I’m Crazy, But Obama Won

Filed in National by on October 3, 2012

Obama won this debate for two reasons

Number One: Obama was never going to win all three debates. He lost the first one. He’ll win the next two.

Number Two: By making his base panic, Obama may have just implemented the most effective GOTV strategy ever.


About the Author ()

A Dad, a husband and a data guru

Comments (52)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. pandora says:

    It will be interesting to watch what happens over the next few days when everyone realizes that Mitt Romney was all style and no substance. I know what Mitt wants to do (create jobs, cut taxes, etc.) but he still hasn’t said how.

    Those “hows” will rear their heads as the talking heads start talking and realize Romney still has no plan – except for voucherizing Medicare. Yep, he admitted that – and it will be a huge deal. So Mitt may have zinged himself.

  2. John young says:

    Well, you’re right about one thing?

  3. John young says:

    Here’s what I know for sure after watching the debate: I lost. Not really sure who won.

  4. Aoine says:

    Obama campaign is VERY VERY GOOD

    1 they know the days of punditry will last waaaaay longer than the debate – things will be picked apart

    2 the substance issue is definitely there- he made Romney OWN his poor policy

    3 Al Sharpton. “Romney did a good job testifying but would be indicted for perjury ”

    4 Obama runs a back door sneak attack campaign- a slow fizzle attack. U walk away thinking you won- then it blows up in your face. –

    It doesn’t look like Obama won- but watch how Biden uses it to slam Ryan.
    There is some bite yet to come

  5. pandora says:

    I don’t think Obama was at his best tonight, but if the next week is full of story after story after story after story about Romney lying during the debate…

    And those stories are coming.

  6. pandora says:

    And the flip-flopping begins:

    After the first presidential debate at the University of Denver in Colorado on Wednesday night, one of Mitt Romney’s top advisers acknowledged that, as a result Romney’s plan to repeal Obamacare, people with pre-existing medical conditions would likely be unable to purchase insurance.

    Expect a LOT more of this.

  7. jason330 says:

    Depending on Republicans to have integrity is no way to “win” a debate. Nemski may be right and Obama may be playing a long game… he does have a track record of being able to pull that off.

  8. Delaware Dem says:

    Here are my thoughts on the debate:

    1. Obama pulled his punches. Whether this was a deliberate move so as not to damage his favorability or likeability, or whether it was because he was tired after having to deal with preventing a war between Syria and Turkey, who cares? He pulled his punches. I don’t think however I buy into all this punditry that he was detached, aloof, dismal, glum, or whatever synonym is out there. When he was speaking he seems perfectly engaged and passionate to me. The only two stylistic points that Obama needs to correct is his 1) stammer and 2) his looking down. Someone on Morning Joe said this morning that they think it is because Obama was afraid he will reveal his true contempt for Romney. Please. Look at Romney, or at some thing beyond Romney and smile.

    2. Romney won last night, but will he win the weekend? He won because he lied so often and so brazenly, but I think the Obama camp now has 20 new ads. It is already causing problems, as Pandora pointed out above with his campaign going back and admitting that Romney lied and his plan really is what Obama said.

    3. And I think I know why the 47% video didn’t come up: for some reason Obama is saving it. But he should have used it tonight to say “Well, Governor Romney has basically tonight changed his entire platform. He is now against tax cuts for the wealthy and for coverage for preexisting conditions. This is not the first time Romney has changed his tune, and it will not be last. Remember, there is always a difference between what Mr. Romney says to the public and what he says behind closed doors, and remember America, he said behind closed doors that it is not his job to worry about you. Well, I think it is his job and it is my job and it will be my job if you give me your trust and vote.”

    So that was a missed opportunity. But it was not the last opportunity. Obama can still make that point above. And win the second and third debates.

    If you think Mitt Romney winning the first debate means he wins the election, go find President Kerry and President Mondale and ask them how that went.

  9. cassandra_m says:

    People looking at the optics of this might conclude that Romney won on style points. However, if the world works properly, he will lose the fact checking over the next couple of days. Even now Romney’s campaign is walking back some statements, so if by the weekend the story is yes Romney won, but he lied to do it, he probably didn’t change the needle much.

  10. Jim McGiffin says:

    I listened to the debate but didn’t watch it. I think the President held his own. Apparently I think the President did much better than others think he did.

  11. puck says:

    “so if by the weekend the story is yes Romney won, but he lied to do it, he probably didn’t change the needle much.”

    I hope that’s how it comes out. But the American people never tire of being lied to. Reagan won by promising tax cuts, increased defense spending, and a balanced budget, and the fact checkers STILL haven’t caught up to him – or if they did nobody cares. In fact I think Carter used the same argument Obama used – “your plan doesn’t add up.” A lot of good it did him.

    I agree with DD – Obama left his best material off the table.

  12. Pooker Jones says:

    Perhaps like Jim McGiffin did with this debate we should all listen to the debate on the radio and not be distracted by the body language of each candidate and actually “hear” what they are saying.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Delusional. I really think you guys are under a trance. There is no long term genius plan where he willingly lost the first debate. You sound like fan boys whose team lost the Super Bowl. Hopefully he gets a TelePrompTer. He looked a little lost.

  14. WWB says:

    Romney lied, and it drove me crazy the way he kept looking at the President with that smirk on his face, like he was just waiting to school a subordinate on how things really are. Obama countered with some facts against the lies, but I thought he missed his biggest opportunity: to counterpunch Romney on the Medicare “cuts.” He also had an opportunity to explain why getting rid of the Medicare Advantage program was a good thing, but he didn’t take it. And he never came back at Romney about green jobs subsidies or countered Romney’s insinuations regarding those and things like Solyndra and Fisker. I also suspect this is one of those instances where Obama came out better if you were only listening. The visual was not good for him. Romney talked directly to Obama throughout, and Obama looked down more than he met Romney’s gaze.

    Was Jim Lehrer even there after the intro? I agree with Lawrence O’Donnell-I like the debate format where the candidates talk directly to one another and ask each other questions, but that wasn’t what last night’s debate was supposed to be. While I don’t think last night was the disaster for Obama that some pundits are saying it was, I was very let down by the President’s performance.

  15. DM says:

    Obama lost this one but he has two more chances. Anyone who watched with open eyes and open minds should be able to see Romney won the first round.

  16. jenl says:

    Maybe I missed it, but I am trying to figure out how you have a debate on the economy and the President never mentions saving the auto industry. He should have been driving it home and hammering Romney on it at the same time.

  17. Jason330 says:

    I know, right? What is the President saving it for? My only comfort is Obama’s history of playing 11th dimensional Vulcan chess.

  18. Truth Teller says:

    Where was the Fire??? Mittens won this on lies

  19. jenl says:

    This was not a time to take the long view. This was an opportunity to seal the deal.

  20. puck says:

    Can’t Obama just have Bill Clinton stand in for him?

  21. heragain says:

    If you were prepping to debate Romney, there’s one tape you’d go to… you’d go to the tape of the guy who debated him for the Senate in 1994. You’d make sure you didn’t make any of the mistakes that were made there, and you’d get him to say the things you’d run against those clips.


    How’d President Obama do?

    I voted for the man I think was the smartest guy in any room. Either I think that, or I don’t. He’s not perfect, but he went into this as “the unconquerable orator” whose biggest election problem was a base that figures they don’t need to work. If you’ve been talking to identified supporters, you know what I mean. They’re ‘meh.’

    How’d he come out?

    Ain’t over ’til it’s over. If this upset you, go to the website and buy a tshirt. 😉

    I got his back, because he’s got mine.

  22. Davy says:

    Seems like both the President and Romney exaggerated and made false claims:


  23. Jason330 says:

    Stop spamming these threads with your bullshit or you’ll be out on your ass.

  24. pandora says:

    Look at the first claim from Davy’s link:

    Obama accused Romney of proposing a $5 trillion tax cut. Not true. Romney proposes to offset his rate cuts and promises he won’t add to the deficit.

    It’s not true because Romney promises he won’t add to the deficit? So, he doesn’t have to explain how?

    Or, how about this…

    Obama said 5 million private-sector jobs had been created in the past 30 months. Perhaps so, but that counts jobs that the Bureau of Labor Statistics won’t add to the official monthly tallies until next year. For now, the official tally is a bit over 4.6 million.

    They exist, but they don’t count because they haven’t been typed into a report?


  25. Jason330 says:

    I know. Complete crap.

  26. Davy says:

    You should read the entire article. The Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania is well respected. And, it provides a concise explanation for each bullet point.

  27. pandora says:

    Concise explanation?

    $5 Trillion Tax Cut

    The president said Romney was proposing a $5 trillion tax cut and Romney said he wasn’t. The president is off base here — Romney says his rate cuts and tax eliminations would be offset and the deficit wouldn’t increase.

    Obama: Governor Romney’s central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut — on top of the extension of the Bush tax cuts.

    Romney: First of all, I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut. I don’t have a tax cut of a scale that you’re talking about.

    To be clear, Romney has proposed cutting personal federal income tax rates across the board by 20 percent, in addition to extending the tax cuts enacted early in the Bush administration. He also proposes to eliminate the estate tax permanently, repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax, and eliminate taxes on interest, capital gains and dividends for taxpayers making under $200,000 a year in adjusted gross income.

    By themselves, those cuts would, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, lower federal tax liability by “about $480 billion in calendar year 2015” compared with current tax policy, with Bush cuts left in place. The Obama campaign has extrapolated that figure out over 10 years, coming up with a $5 trillion figure over a decade.

    However, Romney always has said he planned to offset that massive cut with equally massive reductions in tax preferences to broaden the tax base, thus losing no revenue and not increasing the deficit. So to that extent, the president is incorrect: Romney is not proposing a $5 trillion reduction in taxes.

    What reductions? Did anyone hear any reductions mentioned that would offset the tax cut? I didn’t. Romney promises to do this, but refuses to say how. And that matters.

    And, last night, Obama did say that the 5 trillion was spread over 10 years.

    The next point listed on Factcheck deals with the tax cut, as well. It’s called “The Impossible Plan.” Which says what Obama said – Romney can’t do math. So why is Obama wrong about Mitt’s impossible plan?

    This is a classic both sides do it argument. Ooh, if we have 5 lies of Romney’s we HAVE to find five for Obama.

  28. cassandra_m says:

    The Annenberg Factcheck often has glaring issues and you can see it in the first two bullets they give:

    Obama accused Romney of proposing a $5 trillion tax cut. Not true. Romney proposes to offset his rate cuts and promises he won’t add to the deficit.
    Romney again promised to “not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans” and also to “lower taxes on middle-income families,” but didn’t say how he could possibly accomplish that without also increasing the deficit.

    There’s one obvious one in not using the same measuring stick for each, and the less obvious one is one that has been cited routinly since Rmoney made his tax cuts promises.

    The obvious one is the lack of detail. They note that Romney does not give any detail on how he reduced middle class taxes while also reducing the deficit. But he also does not provide any detail on the rate cuts and that promise tells you that there isn’t any detail. So these fact checkers are willing to rely on promises that a candidate makes for some things and then take them to task for not enough detail for others.

    The less obvious one, but cited just everyplace is the Tax Policy Center analysis which says that Rmoney’s plan would reduce Federal revenues by $4.8 trillion over a decade. rates the Obama statement half-true, by noting that Rmoney does say he will offset this with something, but he is not specific about what. But they don’t dispute the number, just that there is no context to it. Which — to me — makes it true, because it is up to Rmoney to give that number its context.

    So even in fact-checking, you can see these organizations working really hard at narrative , not always in facts.

  29. You win by losing. That is interesting spin. I only saw the second half of the debate and I thought the Governor won, but it was close. I heard a lot of the rest on radio. Everyone who saw it all on TV says the Governor romped and the President took a bath. I will have to watch, I thought it was closer hearing it on the radio.

  30. duty says:

    Comment by pandora on 3 October 2012 at 11:43 pm:

    “I don’t think Obama was at his best tonight, but if the next week is full of story after story after story after story about Romney lying during the debate…

    And those stories are coming”.

    So now Romney has to beat Obama and the media in the debates. At least there is no media bias… nothing to see here, keep moving. Face it, Obama has an indefensible record and he knows it.
    Can’t wait for Ryan/Biden debate. That is going to be brutal.

  31. pandora says:

    What Obama did today was the same thing Reagan and the George W. Bush did after they lost their first debate. How’d that work out for them?

  32. Tom McKenney says:

    Conservatives are convinced Ryan will crush Biden. It would foolish to bet against Biden in a battle of wits.

  33. puck says:

    I’ll be surprised if Biden finds a way to lose a debate to the guy who wants to end Medicare as we know it.

  34. duty says:

    Biden lost a debate to Sarah Palin. Even Game Change confirms that. Biden is not on the same level as Ryan, whether you agree with the policies or not. Face it, Biden is a liability.

  35. V says:

    hold on there a damn minute. Did we read the same Game Change? If I remember correctly the idea among the campaigns was as long as she didn’t spontaneously burst into flames she’d be considered the winner of the debate.

    Also did I make up that whole chapter where they talk about how she couldn’t actually learn the information and answer questions like a competent adult so they just wrote her lines to memorize like an actress?

    This media creation of Biden as a liability is horseshit and it always has been. He may not have a filter, but he’s a smart and compassionate man. I can’t wait for the Veep debate.

  36. puck says:

    Is that what Palin is saying on her fundraising letters? Well I’ll be.

  37. puck says:

    I hope Ryan goes into this thinking Biden is a buffoon.

  38. Geezer says:

    “Biden is not on the same level as Ryan”

    At what? I’ll grant that Ryan can make his “wonk” arguments sound good — nobody’s going to check numbers during a debate — and Biden is always a risk to say something that sounds stupid.

    Debates are not about substance, as Romney illustrated. So when it comes to style, you’ve got a charming old Irish bullshit artist against a charming young Irish bullshit artist. Seems pretty even to me.

  39. heragain says:

    V, resent the implication that actress and competent adult are necessarily two different categories. 😉

  40. puck says:

    “,,,Biden is always a risk to say something that sounds stupid.”

    What could sound more stupid than “I don’t have time to show you the math?”

  41. Geezer says:

    Um…How about telling a guy in a wheelchair to stand up so the crowd could see him? Do you really want a list of his greatest misses?

  42. puck says:

    At least Biden wasn’t trying to cut the wheelchair guy’s safety net.

  43. pandora says:

    True, Puck!

    Also, looks like Obama’s decision to not bring up Romney’s 47% comment during the debate was a wise one. Instead of getting the opportunity to apologize (too late, btw) to millions of people, Romney was stuck “apologizing” on Hannity.

  44. puck says:

    @pandora – I don’t get how Obama wins by not making Romney explain 47% all over again in the debate?

  45. pandora says:

    Because he wouldn’t have explained – He would have apologized. And piling on after someone apologizes looks petty.

  46. puck says:

    Oh I see. I hadn’t caught up to his Hannity statement – thanks. I guess if Romney had any traps laid out, that would have been one.

  47. Steve Newton says:

    pandora I think you are half right here. I never expected Obama to bring up the 47% because his strategy was (and had to be) to look presidential in the debates. He needed to be “President Obama” not “candidate Obama.” In that context having to resort (at least in the first debate) to using the 47% quotation would have made him look weak–like, you got nothing in your record so you’re doing this.

    And Romney did have a comeback available: “Certainly, Mr. President, we can do better than this in a major debate on domestic policy. You know as well as I do that things you say in fundraising and in hundreds of multiple appearances are apt to be misinterpreted. That happened to you with the comment about “bitter clingers to guns and Bibles” in 2008, and I’d hope that you and I at least could stay above that while people don’t have jobs.”

    And while you could criticize it on a factual basis it would have played well in that format to the casual voter.

    I think the Obama campaign made the very rational decision that 47% is best used in stump speeches and by surrogates and even in commercials but not on the debate stage. And frankly I agree with them.

    I also agree with you that Obama is a great orator but a mediocre debater. John McCain was a patsy, but Hillary beat the crap out of him in multiple debates, and if you look back she won most of the primaries held immediately after a debate. I recall a particularly bad moment in the Texas debate when Obama’s answer on Afghanistan made so little sense that I did not even know what he was trying to say.

  48. pandora says:

    Exactly. When you attack someone on something they said and they apologize without adding the word but it ends the conversation. Continuing to attack after someone says they’re sorry is crass.

  49. pandora says:

    Steve, I agree. Debates have never been Obama’s strong point. That said, all of this chatter about “Obama needs to throw a punch” has me feeling an acute sense of deja vu. 🙂

  50. heragain says:

    Also, Romney straight up lied about so much. I really admired President Obama up there. He just primmed his lips and took notes. If I’d been debating someone who lied to my face so much, it would have been Jerry Springer up in there.

  51. anonymous says:


    How can one debate a liar? Can’t. Because a liar will come up with a new lie. If Obama had prepared to debate on Romney’s record, or on the latest version of Rmoney lies, one can’t be ‘prepared,’ One can only ask, who is this liar?

    Obama likely prepared to debate against one who would not work for half the population, (actually against 99% of the population,) but the all new Romney showed up, claiming he works for the 100%. All Obama could say, is that’s not what you said when you were talking to the millionaires. You can’t debate against a guy who now says, he wants a better America for the 100%. You can only call him a liar based on his past record and what he said before.

    Or better health care for everyone. Romney went from saying he will shut Obamacare down the first day he’s in office, to everyone having affordable insurance, as if it were Romneycare.

    Or switching from Rmoney’s Bain experience, hiring overseas and liking to fire American workers – to pretending he’s for more American jobs for Americans.

    From mocking the world’s environment to mocking a green failure while ignoring fossil fuels’ decades of denial and worldwide fatal failure.

    From reduced taxes for the 1% – to reducing taxes for all.

    How to debate new found lies, except to say, that’s not what you said before you stood here before America and the world. Isn’t lying sinful?

    Rmoney changed his tune to appear reasonable – more Obama like. Most of America, knows Rmoney as a liar. But what about Rmoney supporters? How do they like their all new Rmoney?

    People have to notice what Romney doesn’t mentioned. Things like billions for fossil fuel subsidies , parkland drilling,the environmental devastation of fracking, tar sands, mountain top removal, or the flip flop on women’s issues, or no mention of evolution/religion in schools, or marriage, various teabag issues, millionaire tax loopholes, climate denial involving a fatal disrespect for the earth and all it’s people.

    Will tea party voters say, we still like Mitt – the all new Obamney guy? Will they know which Willard to believe, Rmoney or Obamney? Will tea party voters think lying is a good thing? Will tea party folks support a 100% inclusive, Obamacare, corporate regulating, fair tax Obamney? What choice have they?

    Or has the real Willard Rmoney stepped forward – to win the election – because of the help of non thinking, trusting teabaggers. That would be a classic “Bain” takeover of America. Pretending he’s going to help (in this case the teabagger agenda,) when he is in fact, helping himself and his family, into the shiny White House on the hill.

    Teabaggers would only have themselves to blame, if the ‘moral’ Rmoney backers accept lies and voted for a liar. Even teabaggers should know, one should never, never trust a liar.

    Will the real Mitt Rmoney, please stand up; the real Mitt Rmoney, please stand up. What really matters is not what they hear from Rmoney, but if tea party voters should believe a liar.

    Or….voters can back a President who is honest, reliable, honorable, trustworthy; who has safely lead the nation for four years, repairing Bush Co. damages; improving, working for 100% of the people, moving steadily forward, even against four years of 1% tea party obstructionism.

    Even teabaggers can believe the truth, that President Obama has taken America to a better place, even though the tea party millionaires, billionaires have spent billions and four years, having Fox, Beck, Rush et al, tell them it isn’t so.

    Or they can trust the billionaires’ liar-in-chief – and get “Bained.”

    PS The 10/4 8:57 anonymous is not this anonymous.