Posted by: sweeneyblog | October 3, 2012

Obama/Romney Debate Watching

Hello Loyal Readers,

This is a quick post with my reactions to the debate, so forgive me if it has a few mistakes here and there. I know everyone and their mother is going to cover the debates but here’s my two cents. As always, you can help support The Political Junkie by clicking here.

I went to see the debates with the Democracy For America folks. They are the organization left over from Howard Dean’s presidential campaign back in 2003 and they still meet once a month at Roundtable Pizza for political discussion, endorsements and mild activism. Imagine my surprise to see multiple Mitt Romney signs as I entered the pizzeria.  Horror of horrors, the Republicans had reserved the second room at the pizza parlor, which made for a pretty entertaining evening. Obama would unleash a zinger, we would cheer and then listen for the faint “boos” from the other room. All and all, a nice raucous political experience.

My thoughts about Debate #1

But Riley, what about the debate? Okay, okay. My analysis is that it was a modern Kennedy versus Nixon. Romney made some solid points on substance while Obama spoke directly to the camera. While Romney tried to make point-by-point rebuttals, Obama reached out and tried to form an emotional connection with the people he represents. While Romney had a strong performance (aside from a few weird lines “I like coal!”), I don’t think it was enough to shake up the race.

One of the interesting features was watching the debate on CNN where they had a moment by moment tracking line of a focus group of independent voters. It went up when they agreed with a candidate and down when they didn’t. Romney had some strong moments, as did Obama, but what I found interesting was that the Independents did not trust Romney when he attacked Obama. They flat-lined;  Obama didn’t have the same effect. When he let loose the line about Romney not having any specifics, Independents took him at his word.

That said, it was a net gain for Romney. He held his own and made some sharp points against the president. However, his best just isn’t good enough. It wasn’t a game changer. To abuse a sports metaphor, Romney hit a double when he really needed a home run. All Obama has to do is run out the clock and keep him from stealing home.



  1. Who was that man dressed as Romney? It certainly bore no resemblance to the Republican candidate or his recent words. I guess what you say does depend entirely on who’s listening. Obama was absent too so it was a draw.

  2. Honestly, I only saw snippets between our leg workout at the gym (there are TVs and all of them were on the debate). but overall, Mitt really did well and Obama did not. I’m still not decided on which candidate I will vote for, but the tax burden the FED currently puts on my small 2 person business is not tenable. How do we fix that and make sure everybody pays their fair share? Give me some ideas on that Riley because that’s my #1 issue.

    • Exactly what tax burden does the FED place on your business? Contrast and compare with Romney’s plan to tax your business. I pay 15.3% on every penny of profit I make towards Social Security but the FED has nothing to do with that.

  3. LLC or Partnership Clayton?

  4. Wishful thinking, my friend. (That is the only influence Romney has had on me. I say “My friend” a lot, even though I disagree with him and SCOTUS on Corporations being People.)

    Romney clearly won the debate. He was superbly coached. Just about every Democrat network pundit except Van Jones conceded that. Obama came across as “listless” and professorial, like he wanted to be celebrating his Wedding Anniversary somewhere else. As planned, he talked to the camera but he did not talk on point. The groups did not like his raising his own talking points rather than responding the moderator’s questions,

    CNN in the post-debate discussions replayed the direction of the focus group lines on key points made. The group liked neither candidate when they got close to be contentious. What I thought were the best and most sharply drawn comments on each side were a turnoff to the group.

    There were two clear losers other than Obama in the debate. The first was Jim Lehrer. He allowed himself to be bullied by both candidates and asked no hard follow-ups. The second was the American Public. They did not have the benefit of other candidates such as Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson. Both are on enough State ballots to win 270 electoral votes, but of course they won’t because they are given no exposure. And that is because the two parties insist they be excluded.

    Finally, Rubiebegonia is right on when she asks “will the real Mitt Romney please stand up”. What a flip-flop artist. Taking opposite sides on issues, I guess, means he is lying only half the time. He was more likable tonight than usual, but impresses me with his lack of conviction. Fact checkers will have a field day with the statements of both men.

    • Winning a debate is easy when nobody calls you on your lies. Was it Obama’s job to do that? Some say it was, Obama probably figures what you believe isn’t his matter to change.

  5. Riley, what debate did YOU watch last night?

    • The same one you did. What was your reaction to it?

  6. Rubie, the FED has been stealing everyone’s wealth by spreading the existing actual wealth over a higher number of dollars than it is supposed to cover. A decade ago I could get $1.60 Canadian for my $1 US. Now it’s straight even money. That’s because the FED printed up so much money it made each of my dollars weaker and able to buy less. That is part of why gas is $4 a gallon… the gas went up a little, the dollar went down a lot and we need more of our puny dollars per gallon now.

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