October 23, 2012

"Do you think the campaigns made an agreement that the candidates would have the exact same interaction at the beginning and end of each debate?"

"They always pat each other on the side of the arm while laughing, as if one of them had said something funny in the previous split-second."

27 comments:

Paul Zrimsek said...

You know what else they could do? They could pretend to be in a freeze-frame like at the end of "Police Squad!", while everything around them keeps moving.

Methadras said...

It's a photo-op, but it's also deference to the respect of each other as an opponent. I don't think it's an implicit agreement.

Methadras said...

It's a photo-op, but it's also deference to the respect of each other as an opponent. I don't think it's an implicit agreement.

Michael K said...

The arm grabbing and patting is supposed to be a sign of power over the other. Obama started it in the first debate. Romney is not about to let him do it without responding in kind. "I'm as strong as you are. "

Cedarford said...

Yes, I do think there is some agreed protocol on what physical interaction the two men have...just so someone doesn't "Biden-out".

Or lead to some phony issue like Romney deciding ad hoc to spend time shaking the Mootch's hand while Obama is not pretending to like Ann Romney but talking to Michelle after Romney does his handshake bit.

So the next day conservative media would rant "Obama spurns social graces and does not shake Ann Romney's hand" while liberals and progressive jewish mediamasters would run "Romney's handshake with Michelle? Strange or just a planned and phony stunt??"

Nonapod said...

I like to pretend they're saying "God I hate your face" and "You smell like cheese"

lemondog said...

Checking for weapons?

Unknown said...

How about tie color? They are always the opposite of the other's? Do you think the Secret Service talk in their sleeves prior to the debate, "Mittens wearing Red," "BoBo just changed to Blue" ...

Curious George said...

Is this a ploy to drive some traffic to John-Boy's blog? I see he had one commentor last night..."Karen". He should drop the blog and just set up a chat session.

Mary Beth said...

I did wonder, at the end, if the Obamas went over to talk to the Romneys because they didn't want us to see them alone on one side compared to the huge bunch of Romneys on the other side.

traditionalguy said...

They are lawyers at heart. They fight with cut throat words and tactics, but they want it understood that they are just doing a job and are good guys.

Ergo: after the Revolution the loser does not get tortured and executed

John said...

It is something I asked them to do... for me. The fools.

mccullough said...

Like tie colors, this has to be pre-arranged.

Lyssa said...

As for last night, I thought that it looked like Romney started that interaction, and Obama realized that if he didn't respond in kind, he would look awkward/weird.

The president crouched down talking to a very young Romney was very cute, though. Kid looked like he was in that "I've got to tell you something really important!" mode* that kids sometimes get in.

* I recall my baby brother doing that to our parish priest once when he was about 4-5. The really important message was "Scooby-Scooby-Doo, where are you?"

S. said...

The running joke in our living about these perceived polite interactions is the discrete mumbling of "fuck you", "fuck you too" under their breath.

bagoh20 said...

They agreed in advance to let Obama win the debate if Romney can have the election. Both men seem to be keeping their word.

edutcher said...

The Romster is probably contemplating the trap he's laid for Zero that particular night.

Lew Lipshitz said...

The smile and arm pat is just a fuck-you gesture that looks good on camera. Just like the gracious concession speech.

Lem said...

John Althouse Cohen...

Usually, it used to be that the mothers maiden name went last...

Placing JAC as a contrarian, in a branch of the nominative determinism theory... Or something.

Eustace Chilke said...

The parties agree on everything of substance beforehand. The only thing they really dread are surprises. If you want to see how closely the parties are really aligned watch them collude against any outside political players.

The Green Party candidate spent 8 hours handcuffed to a chair on the night of the second debate. Same thing happene, without the handcuffs, four years earlier.

These aren't debates any more than government spending is an investment. Plain speaking in public life of any sort, let alone politics, is so vanishingly rare that it's hard to even imagine what it would sound like.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
yashu said...

"You know the hot tub is cool now."

"But they poisoned it."

"I know, right?

Chuck said...

No agreement was necessary. Everybody knows what they are doing. It is the multiracial variant of the Pound Hug (a/k/a Hanshake Hug). If a black Republican were running, or if this were an election for the Illinois 2nd Congressional District, it would have been the full one-arm Pound Hug. But cross-racially, the light grasp of the opponent's left arm is the standard protocol.

Wikipedia supplies further critical detail on the Pound Hug:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pound_hug

Ted Levy said...


"... as if one of them had said something funny in the previous split-second."

Yes. One of them always says, "Well, we pulled another one over on the American people." And the other one laughs. And it is always true.

Lew Lipshitz said...

I'm in South Florida and have just been live polled for the 3rd time this election cycle. I've also been robo-polled 2x this year. The live polling that just concluded was from a call center in Norfolk VA, and the array of questions was unusually weighted to down-ballot races, and concentrated on a state senate race that covers my home address. My inference is that there is great confidence in the Romney campaign and in pro-Romney PACs, and now they want to fine tune the ancillary effects of his winning the state. A nice luxury to have.

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smarty said...

I find it disconcerting that they can almost call each other "mutha^(%r" in the debate then glad hand like they are about to out for drinks. Seems dishonest, but then they are playing for "independents", people who are actually total morons who may well vote based on who seemed polite or impolite, regardless of the actual positions that the men take.