In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR


Romney’s Brilliant Maneuver

Gov. Mitt Romney today pulled a bold move in the final debate with President Obama, opting for relatively limited verbal combat with his opponent while instead showcasing his knowledge of foreign affairs, adopting a presidential demeanor, and offering a sense of optimism for the future.

This strategy was the political equivalent of the Muhammed Ali Rope-a-Dope against George Foreman in the heavyweight boxing championship in 1974. Everyone expected a war, but Ali laid back on the ropes and let his bigger, stronger opponent pound away until Foreman was exhausted, and Ali knocked him out.

And I think Romney may have scored a knockout too.

Some commentators are suggesting Obama won because he scored more points. But I think such people are looking at this from within the paradigm of what they expected, and not what happened.

Everyone – including me – thought Romney would tear into Obama once again and engage in another slugfest, spending as much time as possible discussing the failures surrounding Benghazi. Instead, Romney completely walked away from Benghazi.

What Romney needed tonight was not to beat up on Obama – he had already proven he could do that – but to cast himself as a leader people will be comfortable having as their president.

He threw some jabs, but the knockout punch wasn’t delivered by fist, but by feint.

Romney stood tall while Obama appeared a little surly, eager to re-litigate domestic policy points that the two had already plowed through in two debates. By repeatedly demeaning Romney, Obama demeaned himself. The proverbial Martian visiting earth for the first time would have been convinced that Romney was the king the earthlings, not Obama.

The CNN post-debate snap poll gave Obama an edge, with 48 percent saying he won compared to 40 percent who thought Romney did. The poll as a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 point, a relatively large number.

But the impression that will linger through Election Day is that of the sunny guy to the left of the screen who seemed to have ideas about where to go and was interrupted repeatedly by the guy on the right who made lots of points but, in the end, had no new ideas, couldn’t defend his record the few times it was challenged, and seemed a little unlikable.

581 thoughts on “Romney’s Brilliant Maneuver”

    1. Brilliant reply. Typical Obama supporter.

      Keith is absolutely right in his analysis, whether you’re smart enough to realize it or not.

      All Romney had to do last night was not screw up and reassure voters that he isn’t some wild-eyed nut who’s itching for the chance to start World War III.

      You see, the problem with running an almost exclusively negative campaign, as Obama has done, is that once persuadable voters get a chance to see and hear the other candidate for an extended period of time, if what they see and hear doesn’t fit the negative image that you’ve spent months trying to cultivate, the bottom drops out of your entire campaign.

      Obama and his minions have spent the last six months trying to convince voters that his opponent is the devil incarnate so that they wouldn’t have to try and run on his awful record. But most voters in the middle have now decided that Mitt Romney is, instead, a smart, , eloquent, experienced, and capable man who just might be able to do a better job. Last night’s debate only reinforced that impression.

      That’s why Romney’s ahead and that’s why he will win.

  1. And the fact checkers are now discovering that Obama was repeatedly wrong in his charges against Romney. Mitt gave the Democrats little ammunition for the next two weeks, while Barack handed them a trove of material to use in their factual take-downs of his performance. And the dirt on Libya will continue to come out, regardless of Romney’s words last night, in which he showed he could rise above the juvenile tactics of Obama.

      1. mnjam — go look at the photos of Ambassador Steven’s corpse being carried through the streets and posed for photos. Official word is that the men who found him were overjoyed that he had a glimmer of life in him and carried him to a hospital — and stopped to take snapshots on the way? There’s lots to be told about the death of this man whose friendship for Libya was his death warrant.

        1. While this may be true Anonna, I’m not really sure how it qualifies as “dirt”. It’s unfortunate. It will no doubt try to be spun to political means. But how exactly is that “dirt”?

        2. Yes, go look on Ronna Romney’s face book page at those pictures. Oh, sorry, she took them down because she disgusted so many people and was too stupid to know that one of those pictures was Qaddafi.

      2. No, there is plenty of dirt. The Obama administration has been lying its ass off over what happened in Benghazi and anyone with an IQ of over 80 knows it.

        Romney was just smart enough not to get drawn into a pissing contest about it in the final debate. That wasn’t the image he was trying to convey last night. There will be plenty in the media about Libya over the course of the next two weeks.

  2. And even a couple of Obama’s counter-punches didn’t quite work out. He was mocking the military’s use of horses and bayonets as outdated at one point. He evidently doesn’t know that the Marines still use bayonets to this day, and that horses are being used in the mountains of Afghanistan, as well.

    And being so patronizing about the US Navy may have just cost Obama the Norfolk area, and with it the state of Virginia. If Romney carries Virginia, and Obama loses by less than 20 electoral votes, that disrespect of the Navy may ultimately prove to be the snark that lost the election.

    This also may have implications in Florida, as well, with Jacksonville and Pensacola potentially influencing their respective regions.

    Sneering about the military is not the behavior of a commander in chief.

    1. But of course the non-partisan voter will interpret Obama’s comment less biasedly than you’re trying to. Which is to say that they’ll recognize that he wasn’t calling the Navy unnecessary – he was simply saying that the Navy isn’t actually “smaller” just because 1 aircraft carrier with 400 jetfighters has replaced 10 battleships with cannons.

      Don’t get me wrong: you go ahead and spin Obama’s comment any way that floats your boat (no pun intended). But no matter how the die-hard Republican’s spin it, its those undecideds in the middle…the ones *without* the bias, that matter. And they’ll interpret it correctly.

      1. Also, your first sentence is a keeper:

        Even *a couple* of Obama’s counter-punches didn’t *quite* work out.

        That’s the best you can come up with? Alas, if ever a paragraph began with a more defeatist sentence, I may not have come across it.

      2. So in agreement with you Matt. The Romney supporters refuse to face the fact that Obama is much wiser and has a much better grasp of current affairs than his opponent does. These GOP supporters are living in the past, trying to get somebody into the White House to preserve their outdated values.

        The undecided voters will draw their own conclusion without help from either camp.

  3. The reason I enjoyed the debate so much is that it plainly showed where each campaign is. Romney has courted his base and they are excited so he is going after the independents in the middle and I believe he did a great job. Obama is still trying to get his base excited so he had to attack to get his partisans to show up and vote.

    I much prefer Romney’s position 2 weeks from the election. Obama should not be trying to court his base this late in an election if he wants to win.

    1. I think that both Joe Biden’s clown act two weeks ago as well as Obama’s over-the-top aggressiveness and downright rudeness last night were aimed squarely at the Democratic base. I think he and his team have concluded that they are simply bot going to significantly cut into the 15-point lead that Romney has with independent voters. So the only way that they can hope to still pull this election our of the fire is to gin up the base to where their turnout matches what they got in 2008, which was a record-setting year for them.

      I think this strategy is unlikely to work for two reasons:

      1) All the available evidence indicates that Democratic turnout will be much closer to the historical norms of 2000 and 2004 rather than the record-setting year of 2008.

      2) The pettiness and rudeness on display by Biden and Obama may well cost them some independent votes that they might otherwise have won, largely offsetting any increased turnout among their base.

      My expectation continues to be that on Election Day, Romney will win by 4-5 points.

  4. Nice spin…

    But CNN Snap Poll, by networks own admission, leans 8% more Republican than the actual electorate…

    CBS Poll of UNCOMMITTED VOTERS gave Obama a 30+% edge…

    Larger than that given to Romney in the first debate where Obama surprised Mitt and Republicans by showing up as Clint’s Empty Chair…

    Enjoy your fantasy world…Obama will be re-elected on November 6th…

    Cherish the day (and your family),


  5. A lady friend of mine told me that she thought Obama resembled “The Fly.”

    I also thought Obama looked bad and appeared unpresidential each time he went into attack mode.

    And, when Romney held up his hands – wide apart – and said this is what we buy from China and then moved his hands close together and said this is what we sell to China – and then added that there was no chance of a trade war – it was as if he were lecturing a small child on basic economics. As if to say Obama simply has no idea what he’s talking about or doing in this crucial area.

    Just an astonishing exchange.

    1. Romney is a fool. The Chinese will not kow tow this clown. His economic calculus is preposterous: many US businesses and investors depend on these imports from China, much of which are factors in producing goods here. There will be a trade war in the (unlikely) event he carries through with his threat. Rubio had it right:

      “It could kick off a trade war that would be bad for the economy.” As he walked away from the table, he added, “I agree with Obama on that one.”

  6. Haha, all the experts and polls say Obama won the debate so it’s time to spin it and pretend that Romney’s lackluster performance was part of some strategy to appear presidential. Romney dodged questions, blatantly lied, attempted to turn it into a domestic policy debate, and showed no foreign policy plan other than saying that he basically agrees with everything Obama has been doing. Obama didn’t even have to bring up Mitt’s Global embarrassment tour where he couldn’t even go to England without pissing people off. That’s ok, stay in your little bubble and keep telling yourselves Romney won, and after the election you can pretend he won that too.

    1. Sounds like you are describing Obama (dodging questions, blatantly lying, showing no plan, etc.), but you left out the condescending behavior which will certainly not play well with the voters.

      Perhaps when Romney is president you can get a real job (outside of the Obama campaign) in the booming economy that Romney will drive with real leadership.

      1. No… sounds like YOU’RE a poopy face. Just like YOUR poopy face candidate.

        God man, get a f’ing brain. Are you 7 years old? When Romney is President, this country will crumble under the tax breaks and defense spending. The condescending behavior you speak of was an intelligent person with facts correcting an opponent in a debate that had no idea what he was talking about. Kind of like you.

  7. I’m 50, I have never seen an aircraft carrier with mine own eyes, but with the explanation and gesture-picture of the president last night, I feel that now not only I know what they are for but also how they look like…..

    Sorry for the sarcasm, but that was classic demeaning bullism. I would have reprimanded my teenager if I heard him speak so to one of his friends…..

    1. My wife called that the most childish moment of any debate she has ever seen. I’m pretty sure that Obama is losing women with this type of behavior.

      1. I agree with you John, it was childish. But that’s different from saying it was ineffective. While it may be true that some people could be turned off by the elementary nature of Obama’s demeanor, I think it’s only realistic to assume that it didn’t hit home with others. The twittersphere was absolutely rampant with horses and bayonets after Obama made that comment – and whether you like it or not, twitterers vote too.

      2. Guess what, John, Obama never had your wife’s vote. She, like you, would never had voted for him. He didn’t lose her, he never had her.

        The other women in the country do care about more important things like their rights, their health and their families going to war. Those women didn’t get lost last night.

    2. I thought it was a torpedo direct hit on Romney. It totally exposed his superficial grasp of key facts. He looked like a 3rd grader who got caught cheating in a spelling bee. Obama dealt a body blow to Romney’s credibility.

    3. You need to practice your sarcasm. You also need to figure out how to make it make sense.

      If you think Obama was a bully, how the fuck do you think the other world leaders will treat that vacuous spoiled brat? Do you think they are going to sit down, hold his hand and explain how the world works to him? Romney is just plain clueless. He can’t hire enough people to educate him on what diplomacy is.

  8. I agree.
    1)Last thing Romney wanted to leave with the voters would be the attack from Obama/Democrats likening him to Bush. Hence, he emphasized peace several. Effective.
    2) He pointed out that Iran is 4 years closer to nuclear weapon ’cause of weaknesses in Obama adminitration/policy. Effective.
    3) Did not talk much about Benghazi — the media has done enough to make voters aware
    4) He was the first to switch back to economy. Peace through strength. Effective.
    5) Perfect setup…last time the 2 men appearing together in front of millions of voters…Romney appeared calm and yet still aggressive. Obama, fearing a repeat of debate # 1, appeared condescending and read to attack. But remember attack dog is the role of VP.

    1. God. Talk about spin.

      You know, I’d so much rather we just skipped all the showmanship and just accepted both wins and losses like men. Romney won the first debate hands down. Everyone knows that. But Obama won the next two. And everyone except a few completely deluded people on this site seem to know that too.

      Do you not realize that by being unwilling to interpret events unbiasedly, you lose credibility?

  9. I wonder why the GOP applauded when Mitt went fast and furious in debate #1 but when the President defended his stance and record and played hardball back, he is seen as being angry, aggressive and rude. Hmmm… so let me get this right…Mitt can interrupt the moderator and the POTUS, lies cheat and flip flop but its A okay with the Repubs. Obama isn’t perfect but I will take him any day over Mitt that an’t keep his lies and beliefs together from one day to the next.

  10. This is exactly what I told my husband last night after the debate.

    Being the consumate businessman Romney is, I think it was his idea all along to control the pace and messaging of the series of debates. He dominated the first by being prepared and knowledgeable–critical without being mean. This caused both Biden and Obama to come out swinging, angry and mean in #2 and #3 turning off women.

    And in the Foreign policy debate he didn’t take Obama’s baiting and small minded jabs trying to make Romney out to be a warmonger. Make no mistake, the one-liners were supposed to make Romney look out of touch and Obama cool and in control. It was Romney who appeared presidential and Obama who looked desperate to challenge him (George Costanza comes to mind). My only question is if Obama realized he had been played at the end of the debate. The pundits and lefty minions are all crowing about Obama winning the debate not realizing a) he didn’t and b) his efforts to knock Romney out cost him the election.

    1. You saw a different debate. Romney looked ill informed, and totally without grasp of foreign policy issues. Funny, thats what he is. Would I trust world leadership to that slickster motor mouth??? NEVER.

    2. DeeCamp: wtf are you talking about? I mean, really: wtf are you talking about???

      It’s not the “lefty minions” who are crowing about Obama winning the debate. It’s the polls that are doing that!

      Wake up, sweet child. Open your eyes and try to see the world for what it is.

  11. You’re right. Romney had already proved he could beat Obama–in the first debate. Last night, he proved he could lose, and twice in a row.

  12. I’m convinced, Keith, that you watched a completely different debate than I did. What I saw in Romney is a candidate who is attempting to shape shift his politics as the need arises. Mr. Romney agreed with much of the current foreign policy, flipped and flopped on the policies he has run his campaign on, denied much of what he has said in numerous speeches over the past 24 months and looked completely lost when it came to real-world leadership. How anyone who considers themselves to be a Republican could vote for this gremlin defies logical thought. The President defended his policies, called Mr. Romney out on his obfuscation and finished him with his final statement for the second debate in a row.

    1. Debates are not boxing matches. People are watching to see what kind of person the candidates really are. Women in particular (according to my wife) are looking at subtle things like how they can take criticism, whether they can keep their cool, etc. In the first debate, Obama got massacred both on substance and on style (the perceptions). In the 2nd and 3rd debates (and also the vice president debate), Romney won on coming across more presidential. You will see it in the coming polls as Romney continues to pull ahead. And you and the rest of the liberals will still not understand that petulance is not a strong character trait.

        1. You keep harping on about the polls, but the sane polls show that that people thought romney more presidential, and that a larger proportion of undecided voters would be more likely to vote romney after the debate, som again keep on harping about the polls and how romney lost.

          1. Which polls were these Andrew? It’s not that I don’t believe you, but you don’t expect me to just take you at your word, do you?

      1. John: It is IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to pertay that debate as a Romney victory. He had his pants pulled down; he got a wedgie and had his head handed to him. If that was a Romney win then Todd Akin is a professional biologist.

  13. Now that the Libya debacle is out and very public due to Candys life line, there was no need to continue to hound the (kudos to Janna) pResident.
    It would have made him look as much as the petulant child that Obama did.

  14. Romney played “rope a dope” with Obama, and Obama fell for it. My wife says that Romney is winning the women’s vote (or at least making such significant inroads there as to win the election) because he comes across as the adult (who can solve problems), and he makes Obama look like the child who screams when he can’t get his way.

    1. Romney play dope a rope. He laid back, looking vacuous and overwhelmed, because he was getting pummeled. If your good wife vote Romney, she will be in a significant minority.

  15. Romney is a phony, a veritable used car-salesman. He actually channeled George McGovern with his anti-war comments. (Wink-wink to the hard Right base) GIve me a break. What a reprehensible person, quite possibly the most amoral person ever to run for the Presidency. And the public is so guillable they are buying it, and the media, supposedly “in the tank” for Obama, barely whispers a protest. It’s unbeleivalble. If Romney wins, it will prove lying wins, deception wins, what a sad commentary on our public life. It sickens me.

    He has already sold out his more liberal fans back in “my state”, how do you Conservatives know he won’t do it to you? Right now, if he wins, he will be under the thumb of the Religious Right and will do their bidding, but he will drop them like a hot potato if the winds change.

    Romney sickens me.

    We are in deep trouble if this charletan wins the Presidency.

  16. Little wonder the so-called “president’s” favorable ratings have fallen below Romney’s; only to fall farther as the independent voters asses the debate, including the pathetic high school taunt – “80s called, they want blah, blah, blah”
    Obama can still win thing, unfortunately, as Romney correctly said that the 47% of people will not abandon someone who promises never ending stream of “free” goodies, and form Obama’s unassailable base; but that is a lot less likely today.

  17. I heard the debate on the radio and Obama came across as the doing the best (with mucho help from the moderator, who managed to always change the subject before Romney got to answer Obama’s charges). At the end though, Romney sounded the best. His last statement rang with authority and power — and that made what went before less in Obama’s favor.

    I am not an Obama voter — this is how it seemed to me — I wondered how it came across on tv. Seems Obama acted the angry child — I sue hope that more people were watching than listening.

    1. Thank you Anonna, for one of the few attempts on this website to critique the debate in an unbiased fashion. Whether I agree with your opinions or not, you are a voice with inherent credibility, just for trying to describe things with a slant.

  18. Agreed. Romney established and controlled the tenor of all three debates – Obama and the liberal media were being led by a gifted leader and didn’t even know it.

    1. I thought Romney looked entirely out of his depth. I don’t think he controlled the debate throughout, but at times he was running things. But he is a motor mouth and speaks far too quickly. His comments don’t have weight because he blathers on and on.

      The horses and bayonets” comment was an arrow through Romney’s heart. It showed clear how superficial his stats are on key topics and he looked like a schoolboy who got caught fudging a teat.

    2. You think Romney won all three debates? Can you explain please? With an appropriate argument, I’d be willing to listen. But just that statement…it doesn’t mean much by itself.

  19. Forget the points in the debate. It’s all about winning the election and Romney went after the woman vote with his optimistic, warm & fuzzy routine vs. Obama’s peevish and negative style. Romney even gets close with the woman vote and it is ‘Game Over’. And, Romney was definitely cuter than Obama last night!

    1. Stephen”
      I am not sure you should speak for women on the subject of who was cuter.

      But Romney did nothing to help his perception among women. He came across as shallow, poorly informed on the substance of key issues, and abrasive with his constant interrupting and endless blathering. The debate polls show a clear Obama win. How did Romney address his weakness with women when he lost 40 to 40?

      1. Yet the same polls showed more undecided voters saying they would vote Romney after the debate then Obama, gee Bill maybe your missing something.

    2. At the election each candidate will get his fair share since they are playing by the same rules. Unlike the tax system Obama proposes.

      1. Romney just babbles without substance or facts, he would change his platform in a flash if it means getting more votes. He will continue to make a fool of himself if there are more presidential showdowns. This GOP puppet must be relieved the debates are finally over as he’s desperate to pull back up his pants.

  20. Pingback: Romney’s Brilliant Debate Strategy may have scored a Knockout | Politisite

  21. For most people it’s a given that politicians lie, but Mitt Romney stands out. The brazenness and persistence of Romney’s lying isn’t just the perception of Dems but right wing Matt Welch of, has found Williard’s prodigious lying just as egregious as those that constantly say out loud ” I thought Mormons and Christians had a Thou Shalt Not Lie Clause in Their Moral Contract” Go figure? – The GOP states we should respect their siding against abortion when they they stomp all over the rest of their bible. Countering sexism, and protection of the right to life is not reasonable when extremism and brainwashing exists in a party that are following down a dangerous path of past dictators

  22. It the debate last night it was indeed “bold” of Romney, because it takes a lot of brass to go up on stage and lie your way through a debate. To pretend that the Mitt Romney of 2006-2011 is now gone, and has been replaced with a totally different Mitt Romney, who completely disavows neoconservativism (even though 17 out of 24 of his advisors were in the Bush administration)…

    It was “bold” for Romney to hope that people ignore his record, ignore his past statements, and believe him that he’s a moderate.

    It was “bold” for Romney to agree with the President repeatedly, to accuse the President of not leading, but then turn around and say that he wouldn’t do anything differently.

    It was “bold” of Romney to not respond when the President called him a liar, and went through line by line all the times Romney changed his mind and contradicted prior statements. It takes brass to hear all that said about you, and then just assume that the people out there aren’t listening anyway, so why bother fighting it?

    The reason Romney pursued this “bold” strategy is he has no original ideas, no solutions, no real battles to fight over foreign policy. He “boldly” attempted to avoid talking about any of the issues last night.

    Unfortunately, what you, Keith, admire in Romney’s boldness could also be called callousness, weakness, duplicitousness. In this article, you are actually praising Romney for being a flip flopper, praising him for lying, praising him for being wrong on so many issues, realizing it, and going back on all of his previous statements.

    Romney should be apologizing for his inability to own up to his record and tell the truth to the American people. All this guy does in debates is lie.

    I’m from Massachusetts. I’ve known Romney since he ran for the governorship of that state. He said many things during that campaign that he forgot about after he was elected. He has changed his position on so many issues so often, that its totally clear who he is: he’s a sham. He’s a weasel. He’ll say anything to get elected, and he has no problem breaking his promises. Obama has been the exact opposite: consistent, clear, and also right. He was right about the war in Iraq, and Romney was wrong. He was right about the need to go after OBL and al Qaeda, and Romney was wrong, he said we shouldn’t do that.

    Romney doesn’t have the credentials to be President, because he doesn’t actually have opinions of his own. His opinions he forms according to how it might help him in the polls, by what his advisors tell him to believe.

  23. it was apparent that obama’s slapstick approach to debate was born of biden’s vaudeville skit…yet, obama out-did him..surely his ignorance was trumped only by his arrogance… presidential clown a new office?

  24. LOL, keep telling yourself that voters will choose the winner based on theatrics. Romney did nothing to distinguish himself from Obama and really crystallized how well the Obama administration has done on foreign policy. Romney bumbled, stuttered and gave incredibly long-winded rants. He was visibly shaken.

  25. Uhhhhh…Keith: what planet are you living on?

    I understand you want to remain positive. And more than that even, I understand that you need to try to convince others that Romney is the man. But come on…let’s be at least a *little* realistic about things.

    You mentioned that CNN’s snap poll showed Obama up 48%/40%. And I commend you for at least reporting that accurately (even if you also had to try to undercut it by mentioning that it may be inaccurate). But the further truth includes this:

    * Public Policy Polling of swing-state voters gave the edge to Obama 53%/42%.

    * CBS polling of undecideds gave the edge to Obama 53%/23% (26% tie)

    * Google Consumer Surveys gave the edge to Obama 45.1%/35.3%

    * The Fox News Website poll gave the edge to Obama 54.2%/44.6%. That’s right: the Fox News Poll also suggests Obama won!

    So let’s call apples apples here. Romney certainly still has a chance to win the election. And I agree with you that his goal was to appear “nice” and “calm” and “presidential”. But if you’re going to try to persuade your readers into the belief that he actually accomplished exactly what he set out to accomplish, and hit a knockout? …well, then all I can say is that you’ve lost my vote of credibility as a reporter.

    1. He is not a reporter, he is a pundit. As Dilbert pointed out, a parasite that synthesizes other peoples’ work, makes up highly spun stuff to add to it, and profits. Say what you will about FOX or MSNBC or CNN whoever, but at least they pay human beings to collect information first hand.

  26. So sorry Keith. . . remember, Muhammed Ali is President Obama’s idol. And if you think back to all of the steps of his campaign you will see very clearly the stealthy maneuevers that have been employed against the Romney Campaign. President Obama has been pulling Romney in, slowly, slowly, ever so slowly . . . and BAM!!!! Who will appear? None other than the Barak Obama of 2008 . . . Watch him dance over the next two weeks. . . President Obama will be re-elected . . . you know that and I know that.

  27. Obama don’t look like a person I want in charge of my kids school, much less my country. Looks very angry someone is running against him almost. Very arrogant man. And I voted for him four years ago. Hearing that from lots of my friends and family. He’s not able to talk about what hes done, because only thing he has done is make things worst. Oh , and give us a health care plan the majority don’t want.

    1. @ Pam – so you voted for Obama and are now changing parties cuz you don’t like where our President has led us?

      Ok, um let me just observe that if you, as a registered and seasoned voter, have to be TOLD what was accomplished or not accomplished over the last 3.5 years, you are uninformed and subject to easy manipulation – like a 5 point plan floating on the winds of change…

      Stop wearing your previous vote like a badge of honor that went sideways and get with it. The vast majority of folks vote party-line. If you are telling us you are really GOP and had a fluke temporary delusion – welcome home… You may or may not like the results but at least you will “own” a line of reasoning. Otherwise, become an independent and gnash your hands and teeth over a person rather than a prevailing poly-econ philosophy / doctrine. At least every 4 years someone will be sell in’ ya something.

  28. The debate is a means to an end-not an end of itself. The question isn’t whose verbally agressive narriative was more persuasive given the topic. Its:having seen the discussion would you-Mr./Ms. undecided voter-be more or less likely to vote for (name of candidate). And the poll data validates that result. And Romney using that criteria won big; expect his evolving lead to reflect that fact. As I write this, the post debate Rasmussen tracking poll confirms the predebate Gallop poll, Romney has taken a first time electoral vote lead in the RCP tracking poll, and Obama’s likability reponse has first time dived below 50%. The conventional media wisdom is that the winner’s status confirms a fluency with the topic that implies decisive knowledge. It doesn’t certify public appeal based on that perception.Biden-using that criteria-supposedly won the VEEP debate. Except the polls indicated a continuing decline for his ticket, and a single dissimulative answer (the obligation of subsidiary religious institutions to adopt the contraceptive obligations explicit in Obama care) created a negative response loop that decimated the Catholic vote (which is now tracking 58%GOP). The point: the objective is to win an election. This year the debates mattered. And the Democratic Party is likely to lose because the debates confirmed a personality perception that damaged-likely permanently-their public image. Call me silly, butI don’t think that qualifies as a win.

    1. John – some of what you say makes a lot of sense. I agree with you that the bottom line is not who was more persuasive, but rather who will you be more likely to vote for. But I can’t help but think that the former does have *some* influence on the latter. Don’t you think?

  29. I swear, if I hear one more pundit claim their candidate tried to use “rope a dope” when they lost, Democrat OR Republican, I might just try some boxing punches myself. One pundit said it earlier this year, and now everyone uses every time their candidate is perceived as off.

  30. At the debate Romney changed all his previous position on foreign policy. He seemed that he wanted to reassure the electorate that he would not be as reckless as he suggested previously. Romney has changed his position so many times about so many issues; and last night he even tried to claim that he did not oppose the auto bailout. I wonder, If elected, which Romney are we going to get?

  31. Watching this debate, it was easy to see which candidate thinks he’s ahead and which one thinks he’s behind.

    Mitt Romney did exactly what he needed to do. He assured the nation that he has the reserve and the gravitas to effectively manage its foreign policy, he refused to get drawn into a mud-slinging match with his opponent, and avoided saying anything stupid that might alter the trajectory of the race, which is, with only two weeks left to go, is looking favorable for him.

    For his part, Barack Obama looked and acted like a boxer entering the 12th round knowing he’s behind on points and needing a KO to win. He aggressively poked and prodded Romney, trying to goad him into responding in kind. When Romney wouldn’t take the bait, he seemed to become frustrated and his aggressiveness morphed into anger and pettiness.

    Of the two men, Mitt Romney definitely came across as being more calm, collected and “presidential”. In short, he achieved his strategic objectives for the final debate while Barack Obama did not.

    Mitt Romney was ahead going into last night’s debate, and he’s still ahead now.

    1. I agree that Romney’s goal for the night was to appear more calm, collected and “presidential”. And I also agree that he achieved those strategic objectives.

      However, the important question isn’t whether he achieved his objectives, but rather whether those were the objectives he should have been achieving! The fact that he succeeded in appearing calm, for instance, does not mean that his calmness will get him votes. Nor does the fact that Obama looked “angry” mean he’ll lose votes. It might mean these things…I’m not saying it doesn’t: I’m simply pointing out that your logic doesn’t actually hold.

      Oh, and about Romney being ahead going into last night’s debate. All I can say is: you must be talking about the general population vote that doesn’t matter, right?

  32. ‘Syria is Iran’s route to the sea’.

    He’s brilliant alright! Maybe this is the case on planet Kolob – But here on earth, Iran is not landlocked.

    Don’t hurt your back carrying that water!

    1. Syria is Iran’s road to the mediterranean sea which by the way gives Iran a place to dock and have access to western nations. I know, taxing for the brain, but it does make sense.

      1. You are right in one respect. Trying to follow your logic is “taxing”.

        There seems to be two little things in the way of your theory – Turkey and Iraq. That is, if you ignore the FACT that Iran has 2,440 km of coastline – thus giving them a route to EVERYWHERE. Iran shares no boarder with Syria.

        Take for example – Russia is Iran’s route to the north pole. The US is Mexico’s route to Canada. Tennessee is Alabama’s route to Kentucky. Stupid anyway you look at it.

  33. The “Belle Femme” episode (#9, Season 1) of “Boardwalk Empire” has Agent Van Alden telling Agent Sebso: “You’re either incompetent of a liar. Either way, I won’t stand for it”.

    This would make an interesting video if Obama was inserted for Sebso.
    (Eric Holder would also make a fine candidate).

  34. Lol…you mean the strategy of sitting there in a puddle of sweat having no idea what you are talking about? Glad you consider that brilliant

  35. Mittens could be the sunniest person in the world, but he showed to the world how clueless he is. He doesn’t know Syria doesn’t border Iran. Iran is not land locked. It does boarder the sea and doesn’t need Syria to get to water. He needs to learn that our navy isn’t just the strongest in the world, but is stronger than all the rest of the world. One of our aircraft carriers has more air power than most countries have in their air force.

    In a foreign policy debate, he knows so little that he has to change the subject back to fiscal policy. The man is a dim bulb. He cannot be trusted to lead this country and talk with other world leaders. This is a man on par with G.W. Bush.

    1. Gov Romney was not implying that Iran is landlocked, rather Syria gives Iran access to the Mediterranean Sea which gives dock and access to western europe.

    2. Apparently you missed the first debate not to mention a lack of comprehension of the second and third debates. Between the three debates Romney spoke 10 minutes less and said twice as much.

      Obama = Bush II. Both were elected with much fanfare with little experience and even less work ethic.

  36. Thank you for writing something that made sense. The President’s behavior was unnerving. The disdainful interruptions, the surly stares, and the zinger remarks. If anything, people realized that this President has no intention of working with others. It is his way or the highway and when it doesn’t work out it is someone else’s fault. Can we endure four more years of middle school antics?

    1. You mean, if anything *you* realized that the President has no intention of working with others. Right?

      And, of course, you had already realized that. So really you *confirmed* for yourself that the President has no intention of working with others. Right?

      Well, good for you, sir. Good for you. Give this man a gold star for being able to demonstrate such unbiasedness.

  37. Essays like this one just amaze me. The conservatives just continue to promote Romney regardless of a poor debate performance. At least the liberals called out Obama when he didn’t deliver at the first debate. Why do conservatives need to lie to prop up their candidate?

    1. Thank you Bob!!! I was waiting, hoping, praying, that someone would make this point. Because I think it’s really telling.

      When Obama stunk up the joint at the first election, Dems admitted it outright and completely. Granted, some of the media tried to find excuses and weird explanations for his performance, but that’s still a far cry from denying it outright. No one denied it outright.

      Yet here I am reading blog after blog about how Romney has Obama right where he wants him after his stellar performances in debates two and three. And all I can do is think: now I understand why they don’t care if Romney lies. …they’re already all lying to themselves.

    2. He lied, he lied, everything he said was a lie, does that ring a bell bob and matt, you liberals didnt accept anything, at least not until you realised what a bunch of poor losers you were and that the public wasnt as stupid as you all imagine. Romney won the second debate, the only reason Obama got points was because he didnt suck like the first. Nearly every commentator voted Romney got the best of obama on the economy, energy, taxes etc and the polls agreed but somehow obama won right, everyone was saying obama best moment in the second debate was libya, you mean something were you lie your arse off is your best moment. The 3rd debate Obama may have won but romney done what he had to and the polls about who you would vote for show that. He was calm and presidential and that is what he wanted to come across as.

  38. I think Romney will be laughing these pundits off on election day. NO candidate has ever polled under 50 via gallup and lost. The two most historic and reliable polls gallup and ras have showed a good old fashion stomping.

    1. You are to be congratulated for watching the debates with your head firmly up your backside. It must have been tough to see, but I assume you turned the sound up.

  39. Considering the Marines and Army still use bayonets and horses looks likes the commander-in-cheat better get in touch with our Armed Forces. . .not to mention that those in command are coming out and saying Romney is correct in his statements. . .just like Crowley had to do. . .tell Romney he was correct.

    1. Not that this point really needs to be made, but since you brought it up satcitizen: Obama said that there are *less* horses and bayonets now than in 1917. Not none. Less.

      Is that really something you want to argue about?

  40. A knock out blow? By what? Endorsing Obama’s policies? You are delusional if you think that Mitt did anything but flip flop again on his multitude of positions.

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