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Your host, PM 'Papa' Carpenter


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October 09, 2012


Yep. I expect Obama to do much better in future debates, and for his campaign and ad team to remind people that Mitt Romney, despite the spectacle he put on last week, is still an asshole.

Like I said in a previous comment thread, the debate was like a plane suddenly dipping, but quickly resuming its course. Harrowing for a few seconds, surprising, and disconcerting for a little while after it's over. But little more.

Obama might have reduced his chance at the blowout that looked like a possibility. And that's not good for a variety of reasons, most notably his coattails for congressional races. But I don't think he went from "maybe winning in a blowout" to "clearly losing" because of that debate. I still think he sweeps, or nearly sweeps, all swing states except perhaps NC. If the damage is lasting, he might lose Florida, which thankfully he doesn't need. And thankfully, one thing Romney didn't brazenly lie about was his intent to listen to the Granny Starver and voucherize Medicare - that'll help Obama in FL too.

I hope you're right. I think Sully has lost his mind over this, but Obama's non-performance last week must not be taken lightly. If he can't effectively pick apart the new and disproveable Romney, he will lose.

And I'm not 100% confident he can bounce back like that.

I will happily eat crow if he does though.

PM, I'm a faithful reader of this unique commentary and generally agree with you about 100%. I have to take issue with your constant, criticism-free defense of Obama, especially in this instant. I live overseas, and have been working incessantly to get hundreds of people registered and voting from abroad for this President. What he did on that stage in Denver was unconscionable, and irresponsible. There are reports out that he simply "goofed off" completely--he didn't take the challenger seriously (one can't really blame him, but there it is) and went onto that podium totally and completely unprepared. I think something went out inside him that night, because there are accounts that he thought he had actually won the debate. This takes a level of alienation, self-absorption and cluelessness that are truly cosmic. Anyhow, no I don't agree with Turgidson that this was plane dipping. I don't like boxing, but this is more in line with a boxing analogy. You're knocking down your opponent, pummeling him, really, and then all of a sudden you get distracted by an insect and your opponent lands a blow-out punch and leaves you reeling. That is how Obama is now--he is reeling. This Big Bird nonsense, and his lack of appreciation, or understanding, that he is getting BLOWN OUT by the news cycle, which is still dominated by debate-gate and the Robo-Comeback narrative (and let's not forget poll plunge narrative), is very painful to watch. He should have gone out there immediately to guide the news cycle, with a press conference or some kind of pronouncement, that would have enabled him to cut off this narrative and attack Robo at the same time (which he failed to do in the debate). I'm sorry, PM, I really don't see how he returns to his substantial leads at this point unless Robo messes up badly again, or some other nasty deed on his part surfaces. We'll just have to wait and see, but I am very, very disappointed.

It's going to be a long week.

And somebody needs to get Sully some thorazine, stat.

It so amazing to me that the so called smart people.

like Sullivan, are praising Romney for being an aggressive liar. I just don't know how President Obama would have been able to communicate his vision for the future if he spent all his time debunking Romney's blatant lies and flip flops. I also find it curious that the so called Obama supporters, like Melsouza, devote all their criticism and venom against President Obama, but say absolutely nothing about the lying Romney.

Since Melsouza prefers using the boxing analogy, here is my question to him/her: Do you think the referee would have allowed the match to go on if one of the opponents kept hitting below the belt? Just in case the referee did, do you think the judges would have sat idly by without deducting points from the opponent who was repeatedly hitting below the belt? President Obama boxed fairly and within the rules. Not once did he he hit his opponent below the belt. The same was not the case with Mitt Romney. The moderator (referee) allowed the President's opponent to continuously hit below the belt. And now judges like you are siding with the same opponent who blatantly used dirty tactics to supposedly win the Presidential boxing match.

Sadly, I think it's so stupid that we've been reduced to using
the boxing metaphor to judge presidential debates. I suppose it really doesn't matter how deceitful a presidential candidate is, so long as he is so skillful in using con man tactics to dominate the debate. Believe me, I know many used car salesmen who can beat Romney at as his con games and still sell you a lemon!.

All I can say, is God Bless America if they decide to buy a lemon car from a slick salesman who talks from multiple sides of his mouth.

I love the blog and agree heartily several times a day, but I have to point out a small error regarding polling. I work with a pollster at a cable news network, where polls are flogged mercilessly in all sorts of irresponsible ways. The pollster tries perennially to get the staff to acknowledge that margins of error must always be doubled. That's because they refer not to the spread between the candidates, but the score of EACH candidate. So in this poll, Obama could be 3.5 points higher OR lower, and so could Romney. Obama's lead would only be outside the margin of error if it were more than 7 points.

Commercestreet: That's an excellent point that has, as you note, become routinely dismissed in reporting. Count me as guilty as others. My larger point, though, remains: that of Obama's consistently, uniformly higher showing. It's hard to believe that virtually every poll has erred in Obama's maximum favor and to Romney's maximum deficit.

Melsouza: I hear ya, I feel your pain, I really do. I prefer to agonize after the fight, though. It's a purely pragmatic emotional choice.

To Nathkatun7: The game is what it is. After the debate ended, my overall sensation was that it was a bad, boring debate, horribly moderated. My other impression is that Robo lied through his teeth and reversed all his positions. My last impression was of an Obama "uh duh". Like I said, I live overseas--actually, I'm the Chair of Democrats Abroad Brazil. We have a very lively Facebook group page, and our members were depressed, pummeling Obama after the debate. I actually defended the President, saying this would not change the race one iota. Little did I know--I had to eat my words and agree with our members. My boxing analogy did not refer to the debate per se, but to the whole election. In that wider arena, Obama was pummeling Robo. All he needed to do was bring that debate to a draw. Instead, like I said, he got distracted, apparently by his own hubris, and Robo landed a blow-out punch. Was the debate fair? Is it fair that someone running for President can get on the stage and lie and cheat and distort and contort like mad, and the public doesn't see through it? And he doesn't get called out? No. But such is democracy. Such is the mass society of "low information voters" we live in. Such is life.

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