Tag Archives: Big Bird

Romney’s debate win: Trick, Treat or Trap?

Initially, I was ready to call this debate a “clear win” for Mitt Romney… and I still think it was. But one has to wonder if things are always as they seem. So let’s take a moment to examine the situation from all sides.

After a hideous summer, Mitt Romney is LONG overdue for some good press. Standing on stage with the President of the United States will give that to you. The only way Romney could have actually suffered after the first debate is if he had been decimated. Clearly, that didn’t happen from either candidate, and it wasn’t anyone’s goal. The knock-down, drag-out punches that fire up either side of the political base also isolates the political middle. Giving Romney’s views legitimacy not only shows respect for the GOP faithful, but cuts down the arguments that Obama is an out-of-touch, lefty socialist. Notice that hardly anyone in the Conservative blogosphere is bantering about “Obama socialism” today.

You can catch more bees with honey than with vinegar, right? Treat.

Romney’s gargantuan gaffes aside, he has tried to run a relatively safe campaign when it comes to the big stuff… so safe that he won’t talk about it. Obama has made some rather risky moves. His support for same-sex marriage and deferred action for the DREAMers still make some members of the Democratic party uneasy. Beyond how he treats Romney, that is a delicate needle that the President still must tread. But the Governor put very, very few specifics on the table for how he would achieve his policy goals. And the few cuts that he did spell out… you know like Big Bird… haven’t gone over so well.

Lest we forget, President Obama’s debate prep partner is John Kerry. Mr. Kerry has a unique view in this process as the only person in recent memory that was beaten by an incumbent President. He also understands the process of the debates, and other factors that are already at play. Back in 2004, Mr. Kerry handily won his first debate against George W. Bush, but then went on to lose the election. By debate time, much of the damage to Kerry’s image as a perilous war hero had already been done in the infamous “swift boat” ads. It’s quite possible that this first debate is straight out of the 2004 playbook.

Already today, we’ve seen some rather stark contrasts between the Obama and Romney campaigns. The first thing the President did after the debate? Come out swinging. He gave a rousing rally to Denver supporters, and practically said everything that we wished he would have said the night before… including the infamous “47 percent” comment. Pure coincidence? Or Trick?

Contrast that with the Romney campaign, After making history in his first debate for the Presidency, Mitt Romney’s campaign staff is back to an established pattern of making really sophomoric mistakes. Instead of capitalizing on the candidate’s strengths from last night, one of the first videos they release is in defense of Romney’s tax plan. They cite the American Enterprise Institute as an “Independent, Non-Partisan” organization. The campaign is basking in the glow of a “clear win”… that’s means they’ve let their guard down, and have become vulnerable.

Sometimes even the sweetest of treats can lead to a Trap.

Debate 1: My Take

Well, the first Presidential Debate of the 2012 election is in the history books. I took notes of things that stood out for me, and then tried to summarize them at the end. I also tried to write my thoughts before I start reading other stuff from the punditocracy. Only the FAILS are bolded. So here you go…

– 1st impression: really struck at how strong of an opening Romney displayed… sounds like Obama ’08! First time I’ve heard the phrase “Trickle Down Government”. Obama didn’t respond to it at all.

-Wow Romney said “High income people are doing just fine in this economy.” Great… doesn’t that mean they can afford to pay higher taxes? Economic Patriotism, right? Umm, Mr. President… where are you?? O-FAIL.

-Romney: And BTW I like coal.

-Romney’s tax plan is a lot of pie-in-the-sky. How can you lower all of these rates and not add to the defecit without cutting HUGE chunks of Government? The new rates won’t add to defecit just because you say so??

-Obama: too much explaining, not enough reacting. Needs to be more primal.

-Obama: ENOUGH about pointing out what you and Romney share!! And less explaining.

-Both are going round and round about taxes… just throwing numbers and promises up in the sky. Either find some substance and relate to us or GTFO and move on!

-Obama called Romney’s plan a “sales pitch”. That was a good line, but then he inesthitized it with more rambling. Of course Romney rambled right back at him. Only effective line from him in this bit: “going forward with the status quo is not going to cut it.”

-Romney calls out PBS as one way to cut the defecit, but Big Bird references aside, this is really eating around the edges when compared to Entitlements and Military. Right-wing pander.

-Ah, ok… Obama has peaked his head in the door. Glad for the defense of MediCaid and calling out Romney from the Primary debates. Never raising anyone’s taxes for any reason is complete and total nonsense. We need more of this.

-Romney flat-out lied on taxes… they are historically low, and government is now starved for revenue. Obama refuted with corporate taxes, but did not defend the role of government. Back on MediCaid, Romney starts spouting Conservative principles about states’ rights, and Obama didn’t counter. O-FAIL.

-Why is Jim Lehrer not asking any specific questions? Too topic-based. Feels lawless.

-MediCare: FINALLY Obama gave a credible counter for Mitt Romney’s VoucherCare plans. Romney’s only response was pie-in-the-sky rhetoric. Romney even said “I’d rather have a private plan.” Umm, you do… it’s called being RICH!!

-Wall Street Regulation: OOPS! Mitt Romney “You have to have regulation” and then he goes on to defend not only Dodd-Frank, but also Obama’s position on why Dodd-Frank was needed. After all of this, THEN you want to repeal and replace it? Can’t have the cake and eat it too, Governor. R-FAIL.

-Obamacare… Sheesh, this is not going to work for Mitt Romney. Obama is now using your state plan against you. Clear points to the President for schooling you on your own plan. BTW Mr. Romney, which is it… do you want states to develop their own plans (knowing some will just continue to leave lots of people uninsured) or do you want them to develop more sustainable care methods? Can’t take both positions. OMG did you really just respond to the repeal quagmire with “Reagan, Reagan, Reagan”? R-FAIL.

-Romney came back strong on role of government (in the broad sense). Eventhough I disagree with some of it, his explanation and conviction is amiable. This would have been a good time for Obama to get primitive and at least HINT at the infamous ’47 percent’ remarks. He needs to call up Professor Clinton and get a quick lesson on how to jab within the bounds of Southern Hospitality. Or just watch Designing Women.

-Congressional paralysis… President got an ok line in here. “Romney hasn’t been successful saying no to his party during the campaign.” True but he also has a record as Governor that he has COMPLETELY papered over. If Romney’s gubernatorial record is so stellar, then why didn’t he run for a second term? Where are all these lawmakers that are lining up to say how great of a “uniter” he is? And umm… why isn’t his home state VOTING for him?? O-FAIL.

In summation…

Neither candidate destroyed the other tonight, but Romney walked away with a slight advantage. I’m a Liberal, but I don’t believe in trying to spin something that doesn’t need any spin. Obama has been riding quite high, and after the debate he’s back on the ground, and in the real campaign to be President. Mitt Romney had to climb from an increasingly deep hole, and most of the way he was able to do it.

On one hand, I am glad for a debate that mostly stayed on policy issues, and at times got into the very weeds of the candidates’ tax plans, and healthcare legislation. The ‘college professor’ in my was happy for that. I was also happy that both men strayed from the constant spin of personal attacks that we see on the campaign trail.

On the other hand, we are a very “baseline” electorate this year… information gets thrown around left and right, and sometimes it’s very difficult to disseminate the truth. The sometimes “fact-free zone” in itself is in Romney’s advantage, especially if his statements go unchallenged the very second they are made. It “legitamizes” them. Obama certainly knows the facts, but he tried to keep the debate “serious and real”, and that’s NOT what the American People want right now. We want more neolithic action… someone that can give the facts, but also FIGHT for their position. So as hard as Mitt Romney worked to find the openings he needed to repair his character, Obama sure helped him by creating a few and leaving most of his pandering history unchallenged. But a word of caution to the GOP… Mitt Romney tied himself in knots tonight with a few of his promises. Those statements could come back to haunt him later.

Final tally: Romney 2 FAILS. Obama 3 FAILS. Advantage ROMNEY