He Said, He Said. What Do You Say?


Was there a winner last night?

Was it Republican candidate Mitt Romney, as many television analysts – and the CNN post-debate poll — said immediately afterward? Did President Obama seem less than enthusiastic about being there? Was Romney better prepared, and puffed up with the unbridled energy that comes from being the challenger, while Obama was too serious, perhaps as another analyst said, “more burdened with running a country and not just running his mouth”?

Opinions ranged from Obama being more substantive, but less willing to engage; more focused on numbers and stats and slightly dismissive of his opponent — to Romney scoring major points for style and performance and greatly advancing his various plans, while the President was more directly conversational toward the average American voter.

Some of you have already weighed in. For the rest, what does it all mean anyway? Not the importance of the election itself, but the debates as forum, as theater? Are they nothing more than a series of speech-lets interrupted by a frequently inefficient moderator (as my teenager mused)? And by the way, my husband wondered, who would even want that job, given the unfathomable difficulty of getting any damn thing done in Washington?

Meanwhile, if debate TV is your thing, tonight at Montclair State University, the New Jersey Senate candidates will have their own debate, broadcast over NJTV.

Image: Flickr via Creative Commons

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75 COMMENTS

  1. You’re really stretching to apologize for your candidate’s poor performance.

    Obama was simply out of his league after 4 years of being coddled by the softball mainstream media.

  2. Do you really have to ask that question? Everyone from James Carville to Van Jones to Chris Mathews to Herb said Obama got knocked to the matt harder than Michael Spinks against Mike Tyson.

    Once again for your viewing pleasure.

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/5tq6b_hDvUA

    Although Manos de Piedra is my all time favorite.

  3. No matter what your political leanings are, it’s hard not to ignore the fact that Romney knocked this one out of the park last night. He came prepared, he was on fire, he didn’t stumble or fall, he stayed on message. Obama, on the other hand, came across lackluster and bland, merely parroting the same responses we’ve all heard before. I think this showed us that he is unable to think on his feet, without the aid of the teleprompter.

  4. “… Obama got knocked to the matt harder than Michael Spinks against Mike Tyson.”

    I agree with Herb, except for the part where Romney bit Obama on the ear during a clinch. The moderator (clearly a replacement moderator) should have thrown a flag on that one.

  5. As said above, without a TelePrompter the guy is lost. What we saw last night is the cumulative effect the 4 years of listening exclusively to sycophants can have on a narcissistic personality. That’s all Folks!

  6. However lackluster Obama appeared I think that Romney looked a little wild eyed scary.

    The question I have is about the $17,000 bucket for deductions. Given my real estate taxes (high compared to other states), individual health insurance premium (staggering) and mortgage payment (very low), I might end up living under the bridge with the Romney plan.

  7. The most interesting visual choice of the debate was Obama’s decision to answer by “speaking” directly to the camera, whereas Romney turned and spoke towards Obama. This gave the impression that Romney was “challenging” Obama. And Obama wasn’t replying. In truth, Obama replied (sometimes very well), but by not looking at Romney, it failed to register.

    Still, Romney showed and proved by mentioning his tenure in Mass that he is up for the challenge. For me, him pointing out that Obama spend two years with Obamacare while the economy wasted away was pointed and mindful.

  8. I agree with Miss Martta, up to the teleprompter comment. Sometimes I think the GOP talking points have been reduced to “teleprompter-Solyndra-socialist-teleprompter-Solyndra-socialist”- say it enough and it gets catchy.

    It’s worth mentioning – had Mitt used a teleprompter in that Florida room when he notoriously gave his 47% speech – he’d likely be in the lead right now- But he didn’t, so he’s not.

    Looks like Mitt may lose this year because of HIS no-teleprompter moment.

    Although my favorite no-teleprompter moment this year was surely Rick Perry’s “oops” comment. Remember when the Tea Party thought he was their greatest hope?

  9. Perhaps Obama’s embarassing performance last night was just his inimitable way (as he’s done so many times throughout his less-than-stellar political career to date, including holding so long to the nonsense that the attack on the consulate in Benghazi was “spontaneous”) of voting “present.”

  10. That these two frauds from the clown-car brigade are the best/lessor of two evils that the rigged system presents as viable choices is downright pathetic. Last night’s winners were bankers, insurance, and defense.

    The wall still approaches and neither of these jug-heads is going to change course let alone fix the problems.

    Altitude sickness? Wow. Can I get an ‘Amen’ for some sunspots too? Wilickers.

  11. The Mittster sure did shake the etch a sketch last night. You’d almost believe he was a progressive if you weren’t paying attention. Or maybe he is, and the hard right turn during the primaries was just for expediency. Pretty slick either way! Did he really say no tax cuts for the rich, and coverage of preexisting conditions? No, but it sure sounded like that, and if you didn’t dig any deeper you would probably believe it. If I was a Republican I’d be wondering if this was the same guy that I’d been watching for the last year. But he looked real good though, didn’t he?

  12. Bottom line Romney was awesome last night. He out classed ,out prepared and out debated the confused and once again in way over his head inept one. Thats what happens when you are given a pass for over 4 years, it catches up to you. Just ask any grade schooler, you can only fake it so long. It’s gonna catch up to you. I know we joke about the teleprompter but it’s obvious when he doesn’t use it and it’s quite comical. He makes Biden look smart without it.

    Next week is going to be ugly. Paul Ryan will absolutley destroy Biden.

  13. Who knows for sure, herb. But if you remember, my cousin Dan (Quayle ) was completely ruined in his VP debate, when Benson told him off – with the now famous “you’re no John Kennedy” line.
    And sure enough, Ryan ain’t no John Kennedy either.
    But I know you’re sore, herb, since your girl Bachmann wasn’t behind that podium last night. Neither was Ricky S. Cheer up, herb,
    there’s always 2016.

  14. And in much more important news, my beloved Bahston Red Sawx just fired Bobby Valentine. The only better news would be if the Yankees had hired him. Put a tortilla around Buh-Bobby and you have a Turkey Wrap.

  15. Conan, bebop…C’mon from the start you had to know Valentine to Red Sox would never last. V is a pompous arse that is a better commentator than manager. Remember the moustache in the dugout for the Muts? It’s like when the Knicks gave away the farm for Marbury, you just knew it was a bad move, Kevin Brown to yanks…you just know these things.

  16. Speaking of serial philanderers, it seems as though Mitt took Newt Gingrich’s debate advice to heart last night.

  17. True, herb. conversely, Ryan was never in the Navy. I forgot how he got his deferment. Any ideas?

  18. We knew it. Every sports journalist in “ouah fayeh city” knew it. Theo Epstein knew it and is quietly chuckling in Chicago. It’s the Rich Bastids from Away who own the team that either didn’t know it or didn’t care. Occupy Fenway!
    This is the first year that (win, lose, or draw) there were lots of empty seats visible in Fenway. Yeah, yeah, they claimed a full year of sell-outs, but the real sell-out is just now becoming apparent.

  19. “The question I have is about the $17,000 bucket for deductions. Given my real estate taxes (high compared to other states), individual health insurance premium (staggering) and mortgage payment (very low), I might end up living under the bridge with the Romney plan”

    Yep, $17k is his max deduction idea. You get to fill up the bucket any way you want, picking and choosing from your source of deductible items.

    Once the bucket is filled up …that’s it. You’re screwed, as per Thurston Romney.

  20. But I am preaching to a Yankees choir, so I will just say this: wait until next year! And good luck to the Yankees in the playoffs — they are a highly-talented and well-managed team and the Sox brass could do worse than learn a few things from them. (It’s the fans I can’t stand… 🙂 )

  21. It seemed to work last night, herb, but there is more to come you know.

    Let me ask you this — is there ANYTHING that would be worth going home with Calista Gingrich for?

  22. Speaking of Morons….Gore had this to say…………..

    “I’m going to say something controversial here. Obama arrived in Denver at 2 p.m. today — just a few hours before the debate started,” Gore said on his network, Current. “Romney did his debate prep in Denver. When you go to 5,000 feet, and you only have a few hours to adjust, I don’t know…”

    egads…

  23. spiro,

    Let me help you on this inguiry “Ryan was never in the Navy. I forgot how he got his deferment. Any ideas?”

    He’s 42 years old and there is no draft.

    I hope that helped.

  24. Perhaps Gore is on to something.

    I’m told that the Obama camp wants to change the venue for the next debate to Death Valley.

  25. no worries spiro i’m here for you. .. and you shouldn’t call people names, leave that to me.

  26. If Romney wins, you can all kiss your home equity good bye. The homes here will experience a significant drop in value when potential buyers realize what their actual monthly nut will be. I don’t care since I don’t have a mortgage and hit AMT anyway, but I’m guess this would probably sink a lot of real estate markets like ours with very high local taxes relative to value. The deductions are probably all that make it palatable to many.

  27. Obama has done to our country the same things Jackson, Russo and Schlager have done to our town. Atleast the US will smarten up after last nights debate.

  28. Jg,

    Can you explain what you mean by your romney housing equity accusation. It’s more confusing than an Obama debate answer. Seriously I’m interested to hear your rationale.

    Keep in mind that under Obama, home prices went into a free fall, almost 9 million homeowners have received foreclosure notices, and 11 million homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

    So I’m all ears.

  29. THE ONION’S headline today:

    “Sasha Obama Asks Her Father Why He Was Such A Pussy At The Debate Last Night.”

  30. “…but I’m guess this would probably sink a lot of real estate markets like ours with very high local taxes relative to value. The deductions are probably all that make it palatable to many”

    Again – As per Thurston Etch a Sketch, once the 17K bucket is filled that’s it.

    So if your household has high property taxes, high medical deductibles, etc. that you itemize … Yes, you will get screwed.

  31. Elmer Gantry! That’s who Romney reminded me of last night. And I have already added up that my bucket is overflowing way more than $17,000.

  32. Well I’m glad that whole fact checking fad is finally over. Never mind that pesky listening and comprehension. Turns out I’m the big winner because my “drink when Mitt contradicts himself” game was awesome and so worth the hangover.

  33. As Dennis Miller tweeted…’Does Obamacare cover an ass whuppin’.

    Full Disclosure, I didn’t watch a second of the debate.

  34. Good point, Ice.
    Hopefully for Mitt, it will cover treatment for sprained feet, due to excessive use of flip flops.

  35. And the Tax Policy Center says that a deduction cap still won’t be enough to offset the revenue lost with the rate cut he’s proposing. So, again, we are left with one of two conclusions: Mitt doesn’t know how to cut taxes at that level without raising taxes on the middle class, or he’s lying.

    Certainly, taking it out on Big Bird and his .01% of the budget isn’t the way to go.

  36. mike91, I think most people don’t pay attention to the details. Like Herb not connecting the dots between the housing market and the mortgage interest deduction. They blame Obama for the crisis (those bad home loans sold as securities?) which was already starting to hit in August of 2007. A year before the election.

  37. Let me try to make it easy: If the cap for deduction is $17k, and your taxes are $20k and your mortgage interest is another $15k, it will make even less financial sense to buy a home here than it already does. Getting rid of “loopholes” means getting rid of a tax policy that encourages home ownership. Of course, capital gains taxes will undoubtedly disappear along with inheritance taxes. The big question is where will the additional revenue come from? Ask Norquist.

  38. If all you children posting above could simply admit that by reasonable American-style standards Romney “won” the debate last night (this ain’t the Oxford Union, after all) and that Obama offered up as many fibs as his opponent, we could then simply move on to the next debate.

    Will all of you at least pledge to be the “loyal opposition” if Romney in fact wins the election? Or will you vow to move out of the country?

    Like Alec Baldwin a while back, however, you’d probably never keep your promises. More’s the pity, of course.

  39. We wouldn’t move, cathar, since we like it right here !
    But perhaps we could consider a pledge to be the “loyal opposition” that would resemble something along the lines of Mitch McConnell’s infamous quote – back in the Fall of 2010.

  40. I love the way everyone relies on Huffington to do their math for them. Why would you listen to Paul Krugman? Noble prize? Big deal! He never had a P and L in his life! Let’s keep it simple and what hits home…the Fed is buying 77% of the government debt, in other words printing money. Everyone check what you paid for gas, heating oil, food, and every other necessity 4 years ago. I bet the average Montclair household is paying 1000 bucks more a month for things that they have to have. Sure a Chinese pepper mill is cheaper but you can’t eat one…at least not without getting lead poisoning. Yes, the stock market doubled and Warren Buffett is very happy but the middle class got what Honest Joe Biden said “BURIED”. Keep enjoying Obama’s reach around will you are getting screwed. Maybe if people would check their own facts….

  41. Would Obama or Romney let Memphis free? When will moderators start to ask real questions?

    Which is preferable: David Lee Roth’s Van Halen or Sammy Hagar’s incarnation? Who’s your favorite Beatle? Star Wars or Lord of the Rings?

    Forget about healthcare policy–we can leave that to Johnson & Johnson.

  42. Mike and John…all i can tell you Obama has been very, very good to me….but that is not a good thing. I will be fine if your guy gets back in….not sure about everyone else and that is not a good thing.

  43. Good call, cathar. Only “libs” like Alec Baldwin vow to leave the country over elections and such:

    “I’ll just tell you this, if this passes and its five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented– I am leaving the country. I’ll go to Costa Rica.”

    Rush Limbaugh, 9 March 2009, on ACA.

    You know, its really just too easy with you.

  44. If you’d only just go somewhere, croiagusanam, and I suspect that many posters have the same suggestion as to where, too.

    As for your remark that it’s “too easy” with me, don’t overrate yourself. Really. You amuse (and probably alternately terrify lest you turn your constant scorn on them) the likes of Spiro and jerseygurl, for God’s sake.

  45. I’ll stick around, thanks.

    You could, of course, issue another plea to the baristas that I be “watched”.

    Maybe they’ll comply. In the meantime, you may remain hard at work in the basement, cobbling together your tiresome offerings.

  46. To all you Liberal Loons in here. Face facts Obama has done a terrible job. Period. He now has a body of work to examine. He can no longer blame is predecesseor. He showed his true colors in that debate. Ryan will crush Biden. Romney will run over him 2 more times. Here comes some real change!

  47. Believe me JG I know where the dots lead. I hadn’t read that article and someone cleared it up for me.

    What dots I do connect is the worst economy since the depression , $4 gas, 1% growth, high unemployment, underemployment, 47 million people on food stamps, foreclosures, soldiers being increasingly coming home in body bags, a government that gives weapons to Mexican drug cartel, a government that can’t safe guard it’s emabassy’s then LIES about it….. and those dots amongst others lead to an inept president that was exposed the other night for what he is, a failure.

  48. “Liberal loons”. I love it.

    When people disagree with us, we say they’re crazy or evil. “Liberal loons”. “Right wing nutjobs”. What a bore…..

    Let the braying continue, by all means.

  49. Unemployment fell to 7.8% as workers are forced to take more “part time positions”.

    What a shame…..part time work….

  50. The jobs report is in. The unemployment rate has fallen to 7.8%, lowest since the summer of 2009. Please select the reason for this from the following list:

    1. The White House has manipulated the numbers.

    2. No one is looking for work anymore so the figure is skewed.

    3. All of the jobseekers are in the hospital enjoying free medical care.

    4. A large number of formerly unemployed people have been hired in the last 48 hours to serve as Debate Coaches for the president.

    5. I don’t know, but whatever it is Obama had nothing to do with it.

  51. Factory workers eliminated 16,000 jobs (38k in last 2 months)

    government workers increased by 10,000 (hummmmm)

    private payroll expected 130,000 Actual 104,000

    ……and a GDP trending towards ZERO ………

  52. Government jobs down 2.6% over three years of Obama, versus 2.2% under Reagan’s first three years (hummmmmmmmm).

  53. “Mike and John…all i can tell you Obama has been very, very good to me….but that is not a good thing. I will be fine if your guy gets back in….not sure about everyone else and that is not a good thing.”

    I hear’ya, flip ,thanks for your honest assessment.

    I’m voting for Obama because I sincerely believe his team kept the global markets from nuclear meltdown. Hell, the day after he won the 2008 election, Dubya essentially handed him the pilot’s seat while bailing out with the last parachute. Obama has done a lot of good things, both at home and abroad.

    Romney is worse than Jello- How can his base even trust him ?

    Lastly – Cold hard fact : In spite of phoning it in on Wed. Nite , The President is still up 5-8 % in Ohio.

  54. ” concernedmtc | OCTOBER 05, 2012 @ 8:24 AM
    To all you Liberal Loons in here. Face facts Obama has done a terrible job. Period. He now has a body of work to examine. He can no longer blame is predecesseor. He showed his true colors in that debate. Ryan will crush Biden. Romney will run over him 2 more times. Here comes some real change!”

    And, if Obama wins, what will you do, concernedmtc?
    My tracking of right wing blogs suggests you have at least three choices:

    1. Accuse the lamestream media of skewing the numbers and unfairly robbing Mitt of the win.
    2. Blame it on the 47% who are shiftless and looking for even more handouts.
    3. Suggest that whites voted for a black man out of guilt against their better judgement.

    Or, how about a fresh idea:
    4. Admitting that Obama is preferred by many of your fellow Americans and won fair and square.

    Good screen name concernedmtc. I’d be concerned, too, if I were you.

  55. NY Times Headline: “Jobless Rate at 7.8% Lowest Rate Since 2009”
    Fox News Headline: “Jobless rate at under 8% But…Is The Number Real?”

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