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Debate Recap

by Josh K / October 3, 2012 10:38 PM PDT

I thought Romney was very well prepped and did well. Some of the "zingers" fell flat (e.g. the line "You get your own house and your own car but you don't get your own facts" was obviously rehearsed and he was just waiting for the right place to use it) but otherwise I thought he was very effective, and clearly trying to position himself as a centrist, which probably annoyed a lot of his base.

Obama wasn't nearly aggressive enough. He should have been in full attack mode and instead he seemed to be hanging back and waiting for Romney to shoot himself in the foot, which didn't really happen. Romney's only real weak spot was his attempts to dodge the Medicare/voucher question.

Lehrer was just plain bizarre. Maybe age is a factor but the "questions" could have been put together by a grade-schooler, he had no control over what was going on and sometimes he didn't even make sense.

Both candidates were guilty of repeating things the other candidate had said were not true. For example, when Romney refuted Obama's claims about $5 trillion in tax cuts, Obama simply repeated it instead of rebutting with "Yes it is true and here's how I know" or something like that. Romney did the same with the claim about $700 billion in Medicare cuts (which isn't true).

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I think some "pundits" expected Obama to act
by Steven Haninger / October 3, 2012 11:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Debate Recap

like a basketball team up by 10 points with 2 minutes to go. This usually means they milk the clock, don't do anything stupid and try to capitalize on the other team's need to foul. I do think Romney was in his element when speaking about business health. Obama won't touch him on that one. The other thing I noted about Romney was his ability to both listen and take notes at the same time. I've read that this is one of his strengths. Both candidates were note taking when not speaking but Romney seemed to be well practiced. He'd need that skill in his business days as well. It can come off as being rude when one is expected to be paying attention to the speaker but, in business, taking good notes during a meeting is perceived oppositely. It means one is paying attention and is also interested in knowing what was said.

I was a little disappointed when each of them would get to rambling. I'll admit to have been fighting off the desire to fall asleep, however. Happy I thought some of the ramblings were just to make sure certain prepared remarks found their way into the conversation whether or not they were logically placed. Both were equally guilty, IMO.

I did think Romney made an early slip when he used a Biden expression about the middle class being "buried". Why he would use that word is beyond me. He quickly changed it to "crushed".

I do think this first debate was well moderated and fair. Mr. Lehrer deserves a big round of applause, IMO.

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I think Romney used "buried" on purpose....
by Josh K / October 3, 2012 11:41 PM PDT

.....to bring Biden's gaffe into the fray.

I thought Obama missed a lot of big opportunities. For example, during the health care segment he could have brought up Romney's "they can call an ambulance" comment and he didn't. When Romney was waxing sympathetic about the woman whose family was struggling, Obama could have brought up the "47%" remarks and he didn't.

I don't fault Romney for taking notes. I've seen several candidates do that in the past and it says to me that they want to be sure to follow up on something the other guy said.

We'll have to agree to disagree about Lehrer. I thought he was awful.

By the way, did you notice that all of the heartwarming "reg'lar folks" stories both candidates told involved people in swing states? Wink

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Actually, I was quite happy that neither candidate
by Steven Haninger / October 4, 2012 12:16 AM PDT

focused on attack ad sound bites. I wanted to see new material and not old material. I wanted substance and not zingers. For the most part, I think that happened. It might be that Obama didn't rehash the 47% remark fearing that Romney would be able to turn that into a positive. It might also be that he's holding it and a few other things in his hip pocket. We'll see. As for the swing state remark, where else have either of them been lately? My state is loving it. Wink

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The one missed opportunity
by TONI H / October 4, 2012 3:34 AM PDT

I thought Romney let go by was when BO kept saying about how Romney wasn't giving specifics about how he would fix things (although Romney HAD been giving them all night).....I kept waiting for Romney to ask BO, like Pelosi "you have to pass it to see what's in it".

I liked a lot that Romney had no qualms about interrupting BO to stop him from doing what he does best....ramble on for ten minutes to eat up a clock without actually answering the question or to make sure no more questions could be asked or to stop the opponent from being able to respond. BO hasn't been challenged in that way in a very long time and was long overdue....and I was happy to see Romney pull it off without being anything other than respectful.

It was a refreshing free-for-all and even though the Moderator was accused by some newscasters of being 'run over', I thought he was more than fair to both. Even when BO tried to force him to 'change the topic'.

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Yes. He was respectful and that seems to be his nature
by Steven Haninger / October 4, 2012 4:24 AM PDT

He did make one other mistake in the opening minutes by using the term "middle class". I think it was a slip as, from then on, he said "middle income" when referring to pay scale. The word "class" has been historically been used to refer to ones relative importance...i.e. 1st, 2nd, 3rd class. Our president could learn from this man.

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they both seemed to be avoiding
by James Denison / October 4, 2012 4:42 AM PDT

the "class" term like it was toxic.

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Obama was obviously off his game.....
by lylesg / October 3, 2012 11:59 PM PDT
In reply to: Debate Recap

and he really needs to be spot on to try and remotely spin something favorable out of his failed policies over the past four years.

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Surprising Liberal Take On The Debate
by James Denison / October 4, 2012 1:40 AM PDT
In reply to: Debate Recap

I got hit by the sleepies last night, so taped the debate and will watch in the next couple hours. While knocking around the financial forums I ran across this fairly strong hit on Obama by a Liberal PBS writer, Jeff Greenfield. From some of the comments it seems I will enjoy watching it today since it seems they must have avoided strong personal attacks and concentrated more on issues.

"Yes, it was as bad as it seemed.

No, it wasn't Jim Lehrer's fault for letting Romney expound; Obama
got more time (four minutes more) than Romney. Besides, it's not the
moderator's job to call a debater out on questionable assertions. It's
the opponent's job.

Yes, it wasn't the best
atmospherics for Obama to look down, purse his lips, appear distracted,
while Romney was attentive, engaged, relaxed. But this was much more
than atmospherics. This was about one candidate who came with a frame
for the evening, and who was prepared to engage on every question; and
another who, perhaps because of his documented faith in his own
abilities, felt he could wing it with snatches of familiar verbiage."

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You can label Greenfield "liberal"......
by Josh K / October 4, 2012 2:54 AM PDT

......but I've always liked him because he's so objective. Without checking his bio you'd never know what his leanings were by what he says. He's very fair.

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so, feel different today?
by James Denison / October 4, 2012 3:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Debate Recap

Think Obama might have done better to cancel the debates, saying they "weren't needed"? My question doesn't seem so funny today, does it?

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by Josh K / October 4, 2012 3:28 AM PDT

Obama's performance was not good. His team is likely studying the tape right now and making adjustments. Remember the first Reagan/Mondale debate? Reagan was so awful some people thought he was having a mild stroke or something. You saw a very different Reagan in the second one.

The fact-checkers are having a field day with Romney. For example, there was Romney's claim that Massachusetts is #1 in education. Yes, NOW. But when he was governor? 37th.

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Romney's plan put Mass. back to #1....
by lylesg / October 4, 2012 4:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Nope

He took an already failing educational system and turned it around from the bottom up.

One of his many proposals enacted:

"In 2004, Romney and the legislature established and funded a program to reward the top 25 percent of Massachusetts high school students with a four-year, tuition-free scholarship to the state's public universities or colleges. He has also drafted other education reforms, including the recruitment of 1,000 skilled math and science instructors, bonuses of as much as $15,000 a year for top-performing teachers, and new intervention programs for failing schools."

So, what is the sense in harping on what was? Why not give credit where credit is due and lets implement more of the successful programs that are proven to work?

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So in other words....
by Josh K / October 4, 2012 5:07 AM PDT

.....a governor (or president) should get credit/responsibility for things that began during his term and continued well into the term of his successor?

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Actually yes
by TONI H / October 4, 2012 5:26 AM PDT
In reply to: So in other words....

just like Bush should get credit for the oil drilling going on in successful states because of the permits he allowed on private land........that BO tried to take credit for last night, and Romney shut down. Also like the Bush foreign policies that BO never did away with like he said he would that helped BO get OBL. And like BO has tried to blame on Bush the housing crash that occurred that actually started under Clinton. Somewhere along the line, BO has to start taking responsibility for the mess he has ADDED to the problems rather than keep blaming Bush for the fact that not only did BO not fix what he said he would but added to the problems instead.

You can't have it both ways, Josh......either the former gov/prez gets blamed or they get the credit.

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You can't have it both ways either, Toni
by Josh K / October 4, 2012 5:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Actually yes

Either Bush gets some of the blame or he gets no credit. Not that I can think of much he deserves "credit" for, other than responding militarily to the Taliban's offer to negotiate (which I fully supported).

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I'd not push anything off on the presidents or
by Steven Haninger / October 4, 2012 7:50 AM PDT
In reply to: So in other words....

give them any more credit than I would the people who put them in office. When we bash a president, we should consider that we're also bashing those who voted him in. We're choosing our leadership and not our scapegoats here.

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that's odd
by James Denison / October 4, 2012 4:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Nope

Bush gets blamed for everything 3+ years after leaving office, but any credit due Romney is cut off soon as he left office. Sort of a biased approach isn't it? Romney's programs are like planting seeds and waiting for the results later, so Romney could properly claim to have helped lead his state to a #1 education spot.

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RE: Romney's programs are like planting seeds
by JP Bill / October 4, 2012 5:03 AM PDT
In reply to: that's odd

So IF Romney gets elected and the world economy turns around....Obama helped?

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(NT) If he continued the same programs
by James Denison / October 4, 2012 5:56 AM PDT
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Debate fact-checking
by Josh K / October 4, 2012 4:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Debate Recap
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My thoughts on the debate.
by James Denison / October 4, 2012 4:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Debate Recap

My thoughts as I watched the debate I'd taped.

They both appeared well, although the Romney smile at Obama was occassionally

disconcerting. I think it was supposed to appear friendly, but seemed just short of breaking

into a laugh. Romney did well in pointing out the difference between rhetoric from

Obama's campaign and what Romney's actually promoted.

Obama was given a chance to answer Romney's tax plan denials, but was sort of weak on

it, seemed a bit taken back by the strong denial. I got the impression Obama believed what

he'd said, but probably because his handlers had sold him on that, unfortunately for him

leaving him a bit short on a good comeback. I think Obama was surprised Romney did such

a strong denial instead of the waffling he'd expected on that point.

Obama hit hard by Romney on Oil and Coal. It was a very damning condemnation, but

delivered in a decent manner, of Obama's motives and actions in regard to oil and coal.

Called into question Obama's oil claims when compared to the drilling permits on govt land

being cut in half.

Lehrer seemed at times to break into the flow of debate in a manner that detracted and

almost derailed both participants at times. However, such was at least only a few times.

Obama even made a crack on it saying once "Jim you may want to move onto another

topic...." which I thought was sort of funny and maybe a point in Obama's favor, also

displaying he'd not appreciated the sudden switch in direction. Throughout the debate

however, it seems Obama depended quite a bit on Jim Lehrer to sort of rescue him at times.

Maybe that was Lehrer's fault in how he moderated and what Obama was expecting from a

debate moderator. Obama seemed more willing to try and meet the rules of the debate

than Romney, but I'm not surprised since Romney had a greater burden on him to make an

impression on voters.

Romney had a good point about the deficit being immoral, passing the debts of this

generation onto the next.

Romney's attack on PBS was ungracious, he should have avoided that adlib, since I doubt

anyone scripted it. You don't make the crack he did to your host for the day.

Obama had good points on cutting out defense over spending on some items that is at

worst ineffective for the return on dollars spent. Also was suprised Obama made a claim

he'd cut some ineffective education programs, particularly during this election cycle after

the Chicago teacher's strike.

Obama was really hurt when Romney started outlining the yearly increases in debt. It

started to feel that Romney was preaching to Obama and Obama was sitting in the bench

listening to the sermon presented. Jim Lehrer came along to his rescue, trying to get

Obama back on cue, suggesting the revenue approach to answer the yearly deficit problem

Romney had strongly presented. Obama shifted to corporate taxes I think to avoid the "tax

the rich" for some reason. I suspect he'd been told to expect Romney to hit him with "class

warfare" if he put it that way, so was a good move on Obama's part to point at corporations

instead of wealthy individuals paying low tax rates on investments.

Romney did well on pointing out govt investments in the losers in alternative energy. I do

think Obama felt that one hit based on how he tried to grin it away. At some points in the

debate, with Obama staring at his podium, it almost looked like he was praying. Obama

would do better if in the next debate he doesn't shake his head up and down as if agreeing

with what Romney was saying.

Medical care. Neither really scored any points, except maybe with seniors. Romney's plan

was pretty much what's already been there, based on what I know from when my Dad was

still alive and under that dual (private plus govt) system. I think Obama had a good point

about putting seniors at mercy of shared care under the current system because I've seen

seniors who were under a private plan through Medicare, but to get what they needed done

had to elect back to Medicare direct during the period of year they were allowed to do so.

That mess needs cleaning up and now. After seeing how it worked with my Dad, I've urged

any seniors to avoid the private HMO plans offered under Medicare.

Obamacare. Both did a good job on making their points. In Obama's favor, for years

everybody had complained about the ever rising cost of medical care in the US. I think that

gives Obama strong talking points on it. Obama was disengenious in saying Obamacare

hadn't lost jobs because it's really not taken effect yet, so we haven't had a chance to see

what it will do to the job situation. Obama did well in making it seem he took Romney's

state healthcare plan and turned it into Obamacare. Eventually it felt to me like a Yankee

and a Rebel arguing over whether cream of wheat with milk and sugar or instead buttered

grits was best at breakfast.

The Dodd-Frank discussion. I think it was too general and probably confused many voters

who were watching, but not up enough on the subject to understand what either of them

really was talking about in regard to it. Too much time spent on something that stretches

across several administrations and on a subject most Americans don't even keep track of.

Was it wasted time? Maybe, but for both of them.

I thought it was one of the better Presidential debates I've seen.
I think both presented well and didn't embarass themselves. I do think Obama was more

subdued than expected, not sure if holding back to avoid the angry man look, or just wanted

to let Romney get on the record for something he could hopefully use later. I don't think it

will pull any of the Obama faithful over to Romney, probably not his apologist who favor

him either. Maybe some of the truly "undecided" (is there really such?) will feel there's a

greater chance they will vote for Romney.

Jim Lehrer's best moment was finding a way to use the word "segway", LOL.

A friend suggested to me that it looked like Obama was so subdued in this debate it

seemed almost as if he really didn't want to be reelected, but was stuck now carrying the

banner for the Democratic Party. I don't feel that way, but I do think he's probably

wondering if it's worth it since if he's elected again, he's still facing the worst economy

since Jimmy Carter and the possibility of the European Economic Implosion in the near

future. Considering what may happen world wide in the next four years, I'm sort of

between wanting Obama elected so the Democrats take any blame
in a Global Economic Meltdown, or seeing if Romney can forestall it long enough to turn

things around, thereby avoiding the worst of it.

Of all the talking points they spoke about, the most important at this time is the economy.

No matter who becomes President in 2013,
I'm not sure anyone's a winner, considering the near future.

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You're right Josh,it was Sooooo goooood...
by Tony Holmes / October 4, 2012 6:27 AM PDT
In reply to: Debate Recap

What was amusing for me was hearing the scathing remarks from his loyal followers.I won't provide links,they can be found quite easily with a 'google'.

Al Gore(bless his clean sole)blamed it on the thin air in Denver. GrinGrin

James Carville,the ragin' cajun: "Obama wanted to have a conversation and Romney brought a chainsaw". Happy

And last but least,Michael Moore: "That's what happens when you have John Kerry as your debate coach Grin

Far be it for me to kick a man when he's down but I just can't resist dedicating an old Warren Zevon song to BO'S preformance last night. Grin


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I kept wondering if
by James Denison / October 4, 2012 7:32 AM PDT

....maybe Obama had taken a tranquilizer to avoid becoming too fired up. I think everyone was surprised at how subdued his tone was last night. At times it seemed he really didn't care that much. He definitely wasn't fired up for the debate. I'm glad I taped it, because I was already having trouble staying awake last night and I think I'd have zoned out on half of it then. It was actually relaxing to watch today in the middle of the morning.

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Thanks for the link Tony. I loved Warren Zevon, still think
by Ziks511 / October 4, 2012 7:36 AM PDT

no one's come near him as a consistently fine lyricist. I posted a kvetch about the Ovation guitar, which I hate, but which are very stable, and don't require the attention of the traditional, all wood types.

I think everyone expected the Barack Obama of 2008, and they got the Barack Obama of 2012, seasoned and somewhat hampered by the limitations of power he's experienced over the last 4 years.

That's not what debates are about, they're about vision and exciting your following, there's no room for second guessing yourself. He should have come the orator he is capable of being, and hung Mr Romney out to dry on his factual errors. But that's easy criticism from my armchair, I was disappointed but not disheartened.


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Side note about those Ovation guitars
by Josh K / October 4, 2012 11:29 PM PDT

The only time I ever heard one sound good was when Bob Marley used one for "Redemption Song" and that was probably more due to who was playing it. Otherwise I don't much care for them either.

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