Debate Video Roundup

Dick Morris: Romney won (making it 3-0 in the debates)

CBS Focus Group of undecided voters: Romney won

Britt Hume adds his assessment: Romney was “smooth, fluid, and well-informed.”

Charles Krauthammer: Romney won unequivocally.

 George Will: Debate shows us the reversal between parties.

The Libya issue continues to be a problem for the President (…as it should be, of course)


Documents released prior to the foreign policy debate tomorrow paint a clearer picture bout the concern for security at the Benghazi consulate in Libya. Something tells me that a certain former governor from Massachusetts might have a few things to say about that.

Pension Envy: Who Has More—Obama or Romney? – US Election News – CNBC

Pension Envy: Who Has More—Obama or Romney? – US Election News – CNBC.

Many think that President Obama scored points on his quip about Romney’s finances.  A closer look, by CNBC, shows that Obama may have some questions to answer of his own.

Romney’s case for the next 20 days


Think Obama won? Not so fast

Dick Morris outlines the reasons why Obama lost the debate last night.

NBC News had an interview of independents after the debate. Rather than seeing people lean back towards Obama, you saw a more crystalized view of Romney (to the positive):

While Obama had his moments, nothing monumental occurred in this debate to alter the present trajectory and the building momentum for the campaign.

Romney vs. Obama – Round II

While Obama displayed a much-improved performance during tonight’s debate, Governor Romney still prevailed.

Certainly, there are substantive items to be sifted through in the days to come. But in a town hall debate, the approach and demeanor of the debating parties is as important as the answers provided. Obama came across as pushy and spoiled in answering many of the questions posed to him from the audience. Candy Crowley did a poor job in mediating the match and at one point actually challenged Gov. Romney on one of his assertions about Obama’s statements on Lybia. (To be sure, a journalist has the right to challenge people on their statements, that’s what they’re job is under normal circumstances, but NOT in a debate. If Gov. Romney ran afoul on a detail, then let his opponent raise the objection and deal with it.)

Many will mistakenly say that this was a stronger, more “take-no-prisoners” version of Obama (which is true). But he was fighting the last war. If the President had been this forceful in the prior debate he may have contested Gov. Romney to a draw. As it is, his performance tonight will do little to sway undecideds and the female vote.

Obama’s Strengths: The President was at his best when talking about women’s issues and to a lesser extent, immigration. While it is true that he failed to put forth an immigration reform bill during his first year in office (a fact that Romney effectively broadcasted all night), it seemed that this was a topic where the President felt the most comfortable. It is likely that he shored (to a small degree) the Hispanic and female voting block. Obama’s Weakness: I will spare you a 5-page analysis on this point, and simply say that any time the President was talking about (1) energy, (2) jobs, (3) taxes, or (4) debt, he was losing. His record is just too feeble for him to have credibility. When he launched into personal attacks on Romney and his investments, it looked petty and beneath the office of the Presidency. He forgets that even though Mitt Romney is running for the presidency, he is still a private citizen and is allowed to make investments in the same manner as everyone else (which, as it turns out, was the same thing that the President’s pension managers are doing). Attacking someone for having investments in a blind trust is just, well, weird. And to reiterate: Obama had poor optics tonight. He came across as someone constantly seeking to wag his finger in Gov. Romney’s face rather than answer the questions posed to him.

Romney’s Strengths: Romney did well on many fronts, most of all, dealing with jobs, government spending (deficit) and the economy. As discussed above, Obama simply doesn’t significant credibility when it comes to those topics. Romney did a effectively slowed down the debate to explain exactly why taxing the “rich” (as Obama would call them) is a bad idea because it is likely to burden small business owners. Gov. Romney also scored big on energy. It was deceptive for President Obama to say that oil production was up under his administration when he basically did everything he could to slow it down. Remember, this is someone how doesn’t mind that gas prices are high because it means that people will drive less, and thus, reduce greenhouse gasses. Towards the end, Gov. Romney also had a series of effective answers which showed his depth of character. Romney’s Weakness: Honestly, I think he had a solid performance. I’m biased, of course, so I don’t see the weaknesses as much as others. If I had to change one thing it would be to scale back the tendency of the Governor to ask President Obama questions when he had his turn to answer the questions. In my view, a debate provides precious minutes to drive home your policy positions and lay bare the flaws in your opponents’ record. Some of the back-and-forth will likely work out for Romney because he made the President get mad. That’s key in a town-hall style debate.

The Atlantic: Obama’s botched debate performance shouldn’t surprise anyone

According to a recent article by Molly Ball at, we all should have seen Obama’s disasterous debate performance coming.  The only problem was that we were distracted by some of Gov. Romney’s perceived (many would argue) gaffes.

Pres. Obama listens during first presidential debate

Before the first presidential debate, President Obama was riding high in the polls. Now, he finds himself tied or even behind Mitt Romney, both nationally and in key states. But what happened may not be as simple as simply a good debate for Romney and a bad one for Obama. The president was showing signs of weakness before the two candidates met up in Denver — everyone was just too distracted by a run of terrible news for Romney to take notice.

Obama had two prominent public outings prior to the Oct. 3 debate in Denver, and both should have been alarming to his supporters: A 60 Minutes interview and a forum hosted by the Spanish-language network Univision. In both extended interviews, the president was off his game in the same ways the debate would soon showcase — unsteady, equivocating, lacking in forcefulness or punch — and made a number of minor gaffes. But Mitt Romney was in the midst of a rather spectacular ongoing implosion at the time, so Obama’s blunders largely went unnoticed.


Video roundup

Karl Rove and Bill O’Reilly discuss the status of the race in the swing states:

This weekend, campaign insiders discuss the status of the race and how important the upcoming debate is:

Saturday Night Live’s take on the VP debate:

Pat Buchanan’s assessment of Biden’s comment on the VP debate.

Fox News Sunday (including Bob Woodward) on the Libya attack:

How Obama’s debate strategy may backfire

Obama says that he was “too polite” in the last debate with Gov. Romney.  Aside from the argument about whether someone can ever really be too polite, I’m not sure if Joe Biden’s performance (complete with eye-rolling snickers and interruptions) is an approach to which the President should aspire.  Getting more aggressive with Gov. Romney may backfire.

Obama’s chief appeal is not his record, it’s him.  People simply like him.

Want to know what type of voters didn’t like the less polite approach to the debate?  Women and independents.  If you can dig up some of the post-debate reactions on cable news channels, the overwhelming response from focus groups (composed of women and “undecided”/independents) was

that the debate was a tie on substance, but a loss for the incumbents on style.  Joe Biden’s unusual behavior was off-putting.  He looked like a bully (which is a bad thing in a country where legions of parents and educators are forming ranks to do battle against bullying).  Obama may be making the classic mistake of misdiagnosing the problem.  At the core to his debate debacle has more to do with factors out of his control (well…now out of his control): his record and his opponent.

On his record:  Even from a left-of-center viewpoint, the President’s last four years have produced mixed results at best.  Right-leaning people think it’s been catastrophic.  We can all argue what might have occurred had President Obama not chosen the policies he had when he took the reigns of government.  However, nobody can argue with the results.  Does anyone really think things have improved in America?  Even if you’re liberal, you know the answer is at best “meh…could have been worse.”  That’s not the answer President is looking for when seeking reelection.

On his opponent:  It seems as though President Obama believed what his campaign advertisements were saying about Gov. Romney’s positions, rather than paying attention to what the Governor  was saying about his positions.  That’s either a function of Obama not doing his homework, or being arrogant.  Either way, when the President repeated campaign talking points Romney, it should have come as no surprise when Gov. Romney dispensed of each one in short order.  What’s more, Gov. Romney isn’t saddled with a recent record of office which lends itself to easy attacks.  In the end, the Obama camp should adjust their expectations about the debates.  Gov. Romney has invested hundreds of hours in debate preparations since the end of 2011.  (Remember, he participated in 19 debates in the GOP primaries.)  That’s 19 debates where the Governor had to hone his message, prepare for zingers, and sharpen his approach to the camera and his opponents.

If you’ve ever read the book Outliers, by Malcolm Gadwell, you know that investing hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of hours into something makes you really, really good at it.  If I were in the Obama camp, I wouldn’t get my hopes up for a turn-around debate performance.  At best, Obama will likely come out of the next two debates with a tie.  Some words from Malcolm Gladwell are relevant here:

“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”

(There’s also this quote: “Who we are cannot be separated from where we’re from.”  Which doesn’t bode well for President Obama.)


Vice Presidential video roundup

GOP released the following ad after the VP debate:

Paul Ryan: “Obama had his chance…”

Charles Krauthammer on Joe Biden’s performance in the debate.

Woman critiques Joe Biden’s debate performance:

Chris Wallace discusses lows of Joe Biden’s performance: