The Other McCain

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‘STAKE THROUGH HIS HEART': Your Official Town Hall Debate Thread

Posted on | October 16, 2012 | 46 Comments

UPDATE 10:50 p.m. ET: Watching MSNBC so you don’t have to:

UPDATE 10:22 p.m. ET: WHAM! Mitt just hit Obama with “Fast and Furious.”

UPDATE 10:16 p.m. ET: That was a very long back-and-forth about Libya.

UPDATE 10:11 p.m. ET: Obama gets specific question about failure in Libya, and doesn’t even begin to answer, but instead lectures about how AWESOME his policy is.

UPDATE 10:07 p.m. ET: Obama LOVES him some illegal immigrants.

UPDATE 10:03 p.m. ET: Obama loves him some illegal immigrants.

UPDATE 9:58 p.m. ET: Now for Romney, immigration question from El Votera Del Undecidia.

UPDATE 9:54 p.m. ET: Obama is now ahead 5:34 on the time-split.

UPDATE 9:51 p.m. ET: As Obama ends this answer, he is ahead 2:55 on the time-split.

UPDATE 9:46 p.m. ET: A Bush-hating woman asks Romney how he’s not like Bush. She’s an “uncommitted voter” (nudge nudge).

UPDATE 9:40 p.m. ET: Some chick asks a question about the alleged “pay gap” between men and women — straight out of the bogus statistics they teach in Women’s Studies classes — and we’re supposed to believe she’s an “uncommitted voter.”

UPDATE 9:35 p.m. ET: Candy Crowley always gives Obama a chance to talk back to Mitt, but keeps cutting off Mitt — or trying to cut him off — when Mitt tries to answer.

UPDATE 9:30 p.m. ET: Obama slams “top-down economics.”

UPDATE 9:25 p.m. ET: Now Mitt gets to talk numbers. He loves him some numbers.

UPDATE 9:21 p.m. ET: There was all kinds of fireworks now. My wife and kids thought they were getting ready to fight.

UPDATE 9:16 p.m. ET: Romney “I was in coal country and people grabbed my arm and said, ‘Please, save my job.’ ”

UPDATE 9:15 p.m. ET: Romney: “Let’s look at the president’s policies, instead of his rhetoric.”

UPDATE 9:11 p.m. ET: Obama just said Romney “doesn’t have a five-point plant, he’s got a one-point plan.” And Obama’s got 57 states! When Mitt wants to argue back, Candy cuts him off.

UPDATE 9:04 p.m. ET: “First-time voter” is college student named Jeremy who asks about jobs — straight into Mitt’s wheelhouse. This is encouraging.

UPDATE 9:02 p.m. ET: And we’re live! Candy Crowley introduces her close personal friend The President of the United States, and also, that Republican guy over there.

* * PREVIOUSLY (8:30 p.m. ET) * *

Let’s start with this: The very notion of undecided voters in New York three weeks before Election Day is implausibly absurd. So we’re probably going to see a steady barrage of lefty “gotcha” questions aimed at Mitt Romney, while Barack Obama gets questions like, “Mister President, why do these hateful racist homophobic Republicans want to steal Social Security checks from Grandma?”

Can Mitt possibly win this debate? Can Obama possibly stink it up worse than he did in the Oct. 3 debate? This seems too much to ask, so you need to pray very hard right up until the debate at Hofstra University starts at 9 p.m. Eastern, and don’t stop praying until it’s over.

Miracles sometimes happen, and this is what Ace is describing:

So there was, I think, a preference cascade potential. But that potential only became real during the debate.
If Romney had not given what could well be the most dominating debate performance in the entire modern age of politics (since TV, in 1960), it seems very possible — possibly likely — that none of this would have happened.

Read the whole thing. Events can’t be predicted, but contingencies — the “if/then” consequences of events — are predictable.

Going into the Oct. 3 debate, nobody expected such a one-sided win for Romney, but we could have predicted that if Mitt did exceed all expectations (and if Obama disastrously underperformed) then the polls would shift dramatically toward Romney.

The interesting thing? The polls were already starting to shift toward Romney before the first debate. Check the RCP national average, and you see that Obama’s lead maxed out at 4.3 points on Sept. 29, and by Oct. 3, had shrunk to 3.1 points. Why?

It’s got to be Libya: By early October, it was becoming obvious that the Obama administration’s “blame the YouTube video” excuse was false, and that the administration was trying to hide its failures in the Sept. 11 attack on the Benghazi counsulate. So Obama’s lead was already fading and his disastrous performance in the first debate exacerbated growing perceptions of his incompetence.

Romney moved ahead in the RCP average Oct. 9. Beginning with the first full three-day track by Gallup after the first debate, five polls have shown Romney ahead, three have shown Obama ahead and two have shown a tie. So while there has been a shift toward Romney, the bottom hasn’t fallen out for Obama . . . yet.

A few headlines from Memeorandum:

Romney Holds Advantage Tonight,
Regardless of Format

Real Clear Politics

Obama feels ‘fabulous’ in advance of second debate
Politico

Tuesday’s debate moderator confirms
plan to ask follow up questions

The Hill

And finally, from Toby Harnden at the London Daily Mail:

The Romney campaign goes into tonight’s second presidential debate confident that the race has shifted decisively in their direction and that a below par performance by Barack Obama could doom him to defeat on November 6.
A senior adviser to Mitt Romney told MailOnline: ‘The President could drive a stake through the heart of his own campaign tonight if he’s not careful.
‘If he doesn’t give a vigorous enough defence of his last four years in office, if he tries to place blame everywhere else, if he doesn’t articulate what the next four years will look like beyond just giving away free stuff – if he fumbles all that, he drives a stake through his own heart.’

The debate starts at 9 p.m. Eastern, but Duane Lester and the Campaign Trail Report have begun their debate hangout already, so check it out, and I’ll be back to do some live-blogging, as well as the usual Twitter snarkfest.

 


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Comments

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    So….Barry says he’s feeling ‘fabulous’…hmmm…

    Marvelous!

    Back in April, Obama mocked Romney for using the word to describe Rep. Paul Ryan‘s budget plan. “It’s a word you don’t often hear generally,” Obama said.

    http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2012/08/25/mitt-romney-barack-obama-convention-speech/

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  • PGlenn

    Obama started out with some faux energy (really, bluster), but is already starting to flail.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady
  • PGlenn

    Romney stood up and overpowered the question about how he differs from Bush.

    Right after that, Obama physically shrunk for a moment when he was challenged by an Obama voter who is not as confident as he was in 2008.

    The pundits will never mention this contrast, but viewers will sense it.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dianna.deeley Dianna Deeley

    Drew M. screen capped Crowley lying to cover Obama on Benghazi.

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    Romney called BHO out on the Rose Garden lie. Wolf Blitzer is trying to walk that back for Obama in the after-debate.

  • Finrod Felagund

    Jim Lehrer is looking better by the minute. And Disqus is sucking eggs right now.

  • PGlenn

    Romney did pretty well with that, but Obama’s legalese initially caught him off guard. Romney clarified by pointing out that the Obama administration did not admit it was a terrorist attack by a “terrorist group” for roughly two weeks, etc.

    Instead, Romney also could have pivoted right back by saying, “If you knew it was a terrorist attack that makes your decision to fly to Vegas after your Rose Garden press conference all the more disturbing.”

    In response, Obama would have been forced to parse between “act of terror” versus an organized “terrorist attack,” making him look evasive over a terrible event.

  • slp

    Romney looked liked he was happy to be there. Obama was stretching his neck and staring at the questioner and Romney to try look like he was interested what the citizens were saying.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    1. Yep.

    2. Them ain’t eggs.

  • Anamika

    O Won!

    Now I can go back to sleep like I used to 3 weeks ago…

  • http://saberpoint.blogspot.com Stogie Chomper

    You’ve been asleep your entire adulthood.

  • http://saberpoint.blogspot.com Stogie Chomper

    Obama was much improved on presentation and style. Romney killed him on substance, however. Obama can’t speechify away his miserable record, and I don’t expect this debate will change much. Romney’s momentum will continue to build.

  • JeffS

    Asleep, hell. Stoned. Or drunk.

    Or drunk and stoned.

  • http://www.leftbankofthecharles.com/ Charles

    The problem with the Libya issue is that everyone knew it was a terrorist attack, most people didn’t hear what the administration said, and so no one much was misled. Incredulous, perhaps, but not misled.

  • steveb

    Romney smoked him. The libtards are cheering that Obama could put together a sentence this time, so they will be overjoyed. The most important thing is the debate changed nothing. Here we have a babbling no nothing with a do nothing record babbling away. I found myself much more interested in what Romney said, and I am sure most of America has heard Obama babble away, and are basically tuning him out completely…just like I did. Easy win for Romney on his way to the presidency.

  • Adobe_Walls

    A home invasion is an act of terror, that’s not the same as a terrorist attack.

  • Adobe_Walls

    It’s much to dedicated to drug abuse in general to be merely drunk and stoned.

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    Only caught the end of the debate. Obama stuttered like a man unsure his lies would fly.

    Oh, and DEAD deer are WAY easier to Dodge at 70 than live ones…

  • steveb

    O won what? The debate? Do you think that debate helped people pay their bills, find a job, or survive the miserable O economy? Glad you can sleep well, because 23 million Americans don’t sleep well, they’ve heard his bullshit before, and have seen the lousy results. Now they get to see what a total liar this fraud is up close and personal- you changed nothing with this debate, lefty. On November 6th, when you get trounced, i hope you idiots have the worst night of your life. I hope you get to feel up close and personal the agony your idiot has caused this country.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    I have seen it breach!

  • Adobe_Walls

    The next debate is about foreign policy, so if anyone from the intelligence community is going to drop a dime in response to getting tossed under the bus the timing is fortuitous.

  • Adobe_Walls

    Sucking is something DISQUS is getting better at all the time.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    It’s unfair to the vast majority of the drunk and stoned who aren’t nearly as stupid as Anamika. Broad brush.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    No debate ever fed a hungry child.

  • JeffS

    I can’t argue with that.

  • Garym

    Ah feel yoah pain.

  • DonaldDouglas
  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady
  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    I agree. I see this firing up the bases, but not changing anything.

  • romneybird

    Did Ihe president say that the middle class received tax cuts in the last 4 year? I never saw a friggin dime.

  • Wombat_socho

    Oh, hey, I’ve been playing “Bioshock” and doing the Live At Five. Did I miss anything?
    ;)

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady
  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    I think he usually calls it “tax relief” not cuts. It refers to those paltry $600 checks folks got a few years ago.

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    I thought Jim looked better in the last debate. Thinner, too. Next debate I’ll bet he looks really old.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    But the panel of Dirty Obama Whores were all in for Crowley’s performance.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Drat the luck, me either. But then, I’m not in any Officially Favored Victim Classification.

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  • Quartermaster

    Shhhhhhhhhhhh! Let her sleep ’til Nov 7.

  • Wombat_socho

    If they’d quit “improving” the software, it’d be pretty decent.

  • Wombat_socho

    From your keyboard to General Petraeus’ eyes.

  • Wombat_socho

    You guys realize you’re just encouraging her, right?

  • Adobe_Walls

    Each successive format is less user friendly than the last. Each seems more gadgety to no purpose. I got a notification the other day that James Knauer had replied to one of my comments. Both the comment and the reply were from a year ago.

  • romneybird

    SI still believe that that Obama would throw Israel under the bus if push comes to shove. I look at my grandchildren’s faces and sincerely hope that America realizes what’s at stake here. I am a woman and a small business owner and I am not hoodwinked in thinking that Obama is on my side. All the wonderful speeches in the world will not convince me that Obama’s economic policies will be the best course to get us out of the financial mess we’re in.

  • http://thevailspot.blogspot.com/ Rich Vail

    Doesn’t surprise me…followed you on Disqus.