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I was a rather successful college debater.  But, I really only have one note for Obama about the next debate:

What convinces is conviction.  You simply have to believe in the argument you are advancing:  if you don’t you’re as good as dead.  The other person will sense that something isn’t there and no chain of reasoning, no matter how logical or elegant or brilliant, will win your case for you.
-Lyndon B. Johnson
[W]hen I went back and read the transcript — thus removing appearance and tone and body language from the equation altogether — it was clear that Obama had lost the debate at least partly because he didn’t know what he wanted to say.

At this point, Romney and Obama are running almost perfectly opposite campaigns. Romney can tell you exactly what he wants to do, but barely a word about how he’ll do it. Obama can’t describe what he wants to achieve, but he can tell you everything about how he’ll get it done. It’s a campaign without real policies against a campaign lacking a clear vision.

-Ezra Klein

 Barack, you don’t need to have a 100% clear and consistent vision, what politician ever does?  (Just ask LBJ.)  You just need to be convinced that you do.  Convince yourself that everything you’re saying is right, that you’re always winning the debate.  And, most importantly, make Romney look like a fool.  We’re all rooting for you!

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Comment Preferences

  •  I was also a somewhat successful debater - and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VickiStein, InsultComicDog

    later a debate judge - a while back, probably when your parents were still quite young (certainly several years before the APDA came into existence), and I can't help but agree with you more.  Even though I come from the traditional resolution-based debate background, your citation of LBJ's observation about conviction is critical.  In this case, the American people are the judges on these debates and the contestants' passion and conviction are going to score more points than strict adherence to factual accuracy.  This simple fact, after all, is how the Mittster was anointed as the winner in the first debate, regardless his loose disregard for truth and the failure of the media to call him on that disregard...

    "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile..." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    by Jack K on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 08:56:19 PM PDT

  •  I was a Master Debater in college. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jack K, OIL GUY, InsultComicDog, kaliope

    I just gotta hand it to myself.

    Follow Me on Twitter @SmartyFeldman

    by The Swimmer on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:22:29 PM PDT

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