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1 bigmacha  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 8:13:13am

Destro,

I'll go you one better - I think this was Obama pulling a rope-a-dope. Drawing Romney out to establish all of his distortions, lies, fallacies, etc and getting the full measure of what Romney is as a debater (as prepped at robo central). All the better to respond via ads, campaign speeches and finally in the next debate which will be a Town Hall forum - much better for Obama when he is on his feet rather then tied to a podium.

That's a theory. That said, I was not thrilled with his listless performance and the fact that he did not factually rebut many of Romney's claims/lies. That he did not cite the 47% remark was amazing and frustrating. His body language was poor and he was, at best, distant. I hope this was a planned distraction and not a preview of things to come.

I also hope my "theory" is correct as he/we cannot afford to,loose any advantage in the polls as this will be a tight election and the thought of a Romney presidency is more then I can bear.

2 Daniel Ballard  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 8:25:09am

If this thesis is correct we will see it at the next debate. Could be, you make a good case.

3 Bulworth  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 8:32:07am

Didn't watch the debate. Couldn't watch the debate. Probably would have killed my teevee if I had.

But from what I'm reading, some on the Left are faulting Obama for not bringing up Mitt's tax returns, the 47%, and other points on which Mitt is presumably vulnerable and which have been rehashed in blog world for much of the past month and more.

Maybe Obama can be faulted for his overall performance but it doesn't bother me that he didn't mention these items. It's possible there were people tuning into the debate who weren't as familiar with these matters as some of us are, and could thus have been informed about them, but repeating them could also have backfired if doing so made the debate seem just like another campaign ad.

Still, I would have hoped Obama could take advantage of Mitt's and the GOPteabag party's attempts to quash meaningful health reform, attempts to suppress the vote, and opposing financial regulatory reform and the establishment of the consumer financial protection agency. Among other important contributions his administration has made in the past four years.

4 Destro  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 8:37:48am

re: #1 bigmacha

You bring up Obama not mentioning the 47% to use against Romney. I get why he would not do that because Romney can claim he misspoke.

But I don't get why when Romney said he will call the affordable care act "Obamacare", Obama reacted by saying "I like it". Obama should have responded by saying "We should call it Romneycare after you since you invented it".

That would have gotten the big Ooooooo from the audience and made Romney go defensive and even made Republicans squirm.

I can't for the life of me figure out why Obama chose not to do that. I don't think he forgot such a attack line - I think he chose not to confront Romney at all.

With all that said, using the traditional views of such things Romney "won" the debate but in a way that makes that win meaningless.

5 Destro  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 8:39:50am

re: #3 Bulworth

I agree, see my reply just below your post. And I repeat:

You bring up Obama not mentioning the 47% to use against Romney. I get why he would not do that because Romney can claim he misspoke.

But I don't get why when Romney said he will call the affordable care act "Obamacare", Obama reacted by saying "I like it". Obama should have responded by saying "We should call it Romneycare after you since you invented it".

That would have gotten the big Ooooooo from the audience and made Romney go defensive and even made Republicans squirm.

6 Bulworth  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 8:48:33am

Re: the 47%, just saw something on the Twitters from Mother Jones based on comments from O campaign staff to the effect that O didn't bring it up because it sounds more damaging coming from Mitt's own mouth and they have that to play in ads, etc. Seems related to what we've discussed here.

7 thecommodore  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 8:49:20am

Why would he want to rope a dope when be's winning? I've seen him on bad days, but he seemed anything but Mr. Cool. He was knocked out of his comfort zone early and coild never regain his stride. He made no attempt to rebut Romney's numerous lies - especially about Medicare cuts which Romney thtew out with impunity - and didn't seem to even think of bringing up the 47%. I've read that the strategy he followed was a defensive one to draw Romney out, especially since the economy is Obama's biggest liability, but he didn't follow it.

This was one of the worst debate performances I have ever seen. It ranks up there with Reagan's in the first debatenwith Mondale in 1984. You know what happened afterwars. Obama better do the same thing or...we will have plenty to be worried about.

8 Major Tom  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 8:58:25am

I'd like to believe that Destro, but it was embarrassing last night. It was his to lose...

9 thecommodore  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 9:02:29am

re: #8 Major Tom

I'd like to believe that Destro, but it was embarrassing last night. It was his to lose...

And henlost it. Badly.

10 Sophia77  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 9:02:49am

The body language was the most upsetting thing to me, plus of course, Romney in general. I wanted to throw stuff at the TV.

If "winning" means being the biggest lying most obnoxious bully in the room, Romney "won."

11 CuriousLurker  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 9:06:04am

President Obama seemed uncharacteristically off his game last night, as if his mind was somewhere else completely. Axlerod looked seriously stressed too.

I'm less worried about the other debates at this point than I am about what may be going on somewhere on the world stage that's causing POTUS to stress out like that.

12 Bulworth  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 9:06:35am

When is the next debate?

13 Destro  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 9:12:38am

re: #11 CuriousLurker

President Obama seemed uncharacteristically off his game last night, as if his mind was somewhere else completely. Axlerod looked seriously stressed too.

I'm less worried about the other debates at this point than I am about what may be going on somewhere on the world stage that's causing POTUS to stress out like that.

Everything you said is worth pondering because we have heard Obama speak before. He is no Bill Clinton but Obama is no W. Bush either. So Obama did seem pre-occupied.

14 wrenchwench  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 9:15:40am

re: #12 Bulworth

When is the next debate?

The VP debate is a week from today.

15 TDG2112  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 9:15:53am

I think Obama is just leaving it to other people to do that nasty attacks. The stuff about Tax returns and 47% and stuff is kind school yard verbal nonsense.

The line I think Obama should have taken is that Romney was having an Etch-a-sketch moment last night. Obama was clearly exasperated by Romney saying things that totally did not fit what he's said before. He did sort of try to say Romney was changing on the fly, but he didn't really push it. That is what was throwing Obama off. He could have accused him of having an Etch-A-sketch moment and listed what has been said before and what Romney was saying last night. It would have been the headline on every paper, completely dismissed everything Romney had to say (which all sounded reasonable last night, at least relative the narrative built up around him)

16 garhighway  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 9:22:56am

Nobody takes an asskicking on purpose, least of all BHO.

He's like MJ. He plays to win. He just missed. Jordan used to miss sometimes, too.

17 lawhawk  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 9:32:47am

re: #16 garhighway

Going with the sports analogies:

You play to win the game. Image is everything. From the look of it, Obama faltered on both accounts. Romney got the win yesterday on image (content will be debated ad nauseum). Obama will have to do better in the next debate.

The exit question is thus - does it matter among the few undecideds left out there?

18 thecommodore  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 9:55:42am

I've seen a theses like this on lefty blogs today, and I find it far fetched to say the least, and the denial troubling.

The fact is, Obama got his ass kicked by a transparent and insincere flip flopper who took every opporunity to lie and do so unopposed.

That is troubling to say the least.

Everyone has bad days and thus was one of Obama's. He's had them before. By no means is this catastrophic. aindeed, Romney's umerous liea creates new opportunities, but they have to be taken.

19 Daniel Ballard  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 9:57:47am

re: #17 lawhawk

Part of this is a shocked response from the vast disconnect between Mitt's critics with their expectations and the reality of Mitt's performance. Some bought into their own exaggerations.

20 Tigger2005  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 10:06:59am

There's no positive spin to put on this and it's silly to try. There wasn't any "plan" or "strategy"--Obama was just off his game, period. It's too bad. He doesn't have to "attack," he has moral righteousness on his side. He has expressed himself so well in other forums and in interviews. He shouldn't have been defensive...he has nothing to defend. He should have had a script and stuck with it. Something like, "Governor Romney believes in free markets--so do I. Governor Romney believes in people building businesses--so do I. Governor Romney believes in individual initiative and responsibility--so do I. The difference between Governor Romney and myself is that he thinks this country's success has nothing to do with people working together and helping each other, that it has nothing to do with our democratically elected governments, state and federal. That it has nothing to do with the infrastructure we built together, with the safety nets we created together to help each other through hard times. He wants to make everyone go it alone. It sounds good on paper. It sounds good in an Ayn Rand novel. But in practice it doesn't work. You need individual initiative AND you need collective action to have a successful economy, a successful nation. That is the difference between my vision and Governor Romney's vision"

Obama has articulated this before. Why didn't he do it here?

21 Destro  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 10:12:13am

re: #20 Tigger2005

Excellent point. I think Obama did not want to be confrontational. That does not mean I think it was a victory for Obama or smart for him to be passive. But I notice a pattern of Obama not confronting the GOP and I don't get it. be it Romney at the debate or the Tea PArty at the congressional level. Just no attacking from Obama on them.

So I am guessing Obama does not want to confront - just state his policy and let the other side act as they do.

I hate that if that is what Obama is doing but maybe he thinks it works for him. I think it does not.

22 SidewaysQuark  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 12:40:52pm

Why can't people just face the fact that Obama lost this round? I find that much more exasperating than Obama's respectable performance.

23 Destro  Thu, Oct 4, 2012 12:42:22pm

re: #22 SidewaysQuark

Why can't people just face the fact that Obama lost this round? I find that much more exasperating than Obama's respectable performance.

Obama did lose a round. I am critiquing his mindset. That he should be Mr. detached all the time.


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