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.

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.

Election 2012 Likely Voters Trial Heat: Obama vs. Romney

Election 2012 Likely Voters Trial Heat: Obama vs. Romney.

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:

Debate may have been a tie, but post debate? Not close

This article by Mary Hemingway details an important aspect about the debate that Biden may have really damaged himself with: the post debate.


First Debate: Obama’s “emperor has no clothes” moment

Joe Scarborough and the gang from “Morning Joe” discussed the debate.

“More than polls, because polls do move around; I’m interested in the people that come up to me in the street and my Democratic friends and what they’re saying to me. And I won’t say that there is a sense of panic, but there has been a real emperor has no clothes moment over the past week and it keeps growing by the day. That’s why I’m bringing this up. I know that everyone that’s watching is hearing this in their own hometowns as well, it’s stunning now,” Joe Scarborough said on the Monday broadcast of his MSNBC show “Morning Joe.”

What the debate did – Right Turn – The Washington Post

What the debate did – Right Turn – The Washington Post.

Jennifer Rubin argues that 8 indicators from the Romney/Obama debate last week show that perhaps Romney should be considered a favorite at this point.  Looking through her list, the one that stands out to me the most is the “inevitability” point:

The polls have moved substantially, thereby blowing up the notion that Obama had this in the bag. Gallup tells us: “Registered voters’ preferences for president are evenly split in the first three days of Gallup tracking since last Wednesday’s presidential debate. In the three days prior to the debate, Barack Obama had a five-percentage-point edge among registered voters.”



Anatomy of a Disastrous Debate Performance

Works and Days » Anatomy of a Disastrous Debate Performance.

Obama’s real preferences are instead for brief puff appearances on favorable, celebrity TV and radio showsthat tend to enfeeble rather than sharpen his own analysis. And even those are rare, given his propensity to offer gaffes (in this regard, the “you didn’t build that” and “the private sector is doing fine” sort are as frequent as or more common than the far more notorious fare from Joe Biden). In such an attenuated career, we forget that Obama’s prior debate appearances have been rare, and against undistinguished debaters in group fashion during the Democratic primary and John McCain, and, in fact, were themselves largely just workmanlike and just enough to get by. His real and only political interests (and skills) are in caricaturing opponents, in a sort of trash-talking sports fashion (“you’re likeable enough, Hilary,” “fat-cat banker,” “corporate jet owner,” the limb-lopping, tonsil-pulling physicians, etc.) or in whipping up a crowd (“get in their faces,” “gun to a knife fight,” “punish our enemies,” etc.)

Yet perhaps the reason for Obama’s reluctance to face questions and counter-argument was not just that Obama is not very good at it and resents doing his homework (“a drag”), and not just that his economic and foreign policy records are dismal and would be hard to defend under scrutiny, but largely that he has had scant need to work on debating or sharpening his analytical skills — given the investment of the media and popular culture in his success.