October 4, 2012

Top 10 Points of the First Debate: Aggressive Gov. Romney vs. “Powder Dry” President Obama.

Click here for: Governor Romney & President Obama’s Closing Arguments. {Video}

Click here for: Complete Video: First Presidential Debate.


Tweet of the night: Power-dry vs. Steamroller:

Lots of moments for Obama to take a swing at Romney–need a new accountant; know nothing abt deduction for offshoring–but he holds back.

Context: Mitt Romney, most awkward, 47%-of-America-ignoring candidate in history, was in an ideal situation going into this debate against eloquent, popular Obama. You alllways want to have the low bar, low expectations, and Mitt was in position to win or do well if he just did okay.

He did better than okay—his strategy of avoiding specifics and countering facts with his own truthiness played effectively, if not honestly—and his owning the rebuttal again and again helped counter any point Obama brought up.

That said, if Obama looked more passive, he also looked more patient, presidential, mature, and less condescending, rude, smug.

1. Who lost the debate? Jim Lehrer lost the debate. He needed a buzzer, or a gong, or rising music a la the Oscars. He continually got run over by Gov. Romney, which didn’t make Romeny look charming or kind, but did make him look strong.

Again and again:

2. Despite the ending of two wars, “no cuts to the military,” says Romney. And yet we’re trying to rebalance our budget, right? No investments in nation-building here at home?

3. “I like Big Bird, but…”

Neil deGrasse Tyson @neiltyson on twitter:

Cutting PBS support (0.012% of budget) to help balance the Federal budget is like deleting text files to make room on your 500Gig hard drive

4. Health care reform, and Medicare. Medicare will be altered, but…

Romney: “Not for current seniors”

Obama: “Well if you’re 54 or 55, you might want to listen.”

5. Romney said that green jobs, repeatedly, was a bad investment. Is he including “game changer” Tesla in that? An all-electric that just came out with a 4-7 seat car that runs clean, and up to 300 miles before needing a (eventually free, solar-powered) recharge? All new industries—indeed, all established industries—suffer failures and losses. Romney has said exactly this, forcefully, many times re Bain and its “harvesting” companies’ profits that then failed.

6. “Mitt Romney is so good at sounding specific while not saying anything specific at all.”

Romney’s strategy: attack (and make up) facts re Obama, while not providing facts or stats re cuts, etc., played out well. That said, Obama got in this zinger:

“…Is Mr. Romney keeping his policy secret because it’s just too good?”

7. Romney said we’re a nation that believes in the same God. Strange, coming from a Mormon. And untrue, coming from this here Buddhist.

8. Facts were in question throughout the night.

Here’s one.

NY Times: Fact Check: Did Half of Green Companies Fail?

A number of readers, including Patty Freeman-Lynde from Athens, asked about Mr. Romney’s charge that half the companies invested in under the president’s green energy stimulus have gone out of business.

That is a gross overstatement. Of nearly three dozen recipients of loans under the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program, only three are currently in bankruptcy…


Q: Do corporations actually get a tax break for relocating manufacturing overseas? — johng158, New York City

Annie Lowrey: It is true. The tax code currently does allow companies to deduct certain expenses when they move operations overseas.

Another: the $716 Billion number re Medicare…if you don’t know why that isn’t a blatant un-truth, you aren’t paying attention (hint: it’s in Ryan’s plan, too, and it’s savings, not cuts)

9. “And as it turns out, winning a debate is surprisingly easy when a candidate decides he can say anything and expect to get away with it.” (maddowblog.msnbc.com) I woke up this morning with one thought reverberating like a bell in the distance: Say Anything. If you can say anything, and play fast and loose with the facts in front of an opponent who knows what you’re playing and a public and media who will fact check, to some extent…imagine how you’d behave when in office, behind close doors.

…more “moments” coming, friends coming over to argue/discuss re The Debate.

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