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"Eve Don't listen to the liar." Paul Gauguin, 1889.

In the vice presidential debate, Paul Ryan said that "Mitt Romney is a car guy." If Ryan meant a used car guy, I would agree. Romney is a used car salesman who will lie about anything to "make the sale." Bill Clinton captured Romney's used car salesman schtick well:


I had a different reaction to that first debate  than a lot of people did. I mean, I thought, “Wow! Here’s old Moderate Mitt.  Where you been, boy, I missed you all these last two years!” But I was paying  attention these past two years. And it was like one of these Bain Capital deals  where, you know, he’s the closer. So he shows up, doesn’t really know much about  the deal and says, “tell me what I’m supposed to say to close.” [Emphasis supplied.]
To close and get the coffee, Romney has to lie. And if there is one thing Romney is good at, it is lying. He may not have invented lying, but he may have perfected it. I always thought Ari Fleischer was the best liar in public life because he had no conscience whatsoever about telling bald-faced lies. (By contrast, Scott McClellan's downfall came as a result of having a conscience about telling bald-faced lies.) That's why Fleischer is truly the best Romney surrogate out there. If ever a spokesperson and a political candidate were made for each other, it is Romney and Fleischer. They both lie with impunity and without conscience. About EVERYTHING!

So how do you deal with that type of political opponent? One who goes beyond the bounds of spin, pulling facts out of context, and the normal truth stretching one sees in politics? How do you deal with bald-faced lying in an era where the media simply is too inept or too corrupt to do its job? Vice President Joe Biden demonstrated an effective way to do it in a certain debate setting. But Biden's circumstances are different from those of President Barack Obama.

First, Biden is the vice president on the ticket—he does not have to worry about his favorables (VP candidates have played the attack dog role for a reason). Second, Biden's debate opponent, Ryan, was simply not as good a liar as Romney is. Remember, Romney made his fortune by essentially, being a good liar. It really defines who Romney is. Third, the vice presidential debate format lent itself to the approach Biden implemented. Tuesday night's debate will be a town hall, a completely different animal. Fourth, Obama is simply not the type of person who enjoys that type of political combat. He has to be true to himself (indeed what made Biden's debate performance really work was its authenticity—it was pure Joe Biden.) So what should Obama do Tuesday? My recommendations on the flip (worth the price you paid for them).

In the town hall debate Tuesday night at Hofstra University, the moderator will be CNN's Candy Crowley. This is unfortunate in that Crowley is an imbecile not the sharpest pencil in the box. Because of this, Crowley may decide that certain issues need "coverage" that most people do not care about. How to deal with this? Well, you can't ignore these questions when they come from "ordinary Americans" chosen by Gallup (BTW, being undecided about this election is not ordinary or rational, but there you go). But when Crowley decides to ask the questions, I think they can safely be ignored and the president can move the topic to whatever he wants to talk about.

But what should that be? It seems to me there are three major points I would want to make about Romney on the issues that he has been lying about: (1) His $5 trillion tax cut plan primarily for the rich simply does not add up; (2) he wants to end Medicare as we know it and replace it with a voucher plan; and (3) he wants to return us to Bush policies across the board.

These points have been made effectively in ad campaigns and in speeches, most particularly in Bill Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention. But Obama needs to make them on Tuesday night in his own words. That said, there are models that can be used in the town hall format. Suppose a question is presented on taxes (most likely to Romney), what can the president say? Biden said:

[Under the Obama plan] [t]he middle class will pay less and people making $1 million or more will begin to contribute slightly more. Let me give you one concrete example. The continuation of the Bush tax cuts -- we are arguing that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy should be allowed to expire. Of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, $800 million -- billion of that goes to people making a minimum of $1 million.

We see no justification in these economic times for those, and they're patriotic Americans. They're not asking for this continued tax cut. They're not suggesting it, but my friends are insisting on it; 120,000 families by continuing that tax cut will get an additional $500 billion in tax relief in the next 10 years and their income is an average of $8 million.

We want to extend permanently the middle-class tax cut [...] permanently[.] These guys won't allow us to. You know what they're saying? We say "let's have a vote -- let's have a vote on the middle-class tax cut and let's have a vote on the upper (ph) tax cut; let's go ahead and vote on it." They're saying no. They're holding hostage the middle class tax cut to the super wealthy. And on top of that, they've got another tax cut coming that's $5 trillion that all of the studies point out will [...] give another [...] $250,000 a year to those 120,000 families and raise taxes for people who are middle income with a child by $2,000 a year.

This is unconscionable. There is no need for this. The middle class got knocked on their heels. The great recession crushed them. They need some help now. The last people who need help are 120,000 families for another -- another $500 billion tax cut over the next 10 years.

That's not bad. Here's what's missing—George W. Bush. The Romney plan is Bush policies on steroids. Obama actually said something along those lines in his first debate performance:
I would just say this to the American people. If you believe that we can cut taxes by $5 trillion and add $2 trillion in additional spending that the military is not asking for -- $7 trillion, just to give you a sense, over 10 years that’s more than our entire defense budget -- and you think that by closing loopholes and deductions for the well-to-do, somehow you will not end up picking up the tab, then Governor Romney’s plan may work for you.

But I think math, common sense and our history shows us that’s not a recipe for job growth. Look, we’ve tried this -- we’ve tried both approaches. The approach that Governor Romney’s talking about is the same sales pitch that was made in 2001 and 2003. And we ended up with the slowest job growth in 50 years. We ended up moving from surplus to deficits. And it all culminated in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Bill Clinton tried the approach that I’m talking about. We created 23 million new jobs. We went from deficit to surplus, and businesses did very well.

So in some ways, we’ve got some data on which approach is more likely to create jobs and opportunity for Americans, and I believe that the economy works best when middle-class families are getting tax breaks so that they’ve got some money in their pockets and those of us who have done extraordinarily well because of this magnificent country that we live in, that we can afford to do a little bit more to make sure we’re not blowing up the deficit.

That's a good answer from Obama. But it's missing something. Do you see what it is? Yes, the word BUSH. Politics is not for nuance. Politics is for repetition and sledgehammers. BUSH needs to be high up in the word cloud on Tuesday night, imo.

Of course Obama faced another obstacle—Romney's bald-faced lying. And that gets to another issue the president must address—the fact that Romney is lying and hiding from the American People. From his tax returns, to the details of his tax plan, to the details of his plan to end Medicare as we know it, to his plans to gut women's rights and beyond, Romney has lied and hidden everything from the American People. How to deal with that?

I think you just have to say it. Does it require the L word? No it does not. There are nice turns of phrases that work here. Consider these:

(1) Gov. Romney won't be straight with the American people.

(2) He's not being candid about his plans.

(3) Gov. Romney wants you to forget everything he has said for the past 2 years.

(4) Gov. Romney won't tell you the details of his tax plan.

(5) Gov. Romney wants you to forget his promise to fight to end women's reproductive rights.

And here is one that is not strictly about Romney's lying, but it is an important point:

Mitt Romney does not want you to know that everything he is proposing was tried already, by George W. Bush. Those policies failed and led to foreign policy disasters and the worse economic crisis since the Great Depression. He wants to take America back to the Bush years. He thinks America has forgotten the failures of George W. Bush and thinks we're ready to repeat those mistakes. I know America has not forgotten and we will not go back. We will continue to move forward getting out of the ditch the policies favored by George W. Bush and Mitt Romney put us in.
Hey, it's easy when you get to write them out at your leisure I know, but I am confident Obama can do very well on Tuesday.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Obama will be prepared (14+ / 0-)

    for whichever Romney will show up.

    Esse quam videri (To be, rather than to seem)

    by Ptown boy in NC on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:03:05 AM PDT

    •  I'd like to get all the Mitt Romneys together (14+ / 0-)

      in one room, just to watch them debate each other.

      Esse quam videri, indeed.  Mittens could take a lesson from our state motto, home slice. ;-)

      I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

      by mojo11 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:03:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, but will he look at the camera? (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JVolvo, DaveVH, PinHole, indres, NWTerriD

      If there's one thing that I could point my finger at that was the kiss of death for President Obama in his first debate, it was talking to Jim Lehrer and not the camera. Contrast Mitt Romney's (and Paul Ryan's!) last two minutes with The President's. (1) He looked straight into the camera for all two minutes; the President talked to Jim Lehrer, which made him look down and to the side except for the last few sentences. (2) Mr. Romney had a completely memorized speech; the President appeared to be just winging it, and badly. (3) Mr. Romney's speech was carefully crafted and polished for maximum effect. Mr. Obama's had maybe the last two lines memorized, and he failed to deliver them with his usual power.

      And time and again throughout the debate, Mr. Obama appeared to be trying to convince Mr. Lehrer of his points, forgetting the 60 million of us on the other side of the camera lens, as he looked down and to the side. Mr. Romney had no such problem. Now, I'm not expecting the President to be an accomplished thespian, but even the rankest amateur actor knows that it's absolutely critical to face your audience!

  •  Gallup must suck today. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries

    I'm not gonna look for it.  Someone else go first.

    •  Not bad (4+ / 0-)

      Obama lost one point in RV, now 48O-46R. Otherwise no change.

    •  Meh (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doroma, dkosdan

      We're just ping-ponging between good and bad polling news now. Things are pretty static. We'll see where this race is heading later this week.

      •  polls are irrelevant, now (8+ / 0-)

        tuesday will recalibrate everything.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:21:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hope so. It won't reclibrate back to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laurence Lewis

          Post-dnc convention but it doesn't have to.

        •  Question: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laurence Lewis, PinHole

          do polls reflect those who've already voted? Say if someone's already cast their vote for Obama in one of the early voting states and says that to the pollster, does the pollster then toss out those numbers and only count those who haven't voted yet? If that's the case and reports of high Obama early voting numbers are true, Romney might be looking better than he actually is.

          "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

          by Cali Scribe on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:47:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  some polls (5+ / 0-)

            do break that down. in ohio, something like 19% has voted, going for obama by more than 70%, while romney leads among those yet to vote, making for an overall obama lead of several points.

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

            by Laurence Lewis on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:48:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Everyone in my family and most of our friends..... (0+ / 0-)

              already received our ballots in the mail last week. We all voted together and went up to the Supervisor of Elections to turn in our absentee ballots. We stood there and waited as they counted each one of us up. We got receipts showing our ballots had been received into the system and counted. I don't trust our letter carrier to get these things in. I don't know if he is a Democrat or a Republican but I would not put it past any Republican to "lose" our ballots since they would know by the mail we receive we are dems. When I read how the signature had to be perfectly aligned with the red arrows for the machine and the signature had to match the one you first signed up with or the most recent updated one, I felt it was most important we all go in for peace of mind to be sure we got counted or still had time to request a new ballot to fill right then. There were quite a few absentee voters there at the same time who had the same idea and I was suprised to find they were all Obama voters.  I don't know when the data will come out, I know I could have asked but I was caught up in the moment.  I suspect after early voting starts. I was very pleased to see so many absentee voters coming in just to be sure like we did. I am sure the polls are not reflecting us here. We don't care about the debate. It is so obvious Romney is one huge lie because our minds are made up as are many Florida voters it seems. We will see what happens on the 27th but from my vantage point Florida and Obama are looking pretty good together. Still I am not going to stop fighting to GOTV just because I am done. Still work to be done and lots of it. Those polls should be in landslide mode favoring Obama. We must make that happen and not turn back to the dark ages,

        •  we are winning the voter reg. race (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laurence Lewis

          So, for the fickle polls (which could well be irrelevant), they might be people who won't even make it to the voting booth. All we can do is make sure we show up and do our part, get our friends to do theirs and then perhaps, we will get some Supreme Court appointments who won't confuse offshore holding companies for "people".

          "O you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union" - Woody Guthrie from Union Maid

          by dkosdan on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 05:01:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Stupid to look at anything until after Tuesday (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doroma, vcmvo2, mightymouse

      really.

      •  Long after Tuesday, actually... (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        doroma, Armando, Jlukes, DSPS owl, sidnora, dkosdan

        ... the snap polls will give an idea who won the debate, but the effects usually take several days to be felt.  My poor girlfriend has had to talk me off the ledge practically every day since the first debate. (Damn I love that woman!)

        I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

        by mojo11 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:06:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not that long, Nov. 6 is less than month away. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dkosdan

          "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

          by glorificus on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:36:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Biden was great but the 'car guy' thing ... (19+ / 0-)

    Begged for 'He must be -- he built his cars an elevator.'

  •  on the undecideds... (27+ / 0-)

    in 2000, bill maher had a short message for undecideds: don't vote. as he put it, if you were undecided between gore and bush you weren't smart enough to vote. wonder how he feels this year...

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:06:35 AM PDT

  •  Yep. Sure did. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NWTerriD

    If no one posts by 1:00:01, that's the tell.

    Today:

    Obama 48-46 (RV).  Yesterday was 49-46.

    Romney 49-47 (LV). Same as yesterday.

  •  Willard Mitt Romney: Serial Liar (6+ / 0-)

    "a lie that can no longer be challenged becomes a form of madness" -Debord

    by grollen on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:10:47 AM PDT

  •  "Liar" is too strong. Good ways to say that, plus! (18+ / 0-)

    Armando's suggested ways convey more than a Nya, Nya approach. They call Mitt Romney out.

    I would add one important one:  "He says different things to different audiences. And they contradict each other." This opens the door to the 47% without saying it.

    And even though this may sound bad, I'd favor saying Mitt is actually a prisoner of the Far Right. That political sentiment simply will not let him be a centrist who can get things done with a polarized Congress. This may be the time Obama needs to say that, plant the seed and take the whatever heat there'll be.

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:10:47 AM PDT

  •  I hope you are right. I have the feeling Romney (8+ / 0-)

    will run for the spot light and push Obama out and say, that was me that was my idea, I thought of that.

    Kind of like what Pat Boone did to Fats Domino.

    I don't know how Obama can fight that.  I hope he does.

    I give the Big Bird to those who say Obama lost the debate.

    by 88kathy on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:11:41 AM PDT

    •  Mitt Romney simply does not have the character ... (11+ / 0-)

      ... to be president.

      Obama needs to present this truth directly, then back it with evidence. He needs to offend, deeply offend, Romney. Reduce Romney to sputtering incoherence.

      Biden spoke of and to Ryan, his "friend," with utter contempt. We need that utter contempt as our rallying flag. Just as Romney was comfortable expressing utter contempt for 47% of Americans, we should be similarly comfortable showing utter contempt for him. The one thing he's always taken for granted is deference. By assuming he was owed that, and receiving it from Obama in the the first debate, he owned Obama.

      Romney must receive no deference — or deference in word ("friend") but not in tone. He must be treated like the human garbage he is. He needs to be treated as he's treated the workers in the firms he has bankrupted. He won't be able to handle that. He's not as strong as many of them have been. He can't survive without pampering. This must be show. Directly.

  •  Remember (17+ / 0-)

    Photobucket

    Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

    by Deathtongue on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:12:48 AM PDT

  •  Here's my advice for the President: (16+ / 0-)

    Red Bull.

    "We have facts on our side. They have propaganda on their side."

    by rlharry on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:13:31 AM PDT

  •  The first debate was two weeks ago (14+ / 0-)

    Romney won't say half the shit he said two weeks ago- he'll have changed many positions by then.

    Also, Obama will be much better in this forum, even with Candy Crowley holding Mitt Romney's hand and telling him how handsome he is.

    I don't know what Obama's deal was the first time, but I trust that he won't do that again. The complacent and somber Obama doesn't make many appearance at town hall style debates. I think he'll be fired up this time.

    "...and if proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love...then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American Dream." ~ Michelle Obama

    by BoiseBlue on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:15:32 AM PDT

  •  Wow, Bill Clinton is just a master (12+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the video.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:16:26 AM PDT

  •  I have to address the Gauguin first: (17+ / 0-)

    The snake got a bad rap as he is the most interesting character in Genesis -- and without the snake, sex would have been all pain and no fun.

    Now, as to the point of the diary, even though the odious Crowley will be aiding Romney, I mean moderating the town hall, I do think the President is more comfortable in this type of forum than Romney.  Sometimes there is nothing more instructive than getting hammered when you get a chance to rectify your mistakes.  

    I learned from moot court in law school that I better know the standard of review before I argue my points -- humiliating experience I never forgot.  Thankfully, in real life, I had multiple other chances.

    I think the President can choose the 2 or 3 most outstanding Romney lies that folks are apt to remember and ask which one is current.  Even undecideds aren't completely inane.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:17:08 AM PDT

  •  Candy Crowley (9+ / 0-)

    Truly an unfortunate choice.  She was responsible for some of the most deceitful spin against Senator Kerry I have ever seen.  Although she was/is CNN, her undermining of Senator Kerry's entire campaign was totally Fox News.

    "We have facts on our side. They have propaganda on their side."

    by rlharry on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:17:12 AM PDT

  •  As a former auto salesperson, I take great offense (22+ / 0-)

    to this comparison. Comparing Mittens to a used car salesman gives used car salesmen a bad name.

    Romney couldn't survive in the car business because even the sleaziest salesperson doesn't have nearly the aversion to the truth that Mitt does.

    Mitt wouldn't survive because customers would be turned off by how disingenuous and dishonest he was from the moment that they met him.

    Americans wouldn't consider buying a car from Mittens, but half of us are considering giving him the keys to the White House? Insanity!

  •  I think you can't repeat debate 1 (5+ / 0-)

    Yes, you have to dispute some individual Romney policy lies, but that won't be the essence of this debate.

    The essence will be Romney's character, not his individual policies.  He will try to come across as friendly and empathetic, and that's where Obama has to stop him.

    If Romney wins the fight to look compassionate, Obama will lose the effort to try and dispute individual tax cut, or Medicare, or budget cut fights.  He has to stop Romney from looking like he cares about people.

  •  Oh, and re: the Yankees (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando

    I'm an Oreos fan so not too upset about the team.  I am upset about Jeter, however.  A good family friend is a senior VP with the Yankees -- has been with the organization for over 30 years.  She adores Derek Jeter.  She's also generous with great seats and Yankee stuff if one is into those things.  

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:19:49 AM PDT

  •  My two cents. (17+ / 0-)
    So how do you deal with that type of political opponent? One who goes beyond the bounds of spin, pulling facts out of context, and the normal truth stretching one sees in politics? How do you deal with bald-faced lying in an era where the media simply is too inept or too corrupt to do its job?
    You pull a Bill Clinton special.  You lean forward and tell the   audience that you are going to level with them, that you are going to make them privy to some inside information implying that this is information Romney doesn't want you to have which is exactly the opposite of what he is telling you.

    Then tell them the unabashed truth.  

    You have called Romney a liar without using the word lie.

  •  America - Do we want Bush fiscal policies back??? (4+ / 0-)
  •  Please send this to team Obama: (10+ / 0-)
    Politics is not for nuance. Politics is for repetition and sledgehammers. BUSH needs to be high up in the word cloud on Tuesday night, imo.

    "We have facts on our side. They have propaganda on their side."

    by rlharry on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:21:29 AM PDT

    •  I think they know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      historys mysteries, vcmvo2

      Execution is another story.

    •  I think if he keeps using Bush, the media will (6+ / 0-)

      default to their "how long can he blame the past administration" schtick.  

      He needs to call Romney out as a whole new breed of politician.  One who you will look you in the eye and not tell you the truth.  Even though this has been going on in degrees for many years, Romney takes it to a new level, and I really don't think half the country understands the depth of his deception and technique at carrying it forward.

      He is one scary dude who will do a lot of harm to this country if he manages to lie his way in....

      If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

      by livjack on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:41:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Debate not speaking to the media (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse

        the guys who didn't notice that post-debate Obama increased favorables with "Undecideds." The debate is best when addressing the TV audience.

        And as it turns out, winning a debate is surprisingly easy when a candidate decides he can say anything and expect to get away with it. -Rachel Maddow

        by mrobinson on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:43:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tuesday's debate is ostensibly on foriegn policy (0+ / 0-)

    So that will be another large obsticale in unwinding the issues/performance from the previous debate.

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    Want to end too big to fail banks? Then move your money and they will no longer be too big.

    by Lestatdelc on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:22:04 AM PDT

  •  I would add a 4 th -- he doesn't pay his fair (11+ / 0-)

    Share of taxes.  Caymans, tax shelters, a $100 million IRA.

    I can’t decide who’s cuter – the dead guy with the arrows in his chest, or the guy in the ditch with the seeping wound. -- Game of Thrones (Heard on Set)

    by prodigal on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:22:25 AM PDT

  •  He's got this (8+ / 0-)

    In his interview with Diane Sawyer this week Obama used the words "hiding" and "clouding" to describe Romney's positions.  I actually like his use of the term "hiding" as it also encapsulates an element of deception that I think anyone can relate to.  Hope he sticks with this for the debate.  I also think Obama is just a much happier person talking to real voters and the town hall setting will work well for him.  

    Gandhi: "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. "

    by FoxfireTX on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:23:21 AM PDT

    •  "Fogbanks of ambiguity" is the phrase (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      deweyrose, Armando, mightymouse

      once used to describe Jacques Derrida's writing by at least one academic. That phrase is very apropos to hang on Mitt Romney: succinct, to the point & uses words everyone understands.

      Derrida might object, however, were he alive. But if he was alive & he did object, no one would understand what he said.

    •  Bingo. You don't get into an argument (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StellaRay, GDbot, tb mare

      with Romney. He's a liar who'll say "Nuh-uh" to every assertion.

      But you just say: what he's hiding from you is...

      I suggested a mitt vs mitt website set up by OFA with both Romney positions in every category and that president tell people to go there while responding to debate questions.

      "Well what the good governor is telling you now, to try to win, is totally different than what he said a month ago. Don't take my word for it. Go to (website.com) and see him for yourself in his own words. So I won't argue with him over what he says he'd do here because frankly, I can't keep track of what he claims his ideas and values are. Here's what I'd do about (issue). And by the way, this the same position I've always had. No need to wonder what if I'm hidingy real agenda...."

      For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

      by mdmslle on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:10:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What's Compatible w His Personality is to Refer (9+ / 0-)

    audience and press to the devastating work fact-checkers did to Romney last time --and he should do this early. Nod to social media who will be putting up video and other material as the debates go along.

    So he doesn't need to be a kind of combatant that he's not, doesn't get bogged down refuting everything said, but makes the point with time to present his own material.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:27:06 AM PDT

    •  problem with that is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando

      the people you need to reach don't read fact-checkers.

      Obama has to call out & rebut the big lies.

      Coupled with that, he needs to present a clear picture of his economic policy since taking office and going forward.

      Those two things go together - the big lies are connected to the economic issues.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:38:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wrote a diary on this. It's not reading (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, Armando, tb mare, bfbenn

        Fact checkers. It's video on an OFA website organized by issue. A clean interface with Romney video taking both sides of each issue.

        Then Obama says:"I know what Romney's telling you he'd do and it's not true. But I'm not going to get into he said he said about it with him. He's taken both sides of this issue and was saying something exactly the opposite just a few weeks ago. Go to this website.com and see the videos of him doing it with your own eyes. So I can't speak to what he'd do because he says something different to different audiences. Here's what I would do. And btw, I've always held this position...."

        For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

        by mdmslle on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:14:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Romney more than liar - pathological narcissim (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, DMentalist, scarvegas, tb mare

    Having had an in-law diagnosed with this, Romney's behavior fits the pattern. All of us have some healthy narcissism but the extreme, pathological end:

    Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder in which the individual is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity. Historically called megalomania,  http://bit.ly/...

    Reacting to criticism with anger, shame, or humiliation
    Taking advantage of others to reach their own goals
    Exaggerating their own importance, achievements, and talents
    Requiring constant attention and positive reinforcement from others
    Becoming jealous easily
    Lacking empathy and disregarding the feelings of others
    Being obsessed with oneself
    Pursuing mainly selfish goals
    Wanting "the best" of everything

    •  Agree (0+ / 0-)

      Dictionary:

      narcissism |ˈnärsəˌsizəm|
      • Psychology extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one's own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.
      • Psychoanalysis self-centeredness arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of mental disorder.

      And as it turns out, winning a debate is surprisingly easy when a candidate decides he can say anything and expect to get away with it. -Rachel Maddow

      by mrobinson on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:47:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think its important to call Romney dishonest (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, Armando, tb mare

    I think Kerry, if I remember, tried to dance around calling President Bush a liar in 2004, and I think that hurt him.

    I think that the President must frame this debate as one between the fundamentally dishonest campaign that Romney is running and the one in which he is running.

    I don't like President Obama because he's been a lackluster President, but he has a way here to win that objectively he must take if he wants to seal the deal for a second term.

    That way is to frame the Romney campaign as dishonest.

    President Obama must say those words. Not imply it. The American public doesn't do subtle references.

    I understand the danger of the suggestion I am making. I also understand that reshaping the narrative rather than playing it safe is where President Obama needs to go to prevent more post-debate "the race is close" spin by the press. The press will want some controversy to use to get ad dollars with. Either President Obama will give it to them or Romney. The smartest frame is the one that hits Romney at his weakness and hammers home a narrative that is juicy for the press corps to salivate over.

    I think liar sounds too harsh,b ut dishonest, which is saying the same thing, has a less harsh tone. It sums up the problem with the Romney campaign and becomes a narrative.

    •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare

      Dishonest is a good word there.

    •  Obama has to explain why (7+ / 0-)

      Obama has to explain why.  It's not enough to point out that Romney is lying and it won't fly if you are asking the typical 'undecided' voter to believe that Romney is lying because he is fundamentally dishonest or a bad person.  They won't buy that, even though it may be accurate.

      Obama has to explain that Romney is not telling the truth because if he knows that if he did he would lose the election.

      Romney won't release his tax returns because he knows that if he did, he would lose the election.

      Romney won't give details of his tax 'plan' because he knows that if he did, he would lose the election.

      Romney won't explain the detail of what he intends to do with Obamacare because he knows that if he did, he would lose the election.

      There is a pattern and it is something that the public will understand and agree with if it is explained to them.

      If the public understands why Romney won't tell the truth, they will be more likely to accept that he is lying.

  •  the otehr word choice if not =dishonest (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, Armando

    Is "I believe this election is about who the American public can trust"

    ANd to keep hammering Romney on trust I suppose, but that against seems to require the public to take an extra step

  •  Great points (4+ / 0-)

    I don't know what Obama will say, but I know what he won't say; "these people want to bankrupt the country, auction it off to themselves and then rent it back to you at userous rates". Which may be just as well-I would like to hear that but I don't know that it would sell.
    If he calls him a liar he is Dole. If he says Romney will raise your taxes he is Mondale.

    I know what Romney will say. The same thing he has been saying in Ohio for two days "read my lips, no new taxes". I know how well that sells. For 30 years our politics has been 80/20 lower your taxes/keep your guns. If people can't see beyond that...

    If he takes your advice he will do better than last time. He also needs to come prepared for this debate and not the last one. That moment is gone. This debate will very different, a town-hall with Mitt playing the empathetic emergency rescue horse.
    I should hope he has been using a sparring partner other than John Kerry. Being awake and on his toes would also be a great improvement.

    •  Yes-much more important than calling Romney a liar (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando, hotheadCA, DSPS owl

         A lot of the comments seem to be focused on knocking Romney down, bringing home the issue of his character & why he is not acceptable as President.

           While I think Romney's character flaws are so egregious that they MUST be an issue, I'm not sure that's enough to win.

           HW Bush tried to make the 1992 campaign about character, and it didn't work out too well for him, even though it could be easily argued that Clinton did have failings of moral character in his private life.  

           At the end of the day, a lot of people WILL vote for someone they consider dishonest or immoral if they think he'll do a better job in office than his opponent.  

           I think Obama needs to focus on how life will be different for people with Romney as president.  He needs to say, as you suggest, that Romney wants to steer the economy in the same direction it was going when everything crashed in 2008.  He needs to say that Romney's first act as President will be to deprive millions of people of access to healthcare.  He will destroy medicare.  He will effectively raise middle-class taxes.  He needs to say that Romney's foreign policy advisers were responsible for the mess in Iraq, that they have no regrets, and if they get their way they will take us into more war in the Middle East.  

           And aside from painting the nightmare that will be life under Romney, he needs to paint a brighter picture of how things will be with his leadership.  If he is President, millions of people WILL have access to healthcare.  Medicare and Social Security will be strengthened, not destroyed.  Unemployment is going down, jobs are being added to the economy.  The troops are coming home from Afghanistan.  

           The difference between Romney and Obama on healthcare provides a unique opportunity.  Usually political arguments are abstract, and the ultimate outcome of policies is unknown.  But in this election we KNOW that Romney's election would have an IMMEDIATE impact on millions of families who would lose access to healthcare.  It boggles my mind that this election is even close with one candidate running on a policy diametrically opposed to the rational self-interest of most Americans.  

           So Obama must clarify this issue of rational self-interest.  He needs to let people know that a Romney Presidency will HURT them, not in some abstract, hypothetical someday, but immediately, starting on Romney's FIRST DAY in office.  And Obama must also make it clear to people that if Obama remains in office, he will continue to help them.  The American people do trust Obama more on this.  It shouldn't be a difficult case to make.  

  •  For comparison: Town Hall Debate in 2008 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, DMentalist, vcmvo2, tb mare

    Obama does very well in the town hall format.
    Here's the entire debate from CSPAN

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:49:23 AM PDT

  •  Why not use the "L" word? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, scarvegas

    I'm wondering if Obama should just say Romney is a liar! The MSM and the GOP spinners may be apoplectic but consider what would happen after the freakout! If they then say "prove it" than I say bring it on. It would give the Obama campaign days of documenting Romney lies and they can say they are doing it at the invitation of the Romney campaign. If the other side says calling the Republican candidate a lier is beneath the dignity of the POTUS, I say so what! Bullies and cowards and liars need to be called out.

    •  Well (0+ / 0-)

      He won't but it should would be an interesting experiment.

    •  Liar is a strong word. Lie is better as it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando

      Addresses an individual point.

      Let the people decide the guy is a liar.

      But I think we could get away with calling individual points lies. If indeed they are.

      The interesting this is "lie" is defensive. So if we're using it we are responding to a lie Romney's spouting about us. Necessary but it's gonna have to be more than that because Romney being the liar he is will simple insist his position is correct and then it's he said he said, which is useless.

      For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

      by mdmslle on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:20:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Has Romney signed that godforsaken pledge to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, DSPS owl

    Norquist?  I think I heard that somewhere.  If so, how can he legally represent the interests of all Americans if he is pledging that he won't raise taxes--based on what only a segment of them are "demanding"?  

    How could he take the Oath of Office under that condition?

    If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

    by livjack on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:51:14 AM PDT

  •  As to the lies, here's a strategy: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, susanWAstate, DMentalist, Garrett

    When Romney commits a falsehood, Obama points it out, but then pulls an unexpected move:

    I have to admit it's getting boring having to point out each time the governor repeats the lie that we're robbing $716 billion from Medicare, but here I am doing it again.  It's false and he knows it and here's why: (followed by a succinct deconstruction of the lie).

    Now, I can't spend the rest of my time tonight refuting all of governor romney's misrepresentations in detail; there are just too many of them.  For that reason, I think what I'd like to do is ask my staff post a detailed correction of this blatantly false statement from the Romney campaign on my campaign website, and I'd like to ask them to title it Romney Correction #1, right on our home page.  That way anyone who wants to get into more detail about how my opponent is twisting the truth, you can just click and dive right into it on my website.  

    And as more misstatements by the governor are encountered tonight, I'll do my best in the short time I have available to point them out briefly,  and then, on an ad hoc basis, I'll label them Romney Correction #2 and 3 and so on, so more detail on each falsehood can be easily investigated by the voting public.

    Now, I know there are lots of folks out there that don't have access to computers, so I think I'll also have my campaign, after each of these Corrections are posted online, to also have them run as ads in all the media.  And the ads will be titled the same, Correction #1, 2, 3, and so on.  

    So hopefully my staff is listening now, so they can get right to work on this. (chuckles)

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

    by nailbender on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:56:04 AM PDT

    •  Mdmslle posted a diary suggesting (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando, DMentalist, nailbender

      A similar idea for dealing with Romney's lies, only with a separate website such as TrustMatters.com, that the President could refer people to during the debate for video of Mitt debating himself on various subjects, fact-checking, etc.  See "Imagine THIS happening on Tuesday...A brilliant way to cut through the noise and bull*h*t" at http://www.dailykos.com/...

      The Obama team could make such a site interactive and fun, kind of a game - and it could be VERY effective.  

      We're ALL better off when we're ALL better off!

      by susanWAstate on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:12:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting. The two ideas are slightly different (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        susanWAstate

        though: I'm suggesting something that is staged to look ad hoc, which I think would be very effective.  But then it could morph into the site she's suggesting.  

        But yes, it's pretty much the same idea.  Part of its power would be for Obama to be able to say

        "The volume of incorrect data that the governor is shoveling out is so huge that I can't possibly handle it all in this debate format, so I'd like to have my staff make available to everybody the full refutation of each of these multiple lies."

        "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

        by nailbender on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:45:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  GREAT idea, but... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nailbender

          I think that most of the younger, internet savvy voters are already in Obama's camp.  The votes that Obama needs to peel away from Romney are the older and less educated voters who primarily think of the words "Mouse" and "Web" as reasons to call the exterminator.

           On the other hand, if the Obama team could create enough online buzz with the website that the mainstream media feels obliged to cover it, and in that way the message on the website is disseminated to Old Media voters, it just might work.  

      •  Yes, if he did it well in the debate, it would (0+ / 0-)

        have to be covered in the media, and if he made it part of his stump, that would also make it go viral.   And the ads in the media are also part of making it part of the fabric of the political landscape.

        "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

        by nailbender on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:46:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Focus tested (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, Tamburlaine

    Obama should respond to an egregious lie with 'I am sure that line focus-tested well but it did not answer the question'

    It brings to mind Romney ability to say whatever audience wants to hear.

    Also, 'what you heard in that last answer was Governor Romney shaking the etch-a-sketch'

    "We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men." Edward R. Murrow

    by aprichard on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 10:59:03 AM PDT

  •  Healthcare plan? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, DMentalist

    One thing that stood out for me in the first debate was the healthcare discussion. Romney said something like "under my plan everyone with pre-existing conditions is covered and gets a free ice-cream cone" or something like that.
    Obama retorted with "well that's just the way it used to be before Obamacare" (he should call it ACA).  
    Not only did he not expound upon the benefit of ACA but he didn't call out Romney on his "plan".
    "Your Healthcare plan? You have a healthcare plan? First I've heard of it. We have some time, please tell us about it. What's it called?"
    If the opportunity for distinguishing between ACA and Romney's "plan" (repeal and revert) I hope he doesn't let it walk.

    •  Correction (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando, DMentalist

      ...
      Your Healthcare plan? You have a healthcare plan? First I've heard of it. We have some time, please tell us about it. What's it called?"
      If the opportunity for distinguishing between ACA and Romney's "plan"  (repeal and revert) presents itself I hope he doesn't let it walk.

      (this text editor sucks...oh, and I can't type)

      •  VERY important to focus on healthcare (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSPS owl

            I've said this in another comment as well.

             Obama MUST make the point that not only does Romney not have a healthcare plan, but Romney will IMMEDIATELY take away the healthcare plan that Americans have now.  

             Romney has promised to repeal Obamacare on Day One.  This is not a situation like the prescription drug benefit in 2000 where there are 2 competing plans and the voters can decide which they prefer.  This is a situation where a vote for Romney is a vote to have your access to healthcare TAKEN AWAY. Immediately.  On DAY ONE.

             And if Romney is willing to take away our healthcare access on Day One, which is only about 90 days away, what excuse could he possibly have for not having a detailed plan of his own, unless it doesn't exist?

  •  A good line (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, tb mare

    Obama could say 'there is an important aspect of democracy at stake here. Gov Romney wants to withhold all the details of his policies from voters. When the media tries to get some basic details he says he will figure out the details in a smoky backroom AFTER the election. If you get the details of his plans and like them, then go ahead and vote for my opponent, but for the sake of our democracy, don't vote for a secret plan that he refuses to tell you about'

    "We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men." Edward R. Murrow

    by aprichard on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:05:18 AM PDT

    •  President Obama can say... (0+ / 0-)

      President Obama can say, "My opponent is as tight with the truth as he is with the release of his complete tax returns.  Thus far, he has released only two incomplete returns -- unlike his father, for instance, who set a precedent for releasing 12 years of returns, to establish that consistently there has been no fudging on the numbers.  

      "Could it be that my opponent has released only partial returns -- and speaks the truth so rarely -- because he has something serious to hide?"

      And this could lead into a discussion of why Serial Liar Mitt Romney is withholding information about his various policies, such as the tax loopholes he refuses to identify.  

  •  Why can't the president just come out and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando

    call HIM A LIAR!!!  Or say, "that's a lie"????

    It's time to stop pussyfooting around.  This man has been lying for years.  Somebody needs to call him on it.  Newt did, and I can't even stand him!

    “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

    by WFBMM on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:07:34 AM PDT

  •  There is no time (or point) for subtlety or nuance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando

    Romney's dishonesty (lying), his 47% speech, and his perpetual flip-flopping need to be centerpieces of Tuesday's debate.  Republican obstructionism needs to be another, because they are joined at the hip.  The fact of the matter is this:  the GOP has never respected Obama and has worked to politically destroy him since January of 2009.  If wouldn't hurt for Obama to name names, either, such as Mitch McConnell's and Eric Cantor's.

    Finally, what the viewers on Tuesday need to hear is that Romney and the GOP have nearly as much disdain for their loyal base (many of which are in that 47%) as they do for Obama.

  •  Refute the opponent then add a few facts. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, DSPS owl

    Mitt has changed his story on every major issue multiple times.
    Sometimes he's changed his position within hours. Sometimes his campaign has changed what he said fifteen minutes prior.
    Sure, the President adds facts. But the debate story, the win, isn't the facts, it's the cravenness of Mitt; his empty platitudes, his blathering, his slip and slide, and, his meanness.
    It doesn't matter "which Mitt shows up" if the President tells us in so many words that it doesn't matter which Mitt showed up.

  •  Romney isn't proposing an ADDITIONAL $5 trillion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl

    By throwing out this $5 trillion number, Obama may walk into a trap - again. Remember, this $5 trillion is the sum of the proposed Romney tax cuts PLUS the Bush tax cuts, not the Romney tax cuts alone. I know, a quibble at best, but one that allows Romney to call it a lie and have the fact checkers agree with him.

    Google it: the fact checkers uniformly call Obama's $5 trillion claim false, partially for this reason, but also due to Romney's nonspecific yet extant claim that closing loopholes will make it revenue neutral. Impossible, yes, but closing significant loopholes would undeniably reduce the number from $5 trillion. Obama needs to stop throwing out this $5 trillion number unqualified if he wants to win this point.

    To hang Romney while denying him deniability, Obama needs to do the following.

    * Point out that Romney plans to extend the Bush tax cuts
    * That those tax cuts, plus Romney's new tax cuts, plus Romney's (unrequested) defense increases = $7 trillion
    * Acknowledge Romney's claim that he'll make this $7 trillion revenue neutral by closing loopholes and ending exemptions.
    * Expose this claim as the fraud it is.

    The problem is Obama will need to do all of the above in a clear way without lulling the audience to sleep. Not his strong suit. I wish Biden or Clinton could be his phone-a-friend.

  •  All the President has to do (7+ / 0-)

    is say every time that Mitt Romney lies, "Governor, you know that simply is not true" or "Governor, you know that the facts (or the math) do not support your assertion."  

    The President must continually show that Romney is lying to the people. By starting every point with this phrase and emphasizing the words "you know," the President will be reinforcing the image of Romney as a purposeful liar in the minds of the viewers.  IMHO, the President does not even need to waste time on rebutting Romney's lies if he says one of those simple phrases before he makes his own points.  It keeps him above the mud while calling Romney out on his lies.

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:13:07 AM PDT

    •  Also too (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando, mightymouse, gulfgal98, DSPS owl

      Also too, as I said in another comment, Obama has to make it clear that Romney is not telling the truth because he knows that if he did he would lose the election.

      The public will not accept the bald statement that Romney is not telling the truth.  They need to know the reason.

      Saying, "You are not telling the truth" invites the viewers to agree or disagree.  Saying, "If the public knew the truth about your plans they would never vote for you" invites the viewers to wonder what Romney is not telling them.

  •  Obama fights the Devil-incarnate that is Romney (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, mightymouse

    Mitt Romney is the Devil incarnate. He speaks with a forked tongue.  He tells the other rich-folk like he that he doesn't care for the 47% of Americans, then he tells America that he does. He says he is for America, yet puts his money outside America. He pays less in taxes than the average American.  Yet he is calling on more tax cuts for the rich. He says he is full of new ideas, yet won't divulge any of them.  He speaks of math, but his math doesn't add up.  And he is non-Christian - which every Southern Baptist and Fundamentalist Christian knows.

    Obama has to fight like his life depends on it, because it does.  He is in a fight with Satan, the ultimate devil's advocate, Mitt Romney.

    Obama needs to take the same pills that Joe Biden took before his debate with Damian Paul Ryan. Obama has to show who is THE MAN. Like Michael Douglas in The American President.  

    Obama needs to tell Satan Romney, "This is a time for serious people, Mitt, and your fifteen minutes are up.  My name is Barrack Obama, and I AM the President."

  •  Contempt for voters (5+ / 0-)

    Obama could say 'It shows a remarkable contempt for voters and democracy for a Presidential candidate to keep his budget secret and say he will work out the details AFTER the election in a smoky backroom'

    "We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men." Edward R. Murrow

    by aprichard on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:14:23 AM PDT

  •  Mitt, are you sure you want to say that? We have (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, etatauri, DMentalist, coigue, DSPS owl

    video of you saying just the opposite.

    It is polite (enough) and the news media will be playing the video for days.

  •  Saying it explicitly, versus hinting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando

    Explicitly say "Bush," don't hint at it.

    And hint at "Liar," don't say it explicitly. Or at least, don't say it using the specific word.

    An indirect style, a hinting style, can still be powerfully effective. The literal words don't matter so much. What's important is the idea that forms in the listener's mind.

    Saying "Bush," explicitly, is yet one more way of indirectly saying "Liar."

    So about what is going to be most effective: Two hints ("Bush" and "Liar") is one level of indirection too many?

    Or "Liar," in politics, is pretty well remembered, and already associated with Mitt Romney, so you can get away with hinting at it. But "Bush," for some reason, is not remembered enough, so it needs to be spelled out?

  •  I think we agree (?) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, hotheadCA, mightymouse

    A lot of blah blah blah statistics will NOT impress the audience.  

    A commanding and aggressive performance completely devoid of facts served Romney just fine.

    The President has to be strong and engaged.  He has to show a spark.  The LAST thing he needs to do is try to reach the audience with math and logic.

    Passion.  Call Mitt out on his shifting positions - "the nation deserves your honesty Mitt.  They deserve to know exactly where you stand and what you intend to do, how you intend to govern.  You've held every position on every issue - and now the extreme positions you've told us you believe in for two years are all suddenly "never mind".

    Go meta.  Totally meta.  Facts are good, but use with thought, where they're necessary (like Joe did) while focusing on your strength (passion, caring for us, strength of character, a core of strong values) and his weakness (robotic, weak, uncaring, with absolutely no moral center who will say anything to get elected).

    You know Romney will spout every projection at the President, and will lie and fling baseless attacks while claiming he wants to make love to the middle class while promising us jewels and his endless devotion.

    It's a lie.  You can't go after this sort of shit with a bunch of math.  

    Voters go with gut feelings.  Romney appeared "presidential" to them and Obama felt unengaged and some have even said overmatched intellectually.  

    Because they don't know or care about fucking math.  They want to FEEL his strength and his conviction and his devotion.

    THAT's the key.  

    So while it seems like we agree, I guess it's just a matter of how meta it is, how passionate it is.  

    Why is it that a 3% tax increase for the wealthy is considered "socialism" and an 8% wage cut for the middle class is "doing your part"? MartyM

    by delphine on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:27:04 AM PDT

  •  Romney is a gangster (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, DMentalist, mightymouse

    1. Face first that Romney is a gangster.
    2. Get in touch with your contempt for gangsters.
    3. Feel the outrage that gangsters have taken control of the U.S. House and this one wants the White House.
    4. Decide how to best expose his amoral character.

    Chris Hedges describes undercover operatives who lie and deceive for a living. For me, this applies to both Romney and Ryan.  

    One knows them immediately. Their ideological allegiances do not matter. They have the faraway eyes of the disconnected, along with nebulous histories and suspicious and vague associations.
    They tell incongruous personal stories and practice small deceits that are part of a pathological inability to tell the truth. They can be personable, even charming, but they are also invariably vain, dishonest and sinister. They cannot be trusted. It does not matter what side they are on. They were all the same. Gangsters.
    [Sounds like Cheney, Bush, AG Gonzales, Rice, Rumsford, the Wall Street Gang, now Romney and Ryan, and what the Republican Party admires.]

    And as it turns out, winning a debate is surprisingly easy when a candidate decides he can say anything and expect to get away with it. -Rachel Maddow

    by mrobinson on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:29:05 AM PDT

  •  No lemon laws on used cars or used policies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DMentalist

    I had to deal with an auto purchase my parents had made about six months before my mother died and my father's dementia became apparent.

    This used car had no lemon law retrictions. A retired couple in their early eighties with a minimal SS income, more debt than assets and moments of confusion that anyone with a soul could see...were sold a standard used rental car with 15k milage with a $2000 security system for a total of $28000 at 10% interest.

    That deal is far better than Romney is selling to the American voter. He is a salesman of used ideas that don't work, and there will be no lemon laws on the election.

  •  The President must rebut Romney's claim (0+ / 0-)

    that the "share" of the taxes paid by the rich will not change.  The truth is that though the share of overall taxes paid by the rich as a group will not change the individual taxes of each rich person will decrease significantly.  $232,000 each to be exact according to the Tax Policy Center.

    What have you done today that makes you feel proud?

    by jai2 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:44:38 AM PDT

  •  It is absolutely not a debate (0+ / 0-)

    when one person is a liar. And to think it is a 'debate', causes one to fall into a dangerous conceptual framework of point-counterpoint. People love reason here,  but with reason President Obama will be reasonably sure to lose the battle of perception Tues night.
    President Obama, if he thinks he is in a 'debate', will cede to Romney by responding with professorial 'reason' to what are essentially misleading advertising soundbites. The President will be wonky and defensive and boring, and Romney will dance past him waving his red-white and blue top-hat like a spangly Vegas version of Uncle Sam on crack.
    This is not a 'debate'.
    It is not a fair fight based on 'reason'.
    Kossian fact-based paragraphs will not cut the flamethrower of molten bullshit Romney has prepared to fire on America. Armando's 'nice turns of phrase' are the right idea, but about as exciting as warm apples from a Lutheran minister at a WWF fight.
    This is the first 21st century adverbate. It is about advertising-boxing as debating, about tossing slogans like punches, about the rope-a-dope with an uppercut of Dreams of My Father and a slashing bemused left of 100 million dollar IRA, with some quiet professorial kidney punches of a repeated use of 'moocher', followed by a sly 'bishop'.
    The President can do this in the frame of his personality, but he can't speak in explicating, tedious paragraphs, he has to use use some elbows like on the basketball court.
    He has to play inside, and have the soundbites from the copywriters ready.

  •  how about- "gov romney sounds like rush limbaugh" (0+ / 0-)

    or "that's a bunch of limbaugh!"

    or "that's what limbaugh says"

    many of the lies and myths that fuel the GOP candidates and their hacks were established and or reenforced on talk radio

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:50:48 AM PDT

  •  Um, no: (0+ / 0-)
    To close and get the coffee...
    Make that Postum or something equally non-coffee.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:56:37 AM PDT

  •  Should say (0+ / 0-)

    Obama should say something along the lines of 'Romney and his advisors came into this election with a very specific strategy 'tell people what they want to hear' they decided early on that the would tell voters they could have the sugar but avoid the medicine.  So they claim that they can give 20% tax cuts without increasing the deficit or hurting the middle class , they can't. They tell you they have a plan to cover pre-existing plans without insuring that people who can afford insurance buy it, they can't.  They promise that they can repeat the policies of the Bush Administration but not have the same result, they can't. And worst of all when voters askfor the details on how their plans achieve these great miracles, they say don't worry we will tell you that out AFTER the election. it seems to show a remarkable contempt for democracy.

    "We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men." Edward R. Murrow

    by aprichard on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 12:05:57 PM PDT

  •  Obama needs to do what (0+ / 0-)

    Romney did in #1. Throw the ball in a totally different direction, and pin Mitt to the wall with it....change the topic to something the American people are overwelmingly in support of, Mitt is against, and link it to exonomic growth.
    " A topic that Governor Romney has not mentioned is Climate Change, and what the next president needs to do about it. Here is my plan....
    give 3-4 main tenants.. 1.how green jobs not only pay well, but they contribute to reducing emissions. He can also say saving GM and the auto industry was also a benefit to making more energy efficient cars, so it not only saved jobs, but they can also be termed Green jobs, since they  helped us achieve more Green objectives. 2 How becoming a leader in green tech will springboard the US into a major lead. 3. Talk about what he has already done to advance this.... wind, HS rail, solar, and how many good paying jobs it has already created. Mention the leaders are China and Germany, and the US needs to be right up there with them ( stoke the competition button) in  high tech energy alternative industries..
    Sum up the 3, turn to  Romney  and ask" so Governor,1.  there are 2 questions the AMerican people need to know, which I haven't heard you speak of yet.....
    #1. Do you believe in CLimate change, yes or no,., and what are your plans to deal with it if you do..?
    Check mate. He will have no answer. If he doesnt believe in it, he is toast.. moderates will flee en masse. ( the non believers already go for Mitt) . If he does believe in it, Obama already has a 4 year start.  Most Americans want this topic talked about. Obama needs to talk about it on his terms, and first, with all he has already done as his springboard..

  •  He should throw some Malarkeys in (0+ / 0-)

    just for fun

  •  zinger (0+ / 0-)

    how about " I realize that Obamacare is not perfect but I believe most Americans will prefer it to Romneydoesn'tcare"

  •  Romney's bipartisanship myth (0+ / 0-)

    Romney has presented himself as bipartisan and given the gridlock caused by the Republicans for the past four years this may be attractive to independents and undecideds.  The President needs to point out Romney's record in Massachussets.  Romney "issued 800 vetoes in his one-year term as Governor. 800. Nearly all of them were overridden – 707 to be exact." Romney doesn’t mention this in hi boast of bipartisanship.

    "Romney didn’t like having to work with Democrats so much that he spent his first two years trying to change the party makeup of the legislature and when those efforts failed, he pulled a Palin. That is to say, he gave up. He was gone – out of state – for 212 days of his last year."

    "Romney was never around for the last two years of his governorship. A March 2005 poll found that only 32 percent felt Romney should be re-elected if he ran for a second term as governor. It got worse. In 2006, Romney spent 212 days out of state, campaigning."

    When governing got hard Romney's response:

    "Romney told the Boston Globe that he was giving up on party building, 'From now on, it’s me-me-me.”

    This needs to be used in response to any bipartisanship claim by the former governor of Massachussetts.

    What have you done today that makes you feel proud?

    by jai2 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 01:10:09 PM PDT

  •  good points... but the last debate shows swing (0+ / 0-)

    voters may be more interested in style than substance. I think Obama may have made some of those points the first time around, but the swingers seem to want a performance.

    I really hope Pres. Obama can turn off the professorial, collegial bent that speaks well of him as a truthful and well intentioned individual, and find some conversational way to evoke more basic emotional responses. It might be tough, because it's not his personality.

    I hope the people can ultimately leave lies to Hollywood and think of  the country's future in the voting booth.

  •  Let the leader of R's bear the burden (0+ / 0-)

    As de facto leader of the modern republican party (or is he a puppet?), Romney should surely be held responsible for the almost four years the party has spent in denial: Denial of Obama's judicial, cabinet, and regulatory agency appointees, denial of almost any initiative proposed by the WH that might actually have accelerated economic recovery and, perhaps most importantly, denial that their party had anything to do with the 2007-2008 implosion of the US and world economies.

    It seems to me that by taking that course Obama can avoid personalizing his critique of Romney (however well-deserved that criticism may be) and broaden the discussion to make it clear that Romney's mendacity is part and parcel of the Tea Party opposition. Stamping Romney with the R brand may also have the non-trivial effect of boosting the prospects of dems in down-ballot races.

    "It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important." Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Arabiflora on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 03:32:51 PM PDT

  •  Why won't Obama mention BUSH? (0+ / 0-)

    This refusal to mention Bush makes no sense. Look to none other than Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Democrats of his time. They did not hesitate to blame Hoover for the economy they inherited. To my youth, "Hooverville" was an epithet.

    Democrats should not help Republicans send George Bush down the memory hole. Romney wants to give Bush's another try, but by doing even more of that. It's fair game!

  •  All this focus on calling Romney out is misplaced (0+ / 0-)

    Obama must FRAME HIS OWN MESSAGE.

    We're in this together vs. you're on your own.

    Why strong government is GOOD and weak government allows rampant evil.

    Romney's message is the same as Reagan's:  Government is BAD, capitalism is good.  Obama has to engage that message DIRECTLY, not just by throwing out examples, but by taking on the idea.  The financial crisis is the perfect vehicle with which to do so, esp. when the opponent is vulture capitalist Romney.

    But it has to be explicit, and it has to be hammered home.  The message is the key, the examples, including calling out any given Romney lie, is secondary.

    You can tell Monopoly is an old game because there's a luxury tax and rich people can go to jail.

    by Simian on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:51:07 PM PDT

  •  A really excellent diary (0+ / 0-)

    and amazingly cogent commentary.

    If President Obama reads this diary, and gets his prep team to refine it, he will master this Town Hall. Period. Congratulations, and thank you for the work.

    Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
    Economic
    Left/Right: -7.75
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

    by Bud Fields on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 01:31:36 PM PDT

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