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I’m not all that hung up on Obama’s terrible performance in last Wednesday’s debate or in the upcoming ones.
But I do think Jonathan Chait is wrong that the Jim Lehrer format was Obama’s best chance because the upcoming debate formats are worse.
The VP Debate: the Angry Old Man
Chait argues, first of all, that Joe Biden will try to refute Paul Ryan’s budget kabuki, which will end up making the Vice President look like an angry old man.
But you can’t expose your opponent’s misleading budget numbers to win a presidential debate any more than you can expose your opponent’s misleading budget numbers to win a swimsuit competition. The audience has no concept of the underlying facts. The audience will only be able to grasp the atmospherics of the debate. And Paul Ryan is a world-class bluffer. He will spout figures with winsome authority, and Biden will come off as an angry old man.
When DC Democrats talk about Biden’s upcoming debate performance, they seem to forget how Biden did in his debate against Sarah Palin in 2008. That was one of the biggest challenges in 08, pitting a guy with over 30 years service as a successful policy wonk Senator against a blithering, but very attractive female, idiot. It is often difficult for men to get the dynamic of debating women–both respecting them but not bullying them–right, and this was all the more dangerous. But Biden nailed it.
Whatever Biden says to rebut Ryan, he is of all four candidates the most personable to people outside of the Beltway. What are called gaffes inside the Beltway are often regarded as authentic outside of it.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2010—I like horses, long walks on the beach, and dressing up like a Nazi SS officer:
Remember, kids: It is dangerous and irresponsible to compare a person who likes to spend their weekends dressing up like a Nazi to... a Nazi.
An election year already notable for its menagerie of extreme and unusual candidates can add another one: Rich Iott, the Republican nominee for Congress from Ohio's 9th District, and a Tea Party favorite, who for years donned a German Waffen SS uniform and participated in Nazi re-enactments.Remember, kids: It is dangerous and irresponsible to compare a person who likes to spend their weekends dressing up like a Nazi to... a Nazi.
You know, that is pretty notable, isn't it? I'm not particularly shocked to find out that a Teabagger Republican is, well, eccentric. But I'm a little surprised to find out that these Super-Patriots like to dress up and play the enemy. Yeah, yeah, I know. Maybe that's not really a stretch, either. But seriously, given how intent they are on insisting that they're more patriotic than any of the other kids on the block, wouldn't you think they'd be the kind of playmates who'd always insist on being the U.S., and threaten to quit and go home if they didn't get their way?
one consistent throughout my career: cain't nobody panic like a Dem — @samyoungman via web
Briefly setting aside the polling panic, today's Kagro in the Morning show wandered to stories of the absurd, like the Arkansas Republicans coming out in favor of slavery, which somehow took us to Tim Griffin, voter caging, Neal Horsley's admissions of bestiality, and creationism. But we did talk about Pew's numbers and Markos's analysis of the latest from PPP, illustrating the difference between legitimate analysis and crackpot "unskewing". Also: Kevin Drum's "Hack Gap" and what it might tell us about liberals vs. conservatives, and the slow creep of "Leadership PACs" into SuperPAC.