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View Diary: No, Romney DID win last night. But here's 7 things to make you smile... (313 comments)

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  •  I've been thinking about this very idea (15+ / 0-)

    First, Obama is too smart to put in the kind of performance he did without it being on purpose. I mean, there is no way he was surprised that Romney would be telling all kinds of lies. I am not sure where the campaign is going with all this, but one thing I keep thinking about is this:

    There seemed to be a creeping sense these past few weeks, with the release of the 47% video and everything else (and of course polling numbers), Romney was toast and Obama would coast to victory. The danger with that kind of overconfidence, is that it can fool people into thinking it isn't all that important to actually VOTE. Maybe the strategy was to make the race tighter to ensure turnout?

    •  A bit far fetched... (35+ / 0-)

      A deliberately bad performance is a stretch. Obama's surrogates are all pointing out the things he could have said and didn't today.

      One thing is for sure... the rethug base is fired up after all that crap we saw so I don't think it was a deliberate loss by Obama.

      I think the President, for what ever reason just didn't have his shit together.

      •  Agree. Obama failed this debate. (12+ / 1-)

        Obama needs to take things seriously sometimes.
        10 days before this debate, I read that Obama didn't have time to prepare. Obama said himself, debate preparation was a "drag". Well, that is a recipe for disaster.
        This confirmed the caricature of Obama by the republicans and independents.

        •  Sununu: "lazy" and "not that bright" (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Oracle2021, SherwoodB, caryltoo

          Of course, it is purely a coincidence that those happen to also be racial stereotypes. Yeah, right......

          "The fools are as plentiful as ever." Albert Parsons, Haymarket martyr

          by kainah on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:47:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  failed?? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          C'mon! The repubs and tea party crowd already had that caricature in their heads and would have spun Obama's performance to fit their idea even if the president was as abusive as Romney! I wanted more energy, but I won't knock PBO like the rest of y'all.

          If he failed, he's certainly getting much better than Romney now about the same debate. I'd say that is a win. Again, the president thinks far down the road. The goopers and a lot of people here lack that type foresight. Sad.

        •  Confirmed the caricature? (0+ / 0-)

          What a disgusting thing to say.

          "When life kicks you, let it kick you forward." Kay Yow

          by vernonbc on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 02:15:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Amen (3+ / 0-)

        The Republican Party has been taken over by crackpots and criminals; the seeds of fascism have been sown.

        by glb3 on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:41:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  not a deliberate fail (4+ / 0-)

        but a deliberately sedate performance. Mind you, I think it was wrong headed and, yes, Romney won the night. Maybe they were hoping Romney would come off poorly without having to actually put pressure on him?

        I just have a hard time given what I know about both of them to think Obama was geared up to make a passionate defense of his policies while also going on the attack. Seems more likely there was some tactical reason behind it all, rather than Obama was just "off".

        Wishful thinking, perhaps, or just finding a way to cope with the disappointment!

      •  yeah, I'm not at all on (18+ / 0-)

        board with the idea that the outcome was purposeful.

        Here's where my brain has been today on this subject:

        Initially, I think the idea was to play it reasonably safe, protect the lead, and not make any major news by either (and this is critical) looking un-Presidential and/or openly showing his true feelings for Romney.  The debate strategists -  and perhaps Obama himself - didn't want an Al-Gore-Sighing moment, you know?

        But go back and carefully watch the first serious of exchanges on the $5T cost of the tax cut and the $2T additional defense spending.  I think there are about four series' of these exchanges.  Watch Obama carefully as Romney speaks, and watch his demeanor and posture change as he replies.

        I think that the answers Romney gave were SO far outside of anything they prepared for - "No, it won't cost $5T and no, I won't give a cut to the upper incomes" etc. - that he wasn't left with much room to maneuver to ensure a predictable outcome - in other words, to not take an undue risk and thereby look un-Presidential and show his contempt for Romney openly.

        As Chris Hayes and the other MSNBC commentators pointed out, this Romney answer was so egregiously false that it didn't seem like something that would be prepared for.

        I thought Obama was trying to steer that segment to hold Romney accountable for articulating what he'll cut and what deductions he'll can to hit his number.  By denying the number and denying that upper income people will get a cut at all, the whole tenor changed.

        When this happened, I rather think the President should have pivoted - new game, new rules.  Old rules no longer hold. But he didn't.

        That's my $.02.


        •  O could have focused on 20% cuts and QUOTED Romney (5+ / 0-)

          being in favor of 20% across the board tax cuts, THEN pointed how how this hugely benefits the most wealthy (also making the point about increasing levels of wealth disparity), THEN conclude with the math on the $5T cost. Romney would never have been able to deny that he was in favor of a 20% cut, since he's said it many times. But in fairness, Romney never said he wanted a 5T tax cut. By starting with that, Obama gave Romney the opening to deny that was his plan.

          I'm somewhat astonished that nobody is making this point.

          Tactics, and preparation, matter. Any good debater knows this. Obama flunked Debating 101 last night. Yes, he was honest and presidential and Romney came off as the lying, deceitful asshole and the bully that he is. But Obama gave him too many openings. It's possible to be calm and presidential, and still be an excellent debater. Hopefully, that lesson was learned last night.

          "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

          by flitedocnm on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 11:19:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  They SHOULD have expected "No, it won't cost $5T" (5+ / 0-)

          Romney and Ryan have been pushing back on that all along.  Remember Ryan's interview on Fox when he was asked how much will it cost if not $5T and he just kept repeating "it's revenue neutral."

          When Chris Wallace pressed Ryan with "yes, but how much will it cost before closing loopholes" that's when Ryan said the math was too complex and he didn't have time to address that.

          Some people fight fire with fire. Professionals use water.

          by Happy Days on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 02:13:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I still think he was distracted by other things (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I can't help but wonder what is going on behind the scenes with Syria and Turkey and the possibility of NATO being asked to get involved. I definitely don't think he did this on purpose and I also don't think it was the altitude. (I live at 7200 feet so, for me, Denver is DOWN 2,000 feet. So I know about altitude but, with something that crucial, I can't believe he would have made such a silly mistake.) But I do think he was distracted and Syria-Turkey seems like the most plausible answer for it.

        "The fools are as plentiful as ever." Albert Parsons, Haymarket martyr

        by kainah on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:45:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is the man who told jokes at the WH (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          correspondents dinner knowing that the operation to get bin Laden was underway. I hardly think Syria and Turkey would distract him to the extent that he was absent Wed.

          Why is it so hard for people on here to admit that Obama had an awful night while Romney came on strong? Romney won the debate. Sure, he lied, but he looked presidential while doing so, and in theater like a debate that's probably all that matters to most viewers.

    •  This 11 demensional chess meme has GOT to go. (32+ / 0-)

      Obama is good strategist.  He's an excellent campaigner.  But ometimes he caves.  Sometimes he has a bad outing. Sometimes he gets caught off gaurd.  Sometimes he just loses.  

      It's ok.  It happens to everyone.  But this idea that every time something even remotely bad - and losing one debate is hardly foundation shaking - that it's some sort of secret plan to rope-a-dope the opposition is wishful thinking at its most dangerous.

      I will grant you that far too many people have been opining that this is a done deal and that Romney has no chance.  The keyboard pundits have gotten far to cocky.  And to the extent that one poor debate performance wakes those folk up I'll take that for a silver lining.  

      But Obama lost on purpose?  Hardly...

      "If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people." -Tony Benn (-6.38,-6.36)

      by The Rational Hatter on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:45:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think Obama was prepared (28+ / 0-)

        He'd studied Romney's tax plan, reviewed things he's said before, probably memorized most of the GOP talking points.

        And Romney basically threw his tax plan under the bus and spouted some totally new garbage. No tax cuts, no cuts to education, or really anything.

        How the hell was he supposed to be prepared for that? Nobody had heard it before.

      •  Yeah, (5+ / 0-)

        I've been pointing out that we got our butts kicked in 2010 with the same brain trust running this campaign. The complacency I saw last night was an uncomfortable reminder of the aloof and unfocused effort put forth two years ago.

        If you let the Republican's factually-challenged assertions go unanswered, those assertions become reality. See: 'death panels.' Uninformed viewers watching that debate saw Romney forcefully arguing his case, and the President all too often allowed blatant lies an falsehoods go unchecked.

        Where was the 47%?
        Where were the missing tax returns?
        The offshore accounts?
        Mitt's vampire capitalism and dismal job-creation record as Governor?

        They let Romney position himself as a competent businessman who cared about ordinary people, and as someone who had more passion and excitement about his candidacy than the President. Inexcusable.

        •  I disagree with you here, though. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Loose Fur, 2020adam, v2aggie2

          I don't see complacency from the Obama campaign.  They are currently leading in the polls and doing a very good job on the ground game.  This debate was a loss for some of the reasons that you stated here.  But watch this week as the Dems take Romney to task for those lies.  And the 47%, the tax returns, the offshore accounts, and every other horrible thing that Romney has done in his lifetime aren't going anywhere.

          This campaign won't be won at the debate podium.  It'll be won in the trenches.  My points was that Obama just lost last night.  I should have also mentioned that it won't matter as long as the larger campaign meets its targets and that I hope some of the people who've been strutting around here claiming the contest to be over will maybe stop counting chickens.

          "If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people." -Tony Benn (-6.38,-6.36)

          by The Rational Hatter on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:24:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I haven't seen complacency (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dr Swig Mcjigger, rhauenstein

            until last night - and let me say that I think we're still going to win. I think it really energized the Republican base, which up until last night has been completely demoralized. A bad debate performance out of Romney and this thing would've been over.

            They decided to play it safe and run out the clock, which I think was a poor decision. There's still lot's of room to make hay over Mitt's multiple lies, but the media is high on the 'Mitt the Comeback Kid' storyline. Let's see where we are in a few days, and whether the Obama campaign's fact-checking can break through the noise.

            •  Last night's performance energizing the Rs base (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Charles CurtisStanley

              can have huge negatives for us down-ticket. I am very concerned about this. Not only do I live in the most swing district in WA, but we have a terrifyingly close gubernatorial race, a referendum on marriage equality, and a measure to legalize pot on the ballot this year. Many, including my Democratic state representative, have already conceded that there's no way the Democratic candidate can beat the Republican state representative in this district, the one who was named ALEC state legislator f the year. We're working hard to elect our democratic state senator to Congress, and will then have a huge fight ahead of us to prevent the aforementioned Republican state representative from getting elected to his seat when it's special election time. There are open seats in at least four Congressional districts in this state, out of ten. It may be more. And the slim margin of control that Democrats have in our state senate is at grave risk in this election, too.

              Ginning up Republican enthusiasm here can lead to flipping this state into the red column. We can't afford to go there.

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              Why are war casualty counts "American troops" and "others" but never "human beings"?

              by Kitsap River on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 03:47:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  are you GOTVing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              that is the only complacency that I worry about

              Barack Obama for President '12

              by v2aggie2 on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:06:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah. (2+ / 0-)

        Weird thing is, it's not necessary to believe in any kind of 11-D chess theory to think that last night's debate could be turned to Obama's advantage. He still got lots of ammunition out of Romney, and there's reason to think he'll make good use of it. That can be true without some bizarre notion that throwing a Presidential debate is a good idea.

        (I mean, it's one thing to take a long view of the debate and the campaign and focus more on how the debate plays in the weeks ahead than how it went that night. But it doesn't follow that you have to suck at the debate itself.)

        Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
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        Code Monkey like you!

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        by Code Monkey on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:44:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm ready to SCREAM when I hear (3+ / 0-)

        someone talking about Obama being an "11-dimensional chess player," especially after he's just had his ass handed to him in a checkers tournament.

        ...being a bully was normal, average, status quo behavior for him. And no one remembers an average day.--kos

        by dwayne on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:38:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  In a real debate (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        a lying bully would not win. Yet, here and in gooperland, folks like that crap. Okay, a society that applauds lying bullies is a society that is in decline.


    •  I just gotta figure (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Free Jazz at High Noon

      that that kind of plan is a hair elaborate, and very much at risk of backfiring. One thing that has become clear after 2000 and 2004 is that being modestly ahead is no longer enough for Dems. The Republican machine -- working in state houses, among law enforcement officials, in nasty false mailers and other misinformation -- is capable of turning a cakewalk into a close race, and a close race into a Dem defeat. We do not want to see President O's lead become small enough that the Repubs can "drown it in the bathtub."

      So if there's a danger in the complacency that comes out of a comfortable lead, there's also a danger in allowing that lead to become more uncomfortable.

      Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

      by Dale on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:24:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't overthink it. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare, DuzT

      The man had a bad night, or took bad advice on how to act.  Diarist has it absolutely right; you deny the reality and you don't learn from the mistake.

      “The legitimate object of Government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all or cannot do so well for themselves”- Lincoln

      by commonscribe on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:41:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. This was also pointed out in a comment in... (0+ / 0-)

      ...the NYTimes. That the President let Romney bluster on because the President knows that Romney is lying on all counts and the President wanted the American people to see and listen to just how much of a liar Romney is.
      But, no I don't think that the strategy is to make the race tighter as you said.
      I don't think that Romney will do well in the "town hall" debates.

    •  I hope you (0+ / 0-)

      are correct. I can't see why he did not look directly at the audience - the people at home. What if he wanted to tighten the race for the " the big boys". Obama tried to lose,but methinks he better shape-up next time. I like your optimism though and thanks for the diary.

      "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between" Oscar Wilde

      by angry hopeful liberal on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:17:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You saw it, too. (0+ / 0-)

      President Obama was trying, successfully, to not say anything that would throw off Mitt Romney's speaking. That cat is so-o-o-o cool, and he never even cracked a smile. President Obama is playing the classic long game. I almost feel sorry for Mitt now, but not quite.

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