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Complimentary scientific presidential debate analysis

The President got his ass kicked.

You’re welcome.

65 Responses to “Complimentary scientific presidential debate analysis”

  1. Philippe says:

    How in the nine hells does Obama let Romney get away with stating he’ll balance the budget despite boosting already mammoth military spending and offering 0 details on what types of cuts he envisages? Without additional revenues, he’d have to cut with a thousand foot chainsaw. His math makes no sense, and he gets away with saying it. Unreal.

    • !o! says:

      I was really surprised he didn’t pounce on Romney every time he mentioned military. Romney attacking Obama for 90b in renewal energy investments when he’s intending on boosting military spending by 2T?

      • Philippe says:

        The high road bullshit is for political losers. It’s more than fair to hammer Romney on his insane idea to boost military spending despite the fact their military budget is already greater than the 10 next nations COMBINED. If Romney doesn’t touch (in fact increases) military spending, WHAT DOES HE CUT. He takes us all for morons by repeating that he’ll balance the budget. Without cutting military spending, it’s virtually impossible. Typical conservative bullshit, that’s why they always ruin the economy.

      • Greg from Calgary says:

        I think I Obama didn’t pounce on Romney over the military is because the military is a sacred cow in the USA. Even here in Canada whenever someone suggests military budgets be cut or criticize the forces there are those elements that twist those criticisms into “You don’t support the troops!!!!” In the USA that attitude is far more apparent. So there is fear I think to be labelled as someone who doesn’t support the military.

        But, the fact is the USA cannot afford the military it has. Someone asked me if I thought China would start large scale spending on their forces to match the USA. China doesn’t have to, In 10 years when America is broke and all those support carriers are dry docked with liens on them then the USA’s military spending will have fallen to China’s level. Parity achieved.

        • Philippe says:

          Couldn’t agree more. Although my take is that Obama has to “make the case” on why military cuts are part of the balanced approach solution. If it’s the right things to do, explain it well and people will get it.

          Clinton was a master at explaining difficult issues is terms most could understand.

        • dave says:

          Is not a part of the mythology in USA (likely in its allies, too) that the USA broke the USSR by forcing USSR to spend huge amounts on weaponry?Seems to me some of the same characters who parrot this myth now trumpet more military spending in USA.

        • Michael Reintjes says:

          That’s because the military isn’t the post office, the MTO or any other public service. It is probably the most noble and selfless job there is. Until P E Trudeau types see the difference they will never understand why people get upset about cuts…

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:

            Michael Reintjes,

            Yes, quite so. Too bad we can’t say the same thing about the military industrial complex and those precious defence contractors. God, how Eisenhower was so right.

            Toilet seat, anyone?

          • Philip says:

            Military service is indeed noble, a defence contractor sticking to the taxpayer, not so much. It seems those Stephen Harper types don’t mind their corporate buddies over charging the military for kit. Might need more shiny props for the photo ops, I suppose.

          • Greg from Calgary says:

            I served in the Army, thanks. But the military isn’t immune to criticism. If it wasn’t then the system would never evolve. Nor is it immune to spending cuts. While our own military has been vastly underfunded for years (I was in for the last part of the decade of darkness. Cougar AVGP whoo hoo) the US military spending is unsustainable.

  2. frmr Disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    Based on only catching the candidates two minute closing statements, I would have to concur……Romney was succinct, direct, and rattled off without hesistation what he would do to turn the country around…..President Obama was vague, didnt speak particularly with conviction, and only looked briefly into the camera once while giving his closing statement…..Romney looked and sounded Presidential….Obama did not……

  3. Gpeter says:

    Well that’s bad news.

  4. Mulletaur says:

    Romney may have won the debate, but he just lost the election. He threatened to fire Big Bird. Nobody will vote for that.

  5. !o! says:

    romney attacking a trickle down approach? is black the new white now or what?

    It’s interesting though, he’s had to co-opt the discourse of the left to push the right’s agenda.

  6. nic coivert says:

    Really? By Mr. Anxious and his post-nasal drip? How so?

  7. Jon Evan says:

    What happened to hope and change? It was all lies!
    A hesitant, tired, unenthusiastic man who has aged noticeably only offers four more years of the same.

  8. Conservative Socialist says:

    Heh. I didn’t think it was that bad. Obamas style is not that of an attack dog–he is more composed and above the fray. So if one is a centre left partisan, he or she might be disappointed that he didn’t go for the jugular.

    Romney had some good moments, but so did Obama. I scored it a draw.

  9. Dan says:

    I’ll see your scientific analysis and up the ante with cunning strategic insight:

    When progressives refuse to take on the right-wing, progressives lose.

  10. The Real Sean says:

    I’m as pro Obama as they come, but have to say I was very impressed by Romney. He was in a classic mid campaign situation where he’d been pronounced dead weeks before and no one expected anything from him. There were several moments which really surprised me, in particular with aggressively battling back for the last word on his economic proposals. I would tend to believe Obama’s criticism, but it was great to see that Romney would have none of it. He even appeared to be shoving the moderator around a bit, which was risky, but he clearly got his way. Like a tough lacrosse player on defense, he was controlling all the routes to his net. John McCain and George W Bush NEVER would have been that aggressive in a debate. It reminded me a bit of Mulroney going after Turner.

  11. Al in Cranbrook says:

    Doesn’t happen often, but certainly agree with WK on this one.

    Romney radiated enthusiasm, positivity, and sincerity. And Obama absolutely did not.

    Anyone expecting to hear a Romney who didn’t know what he was talking about, probably came away wondering what the hell the MSM have been talking about for the last half year.

  12. po'd says:

    Obama’s remarks were directed at those who could understand facts which often doesn’t work out so well in our times. Romney merely delivered an energized sales pitch for his cure all Dr. Romneys Magic Elixir. Then there was his blend of smirk and sneer that I found distracting. Obama may have been too civil but I wonder if he was using the strategy of a boxer who is ahead on points in the late rounds? Defense rather than offense isn’t entertaining, but it gets you where you need to go

    • Ted H says:

      Of course, Obama was just playing “rope a dope”. He had it all over Romney in terms of substance. Romney looked too eager and half crazed. But of course all of the talking heads will say Romney won because he was pushy and interuptive.

      • Warren says:

        You didn’t see the same debate I did.

        • Ted H says:

          You may well be correct, but I am trying to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt. He knows the stakes and I can’t believe he would go into this thing unprepared or without a plan or a strategy.

          • Philippe says:

            The champion boxer underestimates his opponent and doesn’t train seriously. Eats a right hook in the first round – stuns him badly & he never recovers.

          • M-A Anderson says:

            It’s not necessarily that he was unprepared. It would seem to be the same error Democrats have been making over and over: appealing to the rational mind with fact and figures rather to the emotions of voters, which is how most people make their political decisions. Required reading for Democratic strategists before the next debate: “The Political Brain” by Drew Westen. And WK’s “Fight the Right”, of course !

  13. Vankleek Hill says:

    Clear win by Romney. Obama seemed tired.

  14. william smith says:

    If Romney wasn’t shown to be the rich 1%er that he is and all of his efforts are to dismantle the welfare state (as meagre as it is), speed up the globalism that has ravaged the middle class and give more tax breaks to his buddies then Obama lost, when it was so easy to win

  15. ed_finnerty says:

    Obama won by not allowing Mitt to generate any high rotation sound bites.

    the rest only resonates with high information voters who will be able to discern that Mitt was either lying about everything or is a secret democrat

    • Philip says:

      Pretty much my take away on last night, as well. I’m not saying Romney didn’t look good because he did. I just don’t think he did enough last night to change the campaign’s momentum. Obama did what he had to do but no more. In a real sense he could have put this race away last night. There are two more debates to come, so Romney has some more opportunities down the road.

  16. smelter rat says:

    Lehrer was the biggest loser.

  17. Dude Love says:

    Unfortunately, an ass kicking is not covered by Obamacare. – Dennis Miller

  18. scot says:

    Obama wasn’t prepared for “Lyin Mitt”. Hard to believe Romney would flat out lie about his whole platform. Obama will be ready for his bullshit next time.
    Romney just proved he is a vulture, carpetbagger or lying piece of shit, take your choice.

    • billg says:

      ya, like, ” there will be no wage and price controls”…or…” I will cancel the GST”….that sort of bullshit?
      When MSNBC comes out and asks what the hell is wrong with Obama you know it was dismal performace.
      He’ll be ok in the next one, incumbants always take a bit of a pounding in these things. But, he looked tired and pissed that he had to actually take part in the debate. Look for a big push back in the 2nd debate.

    • steve says:

      He was blinkin so fast during his closing comments I thought he was going to levitate.

  19. Billy boy says:

    Obama has difficulty distinguishing himself from Romney because although they dress up their ideologies in different garb, they share an ideological affinity to neoliberalism. It is very easy to see how hollow Obama is without his enchanting charisma (i.e. speeches written by pros and scripted and read on teleprompters).

    Justin Trudeau and his team should take note. In the US, progressives unfortunately do not have any meaningful competition or choice in electoral politics. In Canada, however, where the NDP is not only an authentically progressive choice, but having become Official Opposition is now seen as a viable and strong alternative to Harper, Trudeau’s faux progressivism could seriously hurt him.

    Trudeau rejecting out of hand any joining of forces with the NDP. His standing with Charest against Quebec students. His standing with McGuinty against teachers’ constitutional rights. His repeating CPC cynical and disingenuous attacks on NDP re: Alberta (what next he’ll attack NDP for proposing a carbon tax)…Progressives demand better.

  20. CM says:

    Does this mean Obama will lose? No, but he sure is going to make this election close.

    Obviously he didn’t mention the 47% because he and his debate team calculated that it was something he shouldn’t do and I don’t understand the logic of that.

    What I saw last night was a man who hasn’t even read his campaign’s own talking points about Mitt Romney.

    So tonight, while Michelle and the girls are sleeping and he has some of that Barack time between 10 pm and 1:00 am he like so much, he should forget about ESPN Sports Center and fire up the the Interwebs and take a look at how his own campaign has been sticking the shiv into Romney over the past few months and repeat all that shit at the next debate.

    And for what its worth, I would schedule a late night session between him, Bill Clinton and Jean Chretien and take some notes on how to defend your record, kick your opponent hard in the family jewels and do it while smiling.

    Obama was a joke last night. Unprepared, meandering, plodding and ineffective.

    Obama should dust off the ol’ Betamax and let John Goodman inspire him


    • Lance says:

      And for what its worth, I would schedule a late night session between him, Bill Clinton and Jean Chretien and take some notes on how to defend your record, kick your opponent hard in the family jewels and do it while smiling.

      Or wait for the right in American to divide itself, thus insuring and cruise up the middle to easy victory. It worked in another country about a decade and a half ago; which one was that again?

      Not much of a smile now, eh? :) :)

  21. JB says:

    It comes down to this. In the last 4 years Obama hasn’t been challenged, at all.

    Last night he was.

    He didn’t know how to react, and is not used to going off script. Anyone who could not see that in his facial expressions and body language is blind.

  22. Al in Cranbrook says:

    CNN tracked total time each spoke. Overall, Obama talked just over 4 minutes longer than did Romney. Doesn’t jive with this notion that Romney somehow pushed the moderator around.

    FWIW, watch Chris Matthews on MSNBC come unglued here… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jL73ozGtkDU

  23. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Obama was adequate and that is not enough to be declared the winner. Romney was polite but highly aggressive.

    In my view, where this election will turn is on the definition of the middle class — we need to see one of the two remaining moderators forcing the two candidates to strictly define in monetary terms who is part of the American middle class.

    When and if that happens, surprise, surprise, we will discover that Romney’s middle class is so expansive as to reach the point of being ridiculous. Obama needs to hammer that point home, over and over until it sticks.

  24. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    I hope someone asks Senator John Kerry about the importance of presidential debates. At least he and W can agree on that.

    • Rob W says:

      Exactly! Google “Kerry won debate” and reminisce about another Mssachusetts politician who “won” the debates. Debate performance will rarely win the election. May close the gap a bit… But it won’t beat an incumbent’s ground-game nor a 9 point lead in the battleground states.

      That said, Obama needs to be better in the next one.

  25. steve says:

    Romney told so many whopper and flip flooped like a drunkin Snookie. I think this will sink in an Obama will do better than a tie.

  26. GPAlta says:

    Romney lied about everything.
    He may have won the debate by lying about everything, but he has run one of the worst presidential campaigns in history, and this debate is not going to change that. Romney’s go-forward strategy today will be as bad as it was a month ago, and he will promptly lose whatever gains he may have made. Obama’s will be as good as it was a month ago, and he will regain whatever he may have lost.

  27. CM says:

    Sweet Jesus, last night Obama pulled a Ronald Reagan! Take a look at how crappy the Great Communicator was in his first debate with Walter Mondale. Both Obama and Reagan stumbled, fumbled and meandered. Wow.


  28. Kre8tv says:

    I really don’t know why anyone is all that surprised by Romney’s strategy. Telling people what they want to hear, rather than leveling with facts is a time honoured tradition in conservative politics. And it’s rather successful too. By not taking on the lies point by point, Obama lost this thing. Suffice to say expect a different tactic in round 2.

  29. dave says:

    On behalf of Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, and others like them, I suggest that debate aprticipants be invited to take part only if their polling points are within 3 of the % of media time they get…or have bought.

    Here in this part fo the Brit Commonwealth, I remember a few elecitons ago when CPAC gave a couple of hours to 4 leaders of ‘the other’ parties in out federal election. I remember that there was as much substance, sometimes more, than there was with the big three on the mainstream media debate.

    Man, we sure miss a lot of good ideas with this 18th Century first-past-the-post and its constant push toward only two parties.

  30. scot says:

    I believe a little humour is in order here.

  31. Torgo says:

    Obama needs a teleprompter to speak? Check.

    Obama spends too much time being a celebrity? Check.

    Obama blows foreign policy and goes on apology tours? Check.

    I think I just won right-wing-myth bingo! Any prizes available? (Like, say, a 20% across-the-board tax cut for a country with a trillion-dollar deficit?)

  32. Nick H says:

    Good to hear that three electoral catastrophes in a row isn’t enough to shake the deep-seated Liberal sense of entitlement. Trudeau could pull the LPC out of the hole with a lot of luck and a bit of gumption, but if attitudes like yours prevail then he certainly won’t. Lets hope that your assumption that the Liberals just own those votes by default is (still) shared by the party leadership, because I cannot think of a better way to guarantee another Liberal blowout.

  33. Ted H says:

    I believe that adjusting to 2012 dollars, the US government collects less tax revenue than it did in the 1950′s. Those are the golden years of US affluence, especially compared to the current fiscal situation. Tax cuts have been a political football for both Repub and Dems for decades now, and the cuts have gone way beyond sensible. Time for some sensible tax increases to restore equilibrium.

  34. Torgo says:

    Or I could just try Economic History and take a look at American tax rates and budget deficits in the 1980s and 2000s. Tax rates went down and deficits went up. (Of course, there were numerous other factors at play, including global economic conditions and wars, but if you want to simplify it down to taxes and deficits, there you go).

    TedH has already made a good point below about historical American tax rates and rates of economic growth.

    Lastly, have you looked at some of the realities behind the 47% figure? The majority of those people paid payroll taxes (and some state sales taxes/VATs), and most of them are either elderly or make less than $20,000/year.

  35. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    You guys should really make a little more effort in my fantastic province. Otherwise you will likely notice that your party will be suddenly suffering (around 2015) from diminished capacity throughout la nation québécoise!

  36. Ted H says:

    A reply to James above as well, it seems that many of the rich who have gained their success by hard work and innovation eg. Soros, Gates, are actually very liberal and understand that taxes are the price of civilization, it is the very large portion of the rich who have inherited, rather than earned their wealth eg. Romney, Koch brothers, who constantly work to grind down the tax rate.

    Obama had it right when he said the much misquoted “You didn’t build that”, many rich people depend on the educated work force, infrastructure, government incentives and stable civil society that have been built and paid for by millions of middle class Americans. As the paraphrase goes “it takes a village to raise a millionaire”. Romney is one of those to whom the cliche applies, ” born on third base, thinks he hit a home run.”

  37. scot says:

    You are so full of crap james, it boggles. The rich not only vote for whomever gives them freebies (tax breaks,loopholes etc.) but they give millions to campaigns to literally buy elections.
    It’s no nothing idealogues like you who are the problem. Get a fucking life already.

  38. scot says:

    That would be know nothings.

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