Tag Archives: Presidential debates

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Says it all

Liveblogging debate #3, or ‘what the hell do we do when this one’s over?’

1030 pm – okay, moving into closing statements. I’ll just listen. Liveblogging over.

1028 pm -Mitt says American such a prosperous nation, it’s a shame what’s happened in last four years.

1027 pm – are closing statements scheduled? We’ve got 3 minutes left.

1024 pm  – Ooooh, Mitt’s feelings are hurt. Obama called him names. And again, more lying. It’s getting to Obama. Mitt is slimey smooth. Obama is frustrated and pissed. Solyndra!!! Romney is doing that condescension again. And he can overtalk anyone. The man is unbeleivable. Just unbeleivable. He just talks and talks and talks and he lies and lies and lies. Quite remarkable.

1023 pm – Obama: America is a Pacific power. So there.

1021 pm – Obama – we’re not buying cars from China, we’re selling cars to China! US exports to China have doubled since ’09. So, Mitt?

1019 pm – BUT, currency manipulator!! Day One! So now he’s listing all the bad bad things China is doing,, but, you know, not an adversary in any shape or form. Egad.

1015 pm – Obama: China adversary and potential partner. Mitt: First, government bad. “we don’t have to be an adversary in any shape or form’. I cannot beleive he just said that! Is Mitt chiding prez for not being nice enough to China?

THIS THING is a draw so far. Romney, lying little shit that he is, sounds strong. He’s been reminded of his manners, and that helps. Obama is strong and I think he’s getting a bit pissed with the lying  . . .

1010 pm – Schieffer just said “obama’ for “osama’.. Nice.

1008 pm – Obama: we’re are so getting out of Afghanistan!

1004 pm – Romney talking Afghan as if he were president and listing all that he’s done and how good it is. But, Pakistan!! Some people think it doenst matter (oh, not you Mr. President).  O Christ, he wants benchmarks for Pakistan. He’s going to fix Pakistan.

1003 pm – Romney tried the talk over moderator again. Scheiffer shut him down and it passed. Someone obviously had a cautionary word with Mitt before tonight

958 pm – Obama didn’t have fundraisers when he went to Israel. Romney took donors with him. So there! Ooooh, Romney says he has such a great relationshhip with Netanyahu, Israel wouldn’t do anything like bomb Iran without talking to Mitt first. They’re close. Really close.

956 pm – Romney says it’s four years later than when Obama came into office. And he hurt Israels’ feelings.

953 pm – oooh, Mitt’s saying Chavez and other scary names.

Obama didn’t save Iran – he was probably dreaming of socialist utopias. Also, Romney doing some serious lying here.

950 pm – here comes that creepy smile again. He’s smirking – who knew the man could smirk?

947 pm – Mitt repeating Obama’s words re Iran. He seems to think his words are original. Sanctions? Mitt called for them five years ago, so I guess that’s why we have them today. But he would of course ‘tighten’ them. Does he know Iran’s currency has crashed? He’ll launch diplomatic efforts – clever lad. He thinks Prez Ahmajinidad should be dragged before world court for genocide because of what he said? Puzzling.

946 pm – stupid Israel question. Is an attack on them an attack on us? (Does Schieffer watch the news?)

944 pm – Obama. We don’t have as many ships as whenever, true. But we also don’t have as many horses or bayonets.

940 pm – Barry on military for a minute or two. Somehow Mitt is talking again. And boy oh boy! He balanced budgets lots of them. Romney won’t cut military. Sinking down to Limbaugh type talking points about numbers of ships and planes and the sequester.

939 pm – Romney is utterly shameless. Absolutely  shameless. Taking credit for stuff he didn’t do. Insisting he did it. And he’s still talking. Obamacare goes! He’ll cut ‘programs’.  Balanced budget – presto!

937 pm – I’d like to see who ends up having had more speaking time. Sure feels like Romney right now.

932 pm – Mitt said our alliances are weak. Barry says Romney wants to go back to Bush/Cheney days. Mitt says he has a plan too. He’ll get America working again. Five Steps!!!!! Energy independance! More trade! Latin America! China? Meh, China doesn’t matter. Latin America! Schools! Kids! Balanced budget! Or we’re Greece ya’know. Champion small business!!

931 pm – Mitt’s been speaking for a long long time. Also, we blew it in Iran.

930 pm – Mitt loves our military and allies. And America. And guess what, we have 42 allies. Obama destroyed America! Mitt going all flag waving and bumper sticker. America must be strong. America must leave. But Obama ruined economy – no jobs, bad bad Obama, what a mess he made. Also, our military needs to be stronger. Again!

925 pm – Barry talking Egypt – Israel, women, counter terrorism – talking region, goals of peoples there. Mitt says he agreed with Obama re Egypt at time of revolution, except, see, Obama blew it cuz he didn’t see it coming and control every single second of the revolution.

920 pm – question: would you do no fly zones in Syria? Mitt – no military intervention. None. But still, Obama screwing it up. Ahhh, ‘we have to make sure they have the arms they need’. Again, pretty much exactly what we’re doing right now.

918 pm -Barry: intervening has risks and is very serious. Who is the ‘opposition’. Romney: Syria important! Israel! Seeing to replacement govt be responsible people. No war! Actually,, he’s basically rephrasing everything Obama just said. He’s talked about Isreal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia – no mention of Jordan, Lebanon or Turkey who are being pulled in right now??? Hey Mitt, what about them?

915 pm – Syria bad bad bad.  Barry talking, Mitt can’t wait to hit back.

914 pm part deux – Barry is saying Commander in Chief a lot. Romney looking over with that genuinely creepy smile of his.

914 pm – arguing! Anyone involved in a drinking game can now take a sip

911 pm – Re Romney’s earlier claim that Russia is our greatest foreign threat: “The 1980’s are calling,, they want their foreign policy back.” Obama to Romney. Good.

908 pm – Barry didn’t say bin Laden. (but he wanted to!)

907 pm – Mitt says we can’t kill our way out of this mess. Peacenik.

906 pm – Barack looks steely eyed.

904 pm – Libya!

901 pm – the rules are, oh hell,, who cares.

9 pm – And we’re off.

It really was a very fine debate

I’ve watched debates for far too many years, over which time they’ve became more and more vapid, almost like campaign appearances.

I think this one was superior for four reasons:

  1. The quality of the questions
  2. The moderator’s success at keeping the candidates on track and on time
  3. The substantive nature of the debate itself
  4. The pace. It never slowed down. That alone made it compelling.

Most of all though, this debate was a success for the first reason. And that must be credited to Crowley; she chose the questions. Every single one was relevant, direct and well stated, and the balance of subject matter was meticulous.

The Benghazi ‘terror/act of terror’ kerfuffle aside (and that of course is taking up a lot of oxygen), this was a good debate and the moderator deserves a lot of credit for that. 

(Or did it just seem that way to me because my popcorn was especially tasty? )

A self-inflicted wound in a class by itself (also, not dead, merely unbloggy)

Sobering words and numbers from Nate Silver at The New York Times today – the electoral college projection particularly is unnerving. Story here [CAUTION, NY Times paywall link). I think it’s possible that a veep debate could, unusually, make a difference if Biden nails it.

Mr. Romney may have increased his chances of becoming president by 15 or 20 percent based on one night in Denver.

It’s my fault. Romney took my advice

Friend Gina just reminded me of what I said Romney needed to do in his convention speech if he wanted to appeal to a broader base. Since he’d already won the nomination, that acceptance speech should come from a guy who’s going to actually be running in the general election. He didn’t take my advice then, but by Wednesday night he’d listened to this mama and he did as he was told. Full post here. Summary:

He’s a technocrat, a strategizer, an analyst and he’s been very very successful where those qualities have mattered.

He shouldn’t hide from it. He should acknowledge – publicly – who he isn’t.

But whatever way he goes, he’ll still be a weak candidate unless he actually presents a vision that goes beyond the bumper sticker talking points.

I think that’s what he did the other night.

Dishonestly for sure, lying openly for sure, cavalier to the extreme, but he knew that millions of viewers were taking their first good look at him as a candidate – and what he said is what they’ll remember.

Dear CNN: bite me


Now this is going to be useful! YouTube has launched an Elections Hub channel for 2012 and I think I’m going to like it. It’s here. From their own announcement, it will be:

. . . .a one-stop channel for key  political moments from now through the upcoming U.S. election day on November 6. You can watch all of the live speeches from the floor of the upcoming Republican and Democratic National Conventions, see Google+ Hangouts with power brokers behind the scenes, and watch a live stream of the official Presidential and Vice Presidential debates. You won’t need to go anywhere else for the must-watch moments of this election cycle . . .  videos from politicians and parties, plus a diverse range of news organizations—both established names in media and sought-after new voices—are sharing their coverage . . . from the conventions to the debates to election night.

They’ll offer live and on-demand stuff from ABC, Al Jazeera, Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Univsion . . .

Seven Dwarfs are falling down, falling down . . .

Hats off to Scott Pelley and Major Garret, moderaters of tonight’s Republican debate. It was structured and had rules and they made the candidates stick to them, even holding back Bachmann, who tried (“But, Scott!, but Scott!”) repeatedly to cut in – something she’d managed to do in previous debates. But not this time.

I was struck again by how genuinely clueless are Perry, Cain and Bachmann. They’ve repeatedly revealed that they lack all knowledge of this nation’s history, its laws, it relationships around the world or its responsibilities at home and abroad.  And yet there they are, still standing.

Ron Paul and Santorum are running in the roles of ‘true-beleivers’. Paul is principled and knowledgable and is out there to deliver his libertarian message as honestly as he can. Santorum too (strike me dead Elvis!) is principled, and he’s surprised and impressed me a few times.

I’m confused by Hunstman. He’s smart, capable, attractive in multiple ways, yet remains the invisible man. It’s not likely he hopes to be a second Mormon on the Romney ticket in 2012. So why is he there? Like I said, I’m confused by him.

And the Newtser? Ah, the lad is just giving his ego an outing, selling some books, and trying to get those speaking fees up – you know, trying to make a living.

And that leaves Romney. Who actually is running.

Never gonna happen

(UPDATE below) Since there is apparently another GOP Presidential candidate debate tonight (twice a week now), let’s look at this gem from David Frum (my favorite no-longer-crazy Bush guy) in its entirety:

Had I been on the panel for Wednesday’s economics debate, I’d have opened with the question: “Are taxes lower or higher today than on the day President Obama was sworn into office?” Just for fun.

CBS and National Journal asked me among others to suggest some questions to ask the candidates . .  My suggested list follows.

1. Mexico is being torn apart by a civil war to control the drug routes to the United States. Many Mexican leaders urge drug legalization in the US in order to move the drug trade away from violent criminals to legitimate business. If a Mexican president asked you to consider such a step, what would you answer and why?

2. Canada is our largest trading partner and most important energy supplier. What do you see as the major issues between the US and Canada and what would you do to strengthen this supremely important relationship?

3. If asked, would you support a US contribution to the fund to stabilize the Euro currency? Why or why not?

4. Taiwan is China’s largest foreign investor. Taiwan and China have an intensifying economic relationship. Taiwan has refused to make the military investments that our military considers necessary to Taiwan’s security. Is the US security guarantee to Taiwan obsolete?

5. If you had been president in 2010, would Hosni Mubarak still be in power today?

6. Do you believe there is a peaceful way to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons?

7. It’s often said that our present energy policy leaves us dependent on oil suppliers who do not like us. Our top 10 suppliers are:

Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Venezuela, Russia, Algeria, Iraq, Angola and Colombia.

The anti-US feeling of the Chavez regime is notorious. Which of the other 9 would you describe as a supplier who “does not like us”?

8. Afghanistan: At the end of your first term do you think we’ll have more or less than 20,000 troops in that country?

9. Iraq: Knowing everything you know now, if you had been in Congress in 2002, would you have voted to authorize force against Saddam Hussein, yes or no?

Good questions, all of them. However, attention must be paid to 9-9-9 and Texas.

MEA CULPA UPDATE: The debate is now over. I watched it. And the moderators from CBS and National Journal asked intelligent and relevant policy questions. They really did.

CNN is a disgrace but here’s some live blogging, sorta

They’re cheapening the process of choosing nominees for the office of President of the United States perhaps beyond redemption.  It is now The Gladiator. Or perhaps The Running Man.

Nice job creeps.

UPDATE: Watching it now in spite of the irritating format . . . the fellows are very testy tonight and Michelle will build a big fence all the way around and she promises by golly to do it.  They’re doing a great job of tearing each other down. The Republican establishment, if it still exists, is surely having the vapors by now.

UPDATE 2: This is so strange a debate that Newt and Ron Paul coming acrross as the most sane.

UPDATE 3: Strangest of all? Perry appears to have finally taken his meds and is finishing his sentences. I still expect his battery to run down before 10pm.

UPDATE 4: Ohhh, Perry’s tossing out a bold new idea! The UN!!! Bad!!!

UPDATE 5: Gingrich just explained that it didn’t matter that Reagan negotiated (arms) for hostages because the Gipper said later that he didn’t know he’d done it. So, okay.

UPDATE 6: How does Romney get away with saying “having spent my life in the private sector” over and over again? Wasn’t he a Governor? Didn’t he run for Senate? I must mis-remember.

UPDATE 7: Perry/Romney facing off. I am so scared.

UPDATE 8: Newt decided there was some benefit (?) in scholding Anderson for fomenting bickering. Huh?

And it’s over. Yet again.