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Responses to the first Obama – Romney Debate – a sampling from different friends.

October 4, 2012

Immigrant Rights – one of the many issues avoided in the first Obama-Romney presidential debate. photo from an immigrants rights demonstration. Park Ave, Manhattan, New York City. July, 2010

Noam Chomsky: The Fate of Humanity is at Stake: Why can’t Obama and Romney Talk About What Really Matters?

Robert Kuttner: First Round To Romney (from American Prospect)

`The Real News’ – (a series of responses) : Romney – The Masterful Liar

Robert Reich: The First Presidential Debate

Tom Hayden – A Serious Serious Setback

Wall Report – Jim Wall:  Bad Moon Over Obama Victory Rising

“I hope I made you proud out there explaining the vision we share for this country.”

Barack Obama – in an email sent to his supporters the day after the first debate.

Irreverent comments from different friends (unidentified) of interest.

“Romney whipped Obama’s centrist butt”


“Never mind the debate last night, does anyone want to meet at the community garden to pick tomatoes before frost hits tonight?”


“some thoughts after the debate, and the public debate for the
remainder of the election campaign. I think what we saw last
night is what we can expect for the remainder – unless the
left side of the base sounds the alarm.

Obviously Romney campaign to play him as a “sane Republican,”
not a wild-eyed Tea Party fanatic. Obama campaign it seems has
decided that there is a small slice of the national electorate
that is undecided, and they are going to focus on the
remaining front-line states. Looks like they have concluded
that with the small number of states in play that they need to
turn the tide in those states.

Will this be enough to keep what they have in other states?
Will it be enough not to erode support for Senate and House
candidates running in states that the Obama campaign now
considers in their camp?  Those are the questions.

One view of how the elections are shaping up  – University of
Virginia Center for Politics – Sabato’s Crystal Ball —

Electoral votes needed – 270

in Obama camp —- 237 (needed additional 33)
in Romney camp — 191 (needed 79 additional to win)

In play:

Nevada ———– 6
Colorado ——— 9
Iowa ————- 6
Wisconsin ——- 10
Ohio ———— 18
Virginia ——– 13
North Carolina — 15
Florida ——— 29
New Hampshire —  4

so remainder of campaign is going to be aimed at these states,
hoping that in the process the base in other states stays firm
(New Mexico, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maine and

(In 2008 all the states that are currently in play – Nevada,
Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina,
Florida and New Hampshire went for Obama; as did Indiana and
Nebraska was split,)
Total electoral vote was 359 – 179
But this year is not 2008.

Campaign now is to change the House and give the Senate some
spine. Interesting that this would be accomplished with new
women in the Senate – Warren, Baldwin, Hirono. Campaign to
change 25 House seats – can this be done with a luke-warm and
milk-toast campaign at the top?

Shows what a big job we have after the elections.

Just some thoughts that I thought I would share.


“Part of the problem is not just Obama, it’s his whole campaign crew. They live in a cocoon. It is well known that Obama has an extremely small circle that runs the show, closed to anyone who has not been part of his Chicago team for years. They don’t listen to anyone else and think they know better than everyone. Sure they ran an excellent campaign in 2008, but his Rose Garden strategy this year has been deadly. The flat, lackluster approach in the debate exactly mirrored his convention speech, and his campaign rallies. They are so focused on running a cautious, middle of the road, defensive, no risk campaign that they have managed to shrink the differences between him and Romney (assuming there are big differences, which sure did not seem apparent last night). To me, saying he had no differences with Romney on Social Security crystallized everything that was wrong with the performance last night, and the way his smarter than the rest of us campaign team has operated”


” I didn’t see the debate but I hear it was the most brainless exorcism ever in American presidential debates and a sheer waste of time by two con-men behaving like second rate car salesmen.”


“Obama couldn’t mount a full-throated defense of programs for the poor, Medicare or Social Security because he’s taken on the right-wing propaganda about the deficit being the primary problem, and has already agreed to cuts. So he was left saying that Romney’s tax cuts would mean cuts for “other stuff.” The only specific he mentioned–education. And I don’t like his so-called education reform”


“I sat with two friends, needless to say both somewhat left of center. They didn’t want to even watch the debate, but I pressured them to do their patriotic duty. Me, being more the masochist and always wondering how much of the bullshit I could take, held firm. The one drank first one 750 cc bottle of wine and was halfway through the second when he fell asleep about a half hour into the great debate. The other had an ample supply of those miniature bottles of vodka that he set up like bowling pins before he too nodded off – never to return from wherever he was…wherever it was, he was smiling. I muddled through, neither drink nor weed dulling the pain. My vodka-drinking friend fell asleep on the couch..must have gotten up and left in the middle of the night as he was gone in the morning. ”

“I think of this first debate as simply a prelude for the one on foreign policy that I suspect will make us look back on this one as something of a victory for moderation. “
“Romney lied through his teeth – but did it rather well. he was a study in how to lie with a straight face. and he was aggressive, rude to boot, more easily accomplished by an insipid – no, there has to be a stronger word – Jim Lehrer. “
“Romney’s tack, besides lying, was to `straddle the middle – more or less the same strategy used by bush-the-idiot in 2000. He tried to convince the viewing audience that he’s not the right-winger that he is,  but a moderate and who  won’t touch Social Security. While he’ll destroy Obama care, it would only be to provide his own undefined version of `healthcare for all’.  Nonsense of course, but it played well. Obama acted like he really is not that interested in a second term, a bit tired of it all. He’s bright enough but rather than turning the debate around to speak of the deeper issues effecting the country, he got caught up in statistical minutia. I doubt many people even understood the differences between Romney and Obama on taxes and healthcare…and Romney succeeded in convincing tv-land that his programs really weren’t that different  from Obama’s but that he, Romney could do it better. “
“Oh well. Liberal dems are howling this morning and acting surprised that in the end Obama isn’t a heck of a lot different from Romney (this isn’t to say that they are exactly the same).”
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