"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, October 22, 2012

Drunkblogging the Debate IV - Couldn't They Have Rescheduled?

I mean seriously, we've got Game 7 of the NLCS with the Cardinals!   Can't Romney and Obama do their thing tomorrow?   Ah, well, I'll try to keep track of both...

8:04 pm - Is Obama's foreign policy in the Middle East unraveling?   Weird way to frame the issue around the way Romney phrased his criticism...

Romney is somewhat slow-starting... "need a comprehensive strategy"... he got a hanging curve for the first question from Schieffer, and he whiffed on it.

Obama... "I'm commander in chief... we decimated al Qaeda leadership... in Libya we made sure that our people were safe (huh?), we liberated a country"... Obama attacking Romney from the outset.

Romney... weak so far.   Had an opportunity to hit Obama on Libya and instead is talking about "gender equality."   What?   Why?

I'm not happy so far... Romney seems somewhat incoherent and all over the map.   It's like he read a memo saying he should be namby-pamby...

Obama hitting Romney hard on wanting to go back to the foreign policy of the 1980s... Obama doing well so far.   "I know you haven't been in a position to actually execute foreign policy... but you've always been wrong in what you've said."   Obama doing well, very strong...

I think Obama is doing really well, but I don't know whether being nasty to Romney will help him with voters.


Romney getting better on Iraq "status of forces" agreement...

Obama is going to pull the "I'm the commander of chief" card over and over again... Obama is much better prepared here.

Obama saying Israel is our friend, even though everything he does says the opposite...


8:16 pm - Turning to Syria... are we going to get anything else on Libya?


I can't believe I'm saying this, but we are 21 minutes into the debate and I think Romney is doing badly and Obama is doing well.   I hope other people are seeing this differently... I think Romney also looks pretty old tonight... might be the lighting.

Schieffer doing well so far as the moderator...


8:23 pm - I take it back... Schieffer asks Obama a soft-ball:  "Do you have regrets about saying at a crucial time that "Mubarek must go..."?   Holy shit, allows him to play the hero in bringing about "democracy"... meaning sharia law.  


8:29 pm - Romney making argument that economic growth is important for strength abroad.

8:34 pm - Romney again hitting on economy, even if he's wedging it into a foreign policy debate. 

Obama basically seems like he's been coached to say something nasty about Romney in every answer.


Obama being nasty, interrupting Romney on education... but why are we talking about this... other than to appeal to independents?


I think Obama has internal polling saying he's losing and needs to be nasty to fire up his base.   I think Romney has internal polling saying he's winning and needs to be nice to reach independents.


I'm actually kind of offended that they aren't focused on foreign policy...


Obama being snide... is this playing?   Maybe... the pundits will like it and will say he's winning this debate, probably by a lot.


8:42 pm - Romney good on this:  defense is highest priority.   We have smallest Navy, smallest Air Force ever...

Obama says sequestration isn't going to happen... Obama snide about number of ships... "not a game of Battleship"... we don't have as many horses as we had in 1916 either...

But didn't the Navy ask for more ships?


Again, Obama is being nasty, snide, snarky... not Presidential in my view...


Schieffer:  "Is an attack on Israel an attack on the U.S.?"

Obama doesn't answer directly... says only "we will stand with Israel."

Crippling sanctions on Iran, their economy in a shambles... we've offered Iran a choice, they can take the diplomatic route...

"I've sent young men and women into harm's way..."

Romney OK on this:  "We will stand with Israel.  We have Israel's back, not just culturally and diplomatically, but militarily."

Romney would tighten sanctions...

Weirdly, I wonder if Romney is doing OK tonight because he's not disagreeing with Obama too much...


Schieffer does OK sometimes:  asks President straight out whether reports are true that we are going to have talks with Iran.   President says reports aren't true.

Obama literally can't say anything about Romney without being a douchebag... again, I wonder if this plays with independents, moderates, women, etc.   It plays with the 20-somethings on The Daily Kos, but I wonder if it plays with a 45 year old mother of three in a suburb of Cleveland.

That being said... this is easily Obama's best performance in the debates.


Romney finally hits Obama on the "apology tour"... Obama says "nothing is true."   I never apologized for America... wow, he'll say anything.  

When I came into office, the world was divided and Iran was resurgent; now Iran is at its weakest in many years.  

Romney:  "Iran is four years closer to having a nuclear weapon... here's why I said you went on an apology tour... you went to Egypt and said America had dictated to the region in the past and wouldn't do it anymore... "

Obama is really really sharp tonight, albeit a douchebag...


Schieffer:  "What would you do if Netanyahu said our planes are airborne going to hit Iran?"

Romney:   "wouldnt' happen, we would have been consulted given my relationship with him"


Does Obama's argument that he's brought such peace and harmony around the world really ring true to people?

Obama is trying to disqualify Romney as commander in chief... he's being strong, but I don't think he can disqualify Romney, not when his own foreign policy has been so bad...

We killed Osama... I was at Ground Zero... little girl haunted by 9/11... by finally getting bin Laden that brought closure to the little girl.

Obama doing well... Schieffer cuts off Romney.  Ouch!

Romney basically buying into Afghanistan policy.   Some semi-smart things about Pakistan...

Obama simply cannot mention the fact that Bush's surge in Iraq is what enabled us to get out of that war.... essentially taking credit for end of Iraq War.   Asshat.


Romney not attacking Obama very much; Obama constantly attacking Romney.   Different goals:  Romney needs to show he's qualified, Obama needs to try to show that Romney is disqualified.  


9:12 pm - Romney good here... Iran closer to a bomb, Middle East in tumult, al Qaeda not on the run, Israel-Palestine not closer to peace...

Obama Freudian slip:  "This nation, Me.. sided with protesters in Tunisia."


Romney doing better toward the end... have people tuned out by now?  Lucky for the GOP that the Cards-Giants game is such a snoozer.

Romney on China pretty good here... why did he do so badly on Libya at the beginning?   Is it because it's just so confusing that he doesn't really get it either?   Is he confident that the media won't help him?   Did he get cowed by the last debate?


9:22 pm - Obama nasty:  "you are familiar with shipping jobs overseas..."    Kos Kids will love this... will independent voters?

This is a really frustrating debate, because Obama keeps being snarky, and I think it's unpresidential, but it may be that we've become a country that thinks in reality-TV terms, and will reward snark.

9:24 pm - Romney on auto industry "managed bankruptcy"... I am a son of Detroit, my father was an auto company executive...


9:26 pm - Obama... "in order for us to be competitive... we have to make smart choices... we can't go back to the same policies that got us into the problem..."

9:27 pm - Romney using opportunity to hit Obama on economy again... good...

Romney gets the last word!  

Obama:  "Now you've got a choice... we've made real progress from policies that gave us two wars, record deficits, and high unemployment... we'll bring manufacturing jobs back to our shows, we'll have the best education system in the world... energy sources of the future... as commander in chief, I will maintain the strongest military of the world... but after a decade of wars, we need to do some nation building at home... I will fight for your families, and I will work every single day to make sure..."   Blah, blah, blah.

Romney:   peace, confidence, optimism... pivots to economy:  President's path means people out of work, Romney will get people off of food stamps by getting them jobs... we will have to have a President who can work across the aisle... we need strong leadership... America as the hope of the earth...

Great closing by Romney!!!


Obama won the battle but lost the war.   I think he did a better job at debating, but a worse job at being Presidential.  I think he didn't succeed in disqualifying Romney, and if Romney is not disqualified, Romney wins.


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