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     Just 2 weeks ago Romney put his 'feelers' out in an ABC interview indicating his desire to steal Reagan's 1980 Debate one-liner ... that I suppose Romney thinks won Reagan the election.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And what have you learned as you studied all this about President Obama as a debater?  What are you looking for?

MITT ROMNEY: Well I think he’s going to say a lot of things that aren’t accurate.  And you know, I’d be tempted to go back to that wonderful line by Ronald Reagan, “There you go again.”  But you can’t use something that–

     So, there ya have it, Romney is going to try to win the debate by calling President Obama a liar via some one-liner zinger he memorized.  

      But, here is the flaw in Romney's strategy: Reagan's one-liner to Carter is not what won the election for Reagan.

      In 1980, I supported President Carter and did not support Ronald Reagan.  I lived in California and saw Reagan ruin the Screen Actors Guild Union when he was President of SAG, then I saw Reagan destroy California economy when he was Governor.  

      I watched the 1980 debate and as a supporter of Carter I knew, in that debate, the very minute he lost the election and it had nothing to do with Reagan's "there you go again" one-liner.

      During the 1980 debate discussion swirling around nuclear weapons - Carter lost the election when he brought up the fact that he had discussed that issue with his then 13 year old daughter Amy.  My head sunk, and I knew Carter lost the election when Carter said this:

"CARTER: I think to close out this discussion, it would be better to put into perspective what we're talking about. I had a discussion with my daughter, Amy, the other day, before I came here, to ask her what the most important issue was. She said she thought nuclear weaponry -- and the control of nuclear arms."

1980 Debate Between President Carter and Reagan

      At the time, my opinion was, Carter just lost the election.  There was only one week left in the campaign and from that moment on conservatives accused Carter of seeking Foreign Policy advice from his 13 year old daughter.  There was no internet, just 3 channels and newspapers.  The damage was done and one week later, Carter lost the election.

     Romney does not aim straight --- which is one explanation as to why, after 7 years of running for President Romney still is behind and feels the need to constantly re-introduce himself to 'the People.'

      Romney's peeps must have told him that in 1980 Reagan was accusing Carter of "misrepresenting" his (Reagan's) policies ---- which is exactly what Romney/Ryan are spouting.

      During the Reagan debate with Carter, Reagan said, "there you go again" but, if Romney thinks that's what won Reagan the election he is stupid -- because that one-liner was not the reason Carter lost the election.

      Romney has already tried, and failed, to steal one of Reagan's other lines, "are you better off than you were 4 years ago."  And since the answer is obviously, YES, America is a hell of a lot better off than it was 4 years ago -- Romney most likely, won't be asking that question in the debate.  

      Ok, so know we know, Romney is going to accuse President Obama of being a liar via some one-liner that he has memorized.  If Romney thinks he's gonna pull some one-liner that he memorized and consequently win the debate because of that memorized one-liner then Romney is a bigger fool than I think he is right now -- and I do think Romney is a fool, and a pathological liar, and an asshole.

       Oh, someone might want to tell Romney, people actually liked Ronald Reagan before his debate with President Carter, they just weren't sure if he should be President.  People don't like Mitt Romney

REAGAN: Favorable/Unfavorable: 41%/34%
ROMNEY: Fav/Unfav (average): 44.6%/49.4%
    So, ... to steal from Lloyd Bentsen, "Romney, you aint no Ronald Reagan."
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Comment Preferences

  •  I remember that too (13+ / 0-)

    and I remember the reaction, which was muted compared to what it would be today with only three networks and the newspapers. It was still pretty strong.

    But I'd argue that it's silly to think that "one moment" can win or lose a debate. I suppose Benson beat Quayle with the "You're no Jack Kennedy" line, but it made absolutely no difference in the outcome of the election. Everyone remembers Dukakis's cold response to the "Kitty Dukakis raped and murdered" question, but that was just one of a dozen cold and clinical responses to debate questions.

    Reagan won the debate (and the election) because he was able to disprove the idea that he was a mentally-unstable war-monger. Carter essentially ran Johnson's campaign against Goldwater, but it was a different time and Reagan was a different candidate.

    Romney, on the other hand, if he thinks that coming up with "zingers" is going to disprove the idea that he's a selfish bully and a jerk . . .well, that just goes to show how out of touch the modern GOP is.

    "Because Romney's a clown . . ."--Henry Francis

    by LeftCoastTimm on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 10:31:23 AM PDT

    •  Personally, I'm hoping like hell... (0+ / 0-)

      ...that Romney is stupid enough to try out his scripted and rehearsed 'zingers'.

      Romney is no Henny Youngman...every tragically lame 'zinger' is going to fly like a house-brick and land with a dead-on-arrival 'thud'...whereupon, President Obama should give Romney a disdainful/pitying up-and-down look and calmly say:

      "...I guess that was one of those 'zingers' we've been hearing about; now, I appreciate that Gov. Romney has spent the last month memorizing and rehearsing his 'zingers' but frankly, I think that if the American people want to be entertained by 'zingers', no matter how well-rehearsed, they'd be watching something else.

      I can't offer people 'zingers' tonight. What I can and will offer them are details of my policies, policies that are going to affect the lives of every American.

      I hope the Gov. has rehearsed his policies with the same dedication that he's rehearsed his 'zingers'... because that's what the American people have tuned in to hear tonight: policy details...although a few 'zingers' about Swiss bank accounts and dancing horses that are $75,000 tax write-offs would probably go over well..."

      I guess it would be too much to ask that Romney takes Trumps advice and goes full-birther...? Man, my cup would runneth over...big-time.

      Lightly Seared On The Reality Grill

      by Retroactive Genius on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 12:31:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  President Carter lost because of the hostages (23+ / 0-)

    If they were rescued he doesn't lose that election.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 10:35:18 AM PDT

    •  this (3+ / 0-)

      Its why a lot of my generation voted for republicans in 1980, 84, and 88.

      We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

      by ScrewySquirrel on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 10:50:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You are 100% correct. And I remember the (18+ / 0-)

      rumors (which were later proven to be true) that Reagan and his minions were negotiating with Iran behind President Carter's back and when it was announced that the hostages would be released on Pres. Carter's last day in office, I vividly remember my mom and I just looking at each other, knowing then that the rumors were true, and being so fucking outraged. I was 16 then and I was a born liberal, but that moment cemented for me the duplicit and corrupt nature of the GOP (nope, they hadn't changed a bit since Watergate) and sealed my contempt for Reagan and everything he stood for.

      Jimmy Carter was in no way the failure he has been portrayed as by the GOP, his last year office was spent dealing with the hostage crises which had very few answers and none of which were good ones and then having to run a reelection campaign at the same time. And unlike Republican presidents past and future, he took full responsibility for the tragedy that occurred on his watch as CIC during the rescue attempt.  

      "I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by mindara on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 10:51:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And gas prices (5+ / 0-)

      Remember the OPEC cartel?  Gas prices more than doubled in 1979.  Imagine if gas prices today went from $3.50/gal to $7.00/gal.  Think Obama would win?

      •  Carter Years as seen by the voting public... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        post rational, gramofsam1, MaikeH, Utahrd

        Not just gas prices: you could only get gas on odd or even day based license plate number or something I don't remember. Add that to the high prices and the long, long lines = FAIL.

        Then we had the hostages and the failed rescue attempt.

        Carter's comments about the country's malaise.

        His answer to high heating costs, put on an extra sweater.

        And don't forget how badly the party was split - caused by Ted Kennedy's challenge to Carter at the Convention.

        Russia invaded Afghanistan so we didn't go to their Olympics.

        And to top it off:

        Reagan hit a sensitive nerve when he asked voters during a campaign debate, "Are you better off now then you were four years ago." Inflation and unemployment were a hugh problem during the Carter years.

        Enter President Reagan!

        Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive. And... It’s the Supreme Court, stupid!

        by auapplemac on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 12:23:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Don't forget, 1980 also had high inflation (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, Utahrd, VClib

      high interest rates, high gasoline prices, weak economic growth as well.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 12:06:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree (7+ / 0-)

    His approval rating cratered that summer to the 30s, and it was the hostage crisis that did it.

    By the debate he'd made up a lot of the lost ground and was pulling about as close to Reagan as Romney is to Obama.

    Whatever he did in the debates didn't help.  Reagan pulled further away in the closing days.

    But without the huge hit to his approval rating of the hostage crisis we might have all said "Ronald Who?" 30 years later.

  •  He's only doing what he has to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, JekyllnHyde, madhaus

    ...if the President isn't lying, Romney has no argument for why he should replace him.

    Therefore he has to insinuate during the debates what's an article of faith among his believers.

    If he had Reagan's uncanny common-man touch we'd be in trouble.  As it is I have no worries about the debates.

    I saw that 1980 debate live too.  The Amy thing didn't help, but I thought it was premeditated.  That is I thought Carter and his advisers wanted to tell that story in that way.  In a way it does mirror the present: Carter was reaching for something Reagan had in his bones: the ability to establish a personal connection with his audience.

    It was a bad move.

    If Rmoney tries something like that it'll come across as excruciatingly forced, awkward, and inauthentic.  Let's hope!


    "A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance." -- George Orwell, 1984

    by Treats on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 10:53:07 AM PDT

  •  Carter was embattled from the get-go. (5+ / 0-)

    Carter had a challenge from within his party--from Ted Kennedy.  Sure, people grumble about Obama, and some people howl that he's betrayed us/them (although I have to wonder whether they ever actually voted for him in the first place, considering that they often go on to claim that they've switched to Romney).  But the party as a whole has been behind Obama, 100%.  

    Carter had John Anderson to contend with--remember him?  Anderson ended up not having an effect on the election totals, but he sure did muddy the waters.  

    In fact, Carter didn't even ATTEND the first debate because he refused to share a stage with both Anderson and Reagan.  Big, big mistake.

    Besides, Reagan was an actor.  A bad actor, sure, but he was charming and capable of presenting himself well.  In fact, he spent his whole eight years acting the part of President.  (Maybe he was even confused towards the end about whether he was making a movie.  One can only wonder.)  Mitt can't even get a rise out of his base on a good day, unless he pays them.

    If the Republicans think this election is anything like 1980, they really don't remember much about the election.

    And, yeah, there was the hostage crisis, and no one will EVER convince me that the Reagan campaign didn't strike a deal with the terrorists to refuse to release them until after his inauguration.

  •  Gas Lines (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, raincrow

    Nixon won in '72 while there were still POW's in Vietnam.

    The Mayaguez and Pueblo incidents didn't make much of a difference.

    Americans do NOT wait in line like East Germans who have heard a rumor that a store just got a crate of bananas.

  •  POTUS knows the zinger is coming.................. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Retroactive Genius, MaikeH

    He will deftly disarm, respond to the question asked by the moderator, and make Willard look like an even greater fool in the process.  More likely, Willard will make himself look like a fool.  His timing will be off and he will generally fuck up the delivery. People are onto the zinger shit anyway.  Only Faux is going to try and make any hay of it.  My 2 cents.

  •  Reason Reagan Won The Election (0+ / 0-)

    The Reason Reagan won the election was someone from the William Casey's branch of black ops, gave the helicopter coordinates of Carter's ill fated rescue attempt of the hostages. Casey who was Reagan's close advisor, became  head of the CIA and was part of the original OSS so had many lifelong contacts in the spy world.

    This decimated Carter and contributed to the Republican meme of his incompetence. Please remember ABC's Nightline featured the hostage crisis nightly. It wa sthe beginning of the decimation of our middle class.

    Carter has gone on to being one of the greatest humanitarians in the world helping to save tens of millions of lives through his Carter Center. It shows how f....ked up our society is in that the Dems are scared to death of mentioning him and his accomplishments.

    I believe Romney's knee jerk political response to the Libya terror attack immediately following the attack was because someone in his campaign knew about it prior to it happening from the very same 'black ops type people' who gave the coordinates of Carters helicopters

    •  I've never heard that Casey story- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      do you have a link ?

      •  Bush Rumored to Have Met in Paris (0+ / 0-)

        Please google Reagan's VP nominee, George Bush, who was rumored,never proven, to have met with the Iranians during the campaign in Paris to hold back the release of the hostages until after the election. The hostages were released within minutes of Reagan being inaugurated,

        Read Woodward's book on Casey-forgot the name of it and put them together

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