Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Open Thread: So Obama Won. Who knew?

Heh.  Say what one will about the lameness of the media when Ezra Klein, Jonathon Bernstein, Jonathon Cohn, Greg Sargent and Taegan Goddard write thoughtful post-debate pieces premised on the fact your guy won, well…  He won.  Their collective reasonable wonkiness seems easily more credible than the polemic Right; not to mention vastly preferable to the aimless synchronised swimming of CNN and Politico.  Factor in the winning polling verdicts and one presumes the mainstream narrative will come to the same conclusion when the music stops.  And what a sweet victory it is:

Governor Romney doesn’t have a five point plan. He has a one point plan, and that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules. That’s been his philosophy in the private sector, that’s been his philosophy as governor, that’s been his philosophy as a presidential candidate. You can make a lot of money and pay lower tax rates than someone who makes less. You can ship jobs overseas and get tax breaks for it. You can invest in a company, bankrupt it, lay off the workers, strip away their pensions, and you still make money. That’s exactly the philosophy that we have seen in place for the last decade. That’s what’s been squeezing middle class families, and we have fought back for four years to get out of that mess. The last thing we need to do is to go back to the very same policies that got us there.

Rush transcript of President Obama-Mitt Romney town hall debate Daily Kos 16 Oct 12

Why vote for Obama’s second term?  Asked and answered.  What’s the Moose consensus on the post-debate vibe?  Which ass-kicking is going to hurt Romney the most?


  1. Shaun Appleby

    In Charles Pierce’s inestimable play-by-play:

    The whole Libya “acts of terror” byplay, with Crowley herself fact-checking Romney on the fly and getting such a look in reply is going to get most of the run but, to me, the real sharp end of that exchange came when Romney got a bit snarky about the president’s attending “a political fundraiser in Las Vegas” the day after the attacks, and got this back in the chops in return:

    “The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people and the world that we are going to to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime. And then a few days later, I was there greeting the caskets coming into Andrews Air Force Base and grieving with their families. And the suggestion that anyone on my team would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own, governor, is offensive. That’s not what we do. That’s not what I do as president. That’s not what I do as commander-in-chief.”

    Leave aside the stupid quibbling about whether calling something an “act of terror” is the same thing as calling it a “terrorist act,” as if what we call something makes a damn bit of difference to the dead. That was a moment of authentic anger, the kind of thing we never have seen from this president before. It was just inches away from “Have you at long last no shame, governor?”

    Charles P Pierce – America Has Now Met the Many Romneys, and America Knows They Can Get Their Asses Kicked: At the Debate Esquire 17 Oct 12

    Yeah, Romney deserved that one and it left a mark.  It seems to de-fang that line of attack for the future; it misfired and detonated in the breech.

  2. Hollede

    of dread and anxiety regarding the election that has been living in my gut for the last few weeks dissipated about half way through the debate last night. It seemed very clear from the onset that Romney was not capable of answering the questions posed to him, but I was very concerned that the President was not answering the queries well either. About fifteen minutes or so into the match, I jumped up and decided it would be a really good time to take our dog out for a potty break, as I felt I could not contain my urge to throw heavy shit at the TV.

    The walk helped and when we returned it became obvious that a profound shift had taken place on that stage. Obama’s command of the match expanded with every question and Romney began to unravel as his positions and answers were picked over and pummeled by the President. While it is true that we do not get much (any) substance from these pageants, is that what this is about? Not really. If we want that then we would have to do these debates very differently.

    Many have offered outlines of what that would look like, but that is for another comment. Or better yet, a diary or article or news program that examines the ridiculous manner in which we elect our President in this country. By all means let us work to restructure our elections so they are more substantive, more representative of our electorate, and such that force us all to face and act upon the monumental challenges of our time.

    Until then, in the here and now, this performance was nothing short of masterful by Barack Obama and a shambling mess by Mitt Romney.

  3. Shaun Appleby

    So among other things Romney said, “I came through small business.”  Yeah…  Me too.  But it got a footnote in today’s Times:

    …it’s true [Bain] had only 10 people at first – that, and $37 million, yes, $37 million, in seed money.

    Where did that $37 million come from? A large part from foreigners, in many cases investing via Panama-based shell companies. Also, funds from families of Central American oligarchs, who were sitting things out in Miami while death squads sponsored by their class, and in some cases by their relatives, were roaming their home countries.

    Paul Krugman – Small-Time Mitt NYT 17 Oct 12

    It’s remarkable that this kind of thing doesn’t attract more widespread notice; as an ironic metaphor for our social and economic dilemmas the founding of a predatory equity venture by drug lords and banana Republicans with our current candidate as its figurehead is pretty hard to beat.  

  4. virginislandsguy

    1. Romney has only 6 days to prepare this time, versus weeks for Debate I. This would be adequate for a 30 minute business presentation, but not for a 90 minute debate.

    2. Romney is possibly less knowledgeable about foreign policy than Paul Ryan. His international business experience is actually a hindrance to political considerations.

    3. Benghazi has been neutralized. Romney will probably try to regain some mojo here, but Bob Schieffer will probably hold that discussion to 5 minutes.

    4. Speaking of Bob Schieffer, I expect he will be largely effective and neutral. If his follow-up questions are even-handed, advantage Obama. Romney is way out of his league here.

    5. Romney’s largely Cheney neocon advisers are going to fuck him up. The Dickster could sound reasonable and informed while dishing out the most hawkish views. Romney can’t get by the 3rd line of questioning on any FP issue. As such, his Iran sabre-rattling will be at best a draw.


    Obama: A nothing but pluses across the board as long as Schieffer doesn’t do a Hannity (unlikely).

    Romney: C he’ll just keep repeating his stump speech phrases. The Benghazi issue was their only hope and now it is gone.

    Scorecard: Obama/Biden go 3 and 1. And it’s always better to finish strong.

  5. HappyinVT

    malarky he lied about it.   Surprise!

    Now we know Tagg wanted to punch POTUS for calling his dad a liar and Romney’s asking employers to influence their employees on voting.  And Jerome Corsi was on the campaign plane.

  6. Shaun Appleby


    Romney and Paul Ryan are erecting a Potemkin village designed to survive only until the polls close on Nov. 6. They cannot say directly that they really believe in slashing taxes on the rich and backing away from so much of what government does because they know that neither idea will sell. So they offer soothing language to the middle class, photo ops at homeless programs to convey compassion and a steady stream of attacks on Obama, aimed at shifting all the attention his way.

    E J Dionne – Romney goes from Etch a Sketch to sketchy Washington Post 18 Oct 12

    “Sketchy is one word for this. Deceptive is another.”  Ouch.  This is a good development.

  7. Which one of you jokers ferreted out my phone number and sold it to Mike Huckabee?

    I just got a robocall from “Akin For Senate” says my caller ID, and Mike Huckabee speaking when, gobsmacked, I picked up and listened for a couple of seconds.

    It ain’t the first time I’ve had a robocall from ol’ Mike.  Hopefully after the election it will be the last.

    So, again — whodunnit?  It was funny the first time, but the joke is wearing thin.

    * grrrrrr *

  8. lojasmo

    Damn, I had fun.

    Unsurprised if Obama set the low bar purposefully, though he had a terrible day before the first debate.

    I felt like an extra in an early spike lee movie.  “OH DAMN”

  9. Shaun Appleby

    Stand-up was thinly disguised campaign rhetoric; nothing doesn’t have a dollar value to those people.

  10. This one, I startled the cat off my lap:

    Of course, world affairs are a challenge for every candidate. After — some of you guys remember — after my foreign trip in 2008, I was attacked as a celebrity because I was so popular with our allies overseas. And I have to say I’m impressed with how well Governor Romney has avoided that problem.

  11. DTOzone

    But this was weird:

    PublicPolicyPolling ‏@ppppolls

    NH voters think Obama won debate by 8 pts, still support Romney by 1. Democrats need to accept debate this week was not a big game changer

    I obviously agree because I think first debate gave every white moderate/liberal who didn’t want to vote for Obama an out and they took it, thus ending this election. (and my opinion has always been that out would come before election day regardless), but if I was a pollster, probably wouldn’t say it.  

  12. Strummerson

    is that Obama loses NC, FL, VA, NH, CO, and NV…

    …and wins with 271.

    Ohio must be held and Wisconsin won.  If Ohio goes red and Wisconsin blue, the Romney will win with neither of his home states (MI, MA) and without his running mate’s either.  That would be weird.

    But the margin counts.  Obviously I’ll take an Obama squeaker over a Romney squeaker.  For Romney, the margin counts less, as he will have unseated an incumbent.  A month ago we were talking about numbers that would give Obama a real mandate.  That seems unlikely now.  Anything under 300 will likely weaken him (though less than losing of course!).  Unless we get back the House, which no one really sees happening.

    Of course, whoever sits the Oval Office will receive credit for the recovery, deservedly or not.

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