we'll see what happens in debate number two, and debate number three. Obama isn't the president for nothing. Now Romney looks like a great debater, and the president looks more like an Underdog.

I think the town hall format will suit the president more. I think this will be good for lackadaisical democrats though - you'd better get out there and canvas and do all you can - it's not going to be easy.
posted by cashman at 7:41 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm going to wait a day or two for all of the new campaign ads to come out from the Obama camp, quoting Mitt Romney at the debate contradicting himself talking to his base. Because we know that's what's going to happen.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:41 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


AfroblancoRomney : I'll give you a pony! Obama : Where are you going to get all these ponies?

No fair playing favorites here... More like:
"I'll give you a pony!"
"where are you going to get five trillion ponies without taking them from the middle class?"
"I'll give you a pony AND you won't have to pay for it!"
"And another two trillion ponies from the military?"
"Witwaitwait... Pony!"
"Middle class!"
"Excuse me, we need to..."
[both]: "Shut up, Jim!"
posted by pla at 7:41 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney could have stood up there with underpants on his head reciting The Hunting of the Snark and the media would've said he won. They need to drive a narrative to keep people tuning in.
posted by winna at 7:42 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Romney won this one.
He was full of shit, but with no one calling him on it he gets away with it.
posted by charred husk at 7:42 PM on October 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


I was surprised how uncertain Obama was in his closing statement. Sentences that include the phrase "If you'll elect me, I will" should not have awkward pauses in the middle. He also reacted really visibly to a lot of Romney's points, sometimes disagreeing and sometimes conceding. Romney didn't visibly react to much, what with the perma-grin they've obviously coached him on. His face must be aching.
posted by heatherann at 7:42 PM on October 3, 2012


PBS mentioned it, but it really does ring true that no mention of the 47% was the most interesting strategy from the Obama camp. If there was any 12-dimensional chess going on, this was a VERY obvious strategic decision.

The Obama camp obviously thinks that avoiding an opportunity for Romney to address the 47% issue was an explicit strategy, which Romney did not catch. Obama thinks it is to Romney's advantage to directly address the 47% issue and Romney's failure to do so is Romney's loss.
posted by amuseDetachment at 7:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


I love me some James Carvelle. "I tried not to come to this conclusion, but it looked like Romney was happy to be there and Obama just didn't want to be there." (I can't argue with that, sadly.)
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 7:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Obama campaign might be willing to take a couple of dents in their lead rather than risk a self-inflicted Dukakis-style blow.
posted by smithsmith at 7:44 PM on October 3, 2012


What specifically is Chris Matthews fuming about?

I mean, yeah, I know, "the debate", but more specific than that, please. Given Chris Matthews' inherent Chris Matthewsness, I have an equally easy time imagining that he's in an uproar about something that's stupid to be in an uproar about, or that he's in an uproar about something deserving of an uproar.
posted by Flunkie at 7:44 PM on October 3, 2012


There wasn't really anything in that debate that will get Romney 79 electoral votes.
posted by graymouser at 7:44 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Am I the only one who thinks Obama just threw his re-election away? Like, with both hands?

No, but you and them are wrong. Debates don't matter much, this is only the first and Obama will still be in the lead a week from now.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:45 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


On the 47%, it's gotten lots of free play in the news and lots of paid play on the attack ads. If Obama doesn't bring it up, it doesn't allow Romney to refute or explain it, so it maintains it's strength.
posted by gofargogo at 7:45 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


SweetTeaAndBiscuit - that's what it was! it seemed obama felt like he had more important things to do than be there talking to that dude.
posted by sio42 at 7:45 PM on October 3, 2012


We'll see. Obama lost the debates with McCain according to the media as well.
posted by edgeways at 7:45 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Chris Matthews is pissed at Obama for a poor performance, specifically, not calling Romney on his BS about social security, $716 billion, the Ryan plan... so on and so forth.
posted by murfed13 at 7:46 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney could have stood up there with underpants on his head reciting The Hunting of the Snark and the media would've said he won. They need to drive a narrative to keep people tuning in.

I'm a liberal and and ardent Obama supporter, and Romney definitely won this. His rhetoric was great, Obama utterly failed to call him on all of the bullshit, and Obama didn't defend his own achievements or agenda particularly well.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:46 PM on October 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


Romney could have stood up there with underpants on his head reciting The Hunting of the Snark and the media would've said he won. They need to drive a narrative to keep people tuning in.

Sure. He also, IMHO, won...but I guess the polling will show more than my gut feeling.
posted by jaduncan at 7:46 PM on October 3, 2012


Man, Mathews is on fire!

I love the narrative is Romney just lies with impunity and Obama doesn't call him on it. I mean, Romeny was certainly talking a lot, and was fired up. But everyone is pretty much saying Romney won by lying more. That is a phyric victory in my eyes.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:46 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Romney : I'll give you a pony!

He's stealing Vermin Supreme's platform!
posted by homunculus at 7:46 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


jaduncan: "This made the bottom drop out of my stomach. If Romney lies, Obama needs to say so. Right now there's Romney repeatedly calling Obama a liar, and Obama not denying it effectively or countering."

Exactly. I was just shaking my head in ... I dunno...it's not disgust...it's not exasperation...but if there was a word that meant both of those things...that's how I feel. I expected Obama to really come out like a real candidate...ala 2008. I wanted rhetoric, I wanted majesty, I wanted him calling them liars and obstructionists from the mountain top.

Because goddamn it, if he doesn't, if he lets the lies stand as truth, if he bows his head and nods when another false talking point spews from the other podium, if he tries to be agreeable with Mitt like he's been agreeable with the Republican Congress, then he and Michelle might as well start packing; because, to quote Bertrand Russell "A lie can be half way around the world before the truth can get its boots on".
posted by dejah420 at 7:47 PM on October 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


tzikeh: “Am I the only one who thinks Obama just threw his re-election away? Like, with both hands?”

Think for a little while about how George W Bush behaved in debates. Then maybe reconsider how much debates effect the election itself. (Hint: not very much.)
posted by koeselitz at 7:47 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


well chris that's y'all's fucking job. get to it
posted by twist my arm at 7:47 PM on October 3, 2012


They were both mostly lackluster. Most importantly, neither of them killed it or crashed-and-burned. The ripples of this are going to be too weak to make a difference.

But Obamacare under an ax and that PBS shit is definitely going to be two dealbreakers for a lot of people.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:47 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow.

That basically could not have gone any worse.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 7:47 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wow. Kitchen Aid Tweets Joke About Obama’s Dead Grandma.
posted by inigo2 at 7:48 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Romney won this, as I suspected he would. Obama's performances in 2008 were underwhelming too.

Team Obama is going to the prevent defense way too early.
posted by snickerdoodle at 7:48 PM on October 3, 2012


disgustperation
posted by twist my arm at 7:48 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


obama felt like he had more important things to do than be there talking to that dude
I'm not sure implying to the American electorate that they're not the most important thing is a winning strategy
posted by fullerine at 7:48 PM on October 3, 2012


If there was ever an opportunity to call out lies, that was the time and it's over now.

Well maybe not, we'll see what happens tomorrow.
posted by snsranch at 7:49 PM on October 3, 2012


I'm trying to understand what world the people who thought Romney performed well are living in. Adequately? Sure, I can see that. Well? He kept repeating easily debunked lies that feed further into the Romney as liar meme. I didn't particularly like Obama's performance, but he made no real missteps, either. He responded to Romney's lies without being terribly aggressive and without getting bogged down in them. One hopes the recently fact checky media won't suddenly go on vacation again.
posted by wierdo at 7:49 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I actually think Romney shot himself in the foot by using his one bit of humor on Big Bird. Axing PBS is a trifle in budget terms, and while it may be red meat to the Republican base, I can't imagine it going well with the independents.
posted by graymouser at 7:49 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Children of the same God!

Mormons like Romney who want to shove their religion into my private life remind me why I am proud to be an atheist American.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:49 PM on October 3, 2012 [12 favorites]


HOLY GOOD GOD. Chris Matthews is FUMING.

I know he's not very popular, but back when I had cable he was the only talking head I saw really confronting people like Michelle Bachman on a regular basis, and he would never let them avoid answering his questions. (They might not answer, but he'd keep asking the question over and over again.) I'd actually like to see him host a VP debate. He also does incredulous very well, which is kind of refreshing.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:50 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


That basically could not have gone any worse.

Indeed, I can't believe Romney openly and repeatedly championed killing Big Bird, healthcare reform and not raising taxes on the wealthy. That was pretty dumb.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:50 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I used to get annoyed when Obama would fill his speeches and debate answers with the names of regular Americans with whom he spoke while stumping around the country, but you know, when Romney says "I was talking with a man who..." and "Ann met a woman with a child who said..." I think, bullshit, Mitt, who are these people?

At best, it sounded like he didn't care to know their names.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 7:50 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't think it was good enough on Romney's behalf or bad enough on Obama's behalf to have much of an effect. But I wouldn't want to be Romney when they meet again because I don't think Obama takes well to being shown up. I think he'll be more than ready next time they meet. And hopefully Romney will have a false sense of security from tonight's win.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 7:50 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Quite a few times Obama would point out contradictions in Romney's positions, and then say, basically, "Do you, the voter, want to go with that?", leaving it up to the view to draw their own conclusion.

Barrack. the average American is not one of those super-sharp people you've been surrounding yourself with for the last four years. You need to make the contradiction explicit, find a clever and not overly offensive way of saying "that's bullshit", and then give the view a positive statement they can agree with and repeat, something like "Americans are too smart — they can see that what you're saying simply will not work, and they will be stuck with the bill. Again."
posted by benito.strauss at 7:50 PM on October 3, 2012 [32 favorites]


I'm just hoping this is like a Rocky movie, and Romney was Clubber Lang or something, but Obama's going to come back with the eye of the tiger (because he sure as hell didn't have it in this fight).
posted by Red Loop at 7:50 PM on October 3, 2012


you will never convince me that an adult who talked honestly about firing big bird won.
posted by qnarf at 7:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [26 favorites]


i wish he did't have to spend time participating in this charade. he DOES have more important things to do.

too bad having an actual debate isn't one of them.
posted by sio42 at 7:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Presidential Debate Transcript
posted by homunculus at 7:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


The pundits on MSNBC are trying to see who has the highest blood pressure. Somebody give Chris Matthews a valium.
posted by ambrosia at 7:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure implying to the American electorate that they're not the most important thing is a winning strategy

I thought he did pretty poorly, but, seriously, I'm okay with him being concerned about Turkey's attack on Syria, the continuing deterioration of life for Syrian citizens, nuclear developments, and so on and so forth-- and being more concerned about that than slapping down Romney's smug lies. I just wish he had, you know, pointed out some of what he does. With passion. Preferably fewer ums. (And maybe a pony.)
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:51 PM on October 3, 2012


Wow. Kitchen Aid Tweets Joke About Obama’s Dead Grandma.

Assuming that was a mixup with some social media person who handles their Twitter account, which begs the question- how does someone with such bad spelling become a social media professional???
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Replays of soundbites from the debate on CBC show Romney as being a little crazy and smarmy and Obama comes across as more balanced and Presidential.
Admittedly, this is biased liberal Canada but tomorrow should have the fact checkers out in force and I hope to see Romney called out on his lies.
posted by arcticseal at 7:51 PM on October 3, 2012


MSNBC commenter panel is about a step and a half away from ripping off all their clothes and going after each other with long knives.
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 7:51 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Can we just cancel the next two and instead have three vice presidential debates?
posted by gatorae at 7:52 PM on October 3, 2012


I don't think it was as bad as many are describing. Actually, I don't think it was bad period. I don't think the "REFUTE IT GO FOR THE JUGULAR" stuff that people are saying Obama should've done would've been particularly appealing to the typical voter who is still undecided by this point. I think that the typical undecided voter just saw a tweaked out meth head with verbal diarrhea stomp all over the moderator while the other candidate was calm and pleasant.
posted by Flunkie at 7:52 PM on October 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


Ad hominem: "But everyone is pretty much saying Romney won by lying more. That is a phyric victory in my eyes."

I think we need to introduce you to the low-information undecided voters Romney was appealing to. They're not going to check whether he lied or not. Obama had a chance to call Romney on the lies and mostly let him slide.

I don't think it's going to matter enough to move the needle as much as Romney needs to, but he's going to pick up a percent or so in the polls. I expect the President to hit harder in their next debate in a couple weeks.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:52 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Romney's self-professed dedication to religious tolerance wouldn't ring so hollow if he'd acknowledge that, far from being "children of the same God," many of his potential constituents see themselves as fellow human beings evolved in an entirely godless cosmos. (Though the DNC with its caving on "God" in their platform didn't exactly show Democratic dedication to authentic religious pluralism either.)
posted by audi alteram partem at 7:52 PM on October 3, 2012


MSNBC commenter panel is about a step and a half away from ripping off all their clothes and going after each other with long knives.

I must admit, I've never heard that euphemism before.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:53 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


He kept repeating easily debunked lies that feed further into the Romney as liar meme.

The Romney-as-liar meme isn't a thing for anyone except liberals. If you don't know they're lies (as is going to be the case with many undecided voters), Romney won. He won by lying and nobody called him on it.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:53 PM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Assuming that was a mixup with some social media person who handles their Twitter account, which begs the question- how does someone with such bad spelling become a social media professional???

At my old job those roles were all filled by entry level customer service people or interns.
posted by winna at 7:54 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think this looks outsized right now as a Romney "win," but this is definitely not a game-changer because Obama played defense and gave Romney zero openings for any sort of a pre-planned, pre-written zinger/comeback against anything that was expected, like specifically, the 47% remark.

At the end of the day, that remark might as well be branded on Romney's forehead and he's not going to be able to undo that and it's going to keep bleeding undecided voters from Romney/Ryan, because that's all anyone is saying on TV now...

So, no great drama here, because no-drama Obama knows what he's doing. He gave Romney NO BIG BREAKS.

David Gergen on CNN "A week ago we were saying this was over. Now we have a horse race."

Right on schedule with that crapola, but Gergen phoning it in with that cliched kack? Beneath him I think...I would expect better from Gergen.


I've never seen Jim Lehrer so out and out treated with such little regard or basic decency as he was tonight, by anyone, in ANY situation.

That was really uncouth and harsh on the part of Romney. I think that's going to be remembered as well, and be seen for desperation and arrogance, by anyone not part of the epistemic closure complex that is the Right-wing media.
posted by Skygazer at 7:54 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Time to get a new mixer.
posted by drezdn at 7:54 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


i wonder if there is something going on like when Obama knew he had got binladen at the press dinner but no one else knew yet. maybe that was why he was distracted. maybe he solved some problem...
posted by sio42 at 7:54 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


It all comes down to who wins the gif war.
posted by drezdn at 7:55 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


It all comes down to who wins the gif war.
Big Bird won.
posted by arcticseal at 7:56 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm trying to understand what world the people who thought Romney performed well are living in. Adequately? Sure, I can see that. Well? He kept repeating easily debunked lies that feed further into the Romney as liar meme.

But the average voter may not know (or care) that it's all lies. This was Obama's chance to spell it out.
posted by murfed13 at 7:56 PM on October 3, 2012


IMO Obama's biggest rhetorical failure wasn't going on the offensive. The goal isn't to win the debates, the goal is to get undecided voters.

Obama's biggest rhetorical failure is he used the word "They" when talking about the American people. He talks about how "they" have been helped, etc.

Obama didn't want to call Romney out on being a liar. Romney's EXPLICIT STRATEGY was to devolve into a disgusting shitfest where each call the other a liar. Romney was conducting a troll strategy the entire debate, Obama was smart to see it for what it is and not bite. Falling for the troll and going on attack with Romney countering that "hurp durp both sides lie" as the conclusion would be a FAR FAR FAR greater loss.
posted by amuseDetachment at 7:56 PM on October 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


The Romney-as-liar meme isn't a thing for anyone except liberals.
I don't think that's actually true. I'm pretty sure I recently saw a poll of undecided voters which showed that a large portion of them tended to think that Romney is pretty much lying nonstop. I'll try to find it.
posted by Flunkie at 7:56 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


the ABC guy just said that the democrat's only hope for winning is to "kill or destroy" romney... is that true you guys?
posted by rebent at 7:56 PM on October 3, 2012


As for Lehrer, his performance was consistent with his style on PBS Newshour, all passive and retiring and so on. He said on the Daily Show or Colbert, once, that his job was to make the news boring. There's something of that here, too: he let the candidates talk and lie in their own words and so on, and it was all kind of dull. They were too busy interrupting him to drop any of those rehearsed "zingers." Now (the theory goes), instead of clever lines, or whatever, the press will have nothing to talk about but the lies. Genius!
posted by flechsig at 7:57 PM on October 3, 2012


Definitely Romney's best debate performance. Possibly Obama's worst. Hope he gets a good night's sleep before the next one -- he seemed unfocused, lots of stumbling and rambling.
posted by BurntHombre at 7:57 PM on October 3, 2012


CBS poll: 56% now think better of Romney (independents)
Who won: 46% Romney, 22% Obama

Romney didn't win fair but that's not the point, as any debater knows.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:57 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have a long standing gripe with Obama. If you're the POTUS and actually have a plan, follow the lead of FDR and PROMOTE THE FUCK OUT OF IT. It is the only way to actuate real and measurable change.

Obama has missed thousands of opportunities to PROMOTE change and tonight has been no different than any other opportunity. Taking the high road doesn't always pay off.

Fucking bummed. I'm just a jerkoff armchair quarter_back and can see this from miles away.
posted by snsranch at 7:57 PM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


qxntpqbbbqxl: " He won by lying and nobody called him on it."

No, he was called on it. Repeatedly at the beginning. It looked to me like Obama realized he wasn't going to get anything but another repetition of the lies out there, so he toned down on the back and forth as it went on.
posted by wierdo at 7:58 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney knows that people think he's a liar; that's why he has to keep attacking Obama's integrity. It's why I'm so astonished Obama isn't calling Romney on his own lies.
posted by jaduncan at 7:58 PM on October 3, 2012


I think we need to introduce you to the low-information undecided voters Romney was appealing to. They're not going to check whether he lied or not. Obama had a chance to call Romney on the lies and mostly let him slide.

Yeah exactly. And in fact going just by the debate, a low-information voter might come away with the impression that Obama is the one who is loose with the truth (or at least that both of them are)--Romney was pretty aggressive about repeatedly calling him a liar.
posted by torticat at 7:59 PM on October 3, 2012


There were moments when Obama flat-out called Romney on lies, we should remember. The "unelected committee that will tell you what procedures you can have" – Obama actually came out and said "that committee has no power to change the law." And Romney just sat there. It was a nice moment, even if it wasn't noticed.
posted by koeselitz at 8:00 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


MSNBC commenter panel is about a step and a half away from ripping off all their clothes and going after each other with long knives.

Ooh, I hope it's the long-awaited Chris Matthews/Zell Miller duel!
posted by Room 641-A at 8:00 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure implying to the American electorate that they're not the most important thing is a winning strategy

Yet Mitt's candidacy somehow gets a pass on his explicitly saying he thinks 47% of the electorate doesn't count and in fact should be left to die?

These things are like Rorschach tests. And yet, we're supposed to now ignore everything else that's happened up until now and let our opinions be shaped more by this one event than every previous independent fact that demonstrates Romney to be a lying weasel who misrepresented everything he's been saying at fundraisers for months tonight just to avoid being criticized for his actual positions? And this, according to David Brooks, is the "most authentic" Mitt we've seen? Really? Well, I guess managing to tell what we all know from previous statements are blatant lies about his positions convincingly enough to confuse pundits probably is as authentic a Mitt as we'll ever see. Congratulations on that, I guess.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:00 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


jaduncan, please have my $100 ready. Mittens will be your next president.
posted by RedShrek at 8:00 PM on October 3, 2012


I think Obama is letting his surrogates call out Romney's lies. It keeps his hands clean of the blood.
posted by drezdn at 8:01 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Heh. It is ready, but I'm still feeling confident.
posted by jaduncan at 8:01 PM on October 3, 2012


The authentic Mitt is a rabid lying idiot then?
posted by arcticseal at 8:02 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can't believe I wasted a night of writing for this though, honestly.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:02 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm seeing this as more of a size of the coattails issue than an issue of the candidate likely to win. I don't want Obama to miss that shot at retention of control of the Senate.
posted by jaduncan at 8:03 PM on October 3, 2012


tonally, you could say Obama lost, but i don't know - the way Romney just keeps tripping over himself trying to get all his word out didn't sit well with me. I agree with whoever who made the point that Obama's conduct left Romney with no real big openings for zinger; otoh, without even being given the extra rope, Romney kept making one unbelievable off-the-cuff remark after another (Big Bird, regulations, Bowles-Simpson).
posted by cendawanita at 8:03 PM on October 3, 2012


I got the impression that the President was paying out all the rope Romney needed to hang himself. To my eye, that plan succeeded.

One hopes that the Obama campaign are as we speak feverishly at work on the advertisement that will be released in the morning that absolutely demolishes the notion that Romney is at all serious about policy. Romney picked Ryan to provide cover for his complete lack of coherent policy positions, but I don't believe it will work.

I yield the remainder of my time to Killer Mike.

Killer Mike - "Reagan" (Official Music Video)
posted by ob1quixote at 8:03 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Taxes + anecdotes + jobs + magical thinking + healthcare + shut it, Jim + Big Bird

BIG BIRD 2016
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 8:03 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


RedShrek:if you really believed in Romney you'd make it 10 grand.
posted by hal9k at 8:04 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Obama tried to fight the FUD at the beginning, with the $5 trillion number, but he ceded the point when he didn't explain it further and let Romney have the last word.

Obama needed to say: "Your proposed tax cut is five trillion dollars, benefitting primarily the rich. You claim this will be balanced out by cutting loopholes for rich, but you refuse to disclose which loopholes you have in mind. It is a mathematical fact that there are not enough loopholes for the rich to make this work, and any way you can possibly balance those five trillion dollars must hurt the middle class."

He got to some of that later, but didn't connect it back to the tax cut.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:04 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Taxes + anecdotes + jobs + magical thinking + healthcare + shut it, Jim + Big Bird
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:04 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


And I thought Obama called out Romney plenty. I think people just forgot Obama-at-the-debates isn't the bread-and-circus sort of speaker.
posted by cendawanita at 8:04 PM on October 3, 2012


I have to say, I love the euphemistic "low-information voter" and plan on using similar terms copiously.

"Hey, you just stuck your dick in a lightsocket!"
"I'm a low-information electrician, okay? Quit being so goddamn condescending!"
posted by Afroblanco at 8:04 PM on October 3, 2012 [26 favorites]


Obama didn't come out of the debate with any good sound bytes. But I don't think he said anything so disastrous that Romney/RNC can use it in attack ads.
posted by murfed13 at 8:05 PM on October 3, 2012


Possibly Obama's worst. Hope he gets a good night's sleep before the next one -- he seemed unfocused, lots of stumbling and rambling.

There's a word for that.

On another note, I feel genuinely bad for the Obamas tonight. How do you get in the mood to celebrate an anniversary after something like that? I just hope Michelle waits until the morning before she tells her husband how she really thinks he did.
posted by BobbyVan at 8:05 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


RedShreck you got another Benjamin? That action is too good!
posted by HyperBlue at 8:05 PM on October 3, 2012


I think Obama is letting his surrogates call out Romney's lies. It keeps his hands clean of the blood.

I think so too. I think the media shitstorm right now over why Obama didn't call Mitt a liar does a better job than he could. Obama calmly laid out the facts, stuff he can stick by. Now Mitt is going to get asked over and over and over about this shit till election day.

Americans may be ignorant of facts, but they are not ignorant of mass media or memes. Big Bird and Romney won by making stuff up are going to be mass media memes.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:06 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I just donated another hundred bucks to the Obama campaign. Maybe Obama won the debate, after all.

I can tell you, however, that the CNN post-debate coverage is practically killing me. I'm so friggin' glad I don't live in the US any more, and am therefore not subjected daily to US media. I feel sorry for the rest of you who are.
posted by syzygy at 8:07 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


I think Obama is letting his surrogates call out Romney's lies. It keeps his hands clean of the blood.

Maybe so, but even if they read in the paper tomorrow (fat chance) that Romney lied, it's not going to change their minds about who won the debate. That impression once made will not go away.

Team Obama can make all the Big Bird gifts they want, but that's just preaching to the choir. They have to admit they lost and make sure they win the next ones. One thing they should do is stop giving Romney credit for what happened in Massachusetts. Several time the Democratic legislature overrode Romney to get things done, and Obama needs to point stuff like that out.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:07 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama didn't come out of the debate with any good sound bytes. But I don't think he said anything so disastrous that Romney/RNC can use it in attack ads.

This is true. Maybe they just figure that they have killer attack ads and Romney still doesn't.
posted by jaduncan at 8:07 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


It was a wash, which means Romney will come out ahead. That's the good news for Rmoney/AynR.

The bad news is that there are two more of these, and Obama now has the calibration set. Romney was unable to deliver a killing blow, unable to surprise and unnerve the President, and his smirking is just murdering him.

That said, the President played this one too timidly, and it will bite him in the ass in the polls tomorrow.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:07 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, that debate sure made it abundantly clear that it's possible to run a presidential campaign that polls as high as 45% with no platform whatsoever.

Also, whatever audience Obama was playing to, it sure as fuck wasn't his base or the goldfish with nice hair on the teevee. What would be really nice is to see how the speech played to the true undecideds, which I can only assume would be people who've just awakened out of a 12 year coma. How is this debate polling with them?

Also, this format is actively hostile to reasoned argument.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 8:07 PM on October 3, 2012


Oh, Fuck You, Rudy Giuliani. Seriously. "Obama was looking for his teleprompter" my ass.
posted by ambrosia at 8:07 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I have to say, I love the euphemistic "low-information voter" and plan on using similar terms copiously.

Your comment made me lol. I hit the favorite cap though. :C
posted by drezdn at 8:08 PM on October 3, 2012


The third party candidates want to repeal the NDAA and the Patriot Act. Damn Communists.
posted by homunculus at 8:08 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney may have won ny high school forensics rules, but 50 million Americans didn't watch this and next week the polls will be no different...or at least not in a pro-Romney way.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:08 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Aurora Victims Push for Questions on Gun Control During Presidential Debate

Oh well, so much for that idea.
posted by homunculus at 8:09 PM on October 3, 2012


I don't think the "REFUTE IT GO FOR THE JUGULAR" stuff that people are saying Obama should've done would've been particularly appealing to the typical voter who is still undecided by this point.

Ta-Nehisi Coates was exactly right about that. Obama can't go on the attack, because he's black. It's that simple. It'd please the base but it'd scare the hell out of a lot of undecideds. His attitude is very calculated in that respect. If he tried to get angry and passionate about things, undecided seniors would shoot their television in self-defense.

If you expected Obama to savage Romney at this debate, you haven't been paying attention. And you're lucky, because that would have been a disaster for his campaign. They're too smart to fall for that.
posted by mek at 8:10 PM on October 3, 2012 [24 favorites]


Oh, Fuck You, Rudy Giuliani. Seriously. "Obama was looking for his teleprompter" my ass.

I bet you will hear this on Fox for the rest of the week. It's pretty good.
posted by murfed13 at 8:10 PM on October 3, 2012


What would be really nice is to see how the speech played to the true undecideds

That's who CBS polled, and they gave it to Romney 2:1.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:10 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I disagree; I think Romney will get a very real and sustained bounce from this debate. Is it enough to win? Ones hopes not. But I don't think it is realistic to expect there to be no movement at all from a debate where the narrative, with some justification, is that Obama got his ass kicked six ways from Sunday.
posted by Justinian at 8:10 PM on October 3, 2012


I just got an email from Obama..."I hope I made you proud out there."
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 8:10 PM on October 3, 2012


So I missed the debate due to band rehearsal... just caught a few seconds of it on CNN -- Obama looked exhausted and I couldn't understand the point he was making... was it all like that? Dear God.
posted by unSane at 8:11 PM on October 3, 2012


I disagree

Uh, I was responding to MCMike. I need to quote in a fast thread.
posted by Justinian at 8:11 PM on October 3, 2012


dejah420: "to quote Bertrand Russell "A lie can be half way around the world before the truth can get its boots on"."

C. H. Spurgeon, Gems from Spurgeon (1859). An earlier version appears in the Portland (Me.) Gazette, Sept. 5, 1820: “Falsehood will fly from Maine to Georgia, while truth is pulling her boots on.” Still earlier, Jonathan Swift wrote in The Examiner, Nov. 9, 1710: “Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it.” via (Also, Terry Pratchett in The Truth)
posted by misha at 8:11 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


Obama didn't come out of the debate with any good sound bytes. But I don't think he said anything so disastrous that Romney/RNC can use it in attack ads.

Yes, I can't wait to see what the late-night guys and Obama's Truth Team are going to do with all that fodder from Mitt. Not to mention any videos that go viral. I bet there isn't an empty edit bay from here to New York.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:11 PM on October 3, 2012


was it all like that?

Pretty much, yes.
posted by jaduncan at 8:12 PM on October 3, 2012


@billmaher: i can't believe i'm saying this, but Obama looks like he DOES need a teleprompter
posted by BobbyVan at 8:13 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, they're just fucking Guiliani over on MSNBC.
posted by nushustu at 8:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's who CBS polled, and they gave it to Romney 2:1.

No real scientific or representative surveying is done immediately after a debate. Meaningless.
posted by raysmj at 8:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


sorry, dejah420, if that was brusque. I am just in my fact-checking mode. ;)


posted by misha at 8:14 PM on October 3, 2012


I think Romney will get a very real and sustained bounce from this debate.

And I think nothing in the debate will change the existing dynamic of the race: i.e., Obama favored to win the electoral college by a large margin.
posted by mediareport at 8:14 PM on October 3, 2012


Oh right. This is 21st century America, where we think it's perfectly reasonable that Howard Dean's candidacy completely evaporated over an awkward noise he once made at a rally. The pessimists are probably right.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I recently saw a poll of undecided voters which showed that a large portion of them tended to think that Romney is pretty much lying nonstop. I'll try to find it.
I haven't been able to find it. It's entirely possible that I'm imagining it, based on similar things that I did find, that are essentially "voters in general think that Romney lies more than Obama".

I do still have a feeling that I saw the more specific thing I'm describing, but I'm no longer so sure.
posted by Flunkie at 8:15 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney came off like a hyper, sugar-cereal filled grinder with his mouth filled with pink saliva and Obama came off like the poor soul called in at the last second to babysit while someone goes off to a nice dinner....
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Suppose Obama did call Romney on the lies:

Romney: [lies]
Obama: That's a lie.
R: Haha, there you go again! You're lying!
O: No, uh... I believe, if you look carefully at the data, it is you... who's lying.
R: I keep saying! STOP LYING!
O: Listen: I didn't lie. You did.
R: No, no, no! You did!
Jim: Uh..
R: JUST LET ME TALK, BECAUSE HE LIED AND THEN HE CALLED ME A LIAR, WHICH WAS ALSO A LIE.

When you have an opponent who blatantly lies, you can't win the "you're lying" competition. It's like wrestling with a pig.
posted by meese at 8:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [19 favorites]


Shares of Obama winning re-election have plummeted to a staggering 70% chance on InTrade.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:17 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


People like Obama and are willing to give him a break. All Romney did is appeal to the his base and the talking heads. That's not going to get him to 270.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:18 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


It looks like dems are going with the word "testy" to describe Romney tonight. Heard it from David Plouffe and Governor Hickenlooper.
posted by murfed13 at 8:19 PM on October 3, 2012


Flunkie, I think you're looking for this.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:19 PM on October 3, 2012


The RomneyBot's Alpha Male program did exactly what it was designed to do. I think he won the coveted Lizard Brain vote tonight.
posted by homunculus at 8:20 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


"...the place you put your money just makes a pretty clear indication of where your heart is." - Mitt Romney
posted by markkraft at 8:21 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Kerry wiped the floor with Bush in all three debates in 2004.
posted by edgeways at 8:21 PM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Obama needs to nail the next debate, or Romney needs to fuck up between then and now.

The latter is a distinct possibility, as Romney ran to the center so fast, it made Mitch McConnell retreat into his shell. He has told his Tea Party base, "No, fuck YOU!" If he tries to woo them back, he'll undermine any gains he made tonight.

On the other hand, if Obama doesn't clue in and paint Romney as "Dubya II", he's sunk.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:21 PM on October 3, 2012


Who's More Full of Shit - Ranking Politicians by Their Politifact Score

As of 1 Oct, 2012
Barack Obama (D)
45% based on 418 rulings

Mitt Romney (R)
65% based on 174 rulings
I await a post-debate update with glee.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:22 PM on October 3, 2012


If you expected Obama to savage Romney at this debate, you haven't been paying attention. And you're lucky, because that would have been a disaster for his campaign. They're too smart to fall for that.

Obama didn't have to savage Romney, just reply. Like he did against McCain.
posted by cashman at 8:22 PM on October 3, 2012


Obama might have gotten an empathy bounce
posted by edgeways at 8:22 PM on October 3, 2012


Shares of Obama winning re-election have plummeted to a staggering 70%.

Yeah, 70% is a nice number but if it drops 10% after every debate that's not a good trend.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:22 PM on October 3, 2012


People are being way too hard on Obama. Romney did dominate the debate and was obviously very, very well-prepared. But about a half hour into it, I was thinking, fuck, is this guy on speed? He's fucking out of control. He was the like the kid in class who really, really can't wait to answer the teacher's question. Maybe Obama could have a pressed a bit harder on Romney's lack of specifics/outright deception. He didn't do as well there as he could have, but this is far from a a disaster.

Sure, Romney had some decent answers, lies though they may have been, but I thought whatever good he was doing with the answers were nullified by the hopped up manner in which he was delivering them. The President, on the other hand, was calm as he has always been. No way was he "flustered". He had some very good moments on Medicare and even in retrospect, the tax debate. Romney does in fact plan to have a $5 billion tax cut.

I'll agree that Obama seemed a bit nervous at the beginning and then seemed to tire out towards the end. He actually looked like his mind was on something else at the end the debate. I might add that the Obama team should not have agreed to have the debate on Michelle and Barack Obama's 20th wedding anniversary. Not because they should have been celebrating or anything superficial like that, but because one can imagine that this impressive milestone caused Obama to reflect on his and Michelle's lives together and all that they've been through. Given the high stakes of the event, no distraction is too small to remove.

I would give the debate barely to Romney, but thought Obama had some good moments. Overall, it's not clear cut that Romney's performance will make a big difference in the swing states.

By the way, Lehrer was pathetic. And yet, it is this very patheticness that will get him more gigs in future elections. Campaigns love Lehrer like we used to love substitute teachers.
posted by Bokmakierie at 8:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [10 favorites]


CNN registered voters who watched the debate poll: 67% Romney win, 25% Obama
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 8:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or this version of the drinking game: Get really drunk before the debate begins. At some point during the debate, vomit.

Oh, you mean the Sir John A Macdonald drinking game?
posted by mazola at 8:25 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, Key and Peele finished their show at about 9:55 with another Obama Anger Translator sketch, which was strangely prescient.
posted by gimonca at 8:26 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama plummets to 67.5!


Now's as good as time as any to cash in some chips.
posted by Theta States at 8:26 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


By the way, Lehrer was pathetic.

That also led to one of Obama's most cringe-worthy moments. "You did great Jim" sounded to smarmy-politiciany I wanted to scream.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


He has told his Tea Party base, "No, fuck YOU!" If he tries to woo them back, he'll undermine any gains he made tonight.

Romney doesn't need to woo them back - he knows they will vote for him because they hate Obama. He knows that the base knows that the run towards the middle is just a temporary show for moderates and undecideds. The base will bitch, but the chances that they won't vote for Romney because he was too moderate in this debate are zero.
posted by longdaysjourney at 8:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


This was Silver's analysis before the debate. He said that Romney, statistically and based on history, will get a bounce but it may not matter in the end.
posted by girlmightlive at 8:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oddly enough, the Big Bird thing seems to be taking off online. I just don't get why Mitt went there. Completely unforced error on his part. There are lots of big bird (anti-romney) photos and images appearing, on different sites.
posted by cashman at 8:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Shares of Obama winning re-election have plummeted to a staggering 70%.

An emotional response. Period.

It will ameliorate in a day or two and I would bet 10K on that,
posted by Skygazer at 8:30 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Losing Sesame Street is something I think speaks to pretty much everyone...
posted by Theta States at 8:30 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Look, is there really anyone in Obama's base who's not going to vote for him after tonight's performance? Very unlikely.

Did he win over many undecideds? Probably not. But a frothing, attacking Obama - especially as the incumbent - would have been viewed as overly sensitive and defensive. Which is not to even mention the worry about "Angry Black Man Syndrome."

What he did do was get Mittens to say to ~50 Million TV viewers how much he likes Regulation, and how many of the provisions of Obamacare he's gonna' keep in his secret health care plan. These kind of things may do wonders for the undecideds, but not so much for the kind of people financing his campaign. Now I don't think this will move the line in the President's favor in the short term, I do have to wonder: Between the President's whole "Aw shucks, we ain't so different" attitude, and Romney abruptly running to center so fast he blue-shifted trying to shake off that bad 47% mojo, how many checks that were going to be written to Romney For President are going to be staying in the wallet in the next week or so?
posted by Freon at 8:30 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


It will ameliorate in a day or two and I would bet 10K on that,

Luckily, thanks to intrade, you can. :)
posted by Theta States at 8:31 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


In the quick perusal of online stuff, it looks like Big Bird and running roughshod over Jim are the things that are getting the mentions.
posted by gofargogo at 8:31 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, jeez. According to David Usborne, US editor for the Independent, journalists at the debate were required to pay "$85 for a chair and $175 for wifi. Lots of angry journos"

Unbelievable. A privately sponsored presidential debate, funded in part by Anheuser-Busch, that makes journalists *pay* to be present in the room.
posted by mediareport at 8:31 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


So it turned out that I missed the whole debate because I was too caught up watching the video to "Gangam Style" for the first time finally.

I'm wondering whether I really missed out.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:32 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


"You did great Jim"

Obama actually did the same thing to Tom Brokaw at the town hall debate in 2008:

At 0:47

It's a thing he does, I guess.
posted by Bokmakierie at 8:33 PM on October 3, 2012


Another point that may play out in Obama's favor is that he now has a lot more information on the record that he can call Romney on. I predict a whole new round of TV commercials and campaign speeches on all the BS Romney put out tonight.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 8:33 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I gotta stop paying attention to politics for a few weeks or I'm going to start drinking heavily.
posted by Justinian at 8:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Well, on the upside the Dems have two solid attack lines out of this. Killing Big Bird and voucherizing Medicare. Vouchers attacks should play well in IA and FL, Big Bird nationally.

Gotta roll my eyes at the OMG Romney is going to WIN! pants wetting
posted by edgeways at 8:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


When the goddamn League of Women Voters is your go-to bulldog, you know you're in trouble.

I wouldn't underestimate them - from the "Democracy Now" interview linked to above:

GEORGE FARAH: . . . fast forward four more years later and you have the Michael Dukakis and the George Bush campaign’s drafting the first ever 12-page secret debate contract. They gave it to The League of Women Voters and said please implement this. The League said, are you kidding me? We are not going to implement a secret contract that dictates the terms of the format. Instead, they release the contract to the public and they held a press conference accusing the candidates of "perpetrating a fraud on the American people" and refusing to be "an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American people."
posted by ryanshepard at 8:36 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


Theta States: Obama plummets to 67.5!" Now's as good as time as any to cash in some chips."

God damn, if I had a legal way to bet Intrade, I'd buy that 75 or 80. At 67 I might take out a loan on my house...
posted by tonycpsu at 8:37 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Obama actually did the same thing to Tom Brokaw at the town hall debate in 2008:

That one felt different, Brokaw saying he wasn't sure what was fair, and Obama saying don't worry.

In Lehrers case, he seemed to realize he'd let things spin out of control and Obama tried at make it all better with a too pat statement
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:41 PM on October 3, 2012


I was just coming here to say "Big Bird." I bet that will have a resonance that continues on long after this debate is forgotten. Talk about killing PBS and people just think...oh well." Talk about killing Big Bird and now you are murdering childhood and the alphabet and counting and pre-school. It was a stupid thing to say. But Mitt would not know that because undoubtedly Big Bird never played an important role in his life.

Look, most of the undecideds probably didn't bother to watch the debates-- after all they are so uninterested they still don't know who to vote for. So the media will tell them: Romney won the debate. But so what? Debates do not make or break elections. You know what changes elections? Soundbites. Soundbites of someone saying they don't care about 47% of the population and if given a chance would kill-off Big Bird.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:41 PM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Kinda think the whole internet needs bipolar medication.
posted by edgeways at 8:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Obama plummets to 67.5!" Now's as good as time as any to cash in some chips."

Man, there are some major ding dong idiots with money to bet out there. THAT right there is easy money...

Dang this is just the wrong time for me. Arghh...
posted by Skygazer at 8:45 PM on October 3, 2012


Well, on the upside the Dems have two solid attack lines out of this. Killing Big Bird and voucherizing Medicare. Vouchers attacks should play well in IA and FL, Big Bird nationally.

Agreed. Dem's need to kick out some effective ads on vouchercare and Big Bird.

Romney did well in the debate. Obama did okay overall, but not so great at the end, IMO. He didn't have to go on the offensive, but he could have thrown a few more jabs -- quote Romney's 47% remarks, comment on how Romney has held so many sides on any position that it is impossible to know what his plan really is and it could change entirely at any second, comment on how Romney hasn't paid his fair share in taxes and is hiding who knows what in his unreleased returns. The "nevermind" was good. The "he's hiding his plans because they're bad for the middle class" was good.

The twitter debate page seemed to be dominated by Karl Rove, Anne Coulter, and other GOP shills. Whats up with that!?
posted by Golden Eternity at 8:45 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nope - Candy Crowley, and the other one is Bob Scheiffer.

THANK FUCKING GOD!

Don't worry, Jim Lehrer, it gets better. #stopbullying

Yea, about that...
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:46 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


EmpressCallipygos: I'm wondering whether I really missed out.

Jim was a sight, that's for sure. The rest, not so much...
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:48 PM on October 3, 2012


How much do you guys think the stuff today about the secret video of Obama talking black and being "Malcolm X", According to Coulter, caused his ummm laid back performance?

Fox and drudge were all over this "startling new video" today.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:48 PM on October 3, 2012


Intrade is still dropping, too. It'll probably keep dropping through tomorrow, thanks to the press beatdown, and not bounce back until new polls come out.
posted by mek at 8:49 PM on October 3, 2012


http://t.co/dhDFNLvV
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:49 PM on October 3, 2012


Candy Crowley's job is just a preambling mic stand for the audience. They wouldn't give a woman a real moderators slot dontcherknow?
posted by edgeways at 8:49 PM on October 3, 2012


I've not waded deep enough into the quagmire to know whether that's the case or not, but lord-a-mercy, good-gracious-alive she can't be any worse than Jim was.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:51 PM on October 3, 2012


How much do you guys think the stuff today about the secret video of Obama talking black and being "Malcolm X", According to Coulter, caused his ummm laid back performance?

I think it might have more to do with a NATO Country being close to invoking the mutual protection clause (*)
posted by edgeways at 8:52 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


OK. Feeling somewhat better after putting on the coldly cynical wonk-hat. This was Rope-a-Dope, get Romney to lay down specific policy points. Now, for the first time, the Obama campaign has something to campaign against, and a direction to campaign towards.

Declaring he wants to kill Big Bird will wind up being a talking point Romney won't be able to shake. Declaring he wants to repeal Dodd-Frank, likewise.

Still. If Obama doesn't rock the block next debate, he's in a tough spot. The time for "Nice, presidential Obama" is done.

He has proven he's the nice guy. He doesn't want to kill Big Bird. Now is the time to tape up the knuckles and go at it heavy and hard.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:52 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm amazed that commentators et al. are being so negative about Obama's performance... if Obama had responded differently and been all fighty or something Romney would have just made up something different. Hanging back and making sure that Romney clearly and repeatedly committed to the policies and positions that he made up off the cuff seems to me like it was the best strategy.
posted by XMLicious at 8:52 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


President Obama just brought a Nerf bat to a knife fight.
posted by Optamystic at 8:53 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I didnt watch a second of the debate and feel like a more balanced person for it. All I gathered from the reaction coverage is that Mitt Romney wants to kill Big Bird? Like one of those private "safari" trips where they release the sad old circus elephant so a rich white guy can feel like Teddy Roosevelt gunning it down? Yep, that sounds like Romney to me.

Sad way to go, Big Bird. But that's what you get for being a socialist.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:53 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was really disappointed with Obama's performance. Early on, I kept wondering why he wasn't just crushing Romney. If not crushing, at least putting up some sort of defense. He just seemed off his game the whole time. What happened to the guy that so easily handed McCain his ass? Where was the guy who just a couple years ago, took on a room full of republicans and wiped the floor with them? Where is that guy?

Reading comments here, on social media, and hearing the talking heads, now think he threw the fight on purpose. Not so bad that he could be called incompetent, but just enough to get Mitt a pass. Perhaps I just want to believe that, but I think this might be one of those cases where he is actually playing 12 dimensional chess. As pointed out, he's got an empathy bump. He's got people going online and on the air, wondering why he didn't go after the lies Mitt Romney was spewing. As pointed out here, they now have tons of Romney soundbits to work with. They know where Mitt will attack. And he didn't show his hand to Mitt as far as the way he can deftly disarm an opponent.

Or maybe not, it's very possible I just want that to be true. I guess time will tell.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:53 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


The internet is in full-on crazy mode because Romney did better than expected. What a weird debate. Romney seemed to completely make up new policy positions on the spot. And 'trickle down government'? Geeze. He did well, but none of his sound bite attempts really payed off (YOU GET AN AIRPLANE AND A HOUSE! BUT NOT... FACTS) and the joking was awkward.

I think Obama played this one safe-- he didn't even bring up the 47% video when there were a dozen openings for it. But he couldn't really 'win' an economy debate with things as they are now, so I guess we'll have to settle with him doing just okay.
posted by sonmi at 8:54 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm amazed that commentators et al. are being so negative about Obama's performance...

They got your attention, though. It's the same thing the blogosphere does with certain topics to drive clickthroughs.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:55 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's winning the battle, and winning the war. Obama didn't need to do better than 'okay', because debates don't win elections. They can *lose* elections, though. Romney didn't do poorly enough to lose it completely, which obviously Obama would have loved, but I don't think anybody really expected. He did lay a lot of inconsistent stuff out there that's going to be all over television soon. Essentially, he scored a narrow victory by putting himself in a position that it will be even harder for him to defend for the next month.

If Romney had a consistent platform, he might be able to pull a boost from that and really manage to keep it alive. But a lot of this was all over the place. "Look at how great I did with a bunch of Democrats in Massachusetts" doesn't scream conservative, but "Big Bird is in league with CHINA" is completely whacko. He had great (if aggressive, which the media loves) presentation, but the substance is missing. There are a dozen new places to poke holes, and he'll spend all his time trying to fill those holes... and exposing new ones. If he can only perform well in debates by opening up huge gaping weak points, he's not going to get enough of a bounce to take back places like Ohio.

I would have liked Obama to call out the lies more, but I agree: The only possible response to "you're lying" in this context is "no I'm not". The best place to call out lies is in the media, afterwards. With video.
posted by gracedissolved at 8:56 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama and Romney with their hair-switched around.

....

Holy crap!
posted by Skygazer at 8:56 PM on October 3, 2012 [27 favorites]


It's interesting to me that according to CNN's undecided voter focus group who were doing the positive/negative dial thingy during the debate, the point where I thought Obama finally brought it to Romney when he said "His big bold idea is nevermind," they actually graded that as Obama's WORST moment. So I think maybe there's some truth to the fact that had Obama been all fighty, he would have polled even worse.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 8:57 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


silver lining for Obama in post-debate poll: fave/unfave numbers for both candidates mostly unchanged.
posted by edgeways at 8:57 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think Candy Crowley is a fine reporter and she should consider being the town hall moderator a compliment. On the other hand, being asked to moderate the kind of debate that we saw tonight means that the campaigns don't think you have backbone and generally have no respect for your skills as a journalist.
posted by Bokmakierie at 8:59 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think it might have more to do with a NATO Country being close to invoking the mutual protection clause (*)

Oh man. fucking Romney, Obama doesn't need any more shit right now. The guy certainly gets my sympathy he is up arguing with a moron who can just make up anything he wants and he is worried about another war.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:00 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


> So it turned out that I missed the whole debate because I was too caught up watching the video to "Gangam Style" for the first time finally

How many times did you watch it?
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:00 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


We should also keep in mind that, as much as Romney lied, Barack Obama told a pretty huge lie, too. And I think it'll haunt him. I think come election day, voters will still be thinking about the moment when the President of the United States turned to Jim Lehrer and said: "You're doing a great job."

I mean, some lies can be shrugged off, but...
posted by koeselitz at 9:01 PM on October 3, 2012 [12 favorites]


I don't know Ms. Crowley at all as I don't have cable, but something I've kind of been sniping at over the last few days is the glaring lack of questioning regarding issues such as contraception availability, Right to Choice, Planned Parenthood funding etc. Jimmy there was not going to touch those issues IN THE DOMESTIC POLICY debate, it's not gong to come up the the Foreign Policy debate and the one moderator they have that may well have brought the issue to the forefront is essentially a walking piece of furniture and time keeper.

I think having Ms. Crowley there in that position smacks of tokenism at the worst.

But, that is just my thoughts.
posted by edgeways at 9:04 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


OK. So, I steeled up the nerve to head over to FARK, a bunch of ruthlessly cynical right-leaning centrists, so...
...why are there so many .jpgs of Elmo with a knife? Oh, dear. Big Bird's got a posse.

What's worse, they're calling it a draw otherwise.

This will be pretty much the only talking point for the next week or so: The Big Bird Death Watch.

There are already cartoons of Big Bird, with his head on the chopping block, with Romney holding the axe. Wow.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:04 PM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


The main problem I think this gives the Obama campaign is that it's clearly going to fire up the Romney base. He was doing so poorly before, that a good number of them might have just stayed home on Election Day. This has given them reason to hope, and they're more likely to get involved again.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:04 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'd laugh my ass off if Big Bird internet fire completely distracts from the debate "win"... that would be so... so... Romneyesq.
posted by edgeways at 9:07 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


How many times did you watch it?

......About ten times, I think.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:12 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Guardian live-blog is definitely worth reading. Measured and thoughtful. I agree with this from the blog:
But while Obama's performance may have been subdued, there's nothing he said tonight that resembles a hostage to fortune, no slips or gaffes, nothing for attack ad fodder. So that suggests the damage won't be lasting.
and
But with no quotable quotes – and even Republicans don't seem to be shouting any great lines of Romney's – I wonder what the half-life of this debate will be? Romney's performance will have given his campaign a fillup and confirm his recent improvement in the polls of the last couple of days. But what's left in a week or so?
Indeed, the only thing I really remember about Romney in the debates is that he seemed like he was over-caffeinated.
posted by Bokmakierie at 9:14 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Apropos of nothing Santorum is on Letterman...

Comedy gold?

posted by Skygazer at 9:14 PM on October 3, 2012


Wow, even @AlRoker is piling on Lehrer:

‏@alroker I hope Jim Lehrer gets the license plate of the truck that drove over him in this debate
posted by Room 641-A at 9:16 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Hey Jim, what was that about not being the safe choice?
posted by edgeways at 9:18 PM on October 3, 2012


The main problem I think this gives the Obama campaign is that it's clearly going to fire up the Romney base.

True and this also probably means that he gets a bump in fundraising. But thinking Obama would kill off Romney in this debate was probably unrealistic. Even Palin held her own in her debate against Biden.

One narrative that I wonder if it will take hold is that Romney did so well because he was so well-prepared and because he had 20 primary debates. Not because of any inherent ability to make reasoned arguments. Remember when he killed in the Florida (?) debate and his debate coach got so much credit that the Romney campaign had to can him?
posted by Bokmakierie at 9:21 PM on October 3, 2012


I've spent the past half hour trying to craft the perfect Jim Lehrer zinger. It has to do with the empty chair. Like say, "Oh, so the empty chair's back -- AS MODERATOR! ZING!" Or maybe, "I'm glad Lehrer took advice from Eastwood's chair. ZING!" Or something like that.
posted by meese at 9:21 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


After the first presidential debate on Wednesday night, one of Mitt Romney’s top advisers acknowledged, contrary to Romney’s claims, that Romney’s plan would not cover pre-existing conditions. Instead, he suggested states should fill the gap by passing their own versions of RomneyCare.

That just about sums up the entire debate, right there.
posted by edgeways at 9:21 PM on October 3, 2012 [23 favorites]


Life is pretty bad when Al Roker is bringing the tears and pain via burnage.
posted by winna at 9:23 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


re: PBS, real life came uncomfortably close to The Onion today...
posted by vorfeed at 9:24 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Of *course* Obama threw the fight. He needs Romney to continue to look competitive (and not just to the media who need the horserace narrative to keep the bucks flowing) for one big reason - to keep Republican donors focused on Romney, not on downticket races. If the big money thinks Romney's toast, they'll go buy some congressmen or Senators; as long as Romney's viable he's the funding locus. Basically, he's ensuring that the Romney campaign is a honeypot for conservative contributions.


As for Obama's funding, he can play it off as "You're right, I wasn't on my "A" game in that debate. THere were some national security issues that were pressing, and it was my 20th anniversary." Those two reasons will keep his Presidentialness and the empathy factor high. That'll be good enough for his base to keep the taps open. But
posted by notsnot at 9:27 PM on October 3, 2012 [19 favorites]


The Guardian live-blog is definitely worth reading. Measured and thoughtful. I agree with this from the blog:
But while Obama's performance may have been subdued, there's nothing he said tonight that resembles a hostage to fortune, no slips or gaffes, nothing for attack ad fodder. So that suggests the damage won't be lasting.
and
But with no quotable quotes – and even Republicans don't seem to be shouting any great lines of Romney's – I wonder what the half-life of this debate will be? Romney's performance will have given his campaign a fillup and confirm his recent improvement in the polls of the last couple of days. But what's left in a week or so?
Indeed, the only thing I really remember about Romney in the debates is that he seemed like he was over-caffeinated.
posted by Bokmakierie
This is exactly what I'm saying. This is a Pyrrhic victory, and honestly the Dems shouldn't get too comfortable, but this is going to be meaningless, and it's not by accident.

Obama gave Romney zero big hits and NOTHING resembling a big game changer. He's running out the clock.

But that being said he needs to get some Goddamn sleep and rest and come into the next one with good energy. He really did seem tired.
posted by Skygazer at 9:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


Man, I bet you're glad for that edit window. Also, calling someone 'an illegal' is a smidge different than calling them 'an illegal immigrant'.

Didn't have WiFi during the debate, but in any case: no edit window used, but liza clearly implied that "illegal" is a slur even when used as an adjective.

So you're wrong on both counts. Thanks for playing, though.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:29 PM on October 3, 2012


Skygazer: "Obama and Romney with their hair-switched around."

Obama looks like Ricardo Montalban's brother, the Elvis impersonator.
posted by notsnot at 9:29 PM on October 3, 2012


Fired Big Bird meme
posted by edgeways at 9:32 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


liza clearly implied that "illegal" is a slur even when used as an adjective.

Newsflash: many people consider it to be a slur, even when used as an adjective.
posted by ambrosia at 9:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


I id not watch the debates, that kind of political over-rehearsed stuff drives me up the wall.

I would like to remind everyone who is feeling uneasy or panicking that Obama has an ace team. I have been really impressed how on top of things they have been. I would be surprised if this wasn't planned or planned for. Take a deep breath, it will be OK.
posted by annsunny at 9:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, I bet you're glad for that edit window.

Do. Not. Play. This. Game. Here.

If you think someone is fucking with the edit window, flag it or email us and we'll deal with it pretty severely. Otherwise don't start these sorts of conversations here, please. And end this one.
posted by jessamyn at 9:35 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


Newsflash: many people consider it to be a slur, even when used as an adjective.

News flash: it is not a slur in typical English usage. I get bent out of shape when people say "enamored with" but that doesn't mean it's not typical English usage.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:35 PM on October 3, 2012


Of *course* Obama threw the fight. He needs Romney to continue to look competitive (and not just to the media who need the horserace narrative to keep the bucks flowing) for one big reason - to keep Republican donors focused on Romney, not on downticket races.

Man, that would be 12th dimensional chess worthy....
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:37 PM on October 3, 2012


chill folks
posted by edgeways at 9:37 PM on October 3, 2012


On the one hand, I was disappointed and thought Romney won, but on the other hand, I'm not so worried. Just because someone might think Romney won a debate doesn't mean they're going to vote for the guy.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:37 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I feel so bad for Jim Lehrer. I've never ever seen him lose control like that ever.

But I think he was rusty as hell himself. He's not on the Newhour anymore but in the background and it shows he just was not up to knowing how to get a grip on Romney's steamroller bore thing without seeming nonobjective.

But that's Romney all over. An unseemly bore who'll steamroll over anyone or anything for power.
posted by Skygazer at 9:38 PM on October 3, 2012


RolandOfEld: "
Man, that would be 12th dimensional chess worthy....
"

I'm not even that smart (and L'esprit de l'escalier should be my nickname) but that seemed obvious to me. He's pulling punches, and getting Romney to put a lot of useful nonsense to video.
posted by notsnot at 9:42 PM on October 3, 2012


Romney's 'Big Bird' debate comment stirs social media [USA Today]

This fool is about to lose a debate he did okay in because he made one of the dumbest comments of all time, just out of the blue. Mittens...oh you!
posted by cashman at 9:43 PM on October 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


ohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease
posted by edgeways at 9:46 PM on October 3, 2012


notsnot: Oh, I don't doubt it, it's just completely foreign to my non-political mindset. I can think several moves ahead in chess but these guys and gals... I guess I just never got around to taking Electioneering 101. Kudos.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:47 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


You think the Big Bird thing was "out of the blue"? Maybe, but I wouldn't be surprised if it (or something very like it) were planned. It's not like he didn't know he was going to be on PBS, or didn't know that he'd be asked about what he was going to cut.
posted by Flunkie at 9:47 PM on October 3, 2012


I've only watched the first half of the debate, but I have this to say: *of course* Obama speaks slower -- he has to think before he speaks. He thinks, then speaks; about 75% of what Romney says is pre-regurgitated. I think Obama had easily won the first 45 minutes based on thoughtfullness and giving the back-story, like when he talked about Romney's voucher system resulting in eventual collapse of Medicare, which is something Romney did not even try to rebut.

Further, I think Obama was 100% on the same level as he was in McCain debates. Romney was stronger than McCain, though.

The bottom line is: either you believe Obama stabilized things in 2008-09 and then slowly and gradually improved the economy, OR that he prevented the economy from bouncing back up at a faster rate. If you believed one or the other, nothing in the debate will change your mind in the slightest, because it's a matter of guiding philosophy.
posted by rainy at 9:47 PM on October 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


> Obama and Romney with their hair-switched around.

If Romney were to have a buzz-cut, appear less of a bigwig, he could improve his chances. Why aren't his advisors telling him this stuff?
posted by de at 9:49 PM on October 3, 2012


Now that the immediate "oh fuck we're fucked" has worn off, I'm beginning to see Obama's performance tonight as less of a disaster and more of a letdown. Goddamnit Obama, you are the first black president, goddamnit! Every moment of your life is historical! The man you're facing down wants to continue this country down the path of destruction GWB initiated and you spent four years trying to reverse! Don't let him do it! Fire up the crowd, bring down the house, do whatever it takes! Remember the Obama that gave the keynote at the Democratic convention all those years ago? Be that Obama! Make us proud!

WE NEED YOU GODDAMNIT!

(but seriously, I'm willing to let you off the hook just this once because they made you work on your anniversary. just don't do it again, okay?)
posted by Afroblanco at 9:50 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I only caught the first half of the debate before our guests came over, but I thought the President looked absolutely exhausted. Ill even. Has he been sick recently?
posted by Kevtaro at 9:53 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Given the amount of people who don't vote if they think it won't make a difference, I think we have to see this as a serious boost for Romney, by winning the debate he has proven that the race is not over and there's still time to change people's minds.

That said, why do we have the debates so close when early voting has already started? Is there some secret agreement against having them earlier?
posted by corb at 10:05 PM on October 3, 2012


I was wondering about that earlier as well. Given how late the conventions have gotten, there really is only about 3 -4 weeks in which they could be earlier. I suspect right now it is "tradition" to have them all in such a short space, which is kind of silly considering just how Loooong the election cycle is.
posted by edgeways at 10:11 PM on October 3, 2012


Ohio is a coal state.

I'm way late on this, but just laughing my ass off over here. The interspersed Q and A in the thread is like Joe in Reservoir Dogs. Toby? Toby Wong? Toby Wong? Toby Wong.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:13 PM on October 3, 2012


Just coming back in at the end, scan the transcripts, and I see that as expected I missed nothing by skipping the debates. "Big Bird" being the big issue is... is... well, you just can't make this stuff up.

As to why they have the debates so close together - if you see this as a sports event then it all becomes clear... they have to have the playoffs right before the Vote Bowl so the excitement mounts!

Though actually I see this more like professional wrestling... this explains Mr. Obama's poor performance, because if there wasn't some question in people's minds as to who was going to win, then the whole thing would be dull for the audience - and who wants that? And if Romney hadn't done well in this election, most people would have written him off.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:29 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, and did I call it with my original posting or what?

"They aren't going to turn the Bill of Rights back on, they aren't going to stop assassinating people at will, they aren't going to stop spying on us, neither war criminals nor financial criminals will see the inside of a court room let alone a jail cell, they aren't going to legalize pot nor dial back the war on drugs, and they aren't going to do anything significant about climate change "because jobs"."

As far as I can see, none of these issues were even mentioned - but these are going to be what historians will remember about this time.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:34 PM on October 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


@SilentJimLehrer
posted by Skygazer at 10:41 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Charles Pierce over at Esquire actually had to resort to writing the following convoluted, if brilliant, paragraph to make sense of the absurdity of what happened tonight:
The fact is that the president is a cool and rational man and he is facing someone who is running as a caricature not only of himself, but of the several other selves he's found it convenient to construct for himself along the way. It is possible that a cool and rational man is incapable of confronting someone this ridiculous on the simple grounds of how ridiculous that someone actually has become.
posted by Skygazer at 10:57 PM on October 3, 2012 [15 favorites]


I think this might be one of those cases where he is actually playing 12 dimensional chess.

Just regular kind. I think Romney approached this like a best 2 out of 3 match. In his mind he came out of game 1 as a winner.

If Obama is playing this smart, he's going to be approaching the last month of this election as a single game with an opening, a mid-game and an end-game. If that's correct, Romney actually committed himself tonight more than he has in the past eighteen months. Obama actually had to be President and couldn't just say he'd make everything all better through some heretofore unknown science that borders on mysticism. So Obama just made some pretty patterns with his pawns while Romney got his his big pieces out in front.

Right now Romney is projecting all kinds of power but, carrying the chess analogy, is highly vulnerable to forks and moves he didn't see.

Welcome to the mid-game.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:18 PM on October 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


A new Obama ad should be themed "he won't tell us."
posted by JKevinKing at 11:28 PM on October 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


It would have been satisfying to see Obama call Romney out on his lies, but if the big media story is "Why didn't Obama call out Romney on all of his lies? There were so many of them, he had like a million chances!" then you've got a media who can't criticize Obama about it without also saying "MITT ROMNEY IS A LYING LIAR WHO LIES." every time, which is kind of a neat trick.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:47 PM on October 3, 2012 [23 favorites]


I hope that's exactly what they were planning, because that would be clever.

There were a few times during all that I thought Obama had kind of an "Indiana Jones patiently lets his attacker wave his sword around before he shoots him" look.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:55 PM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe I'm just biased, but from my perspective, Obama clearly won the debate. Hands down. Either Romney is stupid or thinks I am.

Obama came across to me as serious. Romney won because he was aggressive and Obama didn't deliver the "zingers?" Because Obama wasn't comfortable? Obama was substantive and the media is complaining that Obama didn't use cheap attacks over 47%, tax returns, etc.

Too bad most of the political world disagrees with me.
posted by JKevinKing at 11:58 PM on October 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Obama doesn't have to talk about the horse race bs, the media is.
posted by JKevinKing at 11:59 PM on October 3, 2012


I've realized all the commentary I've been reading, both from left-leaning and right-leaning, sources, has been what Romney needs to do to win the game or whatever. No pundit has told me what Obama should have done to win the game. As such, I have no idea how I should be feeling about all this, and am left befuddled.

Oh well, I think I like chocolate waffles better than KFC Zinger burgers overall, so it's a win for the Belgians?
posted by the cydonian at 12:04 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


And these debates will be old news within 1-2 weeks. It won't affect anything.
posted by JKevinKing at 12:06 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


It would have been satisfying to see Obama call Romney out on his lies, but if the big media story is "Why didn't Obama call out Romney on all of his lies? There were so many of them, he had like a million chances!" then you've got a media who can't criticize Obama about it without also saying "MITT ROMNEY IS A LYING LIAR WHO LIES." every time, which is kind of a neat trick.

Except the narrative won't be about that. The narrative will be about how Romney looked commanding and presidential, and Obama stammered and conceded ground. Romney did a very good job of filling a lot of airtime with with lots of words and saying nothing of substance. Romney managing to position himself as the populist on the issue of Wall St. regulation with his talk of too-big-to-fail was just an outstanding piece of gold-spun bullshit, and Obama just let it go unchallenged.

Obama was at his worst when trying to look bipartisan, and his trumpeting of his record was downright embarrassing. He should go back to calling himself Barry because that debate felt like Goldwater sparring with a Bircher playing populist devil's advocate.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 12:09 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney's appeal in the debate will be limited to the Republican base
posted by JKevinKing at 12:09 AM on October 4, 2012


I am starting to think that the way Romney moved back to the center on several core right ideas may have won him the battle of the debate but might also cost him the war of the election. Not only does it reinforce the message about him changing his positions for political convenience, but a lot of these issues are mine fields, any of which could individually dominate the news cycle and erase the gains from the debate itself. I'm also curious to see if GOP party discipline can be maintained or if people are going to hit him on these issues from the right.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:14 AM on October 4, 2012


As such, I have no idea how I should be feeling about all this, and am left befuddled.

Hungry, irritable, and covetous of consumer electronics.
posted by pompomtom at 12:18 AM on October 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Jim Leher responding forcefully to Mitt Romney's interruptions.
posted by zardoz at 12:19 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, ironically, it seems like Obama came out of the debate with the only real "zinger."
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:19 AM on October 4, 2012


Am I the only one who thinks Obama just threw his re-election away? Like, with both hands?

No. But I'm not the only one who would need to put my life-savings forward in order to be able to afford all the beta-blockers you need to get through this election without a breakdown. Deep breaths tzikeh, Republicans are not magicians, and US voters aren't a sea of undecided buffoons ready to jump into Romney's arms in an instant. Not every piece of news that isn't Mitt Romney actually having sex with a dog is confirmation of your fear that you're going to wake up with him as president.
posted by howfar at 12:23 AM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Jim Lehrer moderating / Oooops-double
posted by growabrain at 12:28 AM on October 4, 2012


Love the chess metaphor.

What I would love to see is for President Obama to have the last word at the last debate, and have part of the closing statement as follows:

"Mitt Romney is a fine man and a great salesman. The problem is he selling a defective product."
posted by JKevinKing at 12:33 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


He's selling
posted by JKevinKing at 12:35 AM on October 4, 2012


No, he's pitching to buy with a view to harvesting in 4 years time.
posted by de at 12:49 AM on October 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Romney Goes On Offense, Pays For It In First Wave Of Fact Checks

Early score:
- Obama's right on the $5T tax cuts
- Obama's charge that Romney is proposing a tax plan "that would give millionaires another tax break and raise taxes on middle class families by up to $2,000 a year" is 'mostly true'
- On Medicare savings: Obama "did not cut benefits by $716 billion over 10 years as part of his 2010 health care law; rather, he reduced Medicare reimbursements to health care providers, chiefly insurance companies and drug manufacturers. And the law gave Medicare recipients more generous benefits for prescription drugs and free preventive care like mammograms."
- Romney's claim that the Affordable Care act "puts in place an unelected board that's going to tell people, ultimately, what kind of treatments they can have." is "one of the biggest whoppers of the night."
- Romney claimed that Obama had said he would 'cut the deficit in half.' Half true
- Obama's claim on adding 5 million jobs in the last 30 months: True

Obama's only real misstep, so far:
- "20 years ago I became the luckiest man on earth because Michelle Obama agreed to marry me." 20 years ago, at the time the comment was made, Michelle's last name was still Robinson.
posted by syzygy at 2:04 AM on October 4, 2012 [23 favorites]


Salon's Debate Fact Check

— Big Bird is tiny: Mitt Romney says he’d help bring down the deficit by cutting PBS and “Big Bird.” PBS receives about $445 million from the federal government, which represents about .01 percent of the federal budget.
— “The same fucking bill”: Romney says his healthcare plan in Massachusetts is very different from Obamacare. The guy who designed both the plans calls them “the same fucking bill.”
posted by syzygy at 3:12 AM on October 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


At 8:55 pm I said to my wife, "I'm going to bed, I'll leave watching the debate up to TiVo and Metafilter, they'll take care of it." Thanks folks, looks like I can delete that TiVo recording.
posted by HuronBob at 3:13 AM on October 4, 2012


My (admittedly very biased) two cents after sleeping on it:

Neither candidate scored huge, substantive points in the debate. Romney was commanding, but came off looking like a complete weirdo, in my book, with the blinking, pained grimace, interrupting the moderator, and looking smug and smarmy.

Obama played it safe. I think and hope this is a case of losing or throwing the battle with an eye toward winning the war.

Romney made a number of factually incorrect statements, and backtracked on positions he espoused as little as a few days ago.

I think the Obama team came away with a goldmine of Romney statements to work with, going forward.

I also think it's likely that Obama took the non aggressive approach simply out respect for the gravity of the current economic situation. Mitt, on the other hand, was aggressive and made a bunch of policy points, many inaccurate, without ever really explaining the specifics of his policies.

To me, it looks like Mitt 'won' this battle on style points, barely, but I think the longer term outcome will be that he gave the Obama campaign more ammunition to attack him with, something I think they'll do a very good job of.
posted by syzygy at 3:18 AM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


In short I think Obama has the brains and rhetorical prowess to beat Mitt Romney into a pulp in a debate. The fact that he did not do that last night leads me to think the outcome was probably planned by the Obama team, with a view toward the long game.

I can only hope I'm right - hope Obama pulls it out and brings a lot of dems into office on his coattails.
posted by syzygy at 3:33 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think Candy Crowley is a fine reporter

She is one of the very worst right wing corporate shills on air. Name one major scoop she's ever had, or one interview where she broke through a bad mans facade. None. She's not a journalist. She's like Blitzer, a PR hack.


I can't believe Jim Lehrer did not defend PBS. He needs to retire now. weak, weak, weak moderation.
posted by spitbull at 3:37 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


The fact is that the president is a cool and rational man and he is facing someone who is running as a caricature not only of himself, but of the several other selves he's found it convenient to construct for himself along the way. It is possible that a cool and rational man is incapable of confronting someone this ridiculous on the simple grounds of how ridiculous that someone actually has become.
Also known as avoiding a Mugatu moment.
posted by fullerine at 3:38 AM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh, and did anyone else notice that Romney said you put your money where your heart is? The 3rd party attack ad writes itself.
posted by JKevinKing at 3:49 AM on October 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Angry Republicans loved the debate because Romney was rude, arrogant & angry and would say anything just to get the white house "back".

They don't care about facts or figures or truth or specifics, and would prefer not to hear them as that might force them to think.

And the fury of an angry republican is nothing next to the self-loathing rage they would feel if they had to admit they were wrong about Obama.

Never underestimate how much effort a human being will put into justifying him or herself, even with lies, even with violence, simply to be accepted by his or her social group.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:23 AM on October 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


I like how this NYT fact check is put together - it's side by side with a transcript of the debate, so you can see what they said in context and then and explanation.
posted by insectosaurus at 4:42 AM on October 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


I'm disappointed, but not terribly so. After all, Kerry "decisively" won the first debate in 2004 to much rending of the garments on the right and jubilation on the left, and last time I checked the two guys on stage last night weren't running to succeed him as he left office after two terms.

As others have mentioned, there's nothing "scary" to voters that Obama said, while Romney admitted to planning on implementing the wildly unpopular VoucherCare, which I can see in an ad or three. And let's not forget that we have three more debates to go, including one Presidential one in the town-hall format, which definitely favored Obama last time. And while the people who say Romney shook the Etch-a-Sketch again and did a decent job presenting himself as a centrist are right, the time he really needed to do that successfully was during the summer after the primaries, before Bain and the 47% video, not a month before the election. Sure, this may have stopped the bleeding, but that's not a winning strategy with 30-odd days left. Just look at Ford or Mondale or Kerry to see how well stopping the bleeding went for them.

If the polls are correct, the percentage of undecided voters is usually less than the margin between the two, which means Obama's already got a "baked-in" lead of sorts. In other words, Romney's job in the debates is to convince almost all the voters who are undecided and from the other side to vote for him, which I'm not sure happened. That's what happened to Reagan and almost happened with Kerry, and although it's too early to tell I would very surprised to see 90%+ of undecideds say the debate made them want to vote for Romney and a notable percentage of Obama voters saying they'll switch.

Another important perspective: As mentioned above, there's this snap poll from Peter Hamby at CNN:
silver lining for Obama in post-debate poll: fave/unfave numbers for both candidates mostly unchanged.
That could be a big deal, because it means that people think he did a good job debating, but it didn't really make him look like a better potential President. Remember, Romney's had an advantage or tie when it comes to the economy for most of the polls of last month, yet he's been behind in almost every single one of those polls. Conversely, on the favorables, Obama's been ahead in most, maybe even all of those polls. If that holds true, then Romney's numbers should improve, but not enough move him ahead. And another advantage that Obama has is that his aggregate leads in the battlegrounds are roughly the same or higher than his national average, so even if the national polls tighten up, he's still got a significant lead in states that give him the electoral vote advantage, whereas Romney has to run the table in states that he's mostly well behind in.

Anyway, I could be wrong on all of this, but my guess is that this will become a closer race for a couple of days--partially or mostly because that's what the media wants--but not enough to flip it or even tie it. In other words, the "2004 with flipped parties" race that it's been for the better part of 9 months. It's likely that the media will find another shiny object to chase (ie. Paul Ryan's mini-47% video, another Biden "gaffe," Turkey and Syria) by Monday, and then it's time to hype the VP debate, which is almost certain to be watched by few and be important to less. In the meantime, Obama gets two weeks to prepare for a debate that's in a format he's much better suited to and his opponent is very much not. And we get to argue over everything all over again!
posted by zombieflanders at 4:49 AM on October 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


Interesting that the reaction here to the debate is quite a bit different than the internet at large.


(I didn't watch it, preferring to read about it later. )
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:04 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, and another statistic from the CNN snap poll was that roughly half of the undecideds they interviewed said the debate didn't make them more likely to vote for either candidate, compared to a third that were more likely to vote for Romney and about a fifth that were more likely to re-elect Obama. Even if we assumed 10% undecideds (which seems to be well above the actual numbers in polls), that's a 1-point gain, which is not a very friendly statistic for a challenger
posted by zombieflanders at 5:06 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm hearing lots of repeats of Romney's "Look I have five boys..." remark. The GOP will kiss him for that one. Everyone else, not so much. \

Had Obama brought up the 47% remark, Romney would have zinged back with something and the news cycle would be about that reply. Instead it never came up and all people remember is what Romney said, not what he replied to. Smart move.

Yeah, the more I think about it, the more it seems Obama was intentionally low key in this debate. No, that doesn't completely explain his sub-par performance, but I suspect that in the long run this debate will be seen as Romney's brief high point.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:07 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney appeared in command because Romney was riding roughshod over Lehrer, a churlish argumentative technique he probably picked up from having 5 sons. Oldest trick in the book. That may have been his October surprise.

Will Obama's people be talking with Lehrer's people before the next debate? Does Lehrer even have people, or is he it?
posted by de at 5:22 AM on October 4, 2012


Lehrer has a production company that runs the PBS Newshour. I don't know what good it would do to talk to Lehrer at this point. It's Bob Schrieffer and Candy Crowley that have to try and contain the RomneyBot in ASSMODE in the next two debates.
posted by Skygazer at 5:28 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Good. I assumed Lehrer was it.
posted by de at 5:30 AM on October 4, 2012


Video from the Obama Campaign:
Mitt Romney's debate performance: Mostly Fiction
posted by syzygy at 5:34 AM on October 4, 2012


That was bizarre. Romney suddenly defended his record as a governor including his healthcare plan (!) and tried to appear pro-education. An attack over the $90Bn in green jobs while insisting twice on not cutting the defense budget. Making a big deal out of the security of Americans when Obama's record is very strong there. "(M)aking sure that those people who are less fortunate and can't care for themselves are cared by — by one another" sounded like Romney can't even pay lip service to people in hardship.

Obama seemed slightly rusty and Romney surprised people pleasantly because the expectations about him were terribly low. When he wasn't flip-flopping, his speech was vacuous even though it was the first time I've seen Romney driven. Maybe he aims for the literary vote too, as it was a tale, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
posted by ersatz at 5:49 AM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Silver Lining for Obama
Before the debate began, Obama was doing well among voters who had supported him in 2008, as well as some former McCain voters (30 percent of the group said if they had to choose, they would vote for Obama). At the same time, Romney lagged badly among Republican-leaning participants. Only 27 percent of the group said they would vote for Romney, which meant that a sizable portion of those who backed McCain in 2008 were not impressed enough with Romney to cast a hypothetical if-you-made-me-choose vote for him.

Over the course of the debate, Romney won those voters to his side. When it was all over, 42 percent of the group declared Romney the winner, compared to 20 percent who thought Obama won, and 38 percent who said neither candidate won the debate. And Romney’s share of the hypothetical vote had increased from 27 percent to 44 percent. The Republican-leaners had come home.

On each of the more specific questions, participants also sorted out according to their 2008 vote and other party leaning. Republicans who had not rated Romney highly before the debate began now saw him as best able to handle the economy and as a strong leader.

The one area in which Romney made no headway with voters was on his ability to understand the concerns of the middle-class. Voters preferred Obama going in on the question of “who is better for the middle-class” and their views did not change following the debate.

Nearly all of the movement on Wednesday night came from undecided—but Republican-leaning—voters deciding to back Romney. Whether that was because after listening to the two men for 90 minutes these voters decided that they really were more ideologically in tune with the GOP or because they didn’t like the way Obama called his wife “sweetie” or because they just thought the president looked like he desperately needed a long vacation, they aligned themselves with Romney.

“What Romney accomplished,” said one of Greenberg’s colleagues in Denver, “was consolidating those Republican leaners who were undecided going into this.” As for Obama, Greenberg concluded, “there was no erosion.”

“No erosion” is hardly a rallying cry. But while Obama didn’t pick up much support in this focus group (33 percent said they would vote for him afterward, compared to 31 percent at the beginning of the evening), he ended up right at his 2008 vote levels. And at the end of the day, if Obama gets the same amount of support as in 2008, distributed the same way across key states like Colorado, he wins. That may be the official spin, but it’s also simple arithmetic.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:50 AM on October 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Obama's team is playing it smart this morning, setting out the many aspects of Romney's shady representation. Don't despair, folks.
posted by angrycat at 5:50 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Something that hasn't been mentioned:

This first debate, IIRC, is the only one that was specifically supposed to be about the economy - arguably Obama's weakest area. So, rope-a-dope was probably not a bad idea.

He will be on much stronger ground as the next two debates move toward foreign policy.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:52 AM on October 4, 2012


Never underestimate the ability and willingness of the media to create a story out of thin air, in this case that Romney "won the debate" (it's been shown that debates do nothing to influence Presidential elections anyway, and Obama still leads the electoral vote by at least 50 votes).

Nobody pays attention to words. People pay attention to body language. So therefore Obama won the debate.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:55 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you think about Romney's performance (and that's obviously what 'won' him the debate, rather than policy) as akin to an America's Got Talent act it's no wonder he came off better.

He went through all the earlier rounds during the Republican primaries and had the most popular act.

Now he's in the finals, and needs a new next-level act to win (another complete turnaround on policy, but a sparkly fresh act).

He was performing against an act that won last years America's Got Talent who hasn't performed in the current season *at all*, and who has been a bit busy performing brain surgery since he won the show last season.
posted by panaceanot at 5:56 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just want to wish you all good luck. We're all counting on you.
posted by AugieAugustus at 5:59 AM on October 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


Regarding body language KokuRyu, Obama got out of the gate with stronger body language as he sauntered on stage and because of the sides they entered from was able to put the dominant 'arm around and tap the other person's forearm' for the camera. Went a bit off the rails after that though.
posted by panaceanot at 6:03 AM on October 4, 2012


Of *course* Obama threw the fight. He needs Romney to continue to look competitive (and not just to the media who need the horserace narrative to keep the bucks flowing) for one big reason - to keep Republican donors focused on Romney, not on downticket races. If the big money thinks Romney's toast, they'll go buy some congressmen or Senators; as long as Romney's viable he's the funding locus. Basically, he's ensuring that the Romney campaign is a honeypot for conservative contributions.

If this is the ol' rope-a-dope, and Obama pummels Romney in the next debate (after forcing Romney to commit to policy lies this time,) I will be ecstatic.
But I'm just a bit too nervous that this is the case.
posted by Theta States at 6:07 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


@ForecasterEnten: A note there is actually a neg correlation between doing well in instapolls and gaining after the debate in past yrs. pic.twitter.com/o4blDAWb
posted by zombieflanders at 6:07 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama lost the first debate, but he will still win the election
Incumbent presidents almost always have a poor first debate: George W. Bush lost to John Kerry in 2004, for example, and Walter Mondale beat Ronald Reagan so badly in 1984 that there was a spate of articles asking if the incumbent was too old for the presidency. Yet never has a challenger’s strong first debate performance closed as large a national polling gap as Romney faced going into last night’s debate. Furthermore, most post-debate polling bumps come from previously undecided voters, of which there is a historically small amount in this campaign, thus making it even less likely that Romney could exceed past norms. And Romney would need to outdo history by quite a distance — only Harry Truman has come back from a national deficit as large or larger than Romney’s at this point in the campaign.

If Romney would have to pull off a miracle to close the gap in national polling, he has no shot at matching the president in the electoral college. As mentioned above, forecasters commonly predict that Obama already has a big lead of safe and leaning states. If we assume Romney will improve in the polls, there would be around nine “swing states”: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. There’s one problem here for Romney: He is trailing, and has been consistently trailing, in all but two — North Carolina, where he’s held a small lead, and Florida, this election’s closest thing to a 50-50 state. Romney doesn’t need to win two out of those nine; in almost every scenario, he will need six or seven out of those nine to win, including at least two or three states where he is behind by several points more than he is nationally.

All of which brings me to the final point: Given the state of the race before last night’s debate, even most Romney backers would agree that a Romney victory would require a flawless campaign the rest of the way from Romney and a blunder or two from Obama. After six years of both these men running for and/or being president of the United States, is there really anyone out there who thinks Mitt Romney can go a month without making a single mistake? Who thinks Barack Obama, who has been playing it safe for at least several months now, will suddenly make a reckless error, as opposed to a merely lackluster performance?
posted by zombieflanders at 6:12 AM on October 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


I thought I'd buy some intrade shares to buy an early Christmas present with the money of Mitt's backers*, but apparently intrade requires documentation for your place of residence and I'm not that interested in handing that to random companies when I use my bank to verify that I'm me and the money I'm using is my money.

*Because a) I still think Romney can't win and b) if Romney wins, compared to the economic meltdown that will follow, $100 won't amount for much.
posted by ersatz at 6:19 AM on October 4, 2012


BBC in South Carolina: Reporter to some guy -- it seemed that Romney was staring at Obama with this far-off gaze, almost appeared as if he was going to cry. Guy: OH YEAH ROMNEY WAS GREAT
posted by angrycat at 6:19 AM on October 4, 2012


Romney is too good of a debater and is Mr Teflon when it comes to attacks so the risks for Obama going on offense were too much with too little possible upside. The format of the debate also really wasn't to Obama's strengths and having an incredibly weak moderator that let Romney walk all over him didn't help at all.

Romney will probably narrow the gap some in the national polling and maybe even battleground polling especially in Florida, Virginia and North Carolina but I don't think Obama provided any soundbites for attack ads and even gave up some material for Obama attack ads.

Yeah Obama should've been more prepared to refute the medicare cut lies but I guess he must of been leery about providing more ammo. He can use proxies to refute the lies and let's be honest almost all of the post debate coverage seemed to remark on how Romney was lying and Obama wasn't refuting those lies. What viewers will still hear (and it will be coming from neutral third party commentators) is that Romney is a liar.

Romney comes off as a slick, smooth salesman that would probably sell you his grandma, Obama comes off as earnest if a bit too boring and laidback. Basically anything that avoids the possibility of depicting Obama as an angry black man is a win for team Obama.

So Team Romney probably gained some but it will probably only last into the weekend (maybe less if the job numbers are good for Obama) simply because debates aren't gamechangers.
posted by vuron at 6:22 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is kind of interesting, from over at TPM:
Getting a massive amount of coverage this morning is the CNN snap poll of the debate, which showed Romney winning the exchanged overwhelmingly.

But the internals of the poll look really strange. If you look at the breakdown of the sample, it doesn’t appear to contain anyone (or doesn’t appear to contain any representative sample) under 50, anyone outside of the South or anyone who’s not white. (See page 8 of this pdf.)

I doesn’t make sense to me that they’d do or release a poll like that. So really curious if anyone has an explanation.
posted by edgeways at 6:25 AM on October 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


"All the polls are wrong! They're fixed somehow!" I wouldn't go there. I would leave that to delusional republicans. We all watched the thing last night. Mitt Romney was on his game and Barack was rusty.
posted by cashman at 6:31 AM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


my mom just commented on my facebook that while she doesn't like either candidate, it's obvious Obama is lost without a teleprompter.

what is the this thing about a teleprompter that people get on obama for? i don't have tv so maybe i've missed some sort of cable news meme? i saw other refer to upthread but i still don't get it.

do people think that the teleprompter is different than having notes in your hand? i'm confused.
posted by sio42 at 6:38 AM on October 4, 2012


The teleprompter thing is a meme on the right. It's an incredibly stupid comment put forth by incredibly stupid (or incredibly gullible) people.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:43 AM on October 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


sio42: what is the this thing about a teleprompter that people get on obama for?

Send your mom this link - it shows Obama taking questions from Republican lawmakers and responding to them, off the cuff, with no teleprompter required:
Obama At House Republican Retreat In Baltimore

Having brought up that particular video, I'd like to point out that Obama seems to be perfectly capable of manhandling his opponents, even in a hostile setting such as this one (at a 'retreat' for Republican lawmakers). This performance shows, I think, his debating capabilities, and it makes me think that last night's performance was carefully planned and scripted by the Obama team.
posted by syzygy at 6:44 AM on October 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


do people think that the teleprompter is different than having notes in your hand? i'm confused.

It's that fancy schmancy educated technology! Basically it started because Obama is great at what he does, and in the end when what Obama said was solid, when what Obama said continues to make sense, when what Obama says talks about people you wish you didn't have to think about because you view them differently than you - when all that happens, you're left with saying "Yeah, but....uhm....you read the words you wrote! nyah!"
posted by cashman at 6:45 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


The race got a bit real, sure, but what I can do with, is all the sudden liberal despair; Krugman was right off the bat calling Obama a capillary man, for instance. It's quite something, this change of gears; everyone's a friend when the going is good, and everyone has advice to fill when you have roadblocks.
posted by the cydonian at 6:45 AM on October 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Equally, Romney was intentionally disruptive, (but in that the man did protest too much):

ROMNEY
(interrupts out of turn ... just has to correct the record)

LEHRER
Excuse me. Just so everybody understands --

ROMNEY
Yeah.

LEHRER
-- we're way over our first 15 minutes.

ROMNEY
It's fun, isn't it?
posted by de at 6:46 AM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


People get the kind of debates they deserve.
It seems that the majority here and elsewhere are looking for a "winner" and a "loser" as if this is some kind of sporting event and we have nothing better to do than look for injuries. What the hell? In fact the debate was boring from both sides and none of the real issues that are currently tearing America apart were actually discussed. No one really "won" the debate and everyone in America lost.
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 6:48 AM on October 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


If you look at the breakdown of the sample, it doesn’t appear to contain anyone (or doesn’t appear to contain any representative sample) under 50, anyone outside of the South or anyone who’s not white. (See page 8 of this pdf.)

That's not true -- you can see it in the difference between the overall percentages who said each candidate won (67-25 Romney) versus the white percentage (71-20 Romney). They probably just have few enough nonwhites (and under 50's) that they're choosing not to report results for those subgroups instead of something like "30% Obama +/- 20%."

I wouldn't necessarily be sure that the topline results are just a reflection of a bad sample draw, either -- they may well be reweighted results that magnify the opinions of unlikely respondents and reduce the opinions of the most likely respondents.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:48 AM on October 4, 2012


Oh, I concur cashman that questioning the polls can certainly be the salve of sore losers. And it is obvious that Romney did stylastically much better. But particularly bad polls deserve at least a mention, Rassmusen get kicked in the fork all the time (deservedly) ... and that cnn poll deserves at least a look see.
posted by edgeways at 6:48 AM on October 4, 2012


Obama is clearly comfortable with a teleprompter but he also seems to do well in a town hall style format which is a little less stiff and is more off the cuff.

I thought it was interesting seeing the body language at the end of the debate last night. Romney clearly felt confident in his performance but Obama didn't seem particularly uncomfortable when the families showed up on stage. Obama isn't ever going to be the warmest guy in the room but he can definitely look a bit too professorial in some situations like these more formal debates.

Honestly though this was the debate that Romney had to do the best on. The economy is still the Achilles heel for Obama and this was the time to pound Obama on that. A townhall style debate is going to be harder for Romney to score points on and a foreign policy debate is going to strongly advantage Obama simply because Romney almost always comes off as clueless on foreign policy and you know Osama.

If the jobs numbers are mediocre or even bad on Friday then I think Mitt can really gain some momentum for an extended news cycle but right now Obama seems content to play protect the football and run out the clock rather than risk fumbling the ball or throwing an interception. Whew there was the requisite football metaphor.
posted by vuron at 6:48 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


what is the this thing about a teleprompter that people get on obama for?

It's a meme promulgated to the masses that are uncomfortable with a person of Color in the White House. It's code for "Obama" isn't really that smart and he can't be, because you know, not White.
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 6:51 AM on October 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


thanks all for clearing up teleprompter bit. i posted that link to my fb.
posted by sio42 at 6:51 AM on October 4, 2012


Obama's Home Teleprompter Malfunctions During Family Dinner
posted by Anything at 7:00 AM on October 4, 2012


At Last Night’s Debate: Romney Told 27 Myths In 38 Minutes

The mendacity is astounding.
posted by syzygy at 7:06 AM on October 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Onion: Obama's Home Teleprompter Malfunctions During Family Dinner
posted by BurntHombre at 7:13 AM on October 4, 2012


Oops.
posted by BurntHombre at 7:13 AM on October 4, 2012


Four years isn’t enough… [via reddit]
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 7:17 AM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


That's some photograph. Bet Obama doesn't need a teleprompter to talk through his teeth.
posted by de at 7:17 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


This talk of throwing the debate is batty. Obama was rusty, possibly distracted by his job and seemed to want to just play defense. Overall, he didn't do great, but he didn't take any hits. Romney got higher highs out of the debate (and media analysis) but said some things that are going to end up in ads. Big Bird and vouchers are going to be what people remember out of this.

FWIW, my moderate (Alabamian no less) Republican friends on facebook didn't like Romney talking to them like they were 5 year olds and that he was rolling Lehrer. My Dad, who as far as I know has voted Republican his entire life, said he thought Obama did fine, didn't understand why everyone said Romney won and still doesn't know who he is going to vote for. My sample sizes are ridiculous and the samples anecdotal, but if he didn't win over these people, very similar to the ones he needs in the swing states, I think everyone is going overboard with this Romney is back/gonna win narrative. The people he needs to win over still don't trust him, don't see a plan and basically don't want to vote for anyone.
posted by dig_duggler at 7:19 AM on October 4, 2012 [14 favorites]


The race got a bit real, sure, but what I can do with, is all the sudden liberal despair

Me, too. Andrew Sullivan (who isn't a liberal, but is the man who just called Obama "the Democratic Reagan") practically threw in the towel last night, writing that the debate "may have cost Obama the election."

I mean, Jesus, Andrew, get a sense of proportion. (Actually, Sullivan's congenital lack of any sense of proportion is exactly what makes him so fascinating and so frustrating to read. A "sense of proportion" may, in fact, be a liability for a career blogger.)

Last night I was most entertained by my twitterati's relentless micro-debating/play-micro-managing of Obama's every single move. A one point, one tweep wrote "NO OBAMA LOOK AT THE CAMERA!!"
posted by octobersurprise at 7:19 AM on October 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


Let's hope for good job numbers on Friday. This looks promising:
U.S. economy buoyed by modest growth figures
The ADP National Employment Report showed private employers added 162,000 jobs in September. While the gain topped economists’ expectations, it was still fewer than the 189,000 new hires seen in August.

Separate data showed the Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers index for the service sector rose to its highest level since March at 55.1 from 53.7 as new orders accelerated,

posted by syzygy at 7:27 AM on October 4, 2012


Obama's been leading for months. Not only is the race not going to magically turn around from a debate performance that's less than him screaming LIAR at Romney over and over, but Obama doesn't get to win without the occasional downturn in his fortunes. It's a marathon, not a horse race.
If the polls move on this - and they probably will, slightly - it won't be permanent. Obama will still win this, barring something truly unforseen, because he's still Obama, and Romney is still Romney. Nothing we saw last night changed any of that particularly. Romney happened to do marginally better in the debate whose focus was the thing Obama is weakest on: the economy. Up until last night Romney had been getting so demolished that anything short of literally pooping his pants was going to be seen as a victory for him.
So he got his victory, and Obama let him have it, knowing it'd be a mistake to try and wrestle him when the outcome is already written.
posted by qnarf at 7:28 AM on October 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Interesting that the reaction here to the debate is quite a bit different than the internet at large.

Where is this "internet at large"? Could someone post a url? I wasn't aware that MetaFilter existed on some private internet side street or cul-de-sac.

The fact is that the president is a cool and rational man and he is facing someone who is running as a caricature not only of himself, but of the several other selves he's found it convenient to construct for himself along the way. It is possible that a cool and rational man is incapable of confronting someone this ridiculous on the simple grounds of how ridiculous that someone actually has become.

It is such situations that the withering "chile please" look is made for. (Or "bitch please" or "nigga please" as the etiquette or a particular occasion may allow.)

That's some photograph. Bet Obama doesn't need a teleprompter to talk through his teeth.

"Yeah, I gave you this one. Next time you best bring kryptonite."
posted by fuse theorem at 7:46 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney talking to them like they were 5 year olds

That was my biggest takeaway: I found the way Romney kept "explaining" the economy to the fucking President of the country super condescending.

(That and the Big Bird thing, which was bizarre.)

We watched the debate on C-Span and shut it off before hearing any color commentary; I was shocked this morning to wake up to "Romney wins the debate" headlines. I thought Obama seemed tired but measured, while Romney was obviously lying through his big teeth.
posted by sallybrown at 7:59 AM on October 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Look, the PBS comment was simply a bone thrown to the hard right wing of the Republican party, who HATE PBS with a passion. Mitt knows that PBS subsidies (which account for 0.01% of the federal budget) are an absolutely ridiculous thing to bring up when discussing plans for cutting the deficit.

My read is that this was a bone he threw to the hard right supporters, in hopes of keeping their support while moving to the center. Make sense? Move to the center to get undecided votes, throw a few bones (that look bizarre to outsiders) to your radical constituents to give them something to be happy about.

I would say, however, that it was a completely boneheaded move on Romney's part to bring Big Bird into the discussion.
posted by syzygy at 8:02 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bird Bird is the true third rail of US politics.
posted by Panjandrum at 8:04 AM on October 4, 2012 [13 favorites]


PBS subsidies (which account for 0.01% of the federal budget)

You're missing a couple more zeros there.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:04 AM on October 4, 2012


That's some photograph. Bet Obama doesn't need a teleprompter to talk through his teeth.

Heh, I read it as.

"Fuck you"
"No, fuck YOU"
posted by unSane at 8:05 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


zombieflandersYou're missing a couple more zeros there.

I wouldn't doubt it. I'm just quoting this Debate Fact Check article from Salon. It'd be nice to see actual figures, if you have them.
posted by syzygy at 8:07 AM on October 4, 2012


During the republican debates those guys were tossing out entire departments they wanted to do away with, PBS just aint going to cut it Mitt. Next time toss out you want to cut the Department of Housing and Urban development and the Department of the Interior, who knows what the fuck those departments do. Also say you want to privatize Amtrak and the USPS.

Romey has pretty much abandoned his base. Maybe he can convince his base he is a sleeper conservative who will give the USPS the axe on day 1, but I kind of doubt it.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:15 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Haven't seen anyone who shared my take in this thread, yet...

That was an awesome debate!

Previous presential debates in my memory consisted of the candidates reciting their campaign commercials and basically ignoring the questions and each other's answers. This was substantive, filled with discussions of specific policies, bills, and laws, and each guy actually listened to the other and addressed the points the other made. Mitt got big "at least he's not an idiot" points with this Democrat for that -- such a relief after Bush II and the other Republicans in the primary. Not only that, but he came across so much more moderate than the other leading lights of his party, I mentally declared him the Last Sane Republican. Unlike McCain, he didn't try to pretend to be crazier than he really is, either. I agree with one earlier comment that said they both came across like technocrats and policy wonks, and I loved it.

I thought Obama put forward a clear message of "This guy doesn't really have a plan at all. He's just making this up as he goes along, and it makes no sense," and made it stick. My less partisan husband certainly came away with that conclusion.

I felt sorry for poor Jim Lehrer, but I loved that they ignored the time limits and actually got into the details, rather than reciting pre-rehearsed speeches timed to fit exactly in their windows. The more free form style allowed for a lot more substance than you typically see, IMO.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:15 AM on October 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


I would say, however, that it was a completely boneheaded move on Romney's part to bring Big Bird into the discussion.

Not just boneheaded, but a serious dick move to use cutting PBS as an example at all, considering Lehrer was moderating. Considering how he walked all over Lehrer during the interview, I can only assume that it was on purpose.
posted by billyfleetwood at 8:19 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt got big "at least he's not an idiot" points with this Democrat for that

I don't know, mostly I was just impressed with his LPM, or lies per minute.

You can be eloquent and still have failed to say anything intellectually honest.
posted by sourbrew at 8:20 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I kind of wish they would have a debate moderated by a Federal Judge in their courtroom or something. Someone who doesn't care that you're the President of the United States, "I said your fucking time is up!" Then turned off their microphone or something.

I like that they used the time to get into more details but the moderator kind of lost control of the whole thing.
posted by VTX at 8:24 AM on October 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


Romney's increase to defense spending (that we clearly don't need and the Pentagon isn't even asking for) is projected to cost $2.1 trillion.

PBS's federal funding is going to be around $440 million in 2015.

$440,000,000 / $2,100,000,000,000 = 0.02%

Calling that a rounding error seems too generous. The Pentagon bean counters wouldn't pick up $440 million if it was lying on the ground when they could get a few hundred billion in funding from President Romney for a machine to pick it up for them.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:28 AM on October 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Obama speaking live from Denver in a minute. Presumably he'll start off like "My bad, y'all".
posted by cashman at 8:29 AM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


billyfleetwood: Not just boneheaded, but a serious dick move to use cutting PBS as an example at all

Agreed, and the more I think about it, the more I feel that this idiotic stance may have been a real mistake on Mitt's part. AFAIK, the vast majority of Americans are not anti-PBS, and I guess there's only a tiny sliver who are anti-Big Bird.

The fact that PBS subsidies were one of the two main areas Mitt mentioned cutting when asked for details on how he'd lower the deficit is telling. I don't think this will go down well with most people, and especially not with most women voters, where Mitt's already running a deficit.

I think it plays well to the 'out of touch' angle, and I think threatening Big Bird, as silly as it sounds, is something that the vast majority of adults 60 and under are not going to support.
posted by syzygy at 8:33 AM on October 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Big Bird is still trending on Twitter.
posted by girlmightlive at 8:35 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Round here the new nickname is Chameleon Romney--he'll change his coloring in a heartbeat to suit his surroundings.

Oh wait. My husband just declared that "chameleon" is too good a name for him.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:37 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


The truth is that in order to balance the proposed tax cuts in order to be revenue neutral it would be equivalent to cutting the discretional non-defense budget deeply into the bone. Most federal departments already run pretty lean after decades of budget cuts and frozen budgets so in order to do this Ryan and Romney would have to kill incredibly popular programs or tax deductions.

Welfare assistance is always a popular target but cutting TANF and food stamps out completely would result in incredible hardship. Charity organizations simply wouldn't be able to cover the difference. Talk about driving people into the arms of Democrats.

Stuff like PBS or the NEA are miniscule in terms of resource expenditure and while reducing subsidies might sound good in theory when push comes to shove a large percentage of Americans depend on stuff like Sesame Street to provide low cost educational entertainment for their children. Killing Sesame Street is election year suicide.

There are actually good arguments for nuking the mortgage interest deduction from orbit but the consequential tax increase for mid-income americans not to mention the lobbying efforts of construction, real estate and finance organizations make this a non-starter.

So basically the only way Mitt's fantasyland approach works is by cutting entitlements or saying fuck it and borrow to pay for it aka the same song and dance that Republicans have been doing since the 80s at least.

Romney can't run on his fiscal plan because it's not viable and people are unwilling to trust that this time it's actually going to lead to peace and prosperity when ample evidence shows that nope it just seems to be speeding up massive wealth redistribution to the top of the income brackets.
posted by vuron at 8:40 AM on October 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


PBS subsidies (which account for 0.01% of the federal budget)

You're missing a couple more zeros there.

...

I wouldn't doubt it. I'm just quoting this Debate Fact Check article from Salon. It'd be nice to see actual figures, if you have them.


From the National Priorities Project analysis of the 2011 budget
Funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is cut $80 million (16%) from FY2010 levels.
If $80 million is 16%, then funding in 2010 must have been $500,000,000. And then $420,000,000 (heh) in 2011.

The analysis also reports:
The package includes $1.049 trillion in funding, a nearly $40 billion reduction from Fiscal Year 2010 levels.
Which says to me that total federal funding in 2010 was (about) $1,089,000,000,000 and that total federal funding in 2011 was $1,049,000,000,000.

Doing the math, that would mean that (as defined as a percentage of "federal funding") PBS received .046% of the money in 2010 and .04% of the money in 2011. (Again, I don't know if "federal funding" = "budget")

So, actually the .01% estimate is low by 4x, by my admittedly limited math.

Has anyone claimed bigbirddogwhistle.com yet?
posted by mrgrimm at 8:40 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I kind of wish they would have a debate moderated by a Federal Judge in their courtroom or something. Someone who doesn't care that you're the President of the United States, "I said your fucking time is up!" Then turned off their microphone or something.

Honestly, if I were President or a big shot CEO, I wouldn't care too much about what a moderator said either. The President is supposed to go toe to toe with leaders from around the world, do you really expect him to quietly listen to a moderator that can't punish him at all?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:40 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had the feeling last night and am still wondering today if BigBirdGate is another example of Mitt's "humor" gone awry. I remember there being some discussion previously in one of these election threads about Mitt's "teasing" and "joking" that really wasn't (the subject at the time was Cookie Gate). I think Mitt thought saying he was going to ax Big Bird was quite witty and I'm wondering if he's surprised this morning by all the people that thought it wasn't at all.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 8:41 AM on October 4, 2012


It's not a new thing.

“We’re not going to kill Big Bird,” he said at the time, “but Big Bird’s going to have advertisements.”
posted by mrgrimm at 8:42 AM on October 4, 2012


It was a neat strategy by Romney to tack to the center while at the same time being overly aggressive and pushy; his base is loving him for "winning the debate" and they will ignore all the moderate rhetoric while some undecideds will find the moderate-ness appealing.
posted by rainy at 8:45 AM on October 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Also, .04% of your budget on public broadcasting is an utter embarrassment. The BBC gets the equivalent about about $6 billion from the TV licence, and another $450 million in government funding.

PBS could actually be a valuable tool to inform and educate the American populace.

...

Stop laughing.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:48 AM on October 4, 2012 [21 favorites]


The problem with running advertisements on something like Sesame Street is that young children often have difficulty differentiating actual program content from the commercial content plus they have difficult understanding the breaks in narrative. There does seem to be some indication this can lead to cognitive difficulties. Not to mention the crassness of marketing to young children.

Higher income parents who let their children watch TV would probably just use DVRs and/or netflix to present a commercial free experience but for many children public TV is one of the primary sources of early exposure to educational concepts.

Maybe Mitt should go ahead and kill programs like Head Start as well so that we can have even more differentiation in educational outcomes between low income and high income families.
posted by vuron at 8:52 AM on October 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


Honestly, if I were President or a big shot CEO, I wouldn't care too much about what a moderator said either. The President is supposed to go toe to toe with leaders from around the world, do you really expect him to quietly listen to a moderator that can't punish him at all?

Not really but I would like the moderator not to back down so quickly. Judges, especially in their own courtroom, aren't in the habit of letting anyone else take control.
posted by VTX at 8:53 AM on October 4, 2012


It's not a new thing.

Yeah I read that Mitt had used the Big Bird thing on speeches in recent months. But those are to supporters I'm guessing. I think he didn't realize how that would play with the whole of America (sense a theme?).

People love PBS and Big Bird. I mean what could be more loving, harmless and educational on television than Sesame Street, the Muppets and the like? And you want to have a discussion about taking funds from that or cutting it? That's just stupid. For many Americans, at least I think the ones in my generation, PBS is the source of a lot of fond memories. And it was just a jerk move to say it to Lehrer, and then to again pinpoint something tangible - Big Bird. I mean at least target snuffalufagus - he is a little creepy. But Big Bird is just a kid's dream, a gigantic fluffly yellow bird that can talk, give you piggy back rides, and be a smart and educated friend. I just don't get why Mitt or his advisors let him anywhere near saying bad things related to Big Bird.
posted by cashman at 8:55 AM on October 4, 2012


The Ultimate Mitt Romney Flip-Flop Video

Twenty minutes of nicely edited and, in my opinion, damning video footage of Mitt's flip-flopping. Hadn't seen this yet, so apologies if it's already made the rounds. Very informative.
posted by syzygy at 8:56 AM on October 4, 2012 [10 favorites]


I just don't get why Mitt or his advisors let him anywhere near saying bad things related to Big Bird.

Again, I only caught snippets live, but I don't think he did that. He said something like (various outlets have variations)
"I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually I like you, too. But I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for."
posted by mrgrimm at 9:00 AM on October 4, 2012


@FiredBigBird account now live.

Twitter suspended it, KNM rejected it. Poor unemployed bird.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:03 AM on October 4, 2012


I mean what could be more loving, harmless and educational on television than Sesame Street, the Muppets and the like?

I don't know, man. Oscar the Grouch is kind of a dick. Not to mention unhygienic.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 9:03 AM on October 4, 2012


Death by Muppet - the photoshopped Big Bird pics are flying fast and furious, especially the one with Big Bird looking sad captioned, "If Romney wins... I die!" Ouch.

The only talking point coming out of the debate is the "Killing Big Bird" thing... Mitt won the debate by filibustering, but the only thing he said that anyone can remember with any clarity or certainty is that he wants to get rid of Sesame Street and PBS - which everyone associates with educational TV. It's one of the government programs pretty much no-one outside the Ultra-Right has any problem funding with their taxes. He's going after something moderates and undecideds actually like, in a personal and understandable way: He wants Big Bird gone.

That's going to murder him in the long run, especially if his second and third debate performance isn't as strong. People are going to remember this as the Big Bird debate, and it won't help his campaign.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:04 AM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE CALL HIM SNUFFLE"UF"AGUS.
posted by AugieAugustus at 9:06 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone else notice the dogwhistle when Mitt mentioned "New York banks"?
posted by grubi at 9:07 AM on October 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


PBS could actually be a valuable tool to inform and educate the American populace....Stop laughing.

Oh, I don't think anyone's laughing here.

I knew how to read when I was 3, and my parents attribute that entirely to my watching Sesame Street at age two and a half. I suspect I am far from the only person on the blue who can make that claim. And that's just one show - I bet there are a lot of other people on here who would be able to recite the preamble to the Constitution or tell you how a bill becomes law or diagram a sentence (as long as we can sing it).

But I think the conflict between Television-as-communicator and television-as-entertainment has been a conflict that's existed since the dawn of TV. Edward R. Murrow warned the industry about this back in 1958, in a speech to the radio and television news directors association -
This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and even it can inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it's nothing but wires and lights in a box. There is a great and perhaps decisive battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference. This weapon of television could be useful.
And ever since, people have been going back and forth on how much they heed Murrow's warning. The late 60's was a swing forward, and people like me, who were children in the late 60's and early 70's, benefitted. And now, it seems we're swinging back.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:07 AM on October 4, 2012


grubi: "Anyone else notice the dogwhistle when Mitt mentioned "New York banks"?"

Yeah, Mittens prefers him some Swiss or Cayman banks.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:07 AM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


I always think that Obama is holding himself back in situations like this because if he shows the slightest bit of ire he'll be the Angry Black Man and we'll all be scared. Does he ever lose his temper, even in the obviously planned way politicians do, in public? Or is he really is just this low-key and slightly dorky?
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:08 AM on October 4, 2012


tonycpsu, that's not quite what I meant.
posted by grubi at 9:08 AM on October 4, 2012


Again, I only caught snippets live, but I don't think he did that. He said something like (various outlets have variations)
"I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually I like you, too. But I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for."


Considering Mitt's background in management consulting and private equity, that's pretty plainly translated as "You've been a valuable asset and we value your service to this company, but we need you meet us in the Conference room while those large men in the burgundy blazers clean out your desk."

How can someone be so caught up in their ideological world view that the very thought of acknowledging a public good no matter how small is simply unacceptable. Strategically speaking, it makes no sense.

People love Sesame Street, and relatively speaking it costs nothing. If Mitt Romney ran on the platform of "We need to cut government, but Sesame Street is awesome, and I'll never touch it" He could sell USPS on eBay and still be the guy who saved Elmo.
posted by billyfleetwood at 9:09 AM on October 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


Romney's job in the debates is to convince almost all the voters who are undecided and from the other side to vote for him, which I'm not sure happened.

Is this really true? I thought base turnout was supposed to be the deciding factor.
posted by straight at 9:09 AM on October 4, 2012


rude pundit's take on it.

Heh:
5a. According to Mitt Romney, his children are lying sons of a bitch.

5b. Mitt Romney likes coal. Mitt Romney likes Big Bird. He will give money to help coal. He will take money away from Big Bird. Mitt Romney's affection is meaningless.

5c. Which is probably why his terrible sons are such liars.
posted by gaspode at 9:13 AM on October 4, 2012 [21 favorites]


If the debates were structured like boxing matches, with breaks between rounds, and if I were Obama's cornerman, I would have been all in his face while the cut man worked on him screaming, "He ain't landing nothing on ya, champ, but for God's sake, stop dancing with this man and knock him the f*ck out!"

Or, as Dana White in the UFC tells fighters he likes, "Never let it go to the judges."

I don't think this was a disaster, but I definitely want to see my man come harder next time.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:14 AM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


If the debates were structured like boxing matches, with breaks between rounds, and if I were Obama's cornerman, I would have been all in his face while the cut man worked on him screaming, "He ain't landing nothing on ya, champ, but for God's sake, stop dancing with this man and knock him the f*ck out!"

Ooooh, please let Obama be using a rope a dope approach....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:15 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone else notice the dogwhistle when Mitt mentioned "New York banks"?

Yep, he had to get in a bit of old school anti-semitism in there.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:18 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does he ever lose his temper, even in the obviously planned way politicians do, in public? Or is he really is just this low-key and slightly dorky?

I think he really is just low key. The "he can't be seen as an angry Black Man" concern actually bugs the hell out of me, because you don't get to be the first Black President of the United States by letting racists dictate your behavior. They portray him as that and worse all the time. If he wanted to call a press conference and call everyone a bunch of low down motherfuckers, it's not like they're gonna put a BIGGER bone in his nose on the signs at the next Tea Party rally.
posted by billyfleetwood at 9:19 AM on October 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


lord_wolf: "I don't think this was a disaster, but I definitely want to see my man come harder next time."

There's a joke just waiting to be made here, I know it!
posted by Deathalicious at 9:19 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ad hominem: Exactly.
posted by grubi at 9:19 AM on October 4, 2012


grubi, I take it you meant that he was sending a coded message to the TEA party types who were actually upset about the bailouts, as opposed to the establishment Republican types like himself who would gladly send a printing press and a few truckloads of currency stock to the big five "too big to fail" banks? If so, I picked up on that as well.

I don't really see the point in it, though. The Trucknutz and Gadsden flag crew are already voting against Obummer, er, for Romney. I know it can't hurt him much to rail against the big banks, but I don't see it moving the needle in any significant way, either. TEA partiers hate Obama because of what he is, not because of the bank bailouts.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:21 AM on October 4, 2012


Ad hominem: " Yep, he had to get in a bit of old school anti-semitism in there."

Okay, if that's what you guys think he was saying, I totally disagree. I mean, he's basically said that "Bibi gets what Bibi wants" vis a vis Israel policy. Why would he take a cheap shot at Jews in a nationally-televised debate?
posted by tonycpsu at 9:22 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I like PBS, I love Big Bird ... But I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for."
Putting aside the unintelligibility of this passage, I take the meaning to be that it isn't worth borrowing Chinese money to pay for PBS, but it is worth borrowing Chinese money to spend on unnecessary weapons and tax cuts for the super-wealthy.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:22 AM on October 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


A Base election strategy only works in non-presidential election years or if Romney can really depress the number of Obama voters through dissatisfaction or shenanigans (like Voter ID).

The simple fact of the matter is that base only elections used to work for the Republicans pretty regularly but the demographics are changing dramatically and that is providing Democrats are very solid base in the electoral college and several systemic advantages in most of the battleground states.

Angry, Old, White Men are still a vital percentage of the electorate for Republicans especially in local and state elections but they aren't enough to win national elections and Republicans have been really bad about expanding the coverage of their tent.

African-Americans are overwhelming Democrats, Hispanics are becoming reliable (other than Cuban-Americans) and are actually voting in bigger numbers, Women are more reliable Democratic consitituents (especially college-educated single women). About the only area that Romney can really hope to peel off is blue-color workers but Romney's background as as vulture capitalist leaves many blue-color workers suspicious even if they often dislike Obama as an "effete, educated liberal".

Romney for reasons that elude me is thinking that base election strategies would actually work this year when I think that strategy needs to be abandoned in favor of a more centrist message. The challenge was that the nomination process force Romney to tack to the right and he's been forced to stay there in order to quell discontent in the base and frankly it's too late to try to shift back to the center. Obama has already been successful in defining Romney as a right wing tool.

Time is rapidly running out and Obama isn't going to risk a major turnover or two when the electoral math is so favorable for him. Romney needs to swing for the fences every opportunity and while he outscored Obama by a decent margin last night it's simply too little too late to make a major difference.
posted by vuron at 9:23 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


No, tonycpsu, it stank of anti-semitism. The entire sentence was explicitly about the bailouts. The dogwhistle was "JEWS". Why the fuck else mention "New York banks"? If he was hectoring the president about a bailout, the normal approach would be to simply refer to the "banks", and not specify new York.

Unless you wanted to say something else.
posted by grubi at 9:23 AM on October 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


They also hate New York, and "international bankers" and "upper west side liberals" because Jews. Whenever a conservative make a point to say New York X, he means those dirty jews.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:24 AM on October 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


Before he said "I like PBS" he said something like "I'm going to cut subsidies for PBS" as if it were his first, and therefore most important, idea to trim government spending, if I recall correctly. It was jarring.
posted by girlmightlive at 9:24 AM on October 4, 2012


hey also hate New York, and "international bankers" and "upper west side liberals" because Jews. Whenever a conservative make a point to say New York X, he means those dirty jews.

Yes. This. As soon as he said it, I had to pause the DVR and turn to my wife and ask "Did he just say what I think he said?"
posted by grubi at 9:25 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thanks for sharing that. I didn't know about that dogwhistle.
posted by cashman at 9:26 AM on October 4, 2012


Before he said "I like PBS" he said something like "I'm going to cut subsidies for PBS" as if it were his first, and therefore most important, idea to trim government spending, if I recall correctly. It was jarring

"I like Big Bird, so when I fuck him, I'll use lube."
posted by grubi at 9:27 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


vuron: "blue-color"

Yeah, I always had Tobias Fünke pegged as a Romney guy.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:27 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, do "real" people hate city people because they hate Jews, or do they hate Jews because they hate city people?
posted by leopard at 9:28 AM on October 4, 2012


Attacking NYC Banks is populism.

He's playing on the idea that NYC is a bastion of East Coast liberalism where they think minorities and gays actually deserve civil rights and they won't even let you buy a big soda. Obama is one of those guys.

He's also saying that Obama is protecting the interests of NYC banks, you know those ones that keep sending people late notices on mortgage payments and credit card payments etc.

It's saying that Obama is in league with the people who are trying to take you home from you. That's a popular message, hell it might even be true to a degree.

Of course the truth is that he's even more beholden to those same masters than Obama is. He's not going to admit that.
posted by vuron at 9:29 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Someone with a lot of time and noting better to do should sync the MeFi comments here as subtitles to the debate. I'm just now watching the debate on YouTube, so I have no idea how most of these comments match into the debate. I'll re-read the thread after listening/watching the debate, but subtitles, yeah. That would rock.

Also, what the heck did Mitt and Barack say to each other when they shook hands at first?
posted by filthy light thief at 9:29 AM on October 4, 2012


He said New York banks and not Charlotte banks because New York isn't a swing state and North Carolina is. I don't think the case that he's trying to motivate voters with anti-Semitism is very strong.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:30 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love the narrative is Romney just lies with impunity and Obama doesn't call him on it. I mean, Romeny was certainly talking a lot, and was fired up. But everyone is pretty much saying Romney won by lying more. That is a phyric victory in my eyes.

Yes, this. And now the media narrative is that Obama didn't call Romney out on his lies, rather than that he sighed or rolled his eyes or whatever the Republicans whined about Gore doing when George W. Bush turned in a similar -- if not identical -- phony performance.

NPR did a fact check this morning that pointed out that yes, Romney's tax rate cut for the rich does amount to (almost) 5 trillion (yay edit function!) over ten years and that no, you can't pay for it by eliminating deductions (or PBS, I might add).

By not calling attention to Romney's lies, Obama lets the lies be the story, rather than his reaction to it. The 27%-crazification-factor wingnut base will complain about the so-called "liberal media" ... but then, they always do.
posted by Gelatin at 9:31 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


You guys who think Romney's going to get called on his lies need to explain how that's going to happen when this is how Romney's claims are being "fact-checked".
posted by tonycpsu at 9:33 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


The debate will probably move it up to a tie for a few days, but that's it. Obama has this on the fundamentals. It'll be interesting to see the narrative take shape over the next few days, though.
posted by empath at 9:33 AM on October 4, 2012


I've been pondering it this morning and the more I ponder, the more I have to believe that Obama's laidback-ness last night had to be part of some grand plan. We know Obama is smart and knows his stuff, we know he's competitive as hell. Even if Mitt's animated and engaged performance last night was unexpected, even allowing for the fact that Obama is rusty at debating, I can't believe he couldn't have gotten heated and passionate if he wanted to. It just seems for some reason Obama's team decided it was best for him be cool and lay back. If that's not the case, then how I've perceived Obama for the last 6 years or so is totally wrong.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 9:35 AM on October 4, 2012


He said New York banks and not Charlotte banks because New York isn't a swing state and North Carolina is. I don't think the case that he's trying to motivate voters with anti-Semitism is very strong.

Why mention a location at all? This explanation doesn't stand up.
posted by grubi at 9:36 AM on October 4, 2012


Obama's contrasting what Mitt has been saying for the last year, against the things that "The spirited fellow on stage" said last night. I expect ads will follow using Mitt against himself.
posted by cashman at 9:36 AM on October 4, 2012


Obama just opened in Denver claiming that "Whoever that guy I debated last night wasn't Mitt Romney, cause Mitt Romney doesn't believe the things that guy was talking about"
posted by billyfleetwood at 9:36 AM on October 4, 2012 [10 favorites]


Wait, do "real" people hate city people because they hate Jews, or do they hate Jews because they hate city people?

leopard, my friend, I think the two hates are unrelated, but for those with those feelings, it can be conveniently be thrown into the same anger.
posted by grubi at 9:37 AM on October 4, 2012


grubi: " Why mention a location at all? This explanation doesn't stand up."

Because they always need a bogeyman, and they pick ones in states where they can't win elections. Hollywood elites. East coast liberals. New York banks. etc. It's to say to the swing state voters "hey, I love your local community bank, but those jackasses on Wall Street are ruining this country!" The GOP always needs an "other" and I think the "other" in this case is "liberals" and not necessarily "Jews."
posted by tonycpsu at 9:39 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


mrgrimm: Again, I only caught snippets live, but I don't think he did that. He said something like (various outlets have variations)
"I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually I like you, too. But I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for."


DIRECTLY before those two sentences, Romney said, and I quote, "I'm sorry, Jim, I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm going to stop other things."
posted by syzygy at 9:40 AM on October 4, 2012


Thanks for the link and quote billyfleetwood, watching now.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:41 AM on October 4, 2012


You may be right that he was just singling out New York because people don't like New York Elitists.

I tend to think people don't like New York because of blacks and jews.

Singling out New York banks as being codified as "too big to fail" sounds like some sort of theory out of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, that some sort of secret cabal of international banker jews controls the secret world gonvernment.

Maybe conservatives have moved on, but I always wonder why O'Reilly is always singling out "upper west side liberals", like they are the worst kind, and conservatives still harp on Barbra Streisand as a "limousine liberal". Why pick her?
posted by Ad hominem at 9:41 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


East coast liberals.

I know "east coast liberals" means one thing to you, but it means something else to the right-wingers (and their Tea party friends). it sort of fits the dogwhistle.
posted by grubi at 9:41 AM on October 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait, do "real" people hate city people because they hate Jews, or do they hate Jews because they hate city people?

In much the same way that the word "urban" can conveniently stand in for "black people" but with plausible denial built into it, so can "New York bankers" or "California media types" stand in for Jews or liberals, with plausible denial (and yeah the Jewish banking conspiracy is A Thing as much as I wish it wasn't). I'm pretty touchy about those things and I didn't see it as a flat-out antisemitic thing to say but I also could see it as a dogwhistle to people who are really primed to that sort of perspective.
posted by jessamyn at 9:42 AM on October 4, 2012 [13 favorites]


Obama is hitting the Big Bird stuff live now. "Who knew Big Bird was driving the federal deficit?" (watch here)
posted by knapah at 9:42 AM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama: "Last night Gov. Romney ruled out raising taxes on anybody ... no matter how much he makes... and when he was asked what he would do to reduce the deficit ... he said he'd eliminate the funding for public television... that was his answer. I mean thank goodness someone is finally getting tough on bigbird, we didn't know that bigbird was driving the deficit."

Crowd: "and elmo!!!"

Obama: "Elmo too???"




He is skewering him....
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:43 AM on October 4, 2012 [15 favorites]


Obama just talked about how Romney wouldn't agree to raise taxes on the wealthy, or commit to closing certain loopholes, but was adamant about cutting funding for PBS: "