Careful analysis & comparison of the Romney and Ryan debate strategies shows that both Romney and Ryan emphasize three components in their debates:
1) Filibuster: In both debates, Romney & Ryan tirelessly maintained the position, whenever possible that "I have the floor", making it difficult for Obama & Biden to get in a word edge-wise. Even Joe Biden wasn't aggressive enough in holding the floor. Ms. Radditch allowed Ryan to take advantage of the filibuster strategy. Biden was able to overcome this when he spoke straight to Ryan and to the camera, but not when he was looking at Ms. Radditch - and Obama spent too much time talking to the moderator, not looking at the camera, and not talking to his opponent directly.
2) Fast-Talk: As part of, or in addition to the filibustering approach, both Romney and Ryan spouted semi-truths, conflations of the truth, or "facts" that they had invented. They had considerable preparation of just throwing out as many of these as they possibly could, so that the opponent could only respond to some of them. The opponent (Dems) were thus put in the position of having to try to refute as many false statements as they could one by one, making it harder to focus on getting their own main points across. Biden did better at this than Obama, obviously.
3) Flim-Flam (or "the con"): Both Romney & Ryan play fast and loose with the truth, bending and twisting and reinventing the "facts" persistently. Like the proverbial used-car salesman, they con and flim-flam others during their sales pitch by not answering questions directly, turning the discussion around to their perceived strengths, distracting, and mystifying the listener. Mystification is one of their most important techniques, and it is also a technique used in methods ranging from interrogation to hypnotic manipulation to abusive relationships. To mystify is to tell someone that up is down, that left is right, that good is bad and vice versa; to tell the poor that they don't need any assistance but need simply to help themselves, for example.
By filibustering, fast-talking, and flim-flamming the audience, Romney and Ryan managed to dominate both debates, holding "the floor". Romney held the floor by simply refusing to go along with Mr. Lehrer's suggestions as to timing. Ryan held the floor by simply talking or jabbering non-stop, rattling on one dubious statement after another.
President Obama will need to used some of Joe Biden's techniques to prevent the flim-flam and fast talk from continuing. But even Joe's approach didn't keep the moderator from allowing Ryan to go on talking non-stop. Ryan is doing what Romney wants him to do - just talk, talk, talk to keep the audience listening to you. So something else needs to be done.
One idea would be to bring this to the attention of the next debate moderators, letting them know that Romney and Ryan have a clear strategy of filibustering by talking every spare moment, and not allowing it to continue.
We can also do our part by raising awareness of the three-fold Romney debate strategy (filibuster, fast-talk, and flim-flam).
If the American people and debate viewers have this in mind during the debates, they will see the trickery that is involved, and Romney will have to avoid using these methods.
One help step would be for someone like Rachel Maddow to show how Ryan and Romney used non-stop talking to their advantage. Simply bringing attention to this debate strategy and its misuse may help to prevent it from happening again or may make it become ineffective for Romney going forward.
Debate 2 is a town-hall format, and it will be interesting to see if Romney can use filibuster, fast-talk, or flim-flam in the second debate. Not being able to get away with these tricks may itself give Obama an edge in debate 2.
What do you think? And what about debate #3 format?
Do you see the use of filibuster, fast-talk, and flim-flam by Romney and Ryan in other formats, as in answering reporters' questions? Are the reporters bringing apt attention to the flim-flam, fast-talk and filibuster (not answering questions directly) techniques during their interviews of the candidates? Can this change by highlighting the use of the "three Fs" in mystifying American voters?