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Second Presidential Debate Instant Reaction

My Twitter stream seems to think Obama won this one, so I’m inclined to believe them.

My own reaction was, much like the vice presidential debate, frustration with the questions and the format. I hate the faux town hall “undecided voter” format when, in reality, the questions are pre-selected by the moderator. And, once again, I think the moderator was awful. Candy Crowley not only ignored the agreed-to rules by constantly asking her own questions–which was simply not her role tonight–but didn’t do much to facilitate an intelligent discussion.

Obama, as I fully expected, did not repeat his lethargic, distracted performance of the last debate. If anything, he overcompensated by coming across as a little too aggressive.

Romney was well prepared but clearly frustrated by both the format and the moderator, letting his pique at the rules not being followed show a bit too often.

In terms of substance, those of us who’ve been paying attention for a while didn’t learn anything new. But we seldom do. Both candidates scrupulously followed Rule 1 of these debates: answer the question you want to answer, regardless of what was actually asked. Obama did it a bit more fluidly than Romney but neither went too far astray.

Obama deftly didn’t answer the Libya question but simultaneously appeared to be taking full responsibility for everything bad that happened while not admitting any fault whatsoever. Romney flubbed this one a bit, correctly pointing out that Obama took way too long to acknowledge that the attacks were a coordinated terror plot, not a spontaneous response to a YouTube video, but seemed blindsided by the fact that, in his Day 1 statement, Obama did call the murder of our ambassador “an act of terror.” That he meant something completely different didn’t matter, since Romney flubbed his presentation, and Crowley was all to happy to side with Obama on that one.

On the immigration question, Obama was simply dishonest in suggesting that Romney was a full-throated supporter of the Arizona plan when, in fact, Romney’s policy is milquetoast moderate. “Self-deportation” is in fact the only sane policy on illegal Mexican immigration: if you don’t want a flood of immigrants coming in illegally, you have to make it hard to hire them. There’s simply no law enforcement solution that’s feasible and humane.

Overall, even if the debate is a draw, it’s a minor win for Obama simply because it stops the bleeding from Round 1. I don’t imagine it’ll result in much of a bounce in the polls, though.

Related Posts:

About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Jr says:

    Libya was ironically Mitt’s waterloo…….just damn.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

  2. john personna says:

    How long will it take Republicans to understand that they are trying to win Libya as a semantic argument? Obama used a word and then didn’t use it for days and days! The horror.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 49 Thumb down 7

  3. Facebones says:

    It’s amazing how when the Republicans lose a debate the moderator was awful. Nothing to do with Obama pounding Mitt into the ground with facts, nope.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 56 Thumb down 8

  4. anjin-san says:

    Jindal does not sound very good in the spin room.

    I am inclined to call this a TKO for Obama, but of course I am biased. Romney completely blew the Libya issue, getting called out for having your facts wrong by the moderator is pretty bad. I thought Obama looked very Presidential in his response, and Romney looked petty and a bit confused.

    I am sure Jan will show up to tell me I am a mindless partisan, but the record shows I made no bones about the fact Obama got his ass kicked in the first debate.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 7

  5. michael reynolds says:

    The Reynolds Rule: He who whines about the moderator or format knows he’s lost.

    Obama spanked him. 70/30 Obama. And James: you know it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 68 Thumb down 7

  6. Ron Beasley says:

    I didn’t watch the debate tonight – instead I watched a movie from Netflix, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It was one of the best movies I have seen recently. An incredible cast and incredible acting. And a look at human nature that was spot on. Not to mention some insight into the culture of India. Much more informative and educational than the debate.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 23 Thumb down 14

  7. Geek, Esq. says:

    Obama drop-kicked him on taxes and Libya and flip-flops.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 6

  8. scott says:

    @Jr: I think Obama’s Libya response was the only sign of legitimate passion in the entire debate. Most of the rest was standard talking points.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  9. Facebones says:

    Both candidates scrupulously followed Rule 1 of these debates: answer the question you want to answer, regardless of what was actually asked. Obama did it a bit more fluidly than Romney but neither went too far astray.

    Yes, especially when Romney answered a question about immigration by asking Obama about his pension.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 1

  10. Facebones says:

    @michael reynolds: That’s a good rule.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  11. john personna says:

    @anjin-san:

    Romney looked petty and a bit confused.

    this

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 3

  12. EddieInCA says:

    James –

    I think your bias showed through tonight…. and I think it’s a separation line at this point in history between Dems and the GOP.

    When Obama got his ass kicked two weeks ago, Dems said ‘Obama got his ass kicked”.

    Last week, when Biden kicked Ryan’s ass, the GOP said “Biased Moderator. Crazy Joe!”

    Tonight, when Obama clearly kicked Romney’s ass all over the stage, then kicked him when he was down, the GOP is saying “Bad Moderator. Angry Black Man. Aggressive Obama.”

    Is the tribal association so strong that you can’t just say “Romney got waxed tonight. That was an old-fashioned ass-kicking”.

    Cuz that’s what happened tonight, regardless of how you “saw” it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 79 Thumb down 4

  13. Mikey says:

    I’m watching the Tigers-Yankees game. It’s a far more interesting sporting event than the debate.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 13

  14. Gromitt Gunn says:

    I decided to watch more of Season 2 of “Dexter.” I went back and forth on that or the debate and figured I’d go for watching the sociopath I actually find charming.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 11

  15. Ed in NJ says:

    This was a total domination by Obama, but you’ll never hear that from the punditry. They are too invested in the horserace.

    Obama had this on the facts and on demeanor. And let’s not forget that Romney broke the debate rules first by directly addressing Obama. But it was to his downfall. He thought he was going to bully Obama like he did last debate with Lehrer’s complicity, but this time Obama punched right back, over and over until Romney was bloodied and bowed.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 3

  16. michael reynolds says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Exactly. Democrats accept reality. Republicans insist on fantasy. Maybe that’s why we balance budgets and cut deficits and Republicans don’t.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 56 Thumb down 1

  17. michael reynolds says:

    Romney knows he lost even if James can’t face reality. You could see it on his face. He was furious.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 1

  18. James Joyner says:

    @michael reynolds: In fairness, I complain about the town hall format, in advance, every four years. And I complained about Crowley saying she was going to ignore the debate rules before the debate. Also: I’ve never liked Crowley, who I simply can’t watch.

    I thought Lehrer let himself get run over a bit in the first debate. But he result was to let both candidates play ball. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Obama uncharacteristically didn’t come to play that night.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  19. john personna says:

    BTW, I mentioned my shock in the other thread, that Mitt opened the debate talking about free college admission.

    That is worth thinking about. He’s willing to jump left of Obama in Schrodinger’s mode, to make the sale. Remind me to ask Jan and Drew how they feel about 100 percent government financing of tuition for the to 1/4 of graduating high school students.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 0

  20. Jc says:

    President won, but I don’t understand why he doesn’t just ask Governor Romney to name just one tax deduction he would eliminate, just one! Then if Governor Romney dodged it he could easily say “see, he can’t even give one deduction, one iota of he wants to eliminate” and if he did give one, then he could have ripped into it.

    President was much more in tune this time, Romney was off and Crowley was a bit of a disappointment, but overall not bad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  21. KariQ says:

    I thought it was a clear Obama win.

    And a man whose opinion I always respect thinks so to: Daniel Larison “It was a clear Obama win, and nearly as lopsided in his favor as it was for Romney.”

    So does this mean that Democrats will stop running around like panic monkeys?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  22. michael reynolds says:

    @James Joyner:

    I agree on the “undecided voter.” My remark to my family was that anyone genuinely undecided at this point should probably be sterilized for the benefit of the human genome.

    But formats are known in advance. The job is to deal with it. Complaining about it is a tell. We both know Romney lost. Romney knows Romney lost.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 1

  23. legion says:

    Various sources are painting Romney’s Libya comments as this debate’s “Big Bird” moment – the one that will resonate past the wonkosphere and into the voting public’s consciousness. That whole “not Presidential” bit just killed.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  24. Facebones says:

    @KariQ:

    So does this mean that Democrats will stop running around like panic monkeys?

    But we do it so well!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

  25. ernieyeball says:

    Yankees just hit a home run in the top of the 9th! There is life before death!

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 16

  26. john personna says:

    @KariQ:

    More Daniel Larison:

    It was Romney’s theme throughout the entire night: “Bad things are happening. I have no answers. Elect me.”

    Ouch.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 1

  27. john personna says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Come on, I bet you could have a moment of indecision if the town hall was near you … just long enough to fill out the application.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  28. An Interested Party says:

    Remind me to ask Jan and Drew how they feel about 100 percent government financing of tuition for the to 1/4 of graduating high school students.

    Be sure to ask them about Affirmative Action for women as well, as Romney talked about how is in favor of that too…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  29. legion says:

    I would also be remiss if I didn’t point out that there is already a Binders Full of Women Facebook page…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  30. michael reynolds says:

    Has anyone seen my “woman binder?” I can’t find it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  31. scott says:

    @Jc: I agree. I don’t understand why the Democrats just done call Romney’s plan for the economy a marketing brochure. Because that is exactly what it is. Also, Romney’s positions have been so all over the place that Democrats can call Romney the bait and switch candidate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  32. john personna says:

    @legion:

    It was a good twitter meme as well. Someone said “Russian brides?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  33. michael reynolds says:

    @john personna:
    And of course they will remain undecided in hopes of getting still more attention.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  34. Pete says:

    C’mon Reynolds, the fog must have rolled in over Marin County. Either that or you’re smoking dried pineapple rinds. Balance budgets? Cut deficits? Government can do that? How is the California economy doing under Democrat control?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 31

  35. Fiona says:

    Give this one to Obama. He clearly wiped the floor with Mitt tonight, leaving His Mendaciousness to bully Candy Crowley, nitpick about rules, and lecture the President on what’s in his pension. In short, unlikeable Mitt was back with a vengeance.

    And “binders full of women.” WTF? Apparently, it’s the latest twitter meme.

    The whole Libya thing blew up in Romney’s face. Kind of makes me wonder if Hillary and Obama set him up on the whole responsibility thing, as they each had each other’s back. After that exchange, Romney pretty much sat around looking constipated.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 3

  36. john personna says:

    @Pete: Pragmatically.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  37. legion says:

    @john personna: Yeah, I may have been mistaken about the Libya thing – “Binders Full of Women” is just blowing up. I can already envision the Halloween costumes people are making now…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  38. Mr. Replica says:

    James Joyner:

    And, once again, I think the moderator was awful. Candy Crowley not only ignored the agreed-to rules by constantly asking her own questions–which was simply not her role tonight–but didn’t do much to facilitate an intelligent discussion.


    It was news earlier today that Candy was going to ask her own questions
    .

    Romney was well prepared but clearly frustrated by both the format and the moderator, letting his pique at the rules not being followed show a bit too often.

    By what Doug posted earlier today, it was also an agreement that the candidates would not ask each other questions. Which Mitt first broke, but both candidates are guilty of. I can only assume that since Mitt broke the rule first, Obama was all to happy to oblige.

    On the immigration question, Obama was simply dishonest in suggesting that Romney was a full-throated supporter of the Arizona plan when, in fact, Romney’s policy is milquetoast moderate


    Dishonest? Obama called out Romney’s choice of hiring, but not on the payroll, the co-author of the Arizona SB1070 bill Kris Kobach.
    to advise him on ways to form his immigration policy. a quote from the link I just put in.

    Kobach did not say how long he has been advising Romney only that the two have discussed illegal immigration and various ways to address it.

    “I’ve encouraged the Romney campaign to take a stand of attrition through enforcement which is what Arizona’s SB1070 is all about,” he said.

    In no way was this debate a “draw”, Romney showed up trying to run away from his campaign rhetoric yet again, and Obama called him on it the majority of the time. Romney also tried to steamroll Candy, like Jim, and even tho he was successful a few times, Candy in no way rolled over, and that obviously got to Mitt. So much so, Romney tried to play gotcha on Obama’s Libya’s remarks and got smacked down. So much so, Sullivan went from trying to hang himself over the last debate, to having multiple orgasms during this debate. Obviously I find that more funny than anything else, as I really do not care for Andrew’s work. But, I think the complete 180 he did is telling.
    If you want to call this debate a draw…well, that’s on you. But I will disagree.

    Romney failed to distance himself from Bush. Romney tried to run away from his Planned Parenthood remarks, and failed horrible. Romney failed to distance himself from the Mass. assault gun ban, from the fact he invested in China, from the fact that his tax math does not add up etc etc. All he had was his 5-point plan, to which he was all too happy to keep talking about like it was the answer for many of those questions. Mitt was so flustered about being called on China, he tried to bring in the President’s pension, which he himself would have if he gets voted in.
    I am not saying that Romney failed to make his points and that he didn’t win some exchanges. He did. But, Obama clearly won the majority of the debate. Unless we are using Romney/Ryan math… winning a majority of the debate does not = a draw.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 1

  39. michael reynolds says:

    @Pete:

    You know, whenever anyone disses my California, I have to go to the photos. Here’s one from a couple days ago. From my deck/office. Notice SF over beyond the fog. http://i.imgur.com/VTK4r.jpg

    So the answer is: California is better than every other part of the United States. That’s how we’re doing.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 2

  40. legion says:

    @Pete: The California economy is under the control of Californians. That’s a whole different breed…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  41. Facebones says:

    @legion:

    I can already envision the Halloween costumes people are making now…

    Oof, it’ll be worse than all those Chllean miner costumes a few years back.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. KariQ says:

    @Pete:

    How is the California economy doing under Democrat control?

    Something folks always seem to forget: California had divided government until 2011. Since we got a Democratic governor and legislature, our economy has grown faster than the national average, economic growth accelerated in 2011 (in contrast to most of the rest of the nation), and employment is recovering at a faster rate than in the rest of the country. I’m not sure that there’s a cause and effect here, but thanks for asking.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 1

  43. C. Clavin says:

    So Romney tonight supported affirmative action, full access to contraceptives through employers health care, and upping Pell grants.
    Another new Mitt showed up tonight.
    Wonder what the base, that doesn’t only think about team sports, thinks?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  44. john personna says:

    @legion:

    My favorite memeified.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  45. EddieInCA says:

    @Pete:

    Pete –

    California is still California.
    California is home to SF, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Cambria, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Malibu, LA, Newport, La Jolla, and San Diego.
    California is where I can go Surfing and Skiing on the same freaking day.
    California is where I can hit the desert for some off-road cycling in the afternoon, and be in Beverly Hills or Pacific Palisades for dinner.
    California is where I can see more classic and foreign films on any given weekend than any other place other than NYC in the country.
    California is where I never, ever worry about the weather.

    In shorter terms… We’re doing fine. Eff you very much.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 1

  46. Argon says:

    Holy crap. Mitt cites Romneycare as a huge accomplishment at the end after spending the rest of the debate arguing that the equivalent federal program is a job killer.

    Somebody put that man in head restraints and get an MRI! The whiplash from the about turn might have damaged his spinal column.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 1

  47. al-Ameda says:

    All I can say is, Deanie Mills at Fox News called a draw – that means that Mitt did not perform well at all. If Fox says it was a draw, that means that Mitt’s recent free ride is over.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

  48. PogueMahone says:

    I am starting to get the feeling that the five-point plan is the new 9-9-9.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  49. Franklin says:

    I flipped between this and the Tigers-Yankees, but more of the ball game than the debate …

    I did see Romney lamely try to draw a connection between the Libya attack and “everything that’s wrong with our Mideast policy”. It was feeble. Romney’s going to lose any debate on foreign policy, so it would be wise of him to steer clear.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  50. al-Ameda says:

    @Pete:

    C’mon Reynolds, the fog must have rolled in over Marin County. Either that or you’re smoking dried pineapple rinds. Balance budgets? Cut deficits? Government can do that? How is the California economy doing under Democrat control?

    Even Michael Savage, conservative avatar, lives in Marin County. Why is it that deranged conservatives who purport to hate liberal lifestyle places like Marin County, Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades want to live there? David Horowitz lives in Santa Monica. What’s wrong with Oklahoma City, Biloxi, Birmingham, or Spartanburg?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  51. SKI says:

    @Franklin: sadly for him, the third debate is all foreign policy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  52. anjin-san says:

    @ Pete

    How is the California economy doing under Democrat control?

    Well, we can buy most red states out of petty cash. But don’t worry, we will continue to send welfare to them instead.

    Here’s a shot of my neighborhood in the HELL THAT IS CALIFORNIA – feel free to share yours…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  53. al-Ameda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You know, whenever anyone disses my California, I have to go to the photos. Here’s one from a couple days ago. From my deck/office. Notice SF over beyond the fog. http://i.imgur.com/VTK4r.jpg
    So the answer is: California is better than every other part of the United States. That’s how we’re doing.

    .Michael, how do you put up with that? Don’t you want to move to Tulsa or Topeka?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  54. anjin-san says:

    Sorry, thats the wrong link, even those those are shots from around here. my apologies to the owner of that blog.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  55. tuffy says:

    Neither Romney nor Obama do not answer correctly to Green Card related question. I didn’t understand the answer, did anyone get it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  56. Katharsis says:

    @Pete:

    Balance budgets? Cut deficits? Government can do that? How is the California economy doing under Democrat control?

    California is the poster child for what is wrong with the 60 vote filibuster rules in the U.S. Senate. California is not under Democratic control so much as Democratic semi-control. Welcome to America, the land of government by checks and balances not parliament where the majority actually runs things.

    We’ve had a CA constitutional amendment for decades now stipulating a 2/3 supermajority for raising revenue (that’s 66, even worse than U.S. Senate’s 60). Even cities have their hands tied in a similar manner. Back in 08′ we passed a proposition that supposedly fixed the problem, but because we used the word “budget” and not revenue, the majority only gets to control costs.

    Add in Prop 13 which froze property taxes like its 1978(new buyers exempt), that CA pays more out in federal taxes than it takes in (making up for the craptastic budgets of red states), and that no party really wants unpopular cuts leaving blood on their hands and you’d have a much better understanding of the budget woes of The Golden State.

    Currently many cuts/revenue are on the table, but is being left up to voters to pull the switch come the 2012 ballot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  57. michael reynolds says:

    @al-Ameda:

    It’s a struggle, Al. You know, sometimes the fog rolls in and I have to put on a sweater.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  58. Herb says:

    Romney flubbed this one a bit, correctly pointing out that Obama took way too long to acknowledge that the attacks were a coordinated terror plot, not a spontaneous response to a YouTube video, but seemed blindsided by the fact that, in his Day 1 statement, Obama did call the murder of our ambassador “an act of terror.”

    “A bit?” Romney should just shut up about Benghazi. His criticisms have been, and continue to be, weak.

    They really do come off like when Harry complained to Lloyd that you can’t triple-stamp a double-stamp.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  59. gVOR08 says:

    What do you suppose Michelle and Barack plan to do with Romney’s lunch money?

    I’ve forgotten the rest of the VISA commercial, but Romney’s body language, priceless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  60. al-Ameda says:

    @anjin-san:

    Here’s a shot of my neighborhood in the HELL THAT IS CALIFORNIA – feel free to share yours…

    I grew up in what is now known as the Peoples’ Republic of San Anselmo. I now wonder how I survived the relentlessly good weather of the Ross Valley, the beautiful rolling hills, the summer bike runs out to Olema, Pt. Reyes Station, Lake Nicasio, and Bolinas.

    How did I survive the oppression? God only knows.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  61. Joey says:

    @john personna:

    BTW, I mentioned my shock in the other thread, that Mitt opened the debate talking about free college admission.

    That is worth thinking about. He’s willing to jump left of Obama in Schrodinger’s mode, to make the sale. Remind me to ask Jan and Drew how they feel about 100 percent government financing of tuition for the to 1/4 of graduating high school students.

    That’s just a rhetorical trick Romney makes frequent use of. He’s just recounting a story from MA, not actually proposing it federally, but counting on lots of viewers mistakenly thinking he is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  62. David M says:

    I think the Libya exchange and “binders full of women” (WTF?) will haunt Romney for a while.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  63. KariQ says:

    While we’re on the topic, here’s a picture of the part of California I grew up in: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:California_Poppies1.jpg

    Back on topic: This debate should go a long way toward re-energizing the Democrats. The enthusiasm gap should essentially disappear, and we will get a better idea of how much the race has actually changed. My guess would be that we will have a narrow Obama lead when the results settle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  64. michael reynolds says:

    Having now the credibility that comes with early and often admitting that the last debate was disastrous for Mr. Obama, I’ll make a prediction: I think in about 3 or 4 days we’ll see Obama up by three and more in Ohio. I’ll further predict that viewership will be way down for the round #3 debate because the story is over and that’s a postscript. And I’ll predict that the 3% carries through until election day.

    There. My bet is down on the table. Here I stand. I can do no other.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

  65. bill says:

    i watched on cnn just to see that freakin meter they have at the bottom of the screen. it seemed to keep both of them at a higher mark as long as they spoke well and positive- when either went negative i dropped quite a bit. granted, these are supposed to be “undecided’ voters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  66. Mr. Replica says:

    If this was the best Romney could have brought on the topic of the Benghazi debacle, a real Achilles heel for Obama, then frankly, the foreign policy debate, the final debate will so bad…I might have to got to the hospital to get checked out for a concussion from all the face-palming that I will be doing.
    Between Obama and Romney, I can only hope I will be left with enough brain cells to spell my own name.

    On a happier note:
    The video of Romney trying to go in for the kill over Obama’s Rose Garden remarks, with his arrogant, air of superiority look, only to be shown to be a complete jackass…man, I can’t wait to see what the internet does with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  67. angelfoot says:

    @Jc: I think calling the tax plan a “sketchy deal” that Romney, as a businessman, would never accept was a pretty good line.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  68. michael reynolds says:

    Here’s the foreign policy debate:

    Romney: I hid my money in the Caymans.

    Obama: I killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 2

  69. C. Clavin says:

    C’mon….I’ve lived in Cali….and Texas and Florida and Colo and Vermont and Conn…Cali’s nice…but you guys are over the top.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  70. john personna says:

    @Joey:

    Yup, but it is totally fair to take Mass achievements, when touted like that, as supported policy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  71. angelfoot says:

    @bill: That sounds about right. I can’t imagine anyone other than pearl-clutching church ladies could be undecided at this point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  72. EddieInCA says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Due to my job, I’ve lived (minimum 4 months) in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Shreveport, London (England), Paris (France), Hagerstown, Las Vegas, Vancouver (Canada), Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, McKinney, New Orleans, Honolulu, Kailua-Kona, Sydney (Australia), Lubjana (Slovenia), Prague, and a few other places….

    At last count, I’ve spent a minimum of four months in 37 states, and 30 countries. I’m Executive Platinum with three separate airlines.

    I can really live anywhere because my job sends me all over the world on the various projects I work on. Currently, I’m in Ft. Lauderdale, yet again.

    But California is where I keep my house.
    California is where I come back to every single time.
    California is where most people would live, if they could.

    I was home last weekend…

    Breakfast Saturday morning at Coogie’s in Malibu. Followed by sitting on the beach at county line, doing nothing but watching the waves, listening to the ocean, and enjoying “just being in California”. Followed by a drive back to my home in the Valley via Topanga Canyon, stopping at the Sagebrush Cantina for a burrito and a beer.

    Heaven.

    “over the top”?

    Not even close.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  73. JKB says:

    The journolist is strong here. But let’s discuss how Obama had to be saved over and over by the “moderator”. Let us discuss how she interrupted with the now acknowledges “error” of how Obama used the word terror in the Rose Garden speech.

    And isn’t it interesting how the Democrat candidate always ends up with having been given more time. It’s almost like it isn’t random on the part of the “moderators”.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 39

  74. G.A. says:

    lol, Obama sucks! Can’t do nothing but talk **** and Lie.He lost big time, even with help….

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 31

  75. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    Thanks for that demonstration of the Reynolds Rule. If Candy Crowley left Mr. Romney gasping and wheezing what do you suppose our actual enemies will do? Mr. Romney didn’t look too healthy by the end.

    I guess it’s easier to fire people and hide your money than it is to be president.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 0

  76. David M says:

    @JKB:

    There’s no question the following statement by Romney is not true:

    I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.

    Even with the disagreement about the remarks on October 12th, Obama said this on the 13th:

    Let me say at the outset that obviously our hearts are heavy this week — we had a tough day a couple of days ago, for four Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Libya. Yesterday I had a chance to go over to the State Department to talk to friends and colleagues of those who were killed. And these were Americans who, like so many others, both in uniform and civilians, who serve in difficult and dangerous places all around the world to advance the interests and the values that we hold dear as Americans.

    And a lot of times their work goes unheralded, doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it is vitally important. We enjoy our security and our liberty because of the sacrifices that they make. And they do an outstanding job every single day without a lot of fanfare.

    So what I want all of you to know is that we are going to bring those who killed our fellow Americans to justice. I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished. It will not dim the light of the values that we proudly present to the rest of the world. No act of violence shakes the resolve of the United States of America.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  77. john personna says:

    @David M:

    I guess they’ve fallen below the semantic argument at this point.

    But, but, but Obama?

    When he says it, it is apologizing for America?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  78. Herb says:

    Josh Marshall on Romney’s Rose Garden flub:

    “Now Romney’s allies are trying to recover the fumble on his behalf by saying well, sure he uttered the word terror. But that’s just a word. Look at the context. He also mentioned the video. And videos don’t have anything to do with terror! In other words, but, but, but … the video!

    Live by the buzzword, die by the buzzword. It’s been a nonsensical proposition from the start to imagine that foreign policy seriousness is defined by being the first one to hit the ‘terror’ buzzer like you’re a contestant on jeopardy. “

    From the get-go, the Romney campaign has been more interested in using the Benghazi attacks as a political weapon than finding out what happened/who was responsible.

    Superficial criticisms should not have such glaring holes.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 0

  79. Herb says:

    More on Romney’s Benghazi problem from Conor Friedersdorf:

    “So why doesn’t Romney change his line of attack? Why doesn’t he stop acting like the problem in Libya is what Obama said after the Benghazi attack, as opposed to what he did before the attack?
    [snip]
    As [Ross Douthat] notes, there are much stronger critiques that someone could make about Obama’s Libya policy, the security vacuum it created, and the various ways that security vacuum threatens American interests.”

    You know who’s not making these “stronger critiques?” Romney and his people.

    But even had Romney more adeptly shown that Obama was slow getting accurate facts to the public, it wouldn’t have mattered. Romney will fail on that issue because his larger narrative is wrong. Obama has lots of flaws. An unwillingness to confront acts of terrorism and terrorists isn’t one of them.

    Yep…sounds about right.

    Unable to out-hawk Obama, they decided to pull out the dullest knife in the drawer and they’ve been sawing away fruitlessly ever since.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  80. LCaution says:

    Best bindersfullofwomen

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  81. Stonetools says:

    I thought Obama won. Most of the various snap polls also have Obama winning.
    Conservative on the debate are as usual in reality denial mode, but when Fox News calls this a draw, we all know what really happened. It’s telling that liberals were all too willing to admit that Obama lost the first debate, but conservatives aren’t willing to admit Obama won the second. The whining about the moderator just underscores that Romney lost. Note that liberals didn’t blame the first debate on Lehrer.
    I thought that Obama wouldn’t do well in a town hall debate format. I’m glad to be wrong.
    Where the hell was this Obama in the first debate? It’s not that Romney was worse – it’s that Obama was so much better. Since Obama also had the facts on his side, it was in the end no contest.
    The debate score line:

    A big win for Romney in Debate 1.
    A win for Biden in Debate 2.
    A win for Obama in this debate.

    As to the polls, I predict substantial movement back in the President’s favor. Also too, Geek Esq. will be along to tell us why this is excellent news for Romney.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  82. JNagarya says:

    @Facebones:

    Rmoney was frustrated with the rules and format? He repeatedly violated the rules, interrupted and talked over President Obama when it was time for Obama to speak, and pushed at the moderator in effort to weedle out more time for himself.

    Obama hammered him well on Planned Parenthood — to which Rmoney had no response of any kind. But he didn’t lie by asserting that Obama was wrong on the point.

    Most moving — and properly constrained and tempered — was when Obama nailed Rmoney with the fact that his political exploitation of the Libya deaths — as if he really cared — was “offensive”. Perhaps Rmoney will cease that instance of his creepiness and lying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  83. TerryS says:

    Did i hear incorrectly?

    Didn’t Mitt say in this debate that he would get rid of ALL taxes on interest income, and dividend income?

    I guess he thinks that for someone like him, paying 13% income tax is just way, way too much.

    Unless I misunderstood, why isn’t THIS what people are talking about?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  84. JNagarya says:

    @Herb:
    Sunday, on “Face the Nation,” Issa was confronted with the fact that REPUBLICANS voted to CUT funding for embassy security.

    In his effort to run away from that fact, Issa inadvertently admitted that the Obama administration had requested an INCREASE in funcing for embassy security.

    Otherwise, requests from embassies (and consulates) for increased security are not directed the the President or Vice-Presidnet; they are to that specific dept. WITHIN the State Dept.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  85. JNagarya says:

    @David M:
    “I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.”

    Noted, Mr. Romney. It’s on the record, indelibley.

    And it’s solidly documented as being a lie — also on the reocrd.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  86. jukeboxgrad says:

    I know a lot of people have pointed out that Mitt’s tax math doesn’t work, but I think what he said tonight makes the impossibility more obvious than ever. He said this:

    I want to get middle-income taxpayers to have lower taxes. … The top 5 percent of taxpayers will continue to pay 60 percent of the income tax the nation collects. So that’ll stay the same. Middle-income people are going to get a tax break. … Why am I lowering taxes on the middle-class? Because under the last four years, they’ve been buried. … I’m going to reduce the tax burden on middle income families

    He said the top 5% aren’t going to pay more, and middle-income people are going to pay less. But if no one pays more, and certain people pay less, how is it possible for the plan to be revenue-neutral?

    And speaking of obvious contradictions and lies, Mitt has been mentioning the ‘studies’ which prove his plan can work. One of those ‘studies’ is by Curtis Dubay of Heritage. Notice what he said just a few days ago (link):

    The essentials of individual income tax reform are simple enough. Romney, for example, distills them down to three basic principles:

    Tax Rates. Cut individual income tax rates by 20 percent.

    Revenue Neutral. The Romney plan would neither raise nor lower overall tax receipts.

    Distributionally Neutral. The Romney proposal would neither raise nor lower taxes for the middle class or higher earners.

    But if “the Romney proposal would neither raise nor lower taxes for the middle class or higher earners,” then why did Mitt just say “middle-income people are going to get a tax break?”

    Yes, I guess “the essentials of individual income tax reform are simple enough.” They’re so “simple” that Mitt can’t manage to not brazenly contradict what one of his key surrogates said just a few days ago.

    What a joke.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  87. JNagarya says:

    @JKB:
    When Republicans/wingnuts “win,” it’s “Nothing to see here. Let’s move on.”

    And when they lose, it’s a conspiracy, with the entiure universe laughing — unfairly — behind their backs.

    Appears to me they are the one’s who can’t take care of their lives.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  88. JNagarya says:

    @michael reynolds:
    Debate #3 will be on foreign policy.

    We already know where Rmoney stumbles — er, stands — on that issue.

    I wouldn’t miss the slaughter for the world, now that President Obama has neutralized the Libya non-issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  89. jukeboxgrad says:

    Good news, it’s finally possible to get the details on Romney’s tax plan. See here:

    http://www.romneytaxplan.com

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  90. JNagarya says:

    @Mikey:
    Those who treat politics — which are life or death — as if a sport are jerks who should be sterilized and prohibited voting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  91. JNagarya says:

    @EddieInCA:
    It’s all and solely about the fact that a guy had the gall to get elected President While Black.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  92. anjin-san says:

    I now wonder how I survived the relentlessly good weather of the Ross Valley, the beautiful rolling hills, the summer bike runs out to Olema, Pt. Reyes Station, Lake Nicasio, and Bolinas.

    Marin in the 60s & 70s was essentially a paradise on Earth, very few days go by without me taking a moment to give thanks for growing up in such a special place. Hearing conservatives cap on it is always good for laughs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  93. KRM says:

    I think that the president’s performance last night turned a lot of people off. That’s not saying Romney fared better, just that Obama did not do himself any favors. Nothing scientific here, just a hunch from a guy who has spent his professional life trying to gauge juries.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 17

  94. john personna says:

    @KRM:

    Am I just a tough guy? It would not phase me at all to be sitting there and have Obama speaking to me that way. I’d just be parsing what he was saying, doing the standard “skip past political hyperbole” thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  95. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    juke:

    You have won the internet. Where would you like it delivered?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  96. john personna says:

    (Heh, we know that people who are unswayed by theatrics tend to be excused without cause for juries … perhaps not a coincidence.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  97. Tsar Nicholas says:

    I missed most of the debate, although with the way the Yanks are stinking up the joint I probably should have watched “The Voice.”

    One exchange I caught not only caused me to laugh out loud it put me in stitches. A woman asked about AK-47s. She’s an “undecided voter” and she’s asking not only about gun control but specifically about AK-47s? Riiiiiight. And then Crowley goes ahead, abandons all pretense, and tries to drive a wedge between Romney and part of his base by arguing with him over an assault weapons ban. Yikes. Exactly how bad are Obama’s internals? Geez.

    One Democrat plant, er, undecided voter, asked about the wedge issue of illegal immigration. Instantly I knew that Obama would mention the Dream Act and Romney’s opposition to it and that he also would mention Romney’s support of the Arizona law. And of course he did just that. But that’s a double-edged sword. This is a base turnout election and by reminding the Tancredo and Hunter crowd that Romney opposes the Dream Act and supports the Arizona law Obama might have added a few net votes to Romney’s total. The other thing is that this election is coming down to Ohio and Virginia and then to New Hampshire and Iowa, and in those states immigration does not fall even within a list of top-10 issues. The Dems-media with this line of attack barked up the wrong tree.

    I saw the Libya exchange fiasco, but honestly when Crowley went ahead and started answering for Obama, and then there was applause(!) from the audience, my eyes glazed over and my brain shut off.

    The only other major exchange I saw was the one where a black guy said he was disillusioned and asked Obama why he should again vote for him. For obvious reasons Obama couldn’t really answer that question, but I thought he did a good job of dancing around it. Romney then said to the guy that he deserved better. The amazing irony is that the white left — the media, the academe, Pacific Heights, etc. — won’t be able even to grasp the related layers of irony.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 19

  98. rodney dill says:

    This,found on Drudge, is an interesting data point. I suspect it will take a few days for the polls to sort themselves out to see if there is any real movement anywhere that can be attributed to the debate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  99. john personna says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Shorter: Don’t ask questions that show Romney in a bad light, and don’t fact check.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  100. john personna says:

    @rodney dill:

    Romney definitely exposed more personality flaws in this debate. He was a bit crazed in the beginning and a bit petty and confused by the middle. His closing was pretty strong, but only if you take it as performance art, and totally disconnected from all the policies he chose and abandoned along the way.

    That, and way too many strategies that appeal ONLY to the “low information” voter. Romney is going to make the US more “attractive” to manufacturers? The economists in my twitter feed all LOL’d, knowing that you’d need to slash wages to about $2/hour.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  101. sam says:

    @KRM:

    I think that the president’s performance last night turned a lot of people off.

    Absolutely no doubt about that. Or this, either:

    I think that the president’s performance last night turned a lot of people on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  102. sam says:

    @rodney dill:

    This,found on Drudge, is an interesting data point.

    I find anything involving Frank Luntz to be interesting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  103. sam says:

    You know, Mitt Romney is a stone, effing liar:

    Romney’s stance on contraceptive coverage became clear during the Republican primaries. Early this year, congressional Republicans made a big push to roll back a provision of the health care law that requires all employers except religious ones to provide birth-control services without any out-of-pocket costs.

    In the Senate, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., sponsored an amendment that would exempt employers from providing any service that went against their “beliefs or moral convictions.” At the time, the issue put the Obama administration on the defensive and the president himself appeared at the White House briefing room to explain a work-around for religious affiliated hospitals, universities and the like.

    A few weeks later, with a vote on the Blunt amendment pending, Romney was asked where he stood. He told a Boston radio interviewer “Of course I support the Blunt amendment.”[Source]

    Last night at Mitt’s most excellent pants-on-fire-palooza:

    MR. ROMNEY: I — I’d just note that I don’t believe that bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not, and I don’t believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive care or not. Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives.

    Sometimes I think the guy is certifiable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  104. C. Clavin says:

    As a single guy…I’m wondering where exactly I get one of these “Binder Full of Women”.

    Of course…as should be expected by now…that is a lie too…Romney is pathological.
    MassGAP put together the list of women qualified for Cabinet level positions before the election was over, not know which party would be in power. Then when Romney was elected they presented him with the list.
    He never asked for it. He didn’t search it out…like he said.
    Which makes sense…given the record…there were not women executives at Bain. The picture of the frat-boy-investors with all the cash coming out of their pockets are all men.
    Romney is a f’ing bald-faced liar and anyone that supports him has to question their own moral standards.
    Someone…maybe Steve Schmidt…said they think his lying and his two-faced-ness and his flippity-floppty is already baked into the cake. I hope America is not so stupid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  105. stonetools says:

    I don’t understand the Crowley hate. Perhaps if she was slim, pretty, and deferential to attempts to steam-roller her?
    This debate is more evidence for the benefits of strong, rather than weak, moderation. IMO, moderators should:

    1. Police the length of candidates’ answers to questions.
    2. Ask follow up questions when candidate’s answers are evasive
    3. Fact check egregious misstatements in real time

    I’d be curious to find out from Crowley haters just what she did wrong. As for me, more strong female moderators in presidential debates, please.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  106. rodney dill says:

    roll back a provision of the health care law that requires all employers except religious ones to provide birth-control services without any out-of-pocket costs.

    Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives.

    Those are not contradictory statements.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12

  107. sam says:

    @rodney dill:

    Right, Rodney.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  108. john personna says:

    @stonetools:

    I don’t understand the Crowley hate. Perhaps if she was slim, pretty, and deferential to attempts to steam-roller her?

    It has to be a visceral reaction of the “custom reality” contingent. How dare Crowley tie Mitt to objective reality, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  109. stonetools says:

    @sam:

    Its now become clear that the reason Romney won the first debate is that he was allowed to lie without being called on it by anyone.
    In this debate, Obama followed the pleadings of his base, found a little of his inner “angry black man” and called him on most of his lies ( he couldn’t get to everyone-humans can’t talk that fast).
    The moderator helped out by actually moderating , so Romney couldn’t just say anything he liked.
    You could see Romney getting flustered by this , and even before the Libya debacle, he seemed like he didn’t know what to do. Obama called him a liar four or five times, and then on the Libya exchange demonstrated in real time that he was lying . You really can’t do any better than that.
    Even Charles Krauthammer, the ultimate right wing hack, thought Obama won the debate. That must mean that Obama won by an even greater margin than I thought originally.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  110. sam says:

    Apparenty Rodney doesn’t see the 180 here:

    I support the Blunt Amendment

    I don’t believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive care or not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  111. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @C. Clavin:

    As a single guy…I’m wondering where exactly I get one of these “Binder Full of Women”.

    I’ll send you mine. I can’t use it anymore as I am married. Of course, I have to find it first….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  112. “Self-deportation” is in fact the only sane policy on illegal Mexican immigration

    It’s hard to be credible though when you’re running as the “deregulation” candidate and are proposing a requirement that all future hiring decisions must be preapproved by the federal government, an intrusive regulation on a scale never before seen in this country. And that’s setting aside e-Verify’s huge false positive rate, which would leave millions of Americans banned from any sort of employment due to beuracratic errors.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  113. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @sam: Sam, the Blunt Amendment is about how it gets paid for. That is all it is about. Thru women’s payments of premiums to their insurance companies, or as an additional cost out of their own pockets. For women it is about preventive care. For conservatives it is about sexy sex and who pays for that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  114. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I agree on the “undecided voter.” My remark to my family was that anyone genuinely undecided at this point should probably be sterilized for the benefit of the human genome.

    On the contrary, its a good principle in both science and engineering to not make a final decision until you have to. Being aware that one side is making a better case is very different than being decided.

    I can’t imagine what it would take to get me to vote for Romney (probably something like him being visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future), but I leave the option open until election day – I’m among the undecided. The same is true for a few of my collegues who are also dual citizens up here in the frozen north.

    The odd thing is, both Obama and Romney are far to the the right of even the conservative party here, and you have to make a mental effort to distinguish them. Luckily Romney’s insane idea of increasing military spending while lowering taxes is a marked differentiator – but who knows, there’s still a month to go. Always wait until all the facts are in – its a maxim in engineering for a reason.

    (And I’ve been essentially sterialized, though after having children, sorry).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  115. Herb says:

    @rodney dill:

    “This,found on Drudge, is an interesting data point.”

    Didn’t bother watching the vid, but from the clip photo it appears that focus group is made up of all white people over 50.

    In other words, the group most likely NOT to puke every time Romney says, “Wull, gosh.”

    Also…..

    Those are not contradictory statements.

    That’s true, they are not….but the former is just a method of attaining the latter. If the birth control provisions were rolled back, we still need a method of making sure every woman has access to birth control.

    We asked the Republicans for ideas. “Put an aspirin between your knees,” they said, and then were shocked —shocked I tell you— that was found to be unsatisfactory.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  116. KRM says:

    @sam: I’m sure that you’re right, Sam. I have no doubt that those who came into the debate rooting for Obama to do well were energized by his performance. But I was was focusing my remarks on the “undecided” voter (“the jury”). When all the fireworks are over, did they find him believable? Hell, it’s just an observation. The polls should let me know whether I’m all wet or not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  117. KariQ says:

    @C. Clavin:

    As a single guy…I’m wondering where exactly I get one of these “Binder Full of Women”.

    Did you request one? We women of a certain age are tasked with the responsibility of delivering the Binder Full of Women, but they are only delivered on request. Just like Romney (incorrectly) made clear last night.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  118. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @george:

    (And I’ve been essentially sterialized, though after having children, sorry).

    Made me laff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  119. C. Clavin says:

    @ KariQ…
    I must admit…until last night I was unaware that such things were available in such form.
    What your comment makes me wonder though…are Men of a Certain Age tasked with delivering Binders Full of Men?
    Or is this a Mormon thing that only goes one way???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  120. KariQ says:

    @C. Clavin:

    *Grin* That answer is classified, and you won’t know about until you reach the appropriate age.

    *flips page* – oh, now there’s a nice one!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  121. Rick DeMent says:

    The binders full of woman are found on FLDS compounds and are called “joy books”. If your in favor with the profit of your group you get to thumb though it and pick out your next wife. See Warren Jeffs or the fictionalize version in HBO’s Big Love.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  122. Franklin says:

    @Herb: “Live by the buzzword, die by the buzzword” – I like that phrase (yeah I know you were quoting someone else).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  123. Barry says:

    @Ron Beasley: “I didn’t watch the debate tonight – instead I watched a movie from Netflix, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”

    Good idea.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  124. Mike says:

    That’s not really true.

    Romney answered the question, then the President responded and then Romney responded to the President’s response. At the end of that response to the response Romney went back to the investment issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  125. Terri says:

    @TerryS: I was wondering when someone was going to mention this. Romney said it would help our economy but the tax break goes to people who put their money into a finacial institute not into a business hence creating jobs. Also, I do not think he answered the question on equal pay for women, unless he is insinuating that we would have equal pay if we had more education?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  126. jukeboxgrad says:

    john:

    That, and way too many strategies that appeal ONLY to the “low information” voter. Romney is going to make the US more “attractive” to manufacturers? The economists in my twitter feed all LOL’d, knowing that you’d need to slash wages to about $2/hour.

    But that’s exactly what Mitt wants to do. The only thing more profitable than building Chinese factories in China will be building Chinese factories (i.e., factories with Chinese labor standards) in the US. But first the New Deal must be dismantled. Then we can have factories that look just like theirs.

    And it doesn’t matter to the Grand Old Plutocrats that Americans will be manufacturing things they can’t afford to buy. There is a booming middle class in places like China and India, and they can buy the stuff Americans will make but can’t afford to buy. Mitt believes in the concept of a thriving middle class; he just thinks it should thrive in places like China and India, not here. More money to be made that way.

    And us moochers who make up the 47% should be glad to work for Chinese wages. Catching a few crumbs that fall off the edge of Mitt’s table is all we deserve.

    The GOP has not yet reduced American workers to the level of Chinese peasants, but they’re on their way and they just need a little more time.

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  127. jukeboxgrad says:

    Rufus, you’re too kind.

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  128. An Interested Party says:

    The journolist is strong here. But let’s discuss how Obama had to be saved over and over by the “moderator”. Let us discuss how she interrupted with the now acknowledges “error” of how Obama used the word terror in the Rose Garden speech.

    And isn’t it interesting how the Democrat candidate always ends up with having been given more time. It’s almost like it isn’t random on the part of the “moderators”.

    And then Crowley goes ahead, abandons all pretense, and tries to drive a wedge between Romney and part of his base by arguing with him over an assault weapons ban. Yikes. Exactly how bad are Obama’s internals? Geez.

    One Democrat plant, er, undecided voter, asked about the wedge issue of illegal immigration.

    Republicans/conservatives can never fail, they can only be failed by the evil liberal media conspiracy….for people who talk tough most of the time, examples like those above really illustrate what whiny crybabies these people really are…the Victim is strong in these folks…

    The amazing irony is that the white left — the media, the academe, Pacific Heights, etc. — won’t be able even to grasp the related layers of irony.

    Actually, what’s really ironic is that you think this line is clever or even interesting…

    This,found on Drudge, is an interesting data point.

    A Frank Luntz focus group in favor of Romney!?! I’m shocked, shocked I tell you!!!!!

    But I was was focusing my remarks on the “undecided” voter (“the jury”). When all the fireworks are over, did they find him believable?

    Ahh, but did they find Romney believable? Especially as he was fact-checked in real time…

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