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Face it, this past evening’s presidential debate was not exactly an exercise in how to excite the Democratic Party’s base.

Maintaining some semblance of objectivity about this IS—ultimately--a good thing. Take the example set by Paul Krugman in the past hour…

The Return of Capillary Man
Paul Krugman
Conscience of a Liberal blog at the NY Times
October 4th, 2012   12:38AM

People tend to forget how close the 2008 presidential race looked as late as August, and the immense frustration many Democrats felt with Barack Obama at the time. He seemed weirdly unwilling to drive home his case against Bush/McCain economic policies; his instinct, as people said, was apparently to go for the capillaries.

The hard-hitting and effective campaign against Romney led many people to believe that this wasn’t going to happen again. But in the first debate, there was Capillary Man once again.

I really don’t know what this is about.

Life (and the campaign) goes on.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (20+ / 0-)

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:09:19 PM PDT

  •  I believe Obama will win (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern, 2020adam, Lujane, joe shikspack

    I will vote for him... but if this is what we have to look forward to in a second term...

    Unbelievably, Obama cited Social Security as an area where he and Romney agree, even though Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, was an architect of Social Security privatization plans in the House, and Romney himself has suggested raising the age of eligibility and cutting benefits. That’s striking fear in the hearts of plenty of Democrats. The president seemed about to score a big win when Romney admitted he wanted to shift Medicare to a voucher program for Americans under 55 — but it was Obama who noted that Romney says he would let “traditional Medicare” exist alongside “vouchercare,” taking some of the political sting out of Romney’s admission. As Romney attacked Dodd-Frank banking regulations, Obama allowed that Wall Street shouldn’t bear all the blame for the entire 2008 banking collapse, and he pointed to loan officers and individuals who borrowed money they really couldn’t afford to, rather than stay on the topic of Wall Street greed and recklessness. As he got deep into the weeds about education and work readiness, he gave Romney credit for agreeing with his popular ideas on community colleges.



    Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. Rosa Luxemburg

    by chuckvw on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:20:28 PM PDT

    •  Yes, it was quite underwhelming... (7+ / 0-)

      ...and, the reaction from the community tonight indicates somewhat of a significant departure from anything that's reality-based (i.e.: objectivity). Kind of stunning, in fact.

      But, then again, let's not overstate the significance of this "one-off."

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:24:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just shocking that President Compromise... (9+ / 0-)

      would spend the entire debate looking for areas of agreement...

      This is just about all he seems able to do. The rhetoric of bipartisanship and cooperation isn't just talk, it's who he is.

      This includes his view on Social Security, where he once again announced that he buys the idea that changes need to be made, instead of simply and straightforwardly making the case that it only needs better revenue from a lifted FICA cap.

      "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

      by 2020adam on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:42:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, I thought he was pretty ambivalent... (7+ / 0-)

        ...with regard to Social Security needing any significant modifications, more or less siding with the "all-it-needs-is-a-few-tweaks" crowd. Very much sought clearcut distinctions between his positions on Medicare versus those of Romney, however. I did get the sense, especially when Obama was making comparisons with Romney's health care efforts in Massachusetts, that the President was definitely over-reaching when he started making comparisons between ObamaCare and Romney's end result, however. It was as if the President was making a serious effort to acknowledge they were quite similar. While this might be true, I was quite stunned by the President's focus upon this (the whole bipartisanship "thing"), as if he was doing whatever he could to blur the distinctions between the two; while, at the same time, noting that Romney's current-day approach to the matter was hugely problematic, of course.

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:49:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it looked to me like jim lehrer... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobswern, chuckvw

          was working awful hard to draw sharp distinctions between the two of them.  if he had to work that hard, perhaps the differences are not that significant.

          i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

          by joe shikspack on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 05:29:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't have the link handy, but (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobswern, chuckvw

          there was a story somewhere about "insiders" who said that the President believes another win for him would finally convince the Republicans to be willing to compromise. It was a throw-away within the article, not the main point, so I gave it more credence.

          And it's entirely believable to me that he still thinks the Conventional Wisdom of the Aristocrats is where you start your politicking.


          The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

          by Jim P on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:39:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Obama DID say what he meant by 'tweaking it' (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobswern
          If President Obama behavior on the issue of Social Security and his willingness to offer up cuts to Social Security as part of a deficit deal left any doubt about his personal intentions for the program, last night’s debate should put those doubts to bed. One of the most telling moments regarding what Obama’s second term would be like was his answer to the question on entitlements. From CNN debate transcript:
          http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/...
          21:39:56: LEHRER: All right? All right. This is segment three, the economy. Entitlements. First — first answer goes to you, two minutes, Mr. President. Do you see a major difference between the two of you on Social Security?

          21:40:15: OBAMA: You know, I suspect that, on Social Security, we’ve got a somewhat similar position. Social Security is structurally sound. It’s going to have to be tweaked the way it was by Ronald Reagan and Speaker — Democratic Speaker Tip O’Neill. But it is — the basic structure is sound.

          (emphasis mine)

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:44:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I think Obama's is uncomfortable with (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, bobswern, 2020adam, Lujane, Joe B, daeros

    personal confrontation.

    His campaign has been much tougher than his politics, probably because a campaign does not require personal confrontation.

    But I tend to think we saw more of the real Obama tonite than many people like.

    The Obama campaign is going to have to take on  Romney/Ryan before and after debates.   I'm not sure Obama is capable of it in debates.

    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:20:40 PM PDT

    •  The object of the game (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobswern, daeros, joe shikspack, Jim P

      ...is to keep the final outcome up in the air until election day. President Obama has already won.


      A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

      by Pluto on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 11:03:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with this to some extent... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuckvw, daeros, joe shikspack

        ...I think the race is pretty much over...already. That being said, and stating the obvious: It isn't over 'til Election Day. And, the media WILL (they certainly are, already) make more out of this than it rightfully deserves. So, from a purely p.r. standpoint, tonight's events weren't helpful. And, the race COULD end up being considerably closer come Election Day than it is now. We shall see.

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 11:11:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  what is Krugman talking about??? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    daeros

    "people tend to forget"...

    Uhm... the 2008 race was NEVER close unless you cherry pick some outliers.  Everybody knew Obama would win it August.. hell, everybody knew it in June and July !  

    What frustration ? huh...  Another desperation move by Krugman.  Stick to economics Bozo

    To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal opposition.” ― Woody Allen

    by soros on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:10:01 AM PDT

  •  He said it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern, davethefave

    Up until the fall of Lehmann brothers it was touch and go. McCain fortunately did everything to lose that election. Unfortunately for Obama, Romney is not McCain and if he is operating under the impression that Romney will self-destruct in the debates, or not lie, or adhere to the moderator, and all his high-minded nonsense, this should be a rude awakening. Romney and his supporters do not like Obama, in fact they hate him. Obama should realize that by now. Hopefully.

    "Mr Obama wishes to be president of a country that does not exist. In his fantasy US, politicians bury differences in bipartisan harmony."

    by tarheel74 on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 07:10:22 AM PDT

  •  The real Romney & the real Obama both (0+ / 0-)

    revealed themselves to be moderate Republicans at heart.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:39:59 AM PDT

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