Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics


  1. Kysen

    Watching the talking heads….is kinda funny.

    I still think that no matter what, so long as Romney did not scream “SAVE THE BABIES” and rip open his shirt to expose a bombvest…he was gonna be called the winner by the media sorts.

    That having been said….Obama was polite, and in being as such, was kinda run over by the interrupting and rude Romney….who also ignored and interrupted the moderator. The ‘visual’ of that…was of Romney controlling the debate….and that feeds into the ‘won the debate’ take that most are taking.

    I still can’t see his performance winning over any undecideds…Romney was just annoying as all fuck.

    Just my 3 1/2 cents.

  2. rfahey22

    I think that Obama played it very cautiously in order to conserve his lead, or possibly because that approach played better with undecided voters, but Romney came across as relatively sincere.  Plus, because Obama did not call Romney out that much, he unfortunately legitimated some of his lies, to some extent.

    In any event, I didn’t see any game-changing gaffes that would change the outcome of the race.

  3. Kysen

    From Twitter:

    Ali Davis: “Pundits are calling out Obama for not calling out Romney’s lies, BUT NOT ROMNEY FOR THE LYING.”

  4. HappyinVT

    Romney positions on the various issues and smack him upside the head.  And various bloggy types will query, “Where was that guy last night?”

    POTUS is campaigning in WI on the morrow and we know how he is in front of a crows post-debate.  

  5. Strummerson

    I didn’t watch the debate.  It was 3 AM here and Dr. Strum-wife forbade it.  But waking up to the media reactions put a damper on seeing how thoroughly the Yanks slammed the door on the regular season.  

    I don’t think the Obama campaign needs to panic.  But I do think that they have to respond.  And strongly.  Romney has run the worst campaign I’ve ever seen and remained in the ball-park.  Obama’s ceiling in both most of the key battlegrounds and nationally seems to be about 49%.  If your ceiling is 52-53%, you can give a point or two.  But the fact is that much of the center of the country is disappointed with Obama, but just doesn’t think Romney is competent.  

    Romney gave them ‘optics’ of competence last night.  I don’t need to watch the debate to know that.  That’s potentially very damaging to Obama.  And the media isn’t helping.  Romney could be down by 10 and the right wing pundits would be writing counter-factual arguments about how he’s got the Pres. where he wants him.  Obama stumbles and the left-wing pundits rail against him.  One piece up on RCP is calling this a ‘Historic Defeat’.  It’s a freaking debate, for crying out loud.  

    We need to see people like Sully and Matthews talking up what the Pres. did right, even if the snap polls went against him and his demeanor wasn’t what they wanted.  But they won’t.  

    And it’s no consolation that there are 3 more.  Romney cleared a bar here and the late-breaking optics whores have been waiting for him to do so.  More people watch debate number 1.  Also, if the economy and domestic policy is the number 1 issue, this was the debate dedicated to it.

    It’s a loss and we shouldn’t try and talk ourselves out of it’s potential ramifications.  But the Obama needs to contest it on content immediately.  Otherwise it looks complacent.  And the Jimmy Carter malaise accusation begins to stick.  Remember, Carter won debates with Reagan on substance.  Kerry won debates on substance.  Arguably, Dukakis won debates on substance.   Most who were listening to the first Kennedy-Nixon debate on radio thought Nixon won.  So talking this away and moving on isn’t a reasonable option.  And adjustments need to be made.  Now.

  6. Shaun Appleby

    The punditry is giving Obama a merciless pounding which seems, to me, grossly unfair but I’m not going to argue the point (I like wonky Obama.)  Everyone seems to agree.  Still:

    …I wouldn’t want to even start to guess whether the debate will do Romney any good, even in terms of a temporary bounce, although the fact that the media have been dumping on Romney pretty consistently for a month now probably means that they’re in the mood for playing this one up for him.

    On the other hand, Romney’s policy positions are even more of a shambles now than they were previously. Romney’s position, over and over again, is to simply bluff it on policy. His tax plan continues to be the most obvious one, but it really happens across the board. Romney insisted tonight more than once that his tax plan will keep taxes the same for the wealthy, cut them for everyone else, and not add to the deficit. Forget about the Tax Policy Center; just that much is obviously incoherent and impossible. And, more to the point, it’s clear he’s going to keep on insisting that it adds up, no matter how clearly it doesn’t. But it’s not just that; on every policy, he’s just going to insist that the consequences of his plans that anyone might not like simply don’t exist, so that he’s for sweeping spending cuts but insists that no particular program that anyone brings up might lose any funding, or that he’s for repealing Obamacare but those with pre-existing conditions will magically be protected.

    Jonathan Bernstein – Romney strong on performance, weak on policy in sluggish debate Washington Post 3 Oct 12

    Sooner or later I guess we will get back to the content and on that basis Romney seemed not just weak but reckless and obstinate.  I must be from another planet.

  7. Strummerson

    A CBS News poll of undecided voters who watched the debate found 46 percent siding with Mr. Romney, 22 percent for Mr. Obama and 32 percent saying it was a tie.

    Still not good.  However, one has to think that the majority of the 32% who claimed it was a tie will break for the incumbent, especially given likability and all.  So consider it a 60-40 split in favor of Romney.  But even some of those who think Romney won the debate might actually vote for Obama, but thought Romney outperformed him this time.  And Romney needs more than 60% of battle ground undecideds anyway.

    The problem is that we cannot afford to let the post-debate narrative harden, or some of those numbers will change in the after-effect…  

  8. creamer

    and was going to jump in, then stopped himself. As much as my inner liberal wanted him to attack, his people are proably smarter than I. Calling people a liar on national TV is risky, even when true. I would hope that they are better prepared to rebutt Romney next time.

     The talking heads on the left seemed distraught, and rather than attribute that to the need for a horserace, I tend to attributte it to their passion for liberal policy and values.


  9. The tiny fragment I did tune into told me it would have been a miserable time for me.

    Here’s a bit of good news, via the always estimable P.M.Carpenter:

    Here’s the first look at that second look. MSNBC held a post-debate focus group of independents. Its members, overwhelmingly, believed Romney dominated the evening’s debate. But get this: When asked if any were now supporting Romney, not one focus-grouper said yes. Not one.

  10. fogiv

    Obama was a little off, but it’s hard to say how deliberate most of that was.  I think some of it was simply shock over Mitt’s brazen mendacity.  I mean, you come to a debate prepared to challenge your opponents arguments.  Mitt barely made any.  Instead he spewed platitudes that everyone agrees with, and salted them with vague talking points – all of which were either based on faulty logical assumptions, or outright lies.  He sounded like an ‘Occupy’ guy for a few minutes there.  It was crazy.  I guess that could be lauded as a clever strategy if you were a) desperate and b) prone to short-term thinking.  I thought Obama’s arguments were simple and persuasive, and also had the benefit of being true.  That’s just me though – I’m hyper-aware of the greater context.

    Overall, I found Obama’s performance to be largely of the same caliber he demonstrated against McCain in ’08, and versus HRC in the primaries prior.  He’s always been very cool, measured, and deliberate in debates that I’ve seen.  That he didn’t once mention Bain or the 47% was a clear indication (to me) that he’s keeping his powder dry for now. This could be due to caution with respect to ‘peaking too early’.  Some of Obama’s seeming reluctance to pounce on the more obvious BS is surely related to a sort of ‘prevent defense’ aimed at protecting his virtually insurmountable lead in the critical swing states.  This could be a strategic miscalculation, but I doubt it.  On substance, Obama obviously won.  On performance/presentation, it’s either a tie or a point for Romney.  Cue the fact-checkers, right?  I found it interesting that some of the most scathing criticism of Obama’s performance from the punditry has been based on Obama’s perceived ‘failure to tamp down the lies’, while sparing Romney for spending the whole time, well, lying.  Odd, that.  

    The most tangible benefit for Romney is that the veneer of credibility Mitt gained will probably invigorate his campaign and rouse his base (who are keen to see the POTUS bloodied), which will help his significantly sagging fundraising efforts.  Still, will this help? The data to date tells us that there aren’t enough ‘undecideds’ to be statistically significant.  The electorate is as polarized as ever.  If Romney won voters last night, it probably wasn’t many, so the whole thing is probably too little, too late.  I expect the national tracking polls to show a Romney bump and tightening race, but doubt Obama will see much, if any, erosion in his swing state support.  Early voting is already underway in 30 states (including battlegrounds like Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, etc.) – places where Obama is winning (and in some cases decisively so).  

    For my part, I have confidence in the OFA ground game.  Take Ohio, where no Republican has ever lost and went on to win the Presidency:  Romney has 36 campaign offices there, Obama has 96. Romney and the state GOP have an estimated 130 staffers. Obama has what his state communications director said were “hundreds of staff and thousands of volunteers.” Romney started his general election campaigning in May and opened his first Ohio office in early June (he closed his HQ after he won the primary). OFA has been in the state, basically, for five years.

    Honestly, I think this thing is in the bag already (and has been for some time).  I’ll stay out on the limb with my prediction that Obama wins reelection with 347 electoral votes (including a sweep of the swings).  What can I say, I’m a hopemonger.

  11. HappyinVT

    Mitt Romney campaign co-chair and former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu (R) appeared on Fox News on Thursday and took a victory lap following last night’s first presidential debate.

    Sununu described Obama’s performance as “babbling,” “lazy,” and “disengaged,” and dismissed the possibility that he could do better in the future. “When you’re not that bright you can’t get better prepared,” he said.…  

     Video at the link if you’re interested.

    Andrea Mitchell later gave Sununu a chance to walk it back and he refused.

  12. Strummerson

    Early last year, in a stealth move, Mitt Romney purchased mathematics.  He sold off the parts that weren’t working for a profit, leaving mathematicians that weren’t meeting his productivity demands unemployed and addicted to their own victimhood.  He then reconfigured the remaining math so that it now serves his interests, and those of his investors, with stunning efficiency.

  13. Shaun Appleby

    Multitudes wondering why, oh why, didn’t Obama bring up the 47% last night it is now clear that he would have been walking into a whiffle-haymaker:

    But on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox tonight, Mitt Romney was asked what his response would have been had the debate moderator Jim Lehrer, or President Obama, confronted the candidate about the tape.

    Igor Bobic – Romney On 47 Percent: ‘I Said Something That’s Just Completely Wrong’ TPM 4 Oct 12

    So he had to get Hannity to do it so he could unburden himself of another canned whopper; Obama’s team saw that one coming and denied him the audience.  Good, let the Fox viewers decide.

  14. virginislandsguy

    Toot-my-own-horn edition

    Todays topline BLS Sept. report:

    Jobs: +114K

    U3:   7.8%

    On August 11th, I wrote:

    For my next trick, I’m predicting that the BLS employment numbers for August, September and October will be good to explosive on the upside. This is because the seasonal adjustments have been out of whack for the last 3 years.

    Bain/Pain 2012 – Deja vu all over again

    Yesterday, my comment:

    This leads me to believe that the Friday BLS report will be +175K jobs and U3 of 7.9%

    The potential fall in U3 may be due to distorting seasonal adjustments.

    Good employment numbers from ADP

    At first blush, my U3 number was close, even mildly pessimistic, and my jobs number was off by 61K. However, consider the following from the NYT:

    This month, that information showed that the economy gained 86,000 more jobs in July and August than previously thought, ameliorating earlier worries about a slowdown in August hiring.

    Combining the revisions with the September numbers, the new jobs report effectively shows a gain of 200,000 jobs in the business survey.

    Jobs Report Brings Unexpected Good News for Obama

    So with the (upward) revisions July->September U3 is 8.3->7.8 and jobs are +437K.

    A good October report just before the election would be icing on the cake.

  15. virginislandsguy

    may be on to something. A president did try to exploit the BLS. Well duh, it was Nixon:

    According to journalistic accounts and documents, the task fell to Nixon aide Fred Malek, who first counted high-ranking Democrats at BLS using voter registration lists and then identified employees with “Jewish-sounding” names.

    In 2007, Timothy Noah of Slate publicized a previously unreleased 1971 memo from Malek suggesting he was much more closely involved in a BLS purge then he had claimed, outlining a reorganization that resulted in the demotions of at least four high-ranking Jewish employees.

    Now, here’s the totally cool part from the article:

    He [Malek] is now a top fundraiser for 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

    There was one president who tried to manipulate BLS

    Jack Welch, along with Dick Cheney, is on my short-list of Those-whose-graves-must-be-pissed-on.

  16. fogiv

    Nightly News just trumpeted the 7.8% The sound bite overides any explanation to the public when the report doesn’t make sense. Think low information voter.

    I almost feel sorry for this one.

Comments are closed.