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A Bipolar Night At The Democratic Convention

As Zeke Miller points out, for anyone who didn’t watch much of last night’s Democratic Convention before the 10pm hour that featured Julian Castro’s keynote and the speech by Michelle Obama, Day One of the Democratic National Convention must have seemed just a little bipolar:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Some time around 10:00 p.m. Tuesday’s Democratic National Convention transformed itself abruptly: The volume came down, the soft focus came on, and the party switched its focus from one audience to the next.

The switch into prime time marked a Democratic effort to run two parallel conventions: One hard-edged pitch to the party’s base; and one broad, warm appeal to swing voters. The beginnings of Tuesday’s convention were marked by fiery, shouted denunciations of Mitt Romney’s wealth and and by relentless warnings about Republican views on women’s health and quips like former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland’s: “If Mitt was Santa Claus, he’d fire the reindeer and outsource the elves.” The program swerved when prime time hit and broadcast viewers arrived, however, quickly becoming conciliatory and emotionally warm, closed by Michelle Obama’s personal speech.

And that split in messaging — structured around the different audiences of cable and broadcast television — reflects the Obama campaign’s basic challenge: They must re-animate a party base whose interest and engagement have faded since 2008, and who they believe are watching the convention closely, whether inside the Time Warner Arena or on MSNBC or another cable news outlet; and they must answer a week-long Republican effort to court the less-engaged swing voters in Ohio and Virginia who will ultimately decide the election, and who will come across the convention, at best, for its hour of prime time.

In the first track of the convention, an unapologetic, full-throated Democratic assault on from figures like Strickland and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid showed little restraint toward Mitt Romney, who was criticized for withholding his tax returns, for his Swiss bank account, and for his trouble connecting with average Americans. It was designed to be replayed countless times on cable TV and YouTube — the home of the political junkies who devote time and money to the Obama effort. Inside the Time Warner Arena, each attack drew the crowd of party faithful to their feet, cheering or booing as the moment demanded.

“Mitt Romney says we should take his word that he paid his fair share,” Reid shouted. “His word? His word? Trust comes from transparency, and Mitt Romney comes up short on both.”

And it included a broad defense of some of Obama’s most liberal, and least popular, policies. The beginning of the night dwelled not just on attacking Romney but on President Obama’s signature progressive policy move, the 2010 health care overhaul. “I am shocked how much we are talking about ObamaCare,” a Democratic operative noted.

(…)

Any surprise at the intensity of Democratic appeals to the party base Tuesday, however, turned abruptly into the realization at 10:00 p.m. that the party had begun a second act. There Julian Castro, the young San Antonio mayor, spoke in broad terms about opportunity and a contrast of visions. Then second, First Lady Michelle Obama offered a heartfelt depiction of her husband’s private side.

The second convention more closely mirrored the Republican effort in Charlotte last week. There, a central goal seemed simply to rebrand the party as young, diverse, and ultimately moderate, a vision embodied by figures like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez. Republicans will rely on Obama to rally their base, and they eschewed the shouted attacks that dominated the opening of the Democratic Convention.

Democrats, by contrast, have chosen not to choose. Battling over disillusioned Obama 2008 voters, the Republican message in Tampa was simple: In Charlotte the dual message is that Republicans are unacceptable to moderates, and that the dream of 2008 should still be alive for partisan Democrats.

By all accounts, that final hour of last night’s proceedings went off fairly well. Both the young Mayor of San Antonio and the First Lady delivered what by all regards were very well delivered speeches that were likely very well received by not only the partisan Democrats in the hall, but also any independent voters that may have been watching last night. It’s hardly surprising, though, that it differed so clearly in tone from the hours that proceeded it. Not surprisingly, vast segments of those hours were broadcast with little interruption on MSNBC (a sharp contrast to the way they covered the Republican Convention) whereas CNN only seemed to show the speeches by well-known people like Rahm Emanuel. I have no idea how Fox covered those hours. Obviously, the two parts of the night were aimed at quite separate audiences, although one wonders what independent voters who may have been watching on C-Span must have thought of the whole affair.

The other interesting thing about last night was the extent to which the Democratic Party, in rather sharp contrast to the GOP, chose to emphasize social issues:

At times it seemed as if almost every speaker on the first night of the Democratic National Convention was touting same-sex marriage.

“When it comes to letting people marry whomever they love, Mitt Romney says no,” Mayor Julián Castro of San Antonio said of the Republican nominee.

“Today in Massachusetts, you can also marry whomever you love,” said that state’s governor, Deval Patrick.

Kal Penn, the actor and former White House aide, praised Mr. Obama for being “cool with all of us getting gay-married.”

The two back-to-back conventions are highlighting an interesting role reversal between the political parties. The Republicans, who in the past eagerly waged a culture war, tried to emphasize economic issues, while the Democrats, stuck with a bad economy, were no longer running away from social issues that once petrified their strategists.

Same-sex marriage was the most obvious example of that, although not the only one. Democrats were eager to talk about abortion rights and contraception, issues they hope will rev up their liberal base and paint Mr. Romney’s Republican Party as out of the mainstream. A speaker scheduled for Wednesday night is Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law graduate whose support for Mr. Obama’s mandate for insurance coverage of contraceptives has made her a party favorite.

TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro noticed the same phenomenon:

In speech after speech, Democratic heavyweights took the stage to laud their party for backing marriage equality and slam the other side for continuing to oppose it — all to wild enthusiasm from the crowd. In the stands in the convention hall and the streets in the city around it, same sex marriage has become a rallying cry for Democrats and something they’re ready to put right out in front during a closely contested election.

Compare that to the Republicans, who mentioned their defense of traditional marriage on stage but certainly didn’t hold full press conferences about it. The party that leveraged gay marriage in 2004 to help boost President George W. Bush to re-election is much more toned down about the topic.

Some conservatives want to have the conversation — a small ad buy by a conservative group opposing gay marriage bracketed the start of the Democratic convention — but for the most part, Team Romney and the GOP don’t put their opposition to same-sex marriage front and center.

It’s the same story with abortion. In Tampa, Romney immediately distanced himself from his party’s anti-abortion plank (which makes no mention of exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother), placing himself to the left of the official Republican Party stance.

Romney also tried to back out and away from abortion entirely in the wake of the Todd Akin blowup, which put Republicans on the defensive about their strict anti-abortion stance. After being pressed on his party’s platform, Romney finally tried to end the conversation by saying there’s nothing he could do about abortion rights as president anyway.

Abortion got mentioned on the Tampa stage, but the GOP clearly wanted to talk about something else. Not true for Democrats, who proudly put the president of NARAL, Nancy Keenan, before a roaring crowd in Charlotte.

While it seems puzzling for a political party convention to spend so much time concentrating on social issues in an election season where poll after poll shows that the economy and jobs are the top issues of concern for voters, and especially for independent voters in swing states, it does make some amount of sense. These are the kinds of issues that appeal to the Democratic base, to women, and to young voters, all three of whom who have shown signs of not being particularly enthusiastic about this election. Appealing to the issues that concern them may be one way to make sure they get to the polls and support the campaign. Of course, one has to wonder if a young voter who has graduated college, isn’t working, and has student loan debt to repay is going to care all that much about same-sex marriage when their own life isn’t exactly going well. Those are the kind of dissaffected voters who are just as likely to stay home no matter how many speeches people like Kai Penn make.

All that said, it does seem as though last night was a successful night for the DNC, and tonight is likely to be as well with Bill Clinton’s nominating speech as the climax of the night heading into tomorrow’s finale. Of course, with the Giants and the Cowboys on the field over on NBC at the same time, I’ve got to wonder how high the viewership is going to be even for Clinton. I know what I’ll be watching, and it won’t be Bill.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. brutalfacts says:

    I’ve got to wonder how high the viewership is going to be even for Clinton. I know what I’ll be watching, and it won’t be Bill.

    That’s what picture in picture is for.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  2. anjin-san says:

    Michelle Obama’s Speech Written at Higher Grade Level

    A Smart Politics review finds that Michelle Obama’s 2012 speech to the Democratic convention was written at the highest ever grade level for spouses of presidential candidates and seven grade levels above Ann Romney’s Republican convention remarks, as measured by the Flesch-Kincaid readability test.

    http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cspg/smartpolitics/2012/09/michelle_obamas_dnc_speech_wri.php

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  3. jan says:

    “While it seems puzzling for a political party convention to spend so much time concentrating on social issues in an election season where poll after poll shows that the economy and jobs are the top issues of concern for voters, and especially for independent voters in swing states, it does make some amount of sense. These are the kinds of issues that appeal to the Democratic base, to women, and to young voters, all three of whom who have shown signs of not being particularly enthusiastic about this election.”

    The emphasis of the two parties are focused on their strengths rather than weaknesses.

    For the republicans, they showcased two deficit clocks ticking off the continuing burden being accumulated by the government. The speeches, at the R convention, reflected these concerns.

    For the democrats, they are underlining gender, races, cultural issues, and talking very little about the economy, except to say Romney is against everyone but the rich (or something to that effect).

    I guess it just depends where one parks their taste in rhetoric. Mine continues to be fastened on the economy, and who will most likely allow it to grow under philosophically fueled free-market stances.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  4. al-Ameda says:

    The other interesting thing about last night was the extent to which the Democratic Party, in rather sharp contrast to the GOP, chose to emphasize social issues:

    and …

    It’s the same story with abortion. In Tampa, Romney immediately distanced himself from his party’s anti-abortion plank (which makes no mention of exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother), placing himself to the left of the official Republican Party stance.

    The Democratic Party, in contrast to the GOP, apparently does not have to hide from social issues. The GOP spent the better part of the last 12 months alienating virtually every one outside their base on every important social issue – abortion, women’s health, birth control, gay marriage. In fact the GOP Platform is completely pro-life, with no exceptions made for rape, incest or health of the mother.

    Each Party has a different objective – Republicans to limit the damage done by social conservatives, and present Romney as non-detached. For Democrats – it is to embrace the diversity of the party, and point out Republican efforts to not only oppose, but completely obstruct the president.

    Full Disclosure: I only watched Castro speak in live time, I missed all the others, watched the highlights later.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  5. David M says:

    @jan:

    I’ll admit I’m not sure why the GOP wanted to brag about their achievements through the debt/deficit clocks, but it was a inventive way to highlight their defining accomplishment.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  6. Tsar Nicholas says:

    I missed the whole thing, because the Yanks-Rays game was on ESPN, and in any event I haven’t watched a Democrat convention since 1984, but I have to say that reading those accounts was quite interesting.

    I have a number of questions and comments:

    - Ted Strickland actually was one of the speakers? The Dems do realize, don’t they, that Strickland in the most recent election cycle was ousted from office by John Kasich? Couldn’t they have gotten a sitting governor to give the same speech or a former governor who left on his or her own terms rather than having been kicked to the curb by voters? Was Ed Rendell or someone of his ilk not available?

    - Until today I’d never heard of Julian Castro, but it’s obvious the national Democrat media already considers him to be a superstar. Given that on a statewide level Texas has turned into a one-party state, however, it’s difficult to envision Castro doing anything noteworthy in politics, unless someone down the road is willing to promote him directly from mayor to veep. Unlikely, but I guess stranger things have happened.

    - It’s not a surprise the early speakers are there to try to gin up turnout among the far left. The Democrats this year have on their hands a prospective turnout problem. A number of the Democrat identity groups (college and grad students, union members, the perpetually unemployed) at present are more downtrodden and more detached than in years gone by. It’s one thing to respond to a pollster that you’ll be voting for Obama. It’s another thing actually to go out and vote. Axelrod & Co. painfully are aware of this. Hence the steady diet of red meat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  7. MattT says:

    Prime time starts at 10?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Tom Hilton says:

    (a sharp contrast to the way they covered the Republican Convention)

    Erm…is that right? Because I flipped to MSNBC quite a few times during the RNC, and they were certainly covering a whole lot more than just the prime-time hours. I had the impression they were doing gavel-to-gavel for both, but I could be wrong about that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. MattT,

    10pm is the only hour the broadcast networks are covering

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. mantis says:

    @jan:

    The emphasis of the two parties are focused on their strengths rather than weaknesses.

    For the republicans, they showcased two deficit clocks ticking off the continuing burden being accumulated by the government.

    Ah yes, reducing the deficit sure is a strength for the Republicans. Look how well they have done so in the past!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

  11. Tom Hilton says:

    @MattT: 10:00 pm EDT, which is 7/8/9 pm Pacific, Mountain, and Central. It only seems late on the East Coast.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. jan says:

    @anjin-san:

    I wonder how President Lincoln would have been rated by these standards, as his speeches were short, simple and to the point. The same goes for Mark Twain and even Will Rogers, who seemed to put warmth, humor and a down-home appeal before displaying simply one’s intellect?

    I’m also curious why the words per sentence should somehow judge the grade level of that sentence, let alone the effectiveness of it. As, some of the most memorable catch-phrases are the ones with few words. Just look at John Glenn and his walk on the moon!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  13. LaMont says:

    All that said, it does seem as though last night was a successful night for the DNC

    Which is much more then you can say for any one of the nights during the republican convention.

    Between Ann Romney’s “Love for Romney” and Christie’s “forget love its about respect” speeches the first night to Paul Ryan’s disingenuous and lie pack speech the second night to Clint Eastwood’s empty chair speech which outshined Romney’s speech – the Republican convention was a complete and total failure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  14. al-Ameda says:

    @jan:

    For the republicans, they showcased two deficit clocks ticking off the continuing burden being accumulated by the government. The speeches, at the R convention, reflected these concerns.

    … which is why it is so interesting that the Romney-Ryan Plan reprises the Bush years bu making a deep tax cut while increasing defense spending , and will (by their own numbers) add significantly to the deficit. That’s how concerned they are about the deficit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  15. LaMont says:

    the Republican convention was a complete and total failure

    Of course my opinion – which isn’t that hard to argue!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. Tom Hilton says:

    @jan:

    Just look at John Glenn and his walk on the moon!

    That was a memorable quote. I think what John Glenn said was something like “that wasn’t me, that was Neil Armstrong!” Immortal words indeed.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  17. Just Me says:

    A Smart Politics review finds that Michelle Obama’s 2012 speech to the Democratic convention was written at the highest ever grade level for spouses of presidential candidates and seven grade levels above Ann Romney’s Republican convention remarks, as measured by the Flesch-Kincaid readability test.

    And the point being what? Neither Michelle Obama or Ann Romney wrote their speeches anyway-they had speech writers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  18. David M says:

    @al-Ameda:

    … which is why it is so interesting that the Romney-Ryan Plan reprises the Bush years bu making a deep tax cut while increasing defense spending , and will (by their own numbers) add significantly to the deficit. That’s how concerned they are about the deficit

    Numbers and math aren’t important if the candidate talks nonsense about the market being strangled by regulation, and how our high taxes are actually killing our brave job creators. Add in some talk about small government and out of control spending without being specific, and at least 40% of the country will buy it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  19. anjin-san says:

    Just look at John Glenn and his walk on the moon!

    Seriously Jan, have you suffered a blow to the head at some point?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  20. Davebo says:

    Claiming the auto bailout was a failure despite double digit increases in sales for the Big 3 in August over the previous year?

    Check

    Appending a bipolar condition to the DNC after what is generally regarded as a very effective first night?

    Roger.

    Dougie speaking out of his @ss yet again on OTB.

    Priceless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  21. Fiona says:

    @jan:

    I wonder how President Lincoln would have been rated by these standards, as his speeches were short, simple and to the point. The same goes for Mark Twain and even Will Rogers, who seemed to put warmth, humor and a down-home appeal before displaying simply one’s intellect?

    I’m guessing that Lincoln would have done quite well by those standards as he wrote his own speeches and didn’t face any PR pressures to dumb them down for general public. Given that most people would be reading rather than hearing the speech, the literary quality is pretty high.

    The First Lady’s speech and her delivery did show warmth, humor, and down-home appeal, while not disguising the fact that she’s an intelligent woman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  22. DRE says:

    @Tom Hilton: @jan:

    Just look at John Glenn and his walk on the moon!

    That was a memorable quote. I think what John Glenn said was something like “that wasn’t me, that was Neil Armstrong!” Immortal words indeed.

    And I’m pretty sure the sentiment that he expressed was pretty socialist. “Giant leap for mankind”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  23. anjin-san says:

    The First Lady’s speech and her delivery did show warmth, humor, and down-home appeal, while not disguising the fact that she’s an intelligent woman.

    That sums it up nicely. Michelle Obama continues to impress.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  24. Me Me Me says:

    While it seems puzzling for a political party convention to spend so much time concentrating on social issues in an election season where poll after poll shows that the economy and jobs are the top issues of concern for voters, and especially for independent voters in swing states, it does make some amount of sense.

    I’m not puzzled at all. There is absolutely zero evidence that the majority of the American electorate thinks that either Obama or Romney can fix the economy. They correctly still blame Bush and correctly understand, explicitly or implicitly, that fixing the mess he created and deleveraging consumers is going to take a very long time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @anjin-san:

    Michelle Obama continues to impress.

    As EJ Dionne said,

    The most devastating attack on Mitt Romney at Tuesday’s Democratic Convention came from Michelle Obama, who did not mention Romney’s name and said not a single cross thing about him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Ted Strickland actually was one of the speakers? The Dems do realize, don’t they, that Strickland in the most recent election cycle was ousted from office by John Kasich?

    Tsar, you do realize that Kasich is the most hated man in Ohio? I haven’t seen any #s but I would bet that they all wish they could get a do over. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Strickland was planning on running again. In fact, I rather suspect that is why they gave him such a prominent speech.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  27. anjin-san says:

    Giant leap for mankind”

    Almost leads one to think Armstrong was not obsessed with American exceptionalism…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  28. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: A Smart Politics review finds that Michelle Obama’s 2012 speech to the Democratic convention was written at the highest ever grade level for spouses of presidential candidates and seven grade levels above Ann Romney’s Republican convention remarks, as measured by the Flesch-Kincaid readability test.

    I especially liked this part:

    I love that for Barack, there is no such thing as “us” and “them” – he doesn’t care whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or none of the above…he knows that we all love our country…and he’s always ready to listen to good ideas…he’s always looking for the very best in everyone he meets.

    “They” and “them” are among the most common words in Obama’s stump speeches, right behind “I.” My favorite example:

    After they drove the car into the ditch, made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it back, now they want to keys back. No! You can’t drive! We don’t want to have to go back into the ditch. We just got the car out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  29. Stonetools says:

    Doug certainly betrays the blinkered view of the well off straight male. For Doug, social issues have no economic component , apparently. Yet for a poor woman, reproductive rights ARE economic rights. Having a child tremendously affects the economic possibilities for women. If women can’t afford contraceptive treatment, or having conceived, can’t terminate an unwanted pregnancy, that’s a major economic issue for them.

    For gays again, whether they can marry or even have civil unions is also an economic issue, for example, whether a person will inherit if a gay partner dies. Dismissing these civil rights issues are mere ” social issues” is too simplistic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  30. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Is there really any disagreement that Obama is more willing to compromise than the GOP?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  31. jan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    …..and Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller’s takeaway from the D convention is: “The Democrats are even more annoying and weirder than the Republicans!”

    .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  32. jan says:

    @David M:

    “Is there really any disagreement that Obama is more willing to compromise than the GOP? “

    You’ve got to be joking! President Obama and compromise don’t belong in the same sentence together. He has only gone to the center when there was no other choice.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 23

  33. jan says:

    Hmmm, with ‘only a “chance of thunderstorms for Charlotte on Thursday night” how disappointing to the thousands of Obama supporters in be denied a right to be seated for his big speech, because he is moving it indoors to a venue with 50,000 fewer seats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  34. image says:

    @jan: Really… the daily caller? Come on now…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  35. MM says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “

    They” and “them” are among the most common words in Obama’s stump speeches, right behind “I.” My favorite example:

    A person who is campaigning talks about himself and compares himself to his opponent or opponents? Well I never!

    Republican talking points get weirder by the day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  36. MM says:

    @jan: and Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller’s takeaway from the D convention is: “The Democrats are even more annoying and weirder than the Republicans!”

    Tucker Carlson’s employee doesn’t like the DNC? Knock me over with a feather! What’s next? Doug Mataconis suggesting that Obama is not enough of a deficit hawk for his taste? Karl Rove endorsing Romney?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  37. Stonetools says:

    You’ve got to be joking! President Obama and compromise don’t belong in the same sentence together. He has only gone to the center when there was no other choice.

    That’s your answer, David M. There is disagreement, even though most f the public would agree that President Obama tried to compromise and that the Republicans didn’t . Of course, there isn’t complete agreement that the world is round, either.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  38. anjin-san says:

    Michelle Obama Raises the Bar

    John Heilemann says First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech last night “was one of the most extraordinary convention turns I have witnessed in more than two decades in this racket.”

    “Her own high-stakes debut came four years ago at the Democratic convention in Denver, in a speech that sought to dispel the negative impressions of her — as a haughty, aggrieved, and even angry black woman — that had been propagated in some quarters. And so it did, and then some. Since then, MRO’s public image has been pure gold; with an approval rating of 66 percent, she is more popular than her husband (and any other Democrat save the Clintons) by a mile.”

    “And yet, for all that, what no one could have fully appreciated was how much she has grown and the heights she has attained as a political performer — until last night, that is. Purely at the level of stage presence and oratorical execution, Michelle was close to flawless: warm and natural, charming and convincing, passionate and pitch-perfect, giving off such a natural and comfortable affect that it was almost possible to forget that she was, you know, performing.”

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/09/michelle-obamas-stunning-speech.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  39. Me Me Me says:

    @jan: Hmmmm, Jan: you left off the number in front of “chance”. Currently it is 45%. I believe it was higher than that when the decision was made to move it. Please tell me, what number to you think it would have had to be before the decision was prudent?

    Also, Obama is going to give his speech in front of 20,000 people. Could Mitt Romney ever attract such a crowd, by any means short of taping a $100 bill under each seat and then barring the exits until he had finished?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  40. Stonetools says:

    For those who are looking for economic policy, we’ll get that from Bill tonight, I think. He’ll have a lot to say whether you can have a buoyant economywith 2000 tax rates and whether Romney’s take on welfare requirements is correct, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  41. jan says:

    Memorable cameo moments at the D Convention…so far:

    Booing the inclusion of God and Jerusalem

    The screaming Strickland speech

    Moving the speech indoors….without balloons.

    Grandioso MT. Rushmore sand sculpture of ‘The One.’

    Political caricatures of Reid/Pelosi, much like Boehner/McConnell are for the R party

    Appropriately timed debt clock moving to $16 trillion at the dem convention..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  42. anjin-san says:

    Jan can you give me more details about John Glenn’s moonwalk? Somehow I missed that one…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  43. jan says:

    @Stonetools:

    “For those who are looking for economic policy, we’ll get that from Bill tonight, I think. He’ll have a lot to say whether you can have a buoyant economywith 2000 tax rates and whether Romney’s take on welfare requirements is correct, etc. “

    The GAO has confirmed that the Obama Administration overstepped bounds on welfare law changes.

    As for what Bill will say…I wonder if he will repeat his earlier personal opinion about Romney’s career at Bain as being ‘sterling,’ which would be a real boost for how Romney might be able to help our slipping economy, as well as our competitiveness in the global arena.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  44. jan says:

    @anjin-san:

    You’re such a cutie….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  45. David M says:

    @Stonetools:

    There is disagreement, even though most f the public would agree that President Obama tried to compromise and that the Republicans didn’t . Of course, there isn’t complete agreement that the world is round, either.

    Apparently my rhetorical question was not obvious enough. The idea that the GOP have been wanting to compromise with Obama but he’s unwilling to agree to moderate proposals is just laughable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  46. anjin-san says:

    @ Jan

    You’re such a cutie….

    True. And I also read history books on a regular basis.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  47. OzarkHillbilly: says:

    @jan:

    And Jan…. just exactly who the f is

    Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller

    and why in the f would I listen to him?

    You throw a name out there, and what…. I am supposed to cringe in terror? Let me just say right now, right here, Matt Lewis is an idiot.

    Prove me wrong.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  48. bill says:

    i tried to watch, really. i caught a little bit of rahm rehashing some talking points before i had to switch it elsewhere. went back when castro was on ( is it just me or does he look like an Hispanic version of kate gosselin’s creepy ex husband?). he’s supposed to be the next best thing to Hispanics but he doesn’t even speak Spanish…bailed in 3 minutes.
    Next was Michelle’s sappy bit about how normal she is and how great her hubby is and how great it is that everyone should work for the gov’t……5 mins is all i could stand but my gf wouldn’t let me change it.
    the crowd was extra scary, and i was on cnn.
    thank God the Giants are on tonight!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  49. anjin-san says:

    @ bill

    thank God the Giants are on tonight!

    SF is Obama country…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  50. Davebo says:

    @anjin-san: I’m pretty sure he meant the New York Giants vs Dallas.

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  51. OzarkHillbilly: says:

    @anjin-san: So are the Cards!!!! Not that I will watch them.

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  52. Davebo says:

    Hmmm, with ‘only a “chance of thunderstorms for Charlotte on Thursday night” how disappointing to the thousands of Obama supporters in be denied a right to be seated for his big speech, because he is moving it indoors to a venue with 50,000 fewer seats.

    What was it that Forest Jan said again? Jan, amazingly your making Doug look competent and that’s no small task.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  53. bill says:

    @anjin-san: the other side of the country- it’s obama turf as well but it’s my team!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  54. jan says:

    @Me Me Me:

    “Could Mitt Romney ever attract such a crowd, by any means short of taping a $100 bill under each seat and then barring the exits until he had finished? “

    Romney certainly doesn’t have the personal popularity of Obama. But, that’s not what everyone looks for or bases their vote on, either, The convention venue itself was filled up the last day, not only with people, but optimism, which was generated by the array of speakers and selected music/musicians. No glitz, no glamor, just real people. Also Romney wasn’t busing people into his venue, in order to fill it up. The only time transportation was provided was to take delegates to and from their hotels.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  55. jan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly::

    Stop being a drama queen. After all, E.J Dionne doesn’t impress me either. But, I didn’t go on and on about it. Chill!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  56. mantis says:

    I see jan has picked up on the new wingnut dictum that buses are evil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  57. David M says:

    @jan:

    As for what Bill will say…I wonder if he will repeat his earlier personal opinion about Romney’s career at Bain as being ‘sterling,’

    It’s a pretty safe assumption that while Bill Clinton is speaking at the Democratic National Convention he’s going to have good things to say about Obama and bad things to say about Romney and the GOP. There was never any reason to think otherwise, contrary to the GOP speculation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  58. al-Ameda says:

    @jan:

    Memorable cameo moments at the D Convention…so far:
    Booing the inclusion of God and Jerusalem

    To be fair, what exactly has God done for the Jewish people since 1945?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  59. Me Me Me says:

    @bill:

    he’s supposed to be the next best thing to Hispanics but he doesn’t even speak Spanish…bailed in 3 minutes.

    Wow, I never thought I see the day when people like Bill complain about the brown guy not being able to speak Spanish.

    For the record, I don’t speak the languages than any of my four grandparents spoke either.

    Total fail, Bill.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  60. al-Ameda says:

    @jan:

    Also Romney wasn’t busing people into his venue, in order to fill it up.

    Actually, he had his supporters tied to the tops of limousines and transported to the Tampa Convention Hall.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  61. OzarkHillbilly: says:

    @jan:

    Stop being a drama queen.

    Jan, you are the Queen of Drama Queens. I don’t even know how to respond. Therefor I will let your words fail on their own….

    And laugh at you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  62. KansasMom says:

    @mantis: And thunderstorm warnings. I was on a wine tasting tour in Sonoma (jan’s home or so she claims) and a little thunderstorm popped up. The locals working at the vineyard were pretty excited, worst thunderstorm in years, etc. My friends and I just laughed and noticed a couple next to us doing the same. I said “Midwesterners?” and they said “Ohioans.” This was a nothing of a thunderstorm, but those of us in flyover country don’t intentionally pack into a stadium when reasonable accommodations can me made to avoid it. I guess we are scaredy cats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  63. Me Me Me says:

    @jan:

    Also Romney wasn’t busing people into his venue, in order to fill it up. The only time transportation was provided was to take delegates to and from their hotels.

    Flesh this though out for us, Jan: is getting to ride on a bus such a thrill that 20,000 people will sit through a speech on Thursday night just for the pleasure of the trip there and back?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  64. OzarkHillbilly: says:

    @al-Ameda: Been wanting to say for a while… Barcelona!!! (or at least, I think that is Barcelona in the pic) Lionel Messi is the greatest soccer player since…. Iniesta?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  65. jan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly::

    I’m already chuckling at your response. I’m glad we’re laughing together.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  66. al-Ameda says:

    @OzarkHillbilly::

    @al-Ameda: Been wanting to say for a while… Barcelona!!! (or at least, I think that is Barcelona in the pic) Lionel Messi is the greatest soccer player since…. Iniesta?

    Lionel Messi is tremendous, but Andres Iniesta has been one of my favorite players in the world for the last 3 to 4 years – just seems to make the right play, the right pass, in all situations. He is not flashy, he’s just great. He’s somewhat analogous (in basketball terms) to a point guard like Steve Nash.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  67. jan says:

    Speculation as to why a big speech is moving to a smaller venue

    While organisers blamed weather forecasts of lightning, the switch means that Obama has avoided the possibility of having to accept his party’s nomination before a partially-empty stadium. Just hours earlier, officials had been insisting the speech would go ahead in the stadium ‘rain or shine’.

    @KansasMom:

    “jan’s home or so she claims”

    Some people are bi-coastal — going from the east to the west coast all the time. I am a bi-state person, going from southern to northern CA every 2 weeks. I live half a month in the city, and the other half on the rural northern coast.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  68. mantis says:

    @jan:

    Speculation…

    Based on nothing.

    Just hours earlier, officials had been insisting the speech would go ahead in the stadium ‘rain or shine’.

    But not lightning. Do you understand what lightning is, jan?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  69. An Interested Party says:

    For the republicans, they showcased two deficit clocks ticking off the continuing burden being accumulated by the government.

    That’s hardly a “strength” for Republicans considering how much they have contributed to the debt…

    For the democrats, they are underlining gender, races, cultural issues…

    And why shouldn’t they, when you have Republicans talking about “legitimate rape” and passing measures in the states to make it harder for minorities and the poor to vote…

    Hmmm, with ‘only a “chance of thunderstorms for Charlotte on Thursday night” how disappointing to the thousands of Obama supporters in be denied a right to be seated for his big speech, because he is moving it indoors to a venue with 50,000 fewer seats.

    They won’t be completely disappointed…after all, no matter how they see it, they’ll see a better speech than the one Romney gave…and certainly a speech that is closer to the truth than the one that Ryan gave…

    he’s supposed to be the next best thing to Hispanics but he doesn’t even speak Spanish…bailed in 3 minutes.

    Obviously you bailed before he actually spoke Spanish…do you try to look stupid or does it just come naturally?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  70. OzarkHillbilly: says:

    @KansasMom:

    And thunderstorm warnings. I was on a wine tasting tour in Sonoma

    KMom, a few years back I was listening to a spot on NPR by a Boston transplant to St Lou. The first spring she went through…. the first thunderstorm she went through…. the first time she heard the sirens go off….

    She thought she was under nuclear attack. Gave me a whole ‘nother perspective of our weather.

    Yeah, we laugh at these left and right coasters…. But the truth is? It is scary sh!t. I say this as one who was caught in an Ozarks flash flood with his sons. 20+ feet in less than a half hour.

    Ever since, I have a whole new respect for our weather.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  71. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    “They” and “them” are among the most common words in Obama’s stump speeches, right behind “I.”

    In Mitt’s acceptance speech, those three words were 1.85% of the total. In Obama’s 2008 acceptance speech, those three words were 1.96% of the total.

    Do you consider that to be a significant difference? You’re full of crap, as usual.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  72. anjin-san says:

    No glitz, no glamor, just real people

    Right. Its not as if they had one of the biggest box office stars in history talking about how many conservatives there are in Hollywood…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  73. jan says:

    @al-Ameda:

    “Actually, he had his supporters tied to the tops of limousines and transported to the Tampa Convention Hall. “

    There you go! Like those windmills alluded to be on Romney’s car. .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  74. anjin-san says:

    @ Me Me Me

    There is something collectivist about these buses. Some say Obama has collectivist tendencies…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  75. OzarkHillbilly: says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Lionel Messi is tremendous, but Andres Iniesta has been one of my favorite players in the world for the last 3 to 4 years

    Yeah I love Messi but Iniesta sings to my working mans soul. I am amazed that he gets any glory at all. Never scores the big goals (not counting World Cup)(well not like Messi or Ronaldinho) but he is always in the right spot at the right time… to feed Messi…. or take the shot on his own.

    It is hard to talk footballl in this country. Nice to find a compatriot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  76. KansasMom says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:: Exactly. I’ve lived here my whole life so I don’t think much about it until tornado watches kick in, but under no circumstances would I pack into an outdoor stadium when sever weather is likely!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  77. Andre Kenji says:

    @Me Me Me:

    Wow, I never thought I see the day when people like Bill complain about the brown guy not being able to speak Spanish.

    For the record, I don’t speak the languages than any of my four grandparents spoke either.

    Yes, but the fact that so many US Hispanics do not speak Spanish is a gigantic waste. If you know Spanish is pretty easy to learn all the other Neo-Latin languages(Including Portuguese, Italian, French). . I´ve never traveled to anywhere outside Brazil, my direct contact with Spanish Speaking people was minimal and I´ve never taken any Spanish Classes and I can understand Spanish pretty, pretty well.

    That also helped me to read something in French. And French is a pretty difficult language.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  78. jan says:

    The Obama Administration’s inner workings are unfolding during their convention. First with the Government Accountability Office coming out and countering Obama’s role in his welfare to work decision. And now emails from the auto bailout, indicating how Obama officials enriched former firms, possible themselves with auto bailout.

    Emails obtained by The Daily Caller show that former senior Treasury Department officials who orchestrated the 2009 auto industry bailout enriched their former employers and likely made personal financial gains from parts of the deal they negotiated. At issue is the termination of pension plans belonging to 20,000 non-union salaried retirees from Delphi Corporation.

    Such self-dealing while an appointed member of a White House task force would violate federal law as well as an Ethics Pledge that an executive order from President Barack Obama said would apply to all appointees in the executive branch of the federal government from the date of his inauguration.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  79. jan says:

    @anjin-san:

    “Jan can you give me more details about John Glenn’s moonwalk? Somehow I missed that one… “

    I owe you a Homer Simpson reply of “Doh!” for screwing up the John Glenn/Neil Armstrong reference. I’ve done that before — switching the names. No excuses……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  80. OzarkHillbilly: says:

    @jan: Jan, do yourself a favor, stop…. Just stop.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  81. OzarkHillbilly: says:

    @Andre Kenji: Andre…. but you know English is the only language that matters? (snark)

    Ok.ok…. I had a girl friend who was of Italian/Ethiopian descent…. I had a girl friend from the Netherlands. I married a woman from Majorca.

    And I speak Spanish… Kind of…. Sort of. (Mexican)

    What the hell is wrong with this country that we are afraid of speaking a language not our own?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  82. OzarkHillbilly: says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:: And I have to say that my wife speaks 4 languages, Spanish, French, English, Majorcan. Guess which one she cannot spell? Yeah, her native language, Majorcan. She grew up in Franco’s Spain, forbidden to read, write, or speak her native language.

    The first time I went to Majorca, I acquired a whole new appreciation of what we have here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  83. jukeboxgrad says:

    david:

    I’ll admit I’m not sure why the GOP wanted to brag about their achievements through the debt/deficit clocks, but it was a inventive way to highlight their defining accomplishment.

    Chris Van Hollen, a few minutes ago:

    If Paul Ryan had been honest, he would have pointed at the debt clock and said “we built that.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  84. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Wow, and you only had to change two words to fabricate that lie. I said “stump speeches,” you applied it to “acceptance speech,” and — poof! — another jukebox original, completely pulled out of his ass.

    Let me toss in a couple more classic Obama quotes that reinforce my point:

    “You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And it’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

    “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun. Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”

    “They didn’t build that!”

    “I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors. I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face.”

    Apparently FLOTUS is too busy being so awesome to, you know, actually listen to her husband. Because a LOT of his rhetoric is based on the “us and them” model.

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  85. jukeboxgrad says:

    I said “stump speeches,” you applied it to “acceptance speech”

    That’s because there’s no particular reason to think that those two categories would differ with regard to the claim you made. It’s also because there’s only one, and the transcript is easy to find.

    This is what you said:

    “They” and “them” are among the most common words in Obama’s stump speeches, right behind “I.”

    If you think this is a difference between Obama and Mitt, then show us complete transcripts for the “stump speeches” you have in mind. Until you do so, you have nothing, as usual, because your cherry-picked quotes are worthless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  86. anjin-san says:

    Obama’s campaign is going north, Romney’s heading south, and Jenos, Jan, & the usual suspects are sounding even more substance free than usual…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  87. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: So, I make a general statement, and you think the best way to refute it is to lie about what I said?

    None of which addresses my main point — Mrs. Obama said “for Barack, there is no such thing as “us” and “them” – he doesn’t care whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or none of the above,” and I pulled five very famous examples off the top of my head.

    Which is typical of you — find something, ANYTHING to move the subject away from something you can’t defend and find a way to make it an attack.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  88. matt says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:: That’s hilarious and I’ll have to look into that. Way more funny then watching the people down here try to drive on a little dusting of snow. Probably because they are in my way…

    I come from central Illinois which felt like the end stop of tornado alley with tornadoes on a weekly basis through the summer. The one good thing about growing up in that area is that I’m well prepared for any kind of bad weather (except a dust storm I guess).

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  89. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    So, I make a general statement

    You didn’t just make “a general statement.” You made a factual claim. You said this:

    “They” and “them” are among the most common words in Obama’s stump speeches, right behind “I.”

    That claim is worthless until you show us some complete “stump speeches” from both candidates so we can compare them. This is yet another example of you making a claim you can’t and won’t prove.

    and you think the best way to refute it is to lie about what I said?

    Except I didn’t lie about what you said. I did an analysis based on the best available evidence. What did you did is no analysis at all. You just cherry-picked a few quotes which prove nothing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  90. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: No, you hyperpedantic git, Michelle Obama made a factual statement that I readily disproved.

    And you, chump, are saying I’m lying based on your words, not mine. I said that it was one of Obama’s favorite words in his stump speeches. I have a source in Harry Reid’s office that told me that Obama really, really, really likes the word, and gets Chris Matthews-style thrills up his leg when he says it.

    I don’t often get to say this to someone else, but… you apparently did a word-count analysis of acceptance speeches over my comment? Dude.. get a freaking life.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  91. jukeboxgrad says:

    No, you hyperpedantic git, Michelle Obama made a factual statement that I readily disproved.

    The “hyperpedantic git” is you, because she obviously didn’t mean that Barack never says “they.”

    One more time, this is what you said:

    “They” and “them” are among the most common words in Obama’s stump speeches, right behind “I.”

    Still waiting for you to prove this claim is true. A few cherry-picked quotes prove nothing. As you have done countless times before, you are making a claim that you will not and cannot prove.

    I said that it was one of Obama’s favorite words in his stump speeches.

    Also still waiting for you to show support for your bizarre claim that an acceptance speech would somehow be different from “stump speeches,” in this regard.

    you apparently did a word-count analysis of acceptance speeches over my comment?

    One day you’ll learn how to use computers and you’ll realize that it took me less time than the time you’re spending repeating your claims that amount to nothing but pure wind.

    It also makes perfect sense that you would mock the practice of collecting facts, since you’re so fond of making claims that are unencumbered by any facts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  92. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: So, Michelle Obama is allowed to be rhetorical and figurative, but I’m not?

    Go pound sand, you worthless hack.

    And I don’t mock the collection of facts. I don’t even mock the collection of worthless facts. What I mock is you collecting meaningless facts, then stamping your feet and demanding other people actually treat your infantile monomania as something worthy of praise.

    Or even attention.

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  93. mantis says:

    @Jay Tea’s Sock Puppet Jenos Idanian #13:

    So, Michelle Obama is allowed to be rhetorical and figurative, but I’m not?

    Always a victim. No one is disallowing anything. You are free to demonstrate your idiocy ad infinitum.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  94. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    So, Michelle Obama is allowed to be rhetorical and figurative, but I’m not?

    I guess you’re saying that when you said this:

    “They” and “them” are among the most common words in Obama’s stump speeches, right behind “I.”

    You were being “rhetorical and figurative.” Is that it? The problem is that the available evidence seems to indicate that Mitt and Obama speak the same way, with regard to the words that seem so important to you.

    What I mock is you collecting meaningless facts

    Actually looking at actual words used by the actual candidates in actual speeches is not “meaningless facts.” It’s an appropriate way to investigate the truth or falsity of the claim you made. Here’s a good example of “meaningless facts:” you presenting a few cherry-picked quotes and pretending that they prove something.

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  95. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Michelle Obama’s statement was easily disproven with several very prominent examples. She said he doesn’t see things that way, when it’s one of his most common rhetorical ticks. It’s how he rolls.

    So, by the standards you like to apply, she’s a liar and has zero credibility, right?

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  96. jukeboxgrad says:

    it’s one of his most common rhetorical ticks

    Repeating your bogus claim is easy, which is why you just did it again. Proving it is hard, and requires more than a few cherry-picked examples. That’s why you’re only going to repeat it, and are never going to prove it. Typical Jenos: making lots of claims you can’t prove.

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