October 23, 2012

"Romney made a strategic decision not go after the president on Libya, or Syria, or other areas where Obama could accuse him of being a Bush-like war monger."

Observed Charles Krauthammer — aptly, I think.

Obama didn't get much to fight against, and as the debate wore on, perhaps Obama worried that he might seem too much like the Obama who lost the first debate. Live-blogging, half an hour into the debate, I wrote: "They've stopped interrupting each other. No belligerence tonight. There's an evenness and similarity to the 2 candidates." 5 minutes later, Obama suddenly got really belligerent. That was odd. I'm thinking he decided he had to tear Romney down even if Romney gave him no useful material. Romney stuck to his game of giving Obama nothing, so Romney "won" by his own terms. He won the game he chose to play, and he didn't get distracted into playing Obama's game, though Obama tried to aggravate him.

Ironically, assuming Krauthammer is correct, Obama wanted belligerence (at the debate) about Romney's belligerence (in the world). Romney declined to be that belligerent — Bush-like! — guy Obama wanted to be belligerent with. Romney deprived him of the casus belli, but he went to war — the war of the debate table — nonetheless.

I'm looking at the transcript. What was going on when Obama suddenly broke the debate's placidity? The candidates were in the middle of chewing over the most abstract question of the night: "What do each of you see as our role in the world?" Most of the questions last night were, essentially, the naming of a country: Libya, Syria, Pakistan.... This was the big-picture question. Romney did his 2 minutes, which included a section about the American economy:
[To lead in the world], we have to strengthen our economy here at home. You can't have 23 million people struggling to get a job. You can't have an economy that over the last three years keeps slowing down its growth rate. You can't have kids coming out of college, half of them can't find a job today, or a job that's commensurate with their college degree. We have to get our economy going.
Obama's response included some domestic economics:
But what we also have been able to do is position ourselves so we can start rebuilding America, and that's what my plan does. Making sure that we're bringing manufacturing back to our shores so that we're creating jobs here, as we've done with the auto industry, not rewarding companies that are shipping jobs overseas.

Making sure that we've got the best education system in the world, including retraining our workers for the jobs of tomorrow.

Doing everything we can to control our own energy. We've cut our oil imports to the lowest level in two decades because we've developed oil and natural gas. But we also have to develop clean energy technologies that will allow us to cut our exports in half by 2020. That's the kind of leadership that we need to show.

And we've got to make sure that we reduce our deficit. Unfortunately, Governor Romney's plan doesn't do it. We've got to do it in a responsible way by cutting out spending we don't need, but also asking the wealthiest to pay a little bit more. That way we can invest in the research and technology that's always kept us at the cutting edge.
That seems like way too much domestic policy, but maybe Obama realized that the election really is going to be about the economy. He wasn't getting any traction on the foreign policy material that is supposedly the topic of this third debate, and this is the last debate. The election won't be won or lost on who stuck to the foreign policy theme, and anyway, Romney started it. But Obama must have also realized that he was going on, as if on autopilot, and not addressing the big-picture question of the night: What does he see as our role in the world? The vision thing!

If "vision thing" doesn't ring a bell for you, here's the "Vision thing" Wikipedia article:
In the January 26, 1987, issue of Time magazine, in an article entitled “Where Is the Real George Bush?” journalist Robert Ajemian reported that a friend of Bush's had urged him to spend several days at Camp David thinking through his plans for his prospective presidency, to which Bush is said to have responded in exasperation, "Oh, the vision thing." This oft-cited quote became a shorthand for the charge that Bush failed to contemplate or articulate important policy positions in a compelling and coherent manner.
Obama collected his wits and, with a few seconds to go on the vision-thing answer, he said:
Now, Governor Romney has taken a different approach throughout this campaign. Both at home and abroad, he has proposed wrong and reckless policies. He's praised George Bush as a good economic steward and Dick Cheney as somebody who's - who shows great wisdom and judgment. And taking us back to those kinds of strategies that got us into this mess are not the way that we are going to maintain leadership in the 21st century.
The vision is: Bush was terrible! The familiar word string "got us into this mess" dribbles out of Obama's mouth for the thousandth time. I'm not Bush — that's the vision, and even though Romney failed — as Krauthammer pointed out — to be enough like Bush to give Obama a place to stand and declare I AM NOT BUSH, he did it anyway.

Schieffer turned to Romney and repeated the words "wrong and reckless policies." (Schieffer was brilliant, by the way. So minimal and unobtrusive, but absolutely there.) "I've got a policy for the future and agenda for the future," Romney said, launching away from the question and into his 5-point plan for the economy. He's not Bush either, and he doesn't bother to explain why. If the question was supposed to be about Bush-and-Cheney's warmongering, Romney ignores that. Obama responds using his 2 minutes to talk about the economy too — not to refocus us on Bush's belligerence. After the 2 men have consumed approximately equal time in this off-topic speechmaking, Schieffer breaks in:
SCHIEFFER: Let me get back to foreign policy.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHIEFFER: Can I just get back...

ROMNEY: Well - well, I need to speak a moment...

SCHIEFFER: OK.

ROMNEY: ... if you'll let me, Bob, just about education...

SCHIEFFER: OK.
Okay!
ROMNEY: ... because I'm - I'm so proud of the state that I had the chance to be governor of. We have every two years tests that look at how well our kids are doing. Fourth graders and eighth graders are tested in English and math. While I was governor, I was proud that our fourth graders came out number one of all 50 states in English, and then also in math. And our eighth graders number one in English and also in math. First time one state had been number one in all four measures. How did we do that? Well, Republicans and Democrats came together on a bipartisan basis to put in place education principles that focused on having great teachers in the classroom.
And here's where Obama goes for the interruption that broke the mood of placidity last night:
OBAMA: Ten years earlier...

ROMNEY: And that was - that was - that was what allowed us to become the number one state in the nation.

OBAMA: But that was 10 years before you took office.

(CROSSTALK)

[OBAMA]: And then you cut education spending when you came into office.

ROMNEY: The first - the first - the first - and we kept our schools number one in the nation. They're still number one today.

SCHIEFFER: All right.

ROMNEY: And the principles that we put in place, we also gave kids not just a graduation exam that determined whether they were up to the skills needed to - to be able compete, but also if they graduated the quarter of their class, they got a four-year tuition- free ride at any Massachusetts public institution of higher learning.

OBAMA: That happened before you came into office.

SCHIEFFER: Governor...

ROMNEY: That was actually mine, actually, Mr. President. You got that fact wrong.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHIEFFER: Let me get - I want to try to shift it, because we have heard some of this in the other debates.
As I put it last night, "Obama just did some sharp interrupting while Romney was rhapsodizing about education in Massachusetts." To restate my observation: Obama suddenly changed his tone, got belligerent, when Romney was just going on innocuously about education. There was no casus belli. Whatever happened happened inside Obama head. I need to be Debate #2 Obama, not Debate #1 Obama. He felt the placidity of the evening, the utter failure to ignite the BUSH!!!!! petard, so he made a fight out of nothing.

162 comments:

gk1 said...

It looks to me President Butt-hurt is desperate and knows he's behind. I just got done watching that exchange and it was almost like obama realized he had to make something happen because he saw Romney was not giving him the material he needed.

Joaquin said...

So, how many voters did Romney lose last night? None, that's how many!

Matthew Sablan said...

I saw somewhere that Romney told his aides he did not want to be combative in the debates and insisted that he was doing it his way this time. I think the second debate was not a strategy Romney felt comfortable repeating; he seemed much more at home in debates 1 and 3.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Obama is a prick. That was pretty obvious last night, more so than at any previous point I can remember. That's not a show-stopper for being president, but you need to have someone making sure to soften that (pun intended). That hasn't been happening with his administration.

Nonapod said...

It was a little frustrating for us people on the right who wanted a more aggressive Romney, who went after Obama on Lybia and what not. But as a strategery I can understand Romney wanting to appeal to a group of (largely women) swing voters who didn't particularly want Bush the 3rd.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

The first debate loss was really a disaster for Obama. It planted this seed that the only way for him to "win" was to be rude, petulant and belligerent. This strategy might motivate the base but it does little to inspire independent voters. I can't help but think Obama will regret this approach come November.

TosaGuy said...

A bad sports team can only win when it gets to play its preferred style and executes if flawlessly.

A mediocre sports team can beat anybody if the other team is forced to play the mediocre team's style.

A good sports team can impose its style on lesser teams.

A great sports team can beat you even when forced to play the opponent's style of play, but it must do so flawlessly.

A championship team can simply impose its style at anytime and can execute the other team's style flawlessly.

Matthew Sablan said...

He used to have Rahm and others in his administration who could check and focus him. At some point, he drove out the people who were holding him in check and surrounded himself with people like Valerie Jarret and Axelrod. It is the same sort of problem Bush had, only Bush had the gift of an openly adversarial press. Anyone with Holder or Clinton's record under a Republican would be gone by now, and it would be better for Obama if they had taken their resignation instead of tossing another millstone around his electoral neck.

Salamandyr said...

I spent most of the debate stressed, and a little hurt that Romney was giving Obama such an easy time of it. In the cold light of the morning, I realize that's because, in my mind, I wanted Romney to be a sort of proxy for me, to say all the things to the President that I want to say, to tear him down for the way he has torn down the status and reputation of our country. So naturally, I was upset he didn't do that. But it's not really Romney's job to tell everyone how bad Obama is, it's his job to tell people how he will be better.

The most interesting thing I saw, was there were times, when Romney appeared to forget he was in a debate, forget that he had talking points to make, and just spoke, quite excitedly I thought, about some issue, like for instance the currency situation in China, that showed he had a deep understanding of the issue, and that it was a problem he relished grasping. I imagine this is how he approached the financing of troubled businesses, as challenges he could overcome. Those were truly his best moments of the night, and when he got into them, it was like Obama wasn't even on the stage.

SteveR said...

By not being aggressive, Romney made Obama have to (awkwardly in many cases) slip into his preset talking points. "I'm glad you agree with me but last year you..."

Jamie said...

I thought the President started well, and I'm not a fan of his policies either domestically or internationally. But right at "apology tour," he went on the defensive and he never got back on offense, it seemed to me.

Romney spent a lot of time agreeing that we were doing right things (but could have done them sooner, better, with feeling, whatever), so he seemed to be more... if not "defensive" at the start, at least not "on offense," but right at the apology exchange, he seemed to feel the wind at his back and grew increasingly bold in bringing the questions back to a foreign policy based on demonstrable strength (including economic strength at home) rather than appeasement. In spite of NPR's insistence that the President won "on points," my sense of the whole debate was that the President never quite regained his equilibrium after having been called out on bowing and scraping to the Islamic world in a futile effort to make the illiberal love us.

Marshal said...

Matthew Sablan said...
I saw somewhere that Romney told his aides he did not want to be combative in the debates and insisted that he was doing it his way this time.


I think this is off. The tactic is driven by the circumstances and goals, not personal preference. Romney wants to be combative on the economy, because he expects to win on the economy. If you emphasize FP some portion of people with you on the economy are going to be put off, so don't risk them. Instead minimize the FP differences and emphasize the economic differences.

The Romney camp may have put this out to explain the difference since they cannot admit what I'm suggesting. But that doesn't make it accurate.

TosaGuy said...

Great points, Salamandyr,

I think too many people think a debates need to be a boxing match. Instead, the debates are an opportunity to talk to America directly.

Obama was too focused on punching Romney to talk to America.

Sorun said...

Both candidates are trying to appeal to Obama's base. What does that tell you?

Patrick said...

Following the President's failure in the first debate, Romney has been able to focus not on winning debates, but on persuading voters. Seeing the 'snap shot polls' declaring that the President 'won' the debate, I wondered if winning a debate translated into winning votes. After the first debate, it appears (to me anyway) that the President was trying to win the debate, and losing focus on persuading the voters.

Clearly, Romney was able to do both in the first debate.

K in Colorado said...

I asked an associate of mine (who voted for Obama last time) what she thought of the debate. She said boring, but Romney looked presidential, while Obama was often rude and condescending. Definate preference cascade by women towards Romney happening.

Quayle said...

$500 - $750 million of Obama dollars spent on Romney characterization ads, all down the drain.
What a strategic blunder of enormous proportions Obama's team has made, believing that they had a fix on the target and could just blast away. If they knew anything about military history they’d know that mounting large guns in fixed positions pointing only one direction works only as long as your opponent doesn’t come from another direction.
There’s also the trap, particularly dangerous for arrogant and self-sure people like Obama and his gang – that you inhale your own exhaust and believe your own press releases. You start to plan against your own characterizations about your opponents, believing that they really are as you describe them to be, and fail to plan against a real, moving, thinking, reacting enemy.
Obama's team simply got outplayed by the smarter, tighter, more nimble team. What a laugh.

garage mahal said...

Getting your ass handed to you was all part of the master plan.

Losing = winning!

Sloanasaurus said...

Romney was in a debate that was impossible to win on points. Most of Obama's debate points were snarky small comments. He was trying to bait Romney into making the same snarky comments.

Then we would be seeing those comments all day long by the media saying that Romney is "not presidential." Of course the media won't play Obama's snarky points because Obama is the President (and they love him).

Romney refused to give any of these soundbites and therefore sacrificed losing the debate on points to winning the debate strategically. Thus Romney wins the war and Obama loses.

wyo sis said...

Is it just me or is garage starting to sound like American Politico?

Marshal said...

garage mahal said...
Getting your ass handed to you was all part of the master plan.

Losing = winning!


This seems overly critical. I'm pretty sure Obama knows he's losing.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Getting your ass handed to you was all part of the master plan."

-- Has anyone told the president we have more bayonets than in the past yet?

Patrick said...

Marshal FTW.

Rich B said...

Obama was spoiling for a fight about Libya - probably had an "how dare you" attack lined up. I was disappointed that Romney didn't seize the issue, but I think that was his plan. I notice that Obama kept trying to bring up Libya but never got traction. Romney just looked composed and gave Obama a few shots that must have stung. At the end, Obama had to sit through Romney's recitation of bad economic data just like in the first debate.

I wonder if John Stewart will have a Romney clip for his Moment of Zen. Mitt Jujitsu, indeed!

wyo sis said...

Salamandyr
I'm like you in that I want Romney to be confrontational.
That isn't his style and he's been very successful at getting people to get along and get things done. I notice that people who lead effectively have this quality. Obama doesn't seem to have it.

Writ Small said...

Many Obama attacks had the feeling of being excessively hyperbolic and uncomfortably personal. Not to mention that others were schoolyard taunts ("The 80's are calling" - a sitting president paraphrasing George Costanza. Really?). In sharp contrast from his first debate, Obama adopted the language and style of the Moveon & Netroots crowd and sounded at times like a wannabe internet commenter.

In contrast and as usual, Romney criticized the president's policies. His tone was serious. His decision not to go hammer and tong over Obama's foreign policy shortcomings tended to strengthen his economic attacks. That is, Romney is not a guy who just attacks strongly by default - like Obama, it seems. Romney's outrage is commensurate with the offense.

There were a number of times Obama made good points. His 9/11 little girl story was effective.
As people digest what they saw, however, I don't think the president's tactics will wear well.

Patrick said...

Meep meep.

schmidt said...

I'm a little tired this morning. Shall use Syria as my route to the coffee maker.

traditionalguy said...

When a wrestler is ahead on points in the last round, he will then just ride the opponent and not risk getting reversed and pinned in the last few minutes.

The crowd wants action, so the ref will call stalling unless the man on top every now and then acts like he is attacking the man under him.

Then the match is over and there is only one winner.

MayBee said...

I haven't seen the debate yet, just some highlights.

That thing about having ships that planes land on was just dickish.

Did any lefties feel good about that?

EMD said...

Garage can make some great absurd, snarky comments that most commenters here take way too seriously.



Dust Bunny Queen said...

Romney's strategy in this last debate was masterful. Maintain a calm, professional and impenetrable surface that Obama could not crack or get a toe hold on. This tactic not only is something foreign to Obama's nature, it infuriated him with his own inability, causing Obama to lash out and appear as his real self...childish, petty, peevish and bitterly incompetent.

Romney, as a life long business man has had to hone that style in order to deal with other business people who are also masters at maneuvering. This lack explains why Obama's foreign policy is such a shambles and why Romney will be great at it. Romney: Maneuvering around the diplomatic arena with other people who know the dance instead of Obama's amateurish "Chicago Ways" and his letting his ego take over which only shows weakness that other countries can exploit.

President Romney will not only be a breath of fresh air....more importantly.....he will be COMPETENT.

EMD said...

That thing about having ships that planes land on was just dickish.

Condescension rarely works to anyone's advantage.

It would have been better to make a reasoned argument about building a 21st century Navy that doesn't rely on fleet volume, but on what kind of ships are necessary to do the work needed.

AlphaLiberal said...

The simplest explanation was that Romney was embracing many of Obama's positions and policies so Obama wanted to highlight the differences.

Highlighting differences and criticizing an opponent, however, is not "belligerence." I think you need to review the meaning of that word.

Romney had his ass handed to him in the last debate over his shameless exploitation of the Benghazi, Libya tragedy. So he did not go back there and implicitly admitted defeat.

Really, Romney was pretty embarrassing last night. He babbled a lot, didn't speak about a 9th grade (to be generous level) and displayed an appalling lack of knowledge.

edutcher said...

As I said earlier, the Romster made his case and then let Barry be himself.

I think we're about to find out just how smart the Romster really is. You think about it, as several have noted, and he played Barry like a violin this month.

This week's line is "horses and bayonets".

Texan99 said...

I agree with Patrick. Obama was trying to salve his ego by scoring a media-scored "win" after his drubbing in the first debate. Romney was focused on convincing voters instead. His calm objection that "attacking me is not a plan for America's future" was very effective, as was the reference to the early "apology tour," especially since, by denying it, Obama gave Romney the chance to detail Obama's obvious preference for Iran, Cuba, and Russia over Israel.

It was fascinating to learn that the sequester "won't happen."

Matthew Sablan said...

People keep saying Romney lost on Libya in Debate 2, but... Crowley admitted she was in error. In short: The only way to keep thinking he lost is to lie to yourself and huddle down in the deep, warm, safety cocoon, wrapped in the NYT as Matthews sonorous tones fill your heart with gladness as you prep for your two-minute hate against Romney.

AF said...

Professor Althouse, do you still maintain that Benghazi is a bigger scandal than Watergate?

AlphaLiberal said...

"He felt the placidity of the evening, the utter failure to ignite the BUSH!!!!! petard, so he made a fight out of nothing. "

Obama never mentions Bush, yet conservatives are always crying it's unfair when Obama mentions Bush!

Last debate, Romney brought up Bush, then Obama mentioned Bush's name, but in a way flattering to Bush.

Romney has many of the Bush team advising him on foreign policy and economic policy. So it's pretty fair to invoke Bush. I wish Obama would do so more often to remind people how bad Bush was.

Remember 4 years ago this month? our economy was in freefall and we were deep in economic crisis after 8 years of unfettered Republican tax and regulation policies. Romney wants to return to those policies - but double down.

p.s. Typo above. I mean "above 9th grade level."

Icepick said...

Winning the debate isn't the important thing for a challenger to an incumbent - the main thing is to look up to the task. If the nation is doing well it probably won't help against an incumbent, but if the nation is doing poorly the biggest hurdle a challenger faces against an incumbent is to convince voters that he is up for the job. Because if the nation is doing poorly then people will likely not need a lot of encouragement to look elsewhere for a President.

Romney did what he needed to do last night, which was look like he could credibly fill the position.

As for the incumbent, his job in a debate is to demonstrate how wonderful his record has been and to promise more of the same. This is much more easily done when the incumbent has a decent record. It doesn't matter what Obama did or didn't do during the debate. What mattered was what he had done in the previous 3 years and 9 months before the debate. Alternately, he had to hope his opponent screwed up.

By that metric Obama had lost last night's debate before he even took the stage, unless Romney put his dick in the butter dish. Romney kept it zippered up, so he won.

EMD said...

Remember 4 years ago this month? our economy was in freefall and we were deep in economic crisis after 8 years of unfettered Republican tax and regulation policies.

Keep wishing this were true.

Matthew Sablan said...

Remember when we were promised unemployment around 5% and good jobs coming back enough to keep up with population growth? Yeah. I kind of wish that was a promise kept over things like giving Solyndra some walking around money.

AlphaLiberal said...

Crowley did not admit she was in error. She retracted that statement that was twisted.

Obama clearly called the event a terrorist act. But, so what? Who cares if it's called terrorism or something else bad?

A political campaign is the worst possible venue for fact-finding on such an incident, beyond, say a one week bender of booze and pills.

By the way, gang, your hero Daryl Issa revealed the names of secret allies in Libya when he released a bunch of documents last week, Dumb ass!

Matthew Sablan said...

After losing the main point, it looks like your next plan is to throw up smoke to cover up the fact you were wrong about Debate #2. Take care.

ricpic said...

Re: Romney's not pressing on Libya. Isn't pointing out that the President of The United States watched our ambassador be murdered in real time and did NOTHING about it a little more important than strategy?

garage mahal said...

Romney's strategy in this last debate was masterful.

Appearing nervous, stoned, sweating, and deferential to all of Obama's positions. Somehow I don't think that's how they drew that up.

marshall2twr said...

Remember 4 years ago this month? our economy was in freefall and we were deep in economic crisis after 8 years of unfettered Republican tax and regulation policies.

Except for the years of 01-03 when the democrats controlled the Senate.

Oh, and also that period from 06-08 when the democrats controlled both the House and Senate.

So what you really mean is what then?

traditionalguy said...

Using the wrestling analogy, the end of the debate caused the man behind on points and withlittle hope of reversal and pin to start biting and pinching the man riding him in hopes of breaking his focus and getting a foolish reaction. (Yes, this really happens and only makes the man on top laugh.)

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

AlphaLiberal,

He babbled a lot, didn't speak about a 9th grade (to be generous level) and displayed an appalling lack of knowledge.

Any actual 9th-grader would be embarrassed to have written that sentence.

AlphaLiberal said...

Me: Remember 4 years ago this month? our economy was in freefall and we were deep in economic crisis after 8 years of unfettered Republican tax and regulation policies.

EMD: Keep wishing this were true.

Wow. See, this is why conservatives get so little respect these days. you believe things that are clearly false and you expect other people to believe you.

That's how Mitt got his handed to him on Libya. This whole alternate universe thing is a real political liability.

Matthew Sablan said...

I wonder why no one ever points out that Obama agreed with Romney just as often as the other way around and why no one considers that bad form for Obama.

Hint: On foreign policy, reality forces presidents to be fairly similar to create stability and continuity. That's why Obama has been Bush-lite with good PR as opposed to the Obama everyone expected.

TosaGuy said...

Obama can't regain the campaign offensive without an opening from Romney. Romney did not yield such an opening and, as a result, Obama's slow erosion will continue.

If the Obama has another 47 percent video, they will it deploy later this week to try to change the momentum before the full weight of the debates is set in concrete.

I will still contend that Benghazi forced the Obama campaign to play their trumph card much earlier than they wanted....and it turned out that it was an off-suit Jack and not an Ace.

Ann Althouse said...

"Obama clearly called the event a terrorist act."

No he didn't. He used the phrase "terrorist act" in an abstract way elsewhere in a statement in which he also talked about the attack.

I can't believe you would assert this and use the word "clearly." You undermine your own credibility. You identify yourself as a party hack when you talk like that. There are many intelligent, honest people here having a conversation, and you should do a better job of protecting yourself from our disdain.

MayBee said...

Interesting that Obama, with a promise to cut the deficit, criticizes Romney for cutting education spending while keeping excellent results.

Isn't that everyone's goal? To maintain excellence at a lower cost?

edutcher said...

AF said...

Professor Althouse, do you still maintain that Benghazi is a bigger scandal than Watergate?

Thinking people do.

As the line goes, "Nobody died in Watergate".

bagoh20 said...

DBQ got it just right at 9:38

Apparently "getting your ass handed to you" means outmaneuvering an ameteur opponenet and letting him get what he wants (MSM and base approval) while you walk away with the real prize (voters).

It's no surprise that those on left even today don't see whats happened to them in theses debates. Totally outplayed.

Obama is buried in tar babies.

AF said...

"After losing the main point, it looks like your next plan is to throw up smoke to cover up the fact you were wrong about Debate #2. Take care."

Matthew Sablan: If Romney thought that he was right and Candy Crowley was wrong in debate #2, don't you think he would have, you know, brought up the point again in response to a direct question?

I'll give Romney this much credit: He's smart enough to (belatedly) realize that the wing-nut hysterics peddled on this blog and its minions are a big loser.

Matthew Sablan said...

In Alpha's defense, I believe Obama -meant- for "act of terror" to be a clear reference to Benghazi. It is just that, due to poor composition of the speech, it remains unclear. I think that's why there's disconnect; Obama -meant- it to be clear, but his rhetoric failed on making it clear.

The problem is that, after claiming to have been clear about it, he refused to repeat it, even to friendly media like The View, so I can see why Romney (and others, like Crowley), might eventually have reached the conclusion that it was not what Obama meant.

But, hey, he's a great speaker, right?

Icepick said...

Schieffer was brilliant, by the way. So minimal and unobtrusive, but absolutely there.

I think brilliant is too strong a word, but I do like the fact that he got out of the way and stayed out of the way, especially right near the end. The two men were engaging with each other and the voters, don't fuck it up with inane chatter from the guy not running for anything.

gk1 said...

Face it lefties, your president is an asshole. Last night confirmed it for anyone not drinking the koolaid. My wife (who voted for obama in 2008) left the room 15 min into it.

EMD said...

I would seriously consider voting for the guy who said "Never get involved in a land war in Asia." last night.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Sarbanes-Oxley was an unfettered Republican regulation policy? Who knew?

AlphaLiberal said...

So what you really mean is what then?

I mean that Bush and the Republicans got nearly everything they wanted on economic policy, except to turn Social Security over to the tender mercies of Wall Street.

They got multiple forms of tax cuts in perpetuity. They got dereg of Wall Street before Bush came to office. Bush did not enforce much of what was left of Wall Street reg's.

Also, Dems caved in a lot to Bush and the GOP. They've been pretty whipped for a long time. Clinton and other Dems helped the repeal of Glass-Steagal, enough sucky conservative Dems (B Nelson, Lieberman) went along with the tax cuts and dereg.

Look, trickle down tax cuts and dereg have been tried and have failed - AGAIN. Yet Repubs keep demanding the same policies.

In the past 4 years, Repubs have not at all returned the favor.

Remember how bad it was 4 years ago this month. Well, as bad as we thought it was then, when the final numbers came out - after the stimulus was passed and those proclamations made - we found out the economy was far far worse.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Matthew Sablan: If Romney thought that he was right and Candy Crowley was wrong in debate #2, don't you think he would have, you know, brought up the point again in response to a direct question?"

-- What was the point? Crowley didn't interrupt Obama to tell him Romney was right on oil/gas leases; Schaffer didn't interrupt Obama to tell him he was wrong about the status of forces agreement (or on Romney's Detorit op-ed.) In short, there was nothing to gain from Romney arguing. Crowley was a hack and an idiot, so much so that Anderson Cooper called her out on it (her own network!) Romney saw that the deck was stacked, he was behind by nearly 4 or 5 minutes at that point, and there was no point spending time to convince two liars they were lying to him.

EMD said...

As the line goes, "Nobody died in Watergate".

Our nation's innocence was the greatest casualty!!!!!!!!

marshall2twr said...

I beg to differ Ann, the president never used the words 'terrorist act', his actual verbiage was 'acts of terror', indicating that he was speaking about more than one occurance, a generality.

TosaGuy said...

"Apparently "getting your ass handed to you" means outmaneuvering an ameteur opponenet and letting him get what he wants (MSM and base approval) while you walk away with the real prize (voters)."

I will let my opponent kick field goals all day if I am scoring touchdowns.

bagoh20 said...

The left thinks they won, and the right doesn't care if they do. That tells you what happened.

Michael said...

Jujitsu

EMD said...

I'm willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt on "Act of Terror"

But what the hell happened the next two weeks?

creeley23 said...

Well, I'm happy. As I read the tea leaves, Romney preserved his gains and his momentum, and he didn't scare people in the middle away. I don't see anything to stop Romney from winning.

We shall see in the next two weeks.

Likewise, Benghazi. Contrary to ARM and Inga, that story is not over. I have no idea how they imagine that leaving an Ambassador and other Americans to die an hours-long firefight without lifting a finger, then spinning all sorts of misleading stories about it, is something inconsequential.

We shall read more about Libya and Obama's people will have to answer more questions. It will be a slow leak in the already soft tire of the Obama campaign.

Fingers crossed, I do believe that Romney is over the hump and will continue to press his advantages until victory in two weeks.

Drago said...

LOL

The left continues in it's delusional meltdown mode!

They haven't yet learned that the talking points no longer work and if you don't know that by now, you never will.

BTW, doesn't obama have any "corpse-men" around to tell him that you never refer to submarines as "ships". They are only called boats by those who understand the Navy.......which necessarily excludes obama.

I have an old friend from my squadron days (he was our intel officer) who was the University Democrats President when he was in college.

I spoke to him after the debate (since we always used to argue in friendly way and it was fun and challenging because he was so sharp).

He almost went for McCain last time.

He's definitely going for Romney this time and now he calls himself an independent.

This is obama'a problem in a nutshell.

All the caterwauling and whining and over the top accusations by the left only drives more and more independents and moderate dems into Romney's camp.

Romney has a strategists mind and this campaign is proving it.

Christopher in MA said...

Really, Romney was pretty embarrassing last night. He babbled a lot, didn't speak about a 9th grade (to be generous level) and displayed an appalling lack of knowledge.

I suspect he knows - unlike your President Petulant - that the Navy calls submarines "boats," not "ships."

AF said...

Ann Althouse: "No he didn't. He used the phrase "terrorist act" in an abstract way elsewhere in a statement in which he also talked about the attack."

No deliberately obtuse law professor is going to convince me that Obama used the the phrase "terrorist act" in an abstract way.

Note that by Althouse's logic I did not just call her Althouse "deliberately obtuse."

Icepick said...

But, hey, he's a great speaker, right?

Given that he thinks the deaths of Americans are "not optimal" and a "bump in the road", that "you didn't build that", and the endless stream of badly worded statements, let's just stop saying that he's a great speaker, even as snark.

The real indictment that Obama didn't believe it was an act of terrorism, as opposed to mob violence, is that he sent out the US Ambassador to the UN to tell everyone repeatedly that it was mob violence several days later. At the very least the Administration is guilty of gross incompetence of message management.

Incidentally, Chris Matthews still hasn't checked his email and is still pushing the mob violence meme.

AlphaLiberal said...

Sablan:
"..it remains unclear.."

No, really, it was very clear.

But why is this so important to you guys? Do you think these are magic words that must be uttered for .. something.. to happen?

Really, it's like watching a Monty Python sketch.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Thanks Bago...

The other strategy used by Romney was to not allow himself to be pulled down into the minutia, the little details that would devolve into petty arguments and instead maintain his focus on the larger goal. To fall into Obama's ploy of getting him [Romney] to go tit for tat would have only brought Romney DOWN to Obama's level. Like arguing with your snarky, rude teenager: you don't go tit for tat. You stay above and maintain your adult authority. That is how you eventually win.

Romney was a slick granite wall and Obama was unable to get any purchase so instead continued to throw himself flailing against the wall.

AF said...

Matthew Sablan: "What was the point?"

Exactly. What was the point of bringing up Benghazi, even in response to a direct question, when it's been a bullshit issue all along?

Again, I give Romney credit for realizing this.

Rocketeer said...

Hey, I'll go a little easy on Obama on this point. You go to belli with the casus you have, not the casus you might want or wish to have at a later time.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I might also continue and mention that Obama's strategy was much like that of trolls like Alpha Liberal and others who try to derail the conversation into fruitless side issues and to encourage arguments so that no one can concentrate on the real issues.

Obama was trolling the debate.

marshall2twr said...

Remember how bad it was 4 years ago this month. Well, as bad as we thought it was then, when the final numbers came out - after the stimulus was passed and those proclamations made - we found out the economy was far far worse.

And now, you want to give another term to the administration who was so utterly wrong about conditions that their solutions failed to be big enough.

And if their understanding of what is wrong now is just as wrong as they were then? What of their proposed solutions?

Can their judgement even be trusted at this point since, as you freely admit, they completely failed to grasp reality then?

bagoh20 said...

"Remember how bad it was 4 years ago this month. "

Unemployment: 6.5% then - 8% now.

Debt: $9 Tril. then - $16 Tril. now

garage mahal said...

No he didn't. He used the phrase "terrorist act" in an abstract way elsewhere in a statement in which he also talked about the attack.

He used the words "act of terror", twice, immediately after. Romney didn't call it an act of terror for two weeks.

If Obama is guilty of what you guys accuse him of you wouldn't feel the need to lie about it.

creeley23 said...

Apparently "getting your ass handed to you" means outmaneuvering an ameteur opponenet and letting him get what he wants (MSM and base approval) while you walk away with the real prize (voters).

I'll go with bagoh20 and DBQ. I used to play tournament chess. Romney plays like a grandmaster who is capable of brilliant attacks but mostly succeeds through long-range, thorough strategy that slowly crushes opponents.

I'll bet we're going to see some great Get Out The Vote.

Howard said...

Romney looked like a deer in the headlights when he wasn't uttering high-pitched corporate-speak. He was drowning out there. He was off balance the whole debate, quite unlike his performance in the first one. Fortunately for Romney, no one was watching. The race remains a tossup.

In any event, the teabagging chickenhawks are solidly behind a girly-man who talks big about being tough but lacks the intestinal fortitude required for street-fighting judgement.

Matthew Sablan said...

"teabagging chickenhawks"

-- Do you think homophobic slurs make you look smart?

Drago said...

AF: "Exactly. What was the point of bringing up Benghazi, even in response to a direct question, when it's been a bullshit issue all along?"

First US Ambassador murdered since 1979 by islamic militants in a muslim nation on the anniversary of 9-11 by the associated islamic extremists of the very organization that attacked us on 9-11-2001 after the murdered Ambassador AND his head of security requested additional security to augment the 4th party nationals security contingent hired by a foreign security company that the US admin outsourced the responsibility to.

All in a nation where obama "led from behind" and used US military forces, without the approval of or even consultation with the US congress, to topple the outgoing dictator which has led to a power vacuum which is being filled rapidly by the very islamic extremists we are fighting in about 40 other nations.

Yep. Nothing to see there. At all.


AF: "Again, I give Romney credit for realizing this."

Romney realizes that this story is now running on it's own legs and he doesn't have to push it. Instead, he can focus on the very issues and tactics that have resulted in his being in the lead with just 2 weeks to go until the election.

Romney is playing chess and obama can't even find the game room.

Matthew Sablan said...

"girly-man"

-- Oh look, another one. Why do you think it is OK to say these sorts of things.

MayBee said...

Obama continued to say AlQaeda was on its heels for weeks after they killed our ambassador and 3 other good men.

And, I might add, hoisted their flags over several of our embassies.

So if Obama thought it was a terrorist act to kill our Ambassador, he was slow to adjust his assessment of AlQaeda.

edutcher said...

I think Drago is on to something when he said, "more and more independents and moderate dems into Romney's camp".

I remember in '64 how many Republicans For Johnson buttons there were.

I have a feeling the margin here is going to be bigger than any of us imagines.

Marshal said...

garage mahal said...
No he didn't. He used the phrase "terrorist act" in an abstract way elsewhere in a statement in which he also talked about the attack.

He used the words "act of terror", twice, immediately after. Romney didn't call it an act of terror for two weeks.


Maybe you could point to the Romney surrogates who spent two weeks insisting the attack was a spontaneous outgrowth of a video protest. Oh, you can't? Well maybe that explains why the garbled statement you point to doesn't prove anything. There is clear and contrary evidence the left ignores in the vain hope everyone else will agree to pretend doesn't exist.

It's sad we have to explain to the left how to think. But it seems inevitable considering that leftist indoctrination primarily teaches adherents how to ignore inconvenient facts.

elkh1 said...

Romney got inside Obama's OODA loop.

"An entity that can process this [decision] cycle quickly, observing and reacting to unfolding events more rapidly than an opponent, can thereby "get inside" the opponent's decision cycle and gain the advantage."

Obama was debating a caricature of Romney that existed in his head. Romney navigated inside that head, disarmed and rendered the Incompetent One impotent.

MayBee said...

Are people on the left who comment here happy with Obama's communication about what happened in Benghazi and elsewhere?

Do you think he should be taking and answering more serious questions about such a traumatic event? Are you happy with the View and Jon Stewart approach?

Are you happy that in the wake of those terrible events of 9/11, Obama did not have any one on one meetings with world leaders when they came to the UN?

Drago said...

Howard: "...teabagging chickenhawks ..."

LOL

This really is all they have left isn't it? There really never was anything else.

On topic, did you see that just today, TODAY!!!, obama has decided to release his "plan" for the next 4 years!!

Today!

The final act of desperation from a now hilariously exposed pretender and all the over the top Mickey Spillane writer wannabe's describing obama as some sort of "street fighter" can't change the clear facts on the ground.

I also happened to notice that in the debate obama still says that "we" killed bin laden.

He didn't kill anyone, but I bet he believes he did....

AF said...

"Yep. Nothing to see there. At all."

That appears to be Romney's position based on his response to a direct question about the situation at the foreign policy debate.

We're not going to be hearing any more about Benghazi in this campaign. In fact, we're not even going to be hearing anything about it on this blog within a day or two.

bagoh20 said...

Howard,
Obama was handed a challenging job with zero training, experience or record of being able to handle it. Predictably he failed with the worst recovery since FDR. He deserves to be fired, and replaced with someone with a record of success in turning things around.

Whether you like Obama and hate Romney is really irrelevant to the decision we have. We need to act responsibly now. It's our duty to ourselves and our people. There is no shame in doing that, and admitting to learning something in the last four years. I have. I never expected him to do so badly, but since we knew nothing about his ability, we're lucky he wasn't a lot worse. Time for us to man up.

MayBee said...

Are you all happy that Obama chose to focus so much on an obscure video, even using his speech at the UN to say the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam?

Are you lefties happy with Obama's actions and communication on Benghazi?

And did you like the airplanes-landing-on-ships bit last night?

Icepick said...

Remember how bad it was 4 years ago this month. Well, as bad as we thought it was then, when the final numbers came out - after the stimulus was passed and those proclamations made - we found out the economy was far far worse.

First, everyone was calling it the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression four years ago. That means it had to at least be worse than what had happened in the previous 30 years, yes? So why was Obama and all the idiots that work for him claiming a 4% drop in GDP at the time, which would have only been middling compared to the previous 30 years of recessions? Either they believed the -4% GDP claim and were lying about how bad they thought it was for pure personal gain, or they were lying about the -4% GDP claim. Your guys are lying sacks of shit either way Alpha.

And let me tell you that it sucks now, too. At a networking meeting for out of work professionals last night. The consensus is that we'll count anyone lucky that gets a job paying half of what we used to make - without benefits of course. That's NO FUCKING BETTER than it was four years ago, you simpering little pus bag. Actually its worse, because now we've all had four years of unemployment to lose all of our savings.

The economy is a shambles. Employment sucks, and the only reason UE-3 isn't over ten percent is because of people giving up. (Preemptively: Spare my the bullshit about all the fucking retired people. That doesn't explain that almost 2% drop in participation among the 25-54 age bands.) But it's worse than that because more jobs are part-time or temp or contract positions now than four years ago. And it's worse than that because median income keeps falling, despite three years of that recovery that you love to crow about. And it's worse than that because of all the new college grads that can't get decent jobs and are putting off starting families, which incidentally means they will make less in their life-times, pay less taxes as a consequence and have fewer children to pay taxes in the future - that's a demographic timebomb that you love to brag about. Out-fucking-standing.

Brag about Obama all you want, Alpha Liberal - it shows that you don't give a goddamned shit about anything but that your party and your own personal demi-god wins. If you gave a fuck about anything but winning you guys would have at least mounted a challenge against a complete abject failure of a President.

And spare me what you didn't get from Republicans. You had a hammerlock on Congress the first two years and you spent it fucking around with the most half-assed piece of healthcare reform possible. Oh, and not passing a budget because you were all shitting yourselves that if you did that it would look bad.

Well guess what, you didn't do it and you not only look bad, but look exactly like the incompetent party-above-everything jackholes that you are.

But hey, at least our ambassadors can worry about getting ass-raped by the towel-headed terrorists that Obama helped set loose on the world by eliminating any semblance of government across a large swath of North Africa! You've got that accomplishment going for you! Plus some of Barry's boys got to watch it live through the magic of technology. Barry 0 didn't, though, because he needed his beauty sleep. Presidential engagement at its absolute finest.

furious_a said...

" You undermine your own credibility. You identify yourself as a party hack when you talk like that. "

Ooofff..,that left a mark!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

OODA loop

Precisely. That is what I was trying to convey about being a business leader and maneuvering. You have to be quick and flexible and able to size up your competition's strengths and exploit their weaknesses.

Romney has a lifetime of exercising this skill.

Obama has a lifetime of being a coddled affirmative action hire.

Renee said...

Obama made reference to the social policy of the 1950s. Why? Isn't that 'The Greatest Nation' coming home from WWII.

Non-residential fathers is at a societal high, and family stability matters in academic outcomes for children.

60 years ago had it whole set of issues, but my parents look pretty fondly at their childhoods. They didn't have much, but they had both parents and lots of relatives in the neighborhood, heat, clothes, and food.

Renee said...

oh, and a TV! They had a TV!

MayBee said...

We're not going to be hearing any more about Benghazi in this campaign.

Is what happened in Benghazi just a campaign issue to you?

Drago said...

BTW, why is Howard hanging around here and talking about "chickenhawks"?

Clearly Howard supports obama so why hasn't Howard signed up to fight in obama's non-specific lead-from-behind kinetic military activities?

LOL

The word "hypocrite" and "lefty chickenhawk" comes to mind.

Again, this is all fun and good however the inevitable lunatic reaction of the left to the now very probable Romney win will probably continue to build to extraordinary proportions.

Recall it was just 4 years ago that we were being told that the Republican party was defunct, out of gas, no longer viable. That a sea-change had ocurred and that the Repubs faced "40 years in the wilderness" and a "permanent dem majority".

Then just 2 years ago the left calmed themselves by claiming that the "tea-baggers" and the 2010 election results were nothing more than the dying gasp of a dying party.

It's only now, at the end of this campaign, are they beginning to realize how fundamentally flawed their projections were.

Since they can't admit to being wrong and they are incapable of internalizing negative feedback from "reality", we can only surmise at how much more unhinged they will actually become.

bagoh20 said...

Last night's discussion of the American military was a little disappointing. Even though he's the commander of it, Obama's explanations sounded like a child talking about his toy boats and planes. Romney didn't talk in terms that sounded very knowledgeable either. This stuff is easy to bone up on, and I hear people talk about it all the time who at least sound like they are talking about modern weapons and tactics. Both men sound like the military is way outside their wheelhouse. That is not reassuring.

elkh1 said...

Icepick said...Romney did what he needed to do last night, which was look like he could credibly fill the position.

A very small shoe to fill, a very low hurdle to step over.

Icepick said...

Are you all happy that Obama chose to focus so much on an obscure video, even using his speech at the UN to say the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam?

Are you lefties happy with Obama's actions and communication on Benghazi?

And did you like the airplanes-landing-on-ships bit last night?


MayBee, as long as they win and get to hold power they don't care about anything else. Otherwise SOMEONE would have mounted a challenge against Barry 0 in the primaries. But they don't care about failure. Look at how they brag about the unemployment rate falling, when what's really happened is it got worse but was masked by people just giving up because the situation is hopeless. There's no sympathy for those of us out of work, just their hope, the giddy expectation, that as we become completely dependent on government we will HAVE to vote for them.

So yeah, the stuff about lying about why an Ambassador got killed by towel heads doesn't even begin to register. What's another dead body compared to their own glorious hold on power? Hell, they'd be happy to turn the US military loose on all the Red States and kill everyone that doesn't vote party-line D if they thought the military would do. Fucking worthless Stalinists at heart, the goddamned lot of them.

Pastafarian said...

Drago: "I also happened to notice that in the debate obama still says that "we" killed bin laden."

Oh, he went beyond that, Drago.

He actually had the gall to say "I said that if we had Obama in the crosshairs, that I would take the shot, and I did..."

So there, you faggy chickenhawks. President Streetfighter was out there in the shit, wearing a really cool keffiyeh with a commando uniform, and he took that shot from 900 meters with a tricked-out sniper rifle. And then he administered the coup-de-gras with a ninja sword.

Bob Ellison said...

The incumbent talked more about the challenger more than the challenger talked about the opponent. I don't think that has ever happened before. Maybe in 1980, with Carter v. Reagan.

Punch up, not down. Obama punched down.

elkh1 said...

Renee said...
Obama made reference to the social policy of the 1950s.

Pre-civil-rights movement. He's channeling Biden's chains. Paranoia threat to gain black votes.

Icepick said...

A very small shoe to fill, a very low hurdle to step over.

So why hasn't Obama done it during three years, nine months and a few days in office?

mccullough said...

Given Obama's pettiness and condescension, Romney did a very good job in his closing statement emphasizing how he worked with Democrats as governor and will continue to work in bi-partisan manner. Obama's demeanor last night left no doubt that he doesn't know how to get along well with others and that he is the obstructionist. No one wants an asshole as President.

Renee said...

How could Obama reference that, when Romney's father was apart of the Civil Rights movement?

I assumed it would be the marriage issue, because that is where the disagree?

Chip Ahoy said...

Had President Wonderful ever visited a carrier, he'd know they are actually carrier groups, not one single big boat that planes land on. He'd be more circumspect and resist his impulse for childish snark.

I did not hear him say millionairesandbillionaires and I suppose I should be thankful for that. But he did say, "just ask the rich to pay a little more of their fair share"

a little bit more

their fair share

I want to wring the necks of the people who utter those phrases. Apparently Obama has no idea how much that flat pisses me off or I'm certain he'd have abandon them already. They're awful awful AWFUL phrases and yet he works them into every speech. I respond negatively to his class resentment, and his class resentment does not stop. And neither does his wife.

Frankly, I'm beginning to accept Kevin's conclusion at Hillbuzz. I always dismissed it, but Kevin seems to know the Chicago gay scene fairly thoroughly. I never even heard of Boy's Town Chicago but apparently it's a whole thing. Obama is gay and Michelle is his beard. Kevin insists Rev. Wright has a whole thing in his church to match black gays with women that no guy wants. Sometimes they actually produce offspring. He names others. I dismissed his theory as amusing. But watching him in these debates, I have to say Kevin's theory affected my opinion of the man.

X said...

Howard: "...teabagging chickenhawks ..."


howie's doing it wrong. it's bitter racist billionaire misogynist gayhbashing neocon AGW denialist teabagging chickenhawks.

EMD said...

howie's doing it wrong. it's bitter racist billionaire misogynist gayhbashing neocon AGW denialist teabagging chickenhawks.

You forgot Wicca Perps.

Chip Ahoy said...

mccullough, exactly. He's criticized for etch-a-sketch flexibility. Obama attacks his voting record in Massachusetts as if Massachusetts is devoid of Democrats. The dipshit refused to acknowledge Romney was working predominantly with Democrats. If he were to accomplish anything at all back then he'd have to bend. Therefore, attack the bending. And I cannot forget, this is the weakest of the Republican candidates culled from the circus, the one most like the Democrats of them all, the one they wanted the Republicans to end up with, they got their wish.

Michael K said...

Making sure that we're bringing manufacturing back to our shores so that we're creating jobs here, as we've done with the auto industry, not rewarding companies that are shipping jobs overseas.

Obama doesn't understand that companies are fleeing his regulatory regime, not seeking cheaper labor. Some industries are coming back and many more will do so if Romney wins and repeals regulations and dismisses regulators like those suing Texas and attacking Arizona.

China has major problems coming. That huge Apple assembly plant is having riots among workers. We are still the most stable place in the world, out side of Switzerland. If companies can make money here, they will come.

Another change needs to involve our legal immigration law. Ted Kennedy barred Europeans 30 years ago and put them in a lottery system. I know a German master plumber and his midwife wife who waited years to get visas. They brought 50,000 Euros to invest in his business. We need a lot more people like that and fewer illiterate peasants.

Drago said...

AF: "That appears to be Romney's position based on his response to a direct question about the situation at the foreign policy debate."

Romney's position is clear. He simply refused to play into the caricature that the left so desperately wanted (and given the polls, needs).

As Ann noted, obama would just "go off" at different points in the debate to try and get Romney to respond. Sort of the way your teenager might say something to set you off.

But Romney was above that.

Way above that.

It's become clear that obama and the Chicago gang have absolutely no idea whatsoever how to play from behind.

AF: "We're not going to be hearing any more about Benghazi in this campaign."

Yes, you will.

AF: "In fact, we're not even going to be hearing anything about it on this blog within a day or two"

Yes, you will.

You simply lack the intellect to understand why that is.

AF said...

"Is what happened in Benghazi just a campaign issue to you?"

You must be confusing me with Romney. He injected it into the campaign before the bodies were cold, aided and abetted by the right-wing noise machine including this blog. Last night he came to his senses.

But you are correct, it should not be campaign issue. As Obama as said from day one, the important task is to address the situation, not to assign blame.

Drago said...

Michael K: "Obama doesn't understand that companies are fleeing his regulatory regime, not seeking cheaper labor."

Spot on.

My clients are getting killed over the regulatory stranglehold of the Fed Gov't.

At this point, the labor costs are a secondary issue for most companies (excluding the obama-care/employment disaster that is looming.)

EMD said...

right-wing noise machine including this blog

Uh-oh. The Professor's in trouble now.

She'll have to flee Madison.

EMD said...

not to assign blame.

Sam Bacile (or whatever the hell your name is) CALL YOUR OFFICE!

Drago said...

AF (with the tired old talking points): "
You must be confusing me with Romney. He injected it into the campaign before the bodies were cold, aided and abetted by the right-wing noise machine including this blog. Last night he came to his senses."

LOL

At this point we have to ask ourselves which kind of troll AF really is.

Does AF actually believe that Romney's critique of the Cairo embassy statment regarding the video/1st Amendment rights of American citizens (followed a mere 6 hours later by the obama walkback from the Cairo embassy statement) actually issued while the "bodies were cold"?

In this case, AF is merely a par-for-the-course mindless lefty automaton doing the bidding of his "betters".

Or is AF one of those soros-funded/axelrod directed trolls who is simply following orders?

It's not a pretty picture either way.

More importantly, the window for the left to make weird, illogical, nonsensical "arguments" stick against Romney has passed.

It's. Over.

PatCA said...

I think Obama was told to interrupt and yell whenever Romney was scoring a point with the truth.

If you notice he starts pounding the table on any occasion Romney talks about his successes.

ad hoc said...

To the "millionairesandbillionaires" and "just asking the rich to pay a little more of their fair share" lines, I would add "we inherited this mess."

In actuality, the president applied for the job telling us it was the worst economy in the history of western civilization, so it's hard to see how the position he sought is an inheritance.

I inherited a wooden bench that looks like a small church pew from a distant relative. It just showed up at the front door. That's what inherited means.

exhelodrvr1 said...

bagoh,
I would not expect Romney to be up-to-speed on military specifics at this point, just on the general concepts of how it fits into foreign policy. Raising the issue of the size of the Navy did show that he understands that. This was an area where Obama should have a huge advantage, and the fact that he was not able to respond specifically shows that he still doesn't understand the use of the military, and how limitations of the military can impact foreign policy. He would have much better access to info on number of carriers and carrier groups, deployment/maintenance schedules, same with the submarines and their capabilities and uses, MEUs, how our technological advantage is or isn't countering the capabilities of our enemies/rivals, etc. Items that have a huge impact on the options that are available to a President when crises occur. The fact that he was not able to come up with a specific response to Romney's specific point is another huge red flag against Obama. Of course, not surprising since he rarely attends the security briefings.

MayBee said...

As Obama as said from day one, the important task is to address the situation, not to assign blame.

And do you feel the situation has been addressed?
Do you feel you understand why there was so little security for the Ambassador in Libya? That should be an easy answer to get, not a hard one.
Do you feel Obama still believed, until last week, that AlQaeda was on its heels, even though this attack had taken place?

Do you think leaving the consulate open and unguarded for weeks after the attacks left the situation addressed?

Which world leaders has Obama consulted with about it? Which of your questions has he answered well, and directly?

MayBee said...

Because here's the thing:
Obama is in a campaign, but he is currently President. And you saying you don't think we'll hear any more about it during the campaign makes me wonder if you think Obama has acted as a president or as a campaigner when it comes to Libya.
When should he talk about it again?

MayBee said...

I know I'm babbling, but the USS Cole went unaddressed from October on because, Democrats say now, Clinton did not want to get it tangled with campaign issues or step on the incoming administration's toes (and we all remember what a mess that was).

But that didn't turn out well for us, that ignoring the USS Cole business because of the campaigns. Let's not double down on that mistake.

Drago said...

exhelodrvr1 is on to something here.

What obama's minions (as well as obama himself) doesn't understand is that you scale your forces for the missions/requirements you have established for those forces.

We have fewer ships than at any time since 1917.

obama got off a "funny" about how technology enables us to do more with less (though even after 4 years as commander in chief obama still didn't feel comfortable enough to talk about "force multipliers").

But what went unmentioned is the fact that the US has so many more commitments now than we had in 1917.

In 1917 do you think we were maintaining a large naval presence in the Sea of Japan? The South China Sea? Indian Ocean? Persian Gulf/Straits of Hormuz? Tracking/fighting pirates in the Horn of Africa?

Nope.

Remember, this was a just about 15 years afters Roosevelt (Teddy, not the other one) sent the Great White fleet around the globe to "project American power".

The only relevant question that needs to be asked is: Do we have sufficient forces in place to handle all commitments/contingencies which might arise and enable us to emerge victorious?

At the moment, that answer is "no". We do not have sufficient forces to effectively project the level of capability required for the missions established by the national command.

obama (like Clinton) knows this. But it doesn't matter. We "gots to have more obama phones" to help obama keep his job.

AReasonableMan said...

All the Republican tools who were humping Bengahzi for all they were worth look even stupider today. Their own leader knows the so-called scandal is BS and he won't touch it with a barge pole, especially after having been made to look like a fool on national television last time.

This particular piece of Republican propaganda is now officially dead. I have composed a little poem to honor it's passing.

Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi
Limbaugh and FOX promised Benghazi
Throughout the debate I watched, and I waited ..
Now, I feel so sad and frustrated.

elkh1 said...

Icepick said...
"A very small shoe to fill, a very low hurdle to step over.

So why hasn't Obama done it during three years, nine months and a few days in office?"

Because the Incompetent One is the one who makes the shoe small, the hurdle low.

Washington's shoe was big, Lincoln's was big, Reagan's was big, even W's.

Obama couldn't fill the shoe, he couldn't even fill the reduced sized one, ergo Romney has to fill a much smaller shoe.

AF said...

"And do you feel the situation has been addressed?"

No, because have not yet responded. Based on the administration's track record, I am confident that we will.

cubanbob said...

Howard: "...teabagging chickenhawks ..."

Chris Mathews makes a ton of money being the deluded fool. Whats your excuse?

Alpha, I know facts are hard for a liberal. According to mainstream economists the recession 'ended' in January of 2009. So whatever 'glory' liberals take in the 'recovery' it happened under Bush.

Actually when future historians and economist write about the events and policies of the Bush years one thing that will stand out is that Bush, an unpopular lame duck president in the last months of his presidency stopped a run on the banks. Had that run continued, 1932 would have look like the good old days.

Zero being the economic illiterate that he is, bragged about 'saving' GM and that if Romney had his way the company would have been liquidated. One would think a so-called law professor would have some knowledge of the various chapters of the bankruptcy code, but he doesn't. Romney was right about the GM debacle. The government should have continue Bush's DIP (debtor-in-possesion) financing and warrantee guarantee and avoided sticking the taxpayers with a fifty billion dollar never to be recouped loss. Then to continue his ignorance he forgets that cars are made mostly of steel which is made with coal, and the democrats new regulations on coal will kill the coal industry which will kill whats left of the steel industry and will kill off the domestic auto industry. I suppose only a liberal would think selling off Chrysler to FIAT is a brilliant move. I'm sure you will be happy to paying double your electric bill when coal-fired plants shut down due to regulatory compliance.

Romney quietly stuck Obama with a bayonet, something Obama didn't send the memo to the Marines about.

grackle said...

What was the point of bringing up Benghazi, even in response to a direct question, when it's been a bullshit issue all along?

About Benghazi: Perhaps Romney realizes that Benghazi will become an issue damaging to Obama only if or when the MSM decides it's damaging to Obama. And to attack Obama on Libya during the debate would only have hardened the MSM's partisan bias on the issue.

The "debates" are not real debates – they are political beauty contests – nothing more. Much better to appear reasonable, commit no gaffs, display a knowledge of the issues, keep a calm, reassuring manner and tone and tend to the optics of the situation.

I agree with Romney on this strategy, if that is what it was. It would be impossible to adequately attack Obama on Benghazi in a 2-minute debate segment. To try would have been folly. The Libya incident is complicated and as such provides many secondary elements to the MSM for the MSM to provide plausible cover for Obama. Witness the MSM obfuscation about the President's Rose Garden speech the day after the incident. Anything Romney could have said about Benghazi during the debate would have only been twisted by the MSM. Better to let Libya play out as it will. It has the potential to be injurious to Obama but that time has not yet come.

As of now the predominate MSM meme is that Benghazi was a regrettable "tragedy." If the meme ever morphs into "Libya was a fiasco" we will then know that Obama is in trouble about Libya.

Clyde said...

It would have been satisfying to the Republican base for Romney to come out with the long knives over Benghazi, to give Obama a metaphorical kick in the nuts, but it would not have played well to the undecided few that Romney was trying to influence.

You know that Obama had to have practiced some kind of indignant response to the Benghazi attack that never came, along the lines of "How dare you politicize the murder of our Ambassador and three other Americans?! At long last, sir, have you no decency?!" That would have played well with the Honey Boo Boos, but wouldn't have helped Romney.

In the end, I think Romney made the right choice, even though it was not as personally satisfying to me as cutting Obama off at the knees about his failures would have been.

Seeing Red said...

--Getting your ass handed to you was all part of the master plan.--

If this works right, it will not only in the popular vote, but EVs.

Slapping down the progs again. The failed ideas must be continually slapped down.

Learn history, they don't work.

cubanbob said...

Drago said...

Too bad Obama does;t understand that today's missile cruisers are the battleships of 1917. Zero also not being very educated on anything would have know that in 1918 the Navy along with the Royal Navy was able to blockade Germany to the point of starvation, the principle reason the German General Staff used to give up even though they still were holding pretty much the same real-estate they held in 1914. They were more afraid of a communist revolution that an armistice with the Allies.

While a carrier battle group is powerful almost beyond imagining we only have eleven of them and usually half of those are en route back to home port
for crew rotation or maintenance. Five or six of the them en route to their stations aren't enough to cover all the points on the globe we have interests in power projection. Romney is right. Just think for what we waste every two years in Obama phones we could acquire a guided missile destroyer (a 1917 cruiser) and a frigate and if Big Bird got kicked off the corporate welfare that would go a long way to operational expenses.

Seeing Red said...

--"teabagging chickenhawks"

-- Do you think homophobic slurs make you look smart?

---------
It always comes back to sex/body parts with them. They can't help themselves.

Seeing Red said...

--So yeah, the stuff about lying about why an Ambassador got killed by towel heads doesn't even begin to register. What's another dead body compared to their own glorious hold on power? Hell, they'd be happy to turn the US military loose on all the Red States and kill everyone that doesn't vote party-line D if they thought the military would do. Fucking worthless Stalinists at heart, the goddamned lot of them.--


Hello, Bill Ayers.

& John Kerry.

deborah said...

@Michael...Mittjitsu :)

As DBQ said, masterful. The very thin segment of undecided Independent voters that were viewing saw saw a temperate, focused 'husband' versus a snarky, criticizing 'boyfriend.'

re OODA loop, Obama was fighting the last war.

Rick67 said...

I hate to say this, or use this kind of language, but if there's one thing that's become even more obvious through these debates it's that Obama is a complete d!ck. A petulant, narcissistic, self-righteous, sneering, thin-skinned, adolescent d!ck.

B said...

EMD said...'howie's doing it wrong. it's bitter racist billionaire misogynist gayhbashing neocon AGW denialist teabagging chickenhawks.'

You forgot Wicca Perps.


Threadwinner

Rick67 said...

@AReasonableMan - Officially dead eh? And you would be the official in question? *Or* the facts are beginning to emerge and speak for themselves such that Romney didn't have to make a big deal out of it.

Rick's First Rule of Rhetoric = The best way to say something is let the other person do it for you.

When leftists and Obama enablers throw out this kind of limp solipsism the thought that crosses my mind is, Stop being boring.

Nathan Alexander said...

Remember 4 years ago this month? our economy was in freefall and we were deep in economic crisis after 8 years of unfettered Republican tax and regulation policies. Romney wants to return to those policies - but double down.

Clearly wrong.

Our economy was in freefall and we were in deep economic crisis after just 2 years of unfettered Democrat tax and regulation policies.

By no stretch of the imagination could 2007 and 2008 be considered Republican policy.

If you blame Bush for not stopping the freefall, then you are admitting the Democrats must be stopped from ruining the economy.

Obama gets elected, has full control of Congress, and...no recovery happens.

Again, further proof that Democrat taxation, spending, and regulation policies stifle growth.

There is no way to argue that and retain any credibility.

Nathan Alexander said...

You like the Clinton economy?

Okay, then you are arguing that the President must have a GOP Congress and sign their tax/spending bills to have a good economy.

Again: looking at the Clinton economic record, the only possible conclusion is that Democrat economic policies are horrible, but GOP policies result in growth.

Nathan Alexander said...

Getting down to facts and reality:

What was the economy like the last day we had a GOP Congress and a GOP President (Oct 2006) vs the last time we had a Democrat Congress and Democrat President (2010)?

I think the vast majority of people prefer the 2006 economy to the 2010 economy.

Don't you?

Tank said...

Rick67 said...
I hate to say this, or use this kind of language, but if there's one thing that's become even more obvious through these debates it's that Obama is a complete d!ck. A petulant, narcissistic, self-righteous, sneering, thin-skinned, adolescent d!ck.

Yes, but otherwise, he is likable enough.

Rusty said...

AReasonableMan said...
All the Republican tools who were humping Bengahzi for all they were worth look even stupider today. Their own leader knows the so-called scandal is BS and he won't touch it with a barge pole, especially after having been made to look like a fool on national television last time.

This particular piece of Republican propaganda is now officially dead. I have composed a little poem to honor it's passing.

Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi
Limbaugh and FOX promised Benghazi
Throughout the debate I watched, and I waited ..
Now, I feel so sad and frustrated.


Why don't you mail that to the families of the four dead men.
You ignominious twat.

Alex said...

garage spewed...
Appearing nervous, stoned, sweating, and deferential to all of Obama's positions. Somehow I don't think that's how they drew that up.

So apparently Ann & garage saw 2 different debates last night. Who is deluded among the 2?

damikesc said...

As Obama as said from day one, the important task is to address the situation, not to assign blame.

Anybody else find it hilarious seeing Obama claim that it is not needed to assign blame?

Getting your ass handed to you was all part of the master plan.

Making Romney even MORE electable was apparently part of Obama's master plan for all of the debates.

Well played, sir.

Really, Romney was pretty embarrassing last night. He babbled a lot, didn't speak about a 9th grade (to be generous level) and displayed an appalling lack of knowledge.

Yet people who were willing to change their vote were more willing to change it to Romney than Obama last night.

That is winning, apparently.

clint said...

So... has anyone fact-checked the education discussion?

When President Obama interrupted Romney to say "That happened before you came into office." Was the President right?

Texan99 said...

Romney was correct: the John & Abigail Adams scholarships started during his term, in 2004. Some of the other programs began before his term, were continued during his term, and continued after his term, but as Romney pointed out, the high scores remain in effect even now.

AReasonableMan said...

Rusty said...
Why don't you mail that to the families of the four dead men.
You ignominious twat.


Look, you fucking dumb cunt, it is the Republican party that decided to politicize the deaths of these men. From day one I said this was a total fucking disgrace. Finally, Romney agrees with me and most of the rest of the country, other than a small slice of Republican hacks. If your mind is too warped with partisan hatred to see this or you are are too dumb and bigoted to get the message that is your problem, not mine.

Rusty said...

ReasonableMan said...
Rusty said...
Why don't you mail that to the families of the four dead men.
You ignominious twat.

Look, you fucking dumb cunt, it is the Republican party that decided to politicize the deaths of these men. From day one I said this was a total fucking disgrace. Finally, Romney agrees with me and most of the rest of the country, other than a small slice of Republican hacks. If your mind is too warped with partisan hatred to see this or you are are too dumb and bigoted to get the message that is your problem, not mine.

No. It was The administrations insistence that this fiasco was caused by a bad video which was later found out to be utter bullshit that made it a political football. The rest follows.
I was wrong for calling you an ignominious twat. You obviously deserve a much more derisive appellation.
unfortunately I couldn't find anything worse than stupid, unthinking, cocksucker.
Enjoy your poetic career.

Marshal said...

AReasonableMan said...
Look, you fucking dumb cunt,


Apparently the left uses a somewhat elastic definition of "reasonable".

Rusty said...


Look, you fucking dumb cunt,


The correct usage is-you dumb fucking cunt.
Can't even get that right, can you.

AReasonableMan said...

Rusty said...
The correct usage is-you dumb fucking cunt.


OK, have it your way. You are a dumb fucking cunt.

Alex said...

AReasonableMan - ok time to cite educational credentials and professional accomplishments. That's the only way to settle this.

harrogate said...

"There are many intelligent, honest people here having a conversation, and you should do a better job of protecting yourself from our disdain."

Haha! Althouse with a little satire, I love it.

Rusty said...

AReasonableMan said...
Rusty said...
The correct usage is-you dumb fucking cunt.

OK, have it your way. You are a dumb fucking cunt


You win!
There, don't you feel better?