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HURT: Obama the Debater: Making Jimmy Carter Look Awesome

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: obama, democrats, politics, debate, romney )

- 1997 days ago -
Bewildered and lost without his teleprompter, Obama flailed all around the debate stage last night. He was stuttering, nervous and petulant. like he had been called in front of the principal after goofing around for four years and blowing off homework

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Nancy L (141)
Wednesday October 3, 2012, 9:47 pm
Party like it’s 1980!
Bewildered and lost without his teleprompter, President Obama flailed all around the debate stage last night. He was stuttering, nervous and petulant. It was like he had been called in front of the principal after goofing around for four years and blowing off all his homework.
Not since Jimmy Carter faced Ronald Reagan has the U.S. presidency been so embarrassingly represented in public. Actually, that’s an insult to Jimmy Carter.
The split screen was most devastating. Mitt Romney spoke forthrightly, with carefully studied facts and details at the ready. He looked right at the president and accused him of being miles out of his depth.
Mr. Obama? His eyes were glued to his lectern, looking guilty and angry and impatient with all the vagaries of Democracy. This debate was seriously chaffing him.
What exactly was Mr. Obama’s strategy here? Did he figure with so many people unemployed in this abomination of an economy he should go for the sympathy vote? Like voters could relate to a guy who is just scared pantsless that he is about to lose his job?
In the middle of the blood-letting segment about jobs, Mr. Romney said good-naturedly: “This is fun.”
Almost pleading, Mr. Obama reached out to the moderator for a lifeline: “You may want to move onto another topic.”
When an unexpected noise went off behind him, Mr. Obama wheeled around to look as if to ask, “Time to go?”
Turns out, it was the first honest thing we have heard from Mr. Obama’s campaign: The president really was absolutely terrible on the debate stage.
Maybe the next debate will be on something other than the economy that won’t be so bad for Mr. Obama. Perhaps they could hold a debate on street organizing.
Who knew anyone on the planet could make Mitt Romney look easy, relaxed, smooth and human?
But Mr. Romney was absolutely on fire Wednesday night. He had command of countless specifics from voters and business owners from all across country.
He explained complex issues clearly, concisely and with good humor. He was not angry. But he was direct and pointed.
“I’ve been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Romney said in the most devastating understatement of the night. “I maybe need to get a new accountant.”
Like a prosecutor in court, Mr. Romney went after Mr. Obama’s record and eviscerated him about the terrible economy and Mr. Obama’s belief in “trickle down government.”
Mr. Romney also came off as genuine by looking Mr. Obama in the eye with every criticism. He also looked moderator Jim Lehrer in the eye when he told him that if he became president he would cut funding to public broadcasting, possibly eliminating his job.
Mr. Obama weakly offered Mr. Lehrer: “You’ve done a great job.”
OK, that’s one vote for Mr. Obama in the sympathy strategy. Just 55 million votes to go.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at

Read more: HURT: Obama the debater: Making Jimmy Carter look awesome - Washington Times
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

Diane O (194)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 2:55 am
The debate revealed a naked presiden, an anti-American, Marxist-socialist, racist driven, incompetent Obama finally showing that he was out of his league.

Ladies and gentlemen: Meet the Real Barack Obama, an empty suit

Douglas Jenner (0)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 7:20 am
This debate really brought the jackals out of their dens. Romney was the more forceful, to be sure, but it was easier for him because he didn't have to be constrained by facts or logic. Did you notice how he described his Magic Tax Cut (the one where everyone's taxes go down, revenue goes up, but nobody pays more than they pay now)? How about his plan for deficit reduction (spend more on defense)? His plan for Medicaid (make the states pay more)? I think Obama was being careful not to exaggerate, trying to carefully check his notes before making statements, and trying to be patient with his gee-whiz windbag of an opponenet.

Diane O (194)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 7:31 am
Douglas, unfortunately your reading comprehension is along side Obama's....Mitt Romney was talking about adding thousands of jobs, which he will do if elected, and when you put people back to work, they have payroll taxes that go to the state and federal government. Obama literally froze our small businesses from growing and adding new employees because of the threat of raising their taxes and the ObamaCare penalty. These businesses couldn't do a five year plan to take to the bank for a loan because the banks aren't giving out loans to companies who project growth in a time of uncertainty.

When Mitt wins, you'll see the "salad days" again...instead of saving their money Americans will once again begin spending and we all know the trickle down effect of that.

Diane O (194)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 7:46 am
Douglas, Obama was stunned...he was without his coveted teleprompter. Romney threw truth darts at him during the entire debate and Obama didn't have a weapon....because he had to run on his failed record....without a teleprompter.

Say, goodbye, Obama. Time to take the family back to Chicago.

Nancy L (141)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 8:33 am
Wow Care2 has nearly an hour lag???

Paula M (39)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 10:38 am
Not for the first time, Nan.

Mary Donnelly (47)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 5:59 pm
Fascinating post.

Robert S (111)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 6:10 pm
"Mitt Romney was talking about adding thousands of jobs"

Yes. Thats what he was talking about Diane. And he plans to do this, using the same formula so successful during the Bush years. It is you Diane, who fail to comprehend. A lying snake oil salesman won the "debate"...


Robert S (111)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 9:05 pm
They are summed up in the words "trickle down" called Voodoo economics by George H.W. Bush, as you well know. This could not be called a plan...but its all he's got.

Robert S (111)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 9:09 pm
My use of the words "so successful" was sarcasm by the way. I know that Republicans don't often "get it". Trickle a failed "policy, though it has served well, people like Romney.

Robert S (111)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 9:13 pm
One of the main drawbacks to televised political theatrics is that we tend to evaluate the events in an unconstructive way. We see players on a stage, after extensive rehearsals, playing to a packed house, and we judge them as if they are actors -- who seemed "crisp" and looked "confident."

In other words, we invariably value political theater on its theatrical qualities, watching to see who knew their lines and delivered them more effectively.

By this measure, when it comes to determining who "won" last night's debate in Denver, I'd argue the conventional wisdom is right: it wasn't close. Based on style and performance, Mitt Romney did all of the things a "winning" debater is supposed to do.

Did he know his lines? Obviously, yes. Did he deliver them well? Flawlessly. I argued last week that Romney's "strength as a debater is wildly underappreciated" and "if Democrats expect Romney to falter in the debates, they're making a big mistake." Last night illustrated what I was talking about.

President Obama, meanwhile, was listless and timid. He stumbled on his words. At times he seemed distracted and unfocused. There were key opportunities for the president to go on the offensive, but for whatever reason, he chose not to engage. For pundits checking boxes -- who gave the appearance of being "in control"? -- Romney excelled.

But all of this overlooks an element I like to think it sometimes important: substance. The men on the stage last night aren't actors; they're candidates for the nation's highest office. Delivering lines well is a nice quality, but as the dust settles, it's worth pausing to reflect on whether those lines were true and reflect reality in any meaningful way.

Indeed, it seems to me Romney thrived in large part because he abandoned the pretense of honesty. And as it turns out, winning a debate is surprisingly easy when a candidate decides he can say anything and expect to get away with it.

Romney told viewers his proposed $5 trillion tax cut isn't really his proposed $5 trillion tax cut. He suggested he could eliminate a $1 trillion deficit by going after Big Bird. He said his non-existent health care plan protects those with pre-existing conditions when in reality the exact opposite is true. He cited trumped up "studies" from far-right ideologues as if they're legitimate, assuming the public won't know the difference. He said a deficit that's shrunk has actually "doubled."

And when Romney wasn't repeating falsehoods, he was furiously shaking an Etch A Sketch, rolling out yet another version of himself.

This new model -- version 8.0? 9.0? -- likes regulations of the financial industry, wants to work with Democrats, thinks his Massachusetts health care law was a great idea, and has no use for the goals of his running mate's budget plan that Romney enthusiastically endorsed. Does this in any way reflect the candidate who's been running for president the last year and a half? No, but the Republican assumes most voters won't realize and most news organizations covering the campaign won't tell them.

He might very well be right.

But as Romney and his supporters take a victory lap this morning, it's fair to note their success was a triumph for style over substance.

By Steve Benen

Barbara W (342)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 9:22 pm
More stars to you Robert. It's always refreshing when someone who's been really paying attention speaks truth to power.. Touche'..

Nancy L (141)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 9:24 pm
Just as I thought, you have no idea what his plan is.

Nancy L (141)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 9:26 pm
Robert didn't speak anything. He posted Steve Benen's opinion

Laura H (964)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 9:32 pm
Neither does Romney! He has been asked several times (about his plan) but won't answer because if he did he would lose! (which is his exact words). "Trust me" he says..."I'll tell you after the election"...yeah, that's what a leader sounds like...NOT.

What tickles me is Romney threw the tea party under the bus last night; he basically told them where to go!

Romney was in a manic state; that's why he was speaking so fast and repeating the same lines over and over. Now we know why Ann Romney is so concerned about Mitt's 'mental health".

Laura H (964)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 9:36 pm
Look at all of the people who joined Care2 this September!
Why don't they comment? Why don't they fill out their profiles? How do they know when a right wingnut story is posted so they can note it right away?

Multiple profiles and/ or trolls are pathetic and desperate.

Suzanne L (99)
Thursday October 4, 2012, 9:54 pm
This was the first debate, and if you listened closely and didn't allow yourself to be blindsided by Romney's cardealer style, you would have heard substance based on reality; the reality of a President who caught a country in freefall, held it from turning into a bonafide depression, and is turning the economy around. Romney's plans are just so much air. I don't know why the President didn't come out stronger on this occasion but it isn't over until all the debates are done. Gosh, could it be that President Obama has numerous critical, pressing issues both domestically and internationally that need his attendion while he is also campaigning? Romney on the other hand gets quite a few free passes on his game card in that all he's doing is campaigning.
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