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Intro: "The instant analysis after the first presidential debate - even on liberal-leaning MSNBC - was that Mitt Romney was the decisive 'winner.' But Romney not only ducked the specifics of his plans but looked sneaky and nervous in doing so."

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama after the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, Oct. 3, 2012, in Denver. (photo: Charlie Neibergall/AP)
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama after the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, Oct. 3, 2012, in Denver. (photo: Charlie Neibergall/AP)

Did Romney 'Win' the Debate?

By Robert Parry, Consortium News

04 October 12


The instant analysis after the first presidential debate - even on liberal-leaning MSNBC - was that Mitt Romney was the decisive "winner." But Romney not only ducked the specifics of his plans but looked sneaky and nervous in doing so, writes Robert Parry.

n the presidential debate that I watched on Wednesday night, Republican challenger Mitt Romney was shiftier than Dick Nixon in 1960 and less coherent than George W. Bush in 2000, but the TV pundits, including on MSNBC, overwhelmingly declared him the winner.

When I tried to follow Romney's logic, I couldn't. Somehow the federal government was supposed to rein in rising health care costs but his only idea for doing so was to let the free-market work when it is clear that - whatever the shortcomings of "Obamacare" - the old model of health insurance was broken.

Romney also claimed that his health-insurance plan would cover people with pre-existing conditions and do other positive things that are in the Affordable Care Act, but, as President Barack Obama noted, Romney hasn't offered a serious explanation as to how that would happen.

Romney treated any reference to his 20 percent across-the-board tax cut costing $5 trillion over decade as a lie, likening the President to his "five boys ... saying something that's not always true but just keep on repeating it." After all, Romney has declared that his plan would be revenue-neutral. But he continued his pattern of refusing to specify how he would make it so.

In the debate that I saw, Romney seemed to be on the defensive, in large part, due to the incoherence and incompleteness of his arguments. And that reflected itself in his body language. He shifted nervously, blinked rapidly and displayed a forced smile. It looked like he was about to tear up during his closing remarks.

I saw a man struggling at the end of his rope. By contrast, Obama looked, well, presidential. He was never flustered and mounted vigorous defenses of his policies, offering details about what he had done and what he would do. Yet, he didn't sound overly defensive or whiny, a big risk in such a setting.

One could fault Obama for not being more aggressive with host Jim Lehrer, who curiously seemed determined to stop the President from exceeding his time limit while letting Romney ramble on. But that is more a criticism of Lehrer, who behaved like PBS types often do - they go weak in the knees when a Republican talks about slashing the subsidy for public broadcasting, as Romney pointedly did.

So, I came away from watching the 90-minute debate thinking that Romney had come as close to melting down in front of a huge national audience as anyone I have ever seen in my half century of watching presidential debates. Pundits often fall back on the cliché that "no one landed a knock-out punch," but this was as close to having one candidate lying on the mat as I have ever seen, although it was mostly Romney doing the damage to himself.

Yet, immediately after the debate - even on liberal-leaning MSNBC - Republican commentators were given the floor and allowed to set the tone of the meeting. On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow deferred to GOP campaign strategist Steve Schmidt, who gushed over Romney's performance. The verdict was "Romney won."

Everyone on the set except for Al Sharpton fell in line. Ed Schultz blasted Obama for not lashing out at Romney and especially for not blasting Romney's portrayal of 47 percent of the U.S. population as irresponsible moochers.

For the past several days, pretty much every pundit I watched had predicted that the "the 47 percent" comment would be the centerpiece of the debate, but I never thought that was likely, having watched Lehrer handle other debates. He almost never goes for the "gotcha" question, favoring bland policy discussions.

Without Lehrer introducing the remark, it would have been difficult and clumsy for Obama to shoehorn the comment in. Frankly, it would have elicited groans from many Americans as an overreach. But the pundits had decided that it had to be at the heart of the debate, so they blamed the President when it wasn't.

What was particularly startling about the MSNBC commentary was its lack of substance - except for Sharpton, who zeroed in on the discrepancies between Romney's months of campaign statements as a "severely conservative" ex-governor of Massachusetts and his reinvention of himself as a caring fellow on Wednesday.

Yet, even on style, it was amazing to me that the pundits were favoring Romney, who looked more ill at ease than Nixon did in his infamous 1960 debate debacle with Kennedy and goofier than Bush in 2000, who was so unserious that he elicited a famous "sigh" from Al Gore. Romney wasn't as much on the offensive all night as he was testy. He talked fast, lacked specifics and nagged Lehrer about getting more time.

If Romney were a car salesman, he would be the one urging me to overlook the car's lousy mileage and poor repair record and begging me to buy his vehicle so he could meet his quota and not get in trouble with the boss. On Wednesday night, I was a bit worried that he would dissolve into tears during his closing remarks.

His shaky behavior and watery eyes brought to mind Ann Romney's comment last Thursday that her "biggest concern" about her husband getting elected president "would just be for his mental well-being." In a TV interview in Nevada, Romney's wife pronounced him competent and qualified but worried about "the emotional part of it" for her husband.

More on Point

Some of the newspaper commentators more closely represented the debate that I watched. Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times noted that "Mr. Romney managed, despite a dry throat and some rapid blinking, to keep a choirboy smile pasted on his face while Mr. Obama spoke.

"Mr. Obama was quicker to drop his bonhomie and adopt the look of a long-suffering headmaster enduring the excuses of a bright student he is going to expel."

The Times also did a solid job of assessing the claims and counter-claims from the two rivals. And the Times' lead editorial took Romney to task for his mendacity and Obama to task for not holding the Republican accountable.

But how to explain the behavior of the TV commentators, especially those on MSNBC, whose instant "spin" on behalf of Romney surely influenced the opinions of millions of Americans in their own assessments of who won?

Though MSNBC has done a relatively good job of creating some balance in a cable TV environment that Fox News has tilted sharply to the right, its hosts are under corporate pressure to present themselves as neutral newscasters in situations like Wednesday's debate. (Remember the trouble that Keith Olbermann encountered.)

So, aspiring careerists like Rachel Maddow can be expected to demur in a situation like Wednesday night. After all, for her there are grand career opportunities, like a regular gig on NBC's "Meet the Press" or possibly even replacing David Gregory as the host, a big step indeed.

So she immediately turned to Steve Schmidt, who did what you would expect a Republican political operative to do in such a case. He spun the outcome for Romney and did so with such confidence that he seemed to influence the remarks of MSNBC show anchors, Chris Hayes and Chris Matthews, who promptly fell in line.

For his part, Ed Schultz sounded more like a disgruntled lefty who wanted Obama to be the perfect gladiator mercilessly chopping Romney to pieces and then asking the American TV audience, "are you not entertained?"

But that approach would have opened Obama to another line of attack, the angry black man, a balancing act that Obama instinctively senses but that white liberals don't seem to get. The only MSNBC anchor cutting through the "Romney won" spin was Sharpton.

While it's true that Obama could have been tougher in demanding more time from Lehrer and in going after his rival, the President did resist Lehrer's curious eagerness to impose time limits on Obama but not Romney.

Obama also made the key point about how Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, keep evading specifics on their various plans. Indeed, that was my primary takeaway from the debate, that a shifty and shifting Romney won't tell the American people what he actually intends to do.

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, "Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush," was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at His two previous books, "Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq" and "Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth'" are also available there. your social media marketing partner


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+28 # Activista 2012-10-04 11:07
I hate Romney - scary specimen of 1% - but Obama looked and acted scarred - something psychological in his persona - lacking father figure?
Arrogant Romney was all over him .. neither offering rational and plausible solution to US economic problem. Fighting more wars on Chinese credit card will accelerate US bankruptcy. Romney will get more $$ from his peers - what are the options for the middle class?
+69 # popeye47 2012-10-04 13:09
I think Parry hit the nail on the head. Obama looked presidental and Romney looked like a snake oil salesman. I also noticed he almost teared up at the end. Was that on purpose or what???
Romney passed so many lies thru his lips last night and continually interrupted the moderator. Moderator didn't have any balls to call him on it.
The biggest lie was cutting taxes and closing loopholes. My god!!! That is how Romney made his money and kept it protected. And he is going to do away with that. Think not. Are people that dumb????
+3 # goodsensecynic 2012-10-04 17:23
Quoting popeye47:
Are people that dumb????

Yeah, about 50% are.

Of course, the other 50% were dumb enough to think Mr. Obama would succeed in bringing "change you can believe in!"

Ultimately, the choice is between the lesser of the evils and, in this case, Mr. Obama wins that contest hand's down.
+11 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-04 20:48
I believe he is better than talking of lesser of two evils.
+30 # CL38 2012-10-04 23:27
It takes a lot longer than the 4 years Obama's had, while coping with a racist obstructionist Republican Congress, to turn around the 8 years of Bush/Cheny disaster.
+2 # Ma Tsu 2012-10-05 22:39
Opinions will vary as to winners and losers, but we would be well served to remember that the foundation of these debates, indeed their precondition, is the hierarchy of values from which we as a nation take inspiration and from which our leaders produce legislation, values left unmentioned and unconsidered, meaning it is again we, the people, who are the biggest losers in yet another round of dime-store presidential debates.
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-04 20:48
Said not going to tax the weathy. said would not do that so that is where he won not middle class who have intelligence
+10 # mjc 2012-10-05 11:57
It is rare to find someone with whom I agree as to the winner of the debate these last 24 hours or so. Have said it repeatedly but I wouldn't have much respect for a president who adopted the wild-eyed aggressive stance to explain his positions. Don't have any respect for Romney anyway so would never expect him to look like anything but a rabid prevaricator.
+8 # Independentgal 2012-10-05 15:33
I'm glad to find someone too! We are too few. There was also a letter to the editor in today's (10/5) Washington Post that agreed. The writer said something to the effect that she wondered if the pundits saw the same debate she did. Of course the right wingers would have loved it because Romney was as nasty and disrespectful as they are. I'm just puzzled by the MSNBC folks. I also watched Rachel Maddow, and she said she wasn't sure who won the debate and then turned over the spot to Schmidt. I don't think there was anything wrong with that.
0 # brux 2012-10-04 13:12
Good point, Obama's body language was defensive and anxious and it came across as lack of confidence in himself. He was not standing erect and that really looked back.

They've done neurological studies of people where they mask the words or the consonant sounds so that the words cannot be understood, and asked people what they thought was going on. I think Obama's body language negated a lot of what he said, plus the constant hedging and qualification of his own comments .... "I think" he kept saying "I think" all the time arguing from an authority he did not back up with his posture.
+20 # CL38 2012-10-04 23:33
Yes? And that means what exactly???

Romney stood with confidence, machismo, arrogance and entitlement--bu llying and dominating both Obama and the moderator. He even lectured the President, all the time he was lying through his teeth about everything he said.

I'll be voting for the very human Obama who's also dealing with despicable racism from Romney and the right.
+16 # Independentgal 2012-10-05 15:34
I'm with you. Romney was the bully he was in high school. I guess folks don't outgrow that horrible trait.
-2 # cassandrapt 2012-10-05 22:53
He is the PRESIDENT! He should have fought back!!!!
+79 # BradFromSalem 2012-10-04 11:09
Robert Parry, we must have the same model TV because I saw the same debate you did. Unfortunately, the die is cast and since all Romney had to do was put into his stale baloney sandwich stump speech was some actual numbers mustard in order to be declared winner, the general consensus is that Romney won.
On the other hand, I agree with Rev. Sharpton that Romney handed so much attack material to Obama that once the President hits the campaign trail, any bump Romney received will be totally reversed by the next debate.
-52 # Merschrod 2012-10-04 12:31
I think that you are overly optimistic. Obama does not have the gumption that he use to have. The job has sapped him.
+4 # Colleen Clark 2012-10-04 12:39
I hope you're right!
+9 # BradFromSalem 2012-10-04 13:26
If I am wrong then I will buy a beer for anyone on this list that shows up in Salem at a drinking hole of my choice.
+3 # Reductio Ad Absurdum 2012-10-04 14:17
I respect a man who puts his money where his mouth is. That's why there's nothing better to shut rightwing blowhards up than a good bar bet. Obama should have wagered the Mitt Flopper for his $10,000.
+5 # Ray Kondrasuk 2012-10-04 14:58
Too long a hike from Packerland, Brad, but when you come to Wisconsin, I'll treat you to a Leinenkugel.
0 # Majikman 2012-10-04 20:22
Does Matty's Sailloft still exist in Marblehead?
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-04 20:50
+7 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-04 20:50
I believe he gave enough info to the next debate to eat Mittens up....
+2 # kelly 2012-10-05 10:33
I saw what you saw, Brad, and was disgusted bu the lies. I also caught the Times piece the next day. When Romney made the crack about his sons though, I was outraged. However, last time, he was the one who made a crack like that and the person he was debating turn it around on him and he wasn't able to parry back. Remember the you're likable enough remark? Sometimes, Obama doesn't do well like that. What I also saw were the "zingers". They were obvious. It was like "you may be president but..." and now that will be his new commercial fodder. They aren't zingers per se, they are catch phrases. Like trickle down government. His team calls 'em one thing, I call them another. I could have watched Romney's stump speech directed toward the president only it looked like he was trying to get Obama to believe him too.
-2 # MidwestTom 2012-10-04 11:15
OnE thing That I remember from my debate teacher, when you quote something for it have weight, you must tell it;s source. OBama quoted from ":reports" and "studies" but for the most part did not name the source. Romney did the same, but he also named the source at least four times. Obama seemed confused at times.
+18 # brux 2012-10-04 13:15
Obama did not seem to have his mind on what he was doing because he was trying to hard to be civil.

Neurological studies show that a human being has a finite amount of energy, and if you are mad and spending a lot of energy to conceal that, you will not be thinking well on your feet or looking good in body posture.

Romney used that against him in a refined way of basically bullying, and for a President of the United States to get bullied in a big negative non-verbal comment that looks bad.
+5 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 09:14
Romney must be watching too many cartoons to know the ways of bullying. Although, Big Bird he wants to kill, but he changed his mind and only wants to kill PBS.

Obama held his cool and was very Presidential!
+28 # BradFromSalem 2012-10-04 13:28
Midwest, Romney's sources were very telling. He frequently some small business council that nobody ever heard of and is probably a front for big business.
+4 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 09:10
No doubt!!!!!!!! Hey he is the "real businessman"... not suited to be the President and certainly not for the people.
+52 # marjb 2012-10-04 11:16
Public broadcasting needs to lick boots in order to keep itself from going out of business. For-profit media needs to please the corporate heads and stockholders who are almost uniformly Republican. Short of a (real) knock out punch, Romney was sure to be declared the winner simply because we was loud and aggressive. The media hates Obama's professorial approach.
+17 # brux 2012-10-04 13:18
I don't think it is that simple. What Romney did was very complex, and expertly done, and the President fell for it. The debate here was non-verbal, so saying Obama won on the facts, while I hope the facts got through, does not tell the whole story, and trying to blame it on the media.

If you notice Republicans use insults and questioning the manhood of the opponents. For example early in the debate Romney basically called Obama a liar, but he said something like, he had 5 BOYS and was used to hearing "stories" from them, ie. comparing Obama to his boys.
+31 # AMLLLLL 2012-10-04 14:13
Obama should have said that if Romney's sons repeated lies,the apples didn't fall far from the tree.
+16 # Cliff 2012-10-04 18:38
Yeah, that was my thinking. They learned from the old man.
+8 # brux 2012-10-04 18:39
good one, i don't think he was not thinking that fast, and that would have been kind of snooty. it's really hard to deal with romney's kind of crap in the middle of a debate, he is being very smiley and nice on the outside but cheating and lying on the inside ... what can you do? that is why they need a moderator, but increasingly both sides will settle for control and excluding third parties and outside information. they just need to let someone like ralph nader in there for one debate who will show the people what clowns we have as leaders.
+3 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 09:06
And why are NONE of Romney's (7)sons in the US Military??? Something wrong with that picture....

And why were all of them at the debate along with the grandkids.... isn't it a school/work night???? Oh yea, private schools, too rich to have to work...

I'm thinking the Obama's kids were at home doing homework and going to bed early for school the next day....
+18 # robniel 2012-10-04 14:36
Then there's the "take one for the team" strategy where a less than stellar Obama performance keeps Romney donors in the main event rather than encouraging them to divert the big bucks into the congressional races. The Democrats need the Congress in addition to the White House.
+7 # brux 2012-10-04 18:40
now there's some strategic thinking ... if only! ;-)
+3 # robniel 2012-10-04 14:37
Then there's the "take one for the team" strategy where a less than stellar Obama performance keeps Romney donors in the main event rather than encouraging them to divert the big bucks into the congressional races. The Democrats need the Congress in addition to the White House.
+1 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 09:02
That for sure. But as Bill Clinton has said, the Republican Congress will agree in the next 4 years, because Obama can't run.

My thought... if the Republicans start to agree maybe the American people will forget the 4 years that Obama had the biggest fight of his life just to make this country survive.
+2 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 09:09
I can remember when Obama took office. The media hated it and so did the commedians... they couldn't get any dirt on him except what the Republicans implied and were saying.
+67 # lisamoskow 2012-10-04 11:25
Just shows how sick this culture is....

"Winning" is about being the most aggressive. Romney refused to cede to the moderator at several times.
I have listened to Romney's speeches ongoing and almost everything he said in this speech was a contradiction of what he has said on the campaign trail,

Besides saying almost nothing specific--
techno-garble is not necessarily specific--he said things like that he was not going to cut taxes, but would give tax relief..... Give me a break!
+14 # bluesapphire48 2012-10-04 18:09
Yes, this culture is very, very sick. Romney clearly was high on amphetamines BTW.
+12 # Majikman 2012-10-04 20:33
That was my take too, Bluesapphire. The disconnection from Lehrer and the Prea, fast talking, stuttering almost shouting, ignoring repeated requests of protocol and looking like he'd have a major meltdown any second. The pundits were lauding his "style" which to me looked like someone out of control hoping to get through his memorized, stay-up-all-nig ht boning session, before he forgot it completely.
the entire "debate" was a disgusting joke.
-3 # cassandrapt 2012-10-05 23:00
And Obama may have had a few downers! And not aware he was on split screen the entire debate.
+11 # Activista 2012-10-04 11:27
Debate Watchers - who won the debate?
Obama 25% Romney 67%
these are the "American People" - guess that it would be hard to find the poll of the debate watchers that would be different. For most Americans watching the stupid TV contests or football games the reality does not matter.
Obama was much more realistic and actual - except his military complex - feeding the beast with trillions.
-10 # Merschrod 2012-10-04 12:34
Activista - you missed the point, most folks felt that Romney was the better debater or expresser of his ideas.

Forget the thinking part. Ex. Asked for his economic plan, Romney spun off five points, but number - bing bing bing. Obama just mumbled on no clear framing.
+1 # AMLLLLL 2012-10-04 14:19
In Ohio, undecided voters polled: Romney 41%; Obama 22%; tie 67%. And in Denver with an independent focus group, these voters were still not yet ready to commit.
+3 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 08:57
They love to put those numbers in Ohio... and I'm not buying it.... I'm an Ohioian.

In Ohio the Democrats aren't in your face, but the Republicans sure are. Reminds me of Donald Trump, Linbaugh, etc and they always think they are on top.
0 # AMLLLLL 2012-10-07 15:30
ps. Uhh.that tie was 37%. Sorry.
+20 # Colleen Clark 2012-10-04 11:29
I like Robert Parry's take, but I have to say it didn't seem that way to me and my companions - 3 Dems in our 60's - nor to my small Facebook circle of younger Dems who didn't cite MSNBC's take but immediately posted their disappointment and frustration at Obama's performance. My guest last night already wrote directly to Obama to report his dissatisfaction . Never mind that Romney was dishonest, unspecific, and even incoherent on his "plans." Neither Obama nor Lehrer challenged him - even on his "bipartisan" experience with the MA legislature v Obama's experience of intransigence from Cong. Republicans. When you're shouting at your guy on the TV screen, he's not performing well.
-28 # cordleycoit 2012-10-04 11:34
Romney did not win anything. Obama lost it by attempting 'ropa doper' tactics. Obama came across like a spaced out downer junkie. They both showed us what danger men who lack humor pose. They both proved they are unqualified for any public office.
+33 # Onterryo 2012-10-04 13:27
Not every president will have the charm of JFK, Reagan or Clinton. That does not mean they are unqualified for public office. It just means they have a harder job of selling theirselves and their other capabilities to the electorate. In the end it is not up to them but to us, the voters, to make a choice based on substance and not style. Obama has shown he has substance while Romney is a travelling con man.
+2 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 08:53
So have you walked in the President's shoes?????????? ??????? Or any public office shoes?????????? ?
+3 # barkingcarpet 2012-10-04 11:34
As for Romney with a view, and Obamma, they are both a huge disappointment either is a continuation into oblivion. Clean coal, and Canadian Tarsands pipeline? Race to the top, legitimate rape by the banking system, and healthcare from either candidate? Habeus corpse, Homeland Insecurity, the Patridiotic Act, glass steagalessness, and Citi$$$ens unUniteded.
We have work to do.
Jill Stein, and Rocky Anderson, are not corrupt self serving sellouts like either the Asses, or the Elephants. I always used to wonder, how could the Romans not see the empire collapsing around them.... Appearance are more important than substance I guess.
-10 # indian weaver 2012-10-04 13:38
This comment by Barkingcarpet is my view. Obama is no leader, just an apparatchik of the big money, sold out the second he stepped foot into what has become The Black House. And Romney doesn't even deserve a footnote in history for anything, just another greedy arrogant vapid dolt, we've got lots of them and he's another. I've been supporting Rocky Anderson's candidacy since his day 1 and will continue to do so. I have to vote my conscience, not my brain or discursive reasoning which tells me to vote for the "lesser of 2 evils". I won't do that anymore, no matter what. I'd be selling out, just like obama did, and romney always has. To me, Obama and Romney are two sides of the same corrupt worthless coin. We need an actual leader, haven't had one for decades now and may never have a leader again I'm afraid. I believe our only hope is to dissolve this government and institute a parliamentary system so all of us can be included in the government and have it truly represent us, no matter how many parties it takes (Sweden has 8 parties, for example). Meanwhile my only hope is supporting Anderson or Stein for presidency. I'm not holding my breath.
+6 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-04 21:01
Condemn us to Romney Your candidates have no meat...Greens etc always wait to come out.
Get more seats in State, Local Get known.
Actually stand up or against you see I see none of these groups fighting for wolves, against fracking, tarsands. On person making a voice is great but where are the rest of them....I want to see them, I want to hear them. Otherwise I must vote OB or die under Romney Thanks
+2 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 08:49
I stand up for wolves, coyotes and the green and when I do, that says NO to trying to destroy our Mother Earth. If we don't, the humans won't need to argue about who is in the WH.

When you are against something, you hit a brick wall, when you are FOR SOMETHING, you move FORWARD. And I believe Obama is moving FORWARD for all living beings. He sees a BIGGER picture, Romney only sees $$$
+7 # rockieball 2012-10-05 07:36
When you are old and eating cat food out of a can. Thank a Republican. that is if they leave you enough money to afford cat food out of a can
+2 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 08:43
And even if a Republican would give you enough money for a can a cat food, they would take the can of cat food away from you and give it to China, so Walmart can sell it back to us and say it was "made in America".
+1 # mjc 2012-10-05 14:29
What you apparently don't realize is that many of us are supporting Obama because the other guy is just too far to the right and his rich backers and pundit friends don't give a .... about this country or the middle class or anything but their very rich friends and their very rich life style. Time to worry about a GOOD third party attempt was December of 2008 for this election and December of 2012 for the next.
+3 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 08:39
I'm supporting Obama because I want to...

I don't vote if there is no one worth voting for.
0 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 08:51
You need to loose your "seeing colors".
When a woman becomes President are you going to call it a "woman house"?
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-04 20:58
No they will perhaps take votes away from OB and then you all will have Mittens ...Greens have no name...still waiting for them for twenty five years...I will not vote for them in National until they Start getting more and more seats Locally, State so we can see what they are capable of
Personally many I met were airheaded snobs.
+66 # woodrobin 2012-10-04 11:42
The pundits, even on MSNBC, seem to think that Romney 'won' the debate. I disagree. Romney had one chance to bring his best moves out and try to save his campaign. What he did, given that opportunity, was vomit out a disorganised mass of predigested pap composed of all the failed elements of all the failed versions of his campaign to date.

In other words, he pulled a Justin Bieber.

Everything he said was either a contradiction of what he said before the debate, a contradiction of something else he said during the debate, a complete lie, or a combination of the above.

The only area in which he 'won' was by appearing more aggressive by ignoring the moderator and cheating.
-14 # Merschrod 2012-10-04 12:36
Woody, Romney was organized compared with Obama - Obama disappointed - Romney surprised. Not good for the Dems.
-20 # indian weaver 2012-10-04 13:42
Obama, like me, just isn't a sound bite trivial vapid dolt like romney. The People like simplicity, something expressed in one sentence;
then, back to the TV and beer. Me, I'd prefer the laid back easy going humorous doode to run my country if I had only these 2 losers from which to choose. Happily, I'll choose a real human: rocky anderson for my vote. I don't vote "the lesser of 2 evils", and that is my disgusting choice with obama and romney.
-39 # Tigre1 2012-10-04 11:44
F!#&K yes he won. We sent a passive pansy carrying a flower to a gunfight. If it were up to me I'd tell our little punked-out prez candidate to cut a four-finger diameter switch and meet me in the woodshed in five minutes, and when he COULD sit down after ten days of serious preparing he'd be ready. What a total waste of time for progressives and total boost to the forces of slavery THAT was last night.

We need a better candidate. NOW, but start looking, because it ain't over,period. 2016 is thundering down upon us...
-22 # indian weaver 2012-10-04 13:44
we've already got to wonderful candidates: rocky anderson and jill stein. These 2 nitwits on the boob toob last night are not leaders, they are both sold out cowardly asshole losers. check out Neil Young's "Looking for a Leader" sometime, super great song for the times, and Young's show is good too.
-3 # indian weaver 2012-10-04 13:54
We do have great candidates in Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson right now. Romney and Obama are not leaders: no courage to think for themselves, no principles for which they stand and will die. Not leaders, just 2 more sold out assassins and torturers (gee I hate to be so judgemental). So, vote for the lesser of 2 evils. But, which one is less evil? And how much less evil? ha ha. The Devil is laughing at america all the way to our collapse into chaos and civil war with such lack of leadership. Implosion is the obvious path ahead for us in America, for We The People, now that we are spending our considerable wealth to assassinate and torture innocent people worldwide, gutting america of substance and strength inside our country, instead of making america strong from within. We are weakening it instead - the path of all imperialist powers until they implode. Nothing left inside our borders, a vacuum is being created, and all hell is likely to break loose in the not too distant future, keeping on our current path. Do you feel like this government cares about us at all? Not me. This is no longer my government, it belongs to others because they bought it. The politicians sold it without our approval. I want another government, one that hears me.
+5 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-04 21:04
Why I do not vote for your candidates...

Rant on next year under Romnitts you will not longer be allowed to Go ahead vote us to death!
+2 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 08:30
I believe that Obama hears us, but his hands has been tied by the Republicans.

If you want someone to hear us, we need a Council of Grandmothers around a Fire.
+2 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 08:36
Your language speaks to who you are...

I think you need to smell the flowers and not the gunpowder!

That gunpowder blocks your brain and so does your finger.
+48 # tjg 2012-10-04 11:45
Mr. Parry, I agree with you. I too am still stunned that MSNBC (except for Rev. Sharpton) called it a win for Romney. There were openings where Obama could have mentioned the obstruction of the Congressional repubs and defended himself better, but all and all he did a great job while Romney started strong, then folded after about a half hour, posture and composure were forgotten and he seemed red faced and flustered. The win goes to Obama.
+5 # brux 2012-10-04 13:23
Obama was tied down by his own "fake" civility.

I say "fake" because if it was real he would have had to spend so much energy on maintaining his composure, as if he was debating another Democrat, and he would have had energy to think.

At every point Romney interrupted and broke Obama's stride and conversation, and Obama was not ready for it and got unnerved.
+6 # Cliff 2012-10-04 18:46
Yes, yes, tjp, that is what I saw. Why didn't he point out that many of his programs were obstructed without discussion or reasoning.
+56 # December27 2012-10-04 11:53
Finally, someone who saw what I saw! Thank you.

I was somewhat disappointed with Obama's lack of spark, but I'm nevertheless gobsmacked at the media--especial ly MSNBC, I agree--describi ng Romney as "exciting," "presidential," and other positives. To me his eyes looked bloodshot and watering, and he was excessively blinking like someone desperately trying to stay awake. And that frozen smirk! And all those lies. Disgusting. And what a wimp Jim Lehrer was.
+11 # brux 2012-10-04 13:27
Lehrer has always been a horrible moderator and skews in clever ways his comments his questions towards Republicans. Notice that he kept calling the President "you" as if the President did not have legitimacy being up there.

I felt like it was a set up from the moderators side, and Romney was very busy knocking Obama off-stride with interruptions and questions, and Obama acted like a "pussy" returning Romney's rudeness with submissive head bobs and saying yes, and when he talked about his own ideas kept saying "I think" instead of having the courage of his own convictions, like "When the Middle Class Does Well, The Country Does Well" ... he prefaced that with "I think", as if there is a debate or he is giving nods to those who disagree with him.
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-04 21:07
I would have loved to have Letterman as moderator
He had Santorum on ....if you can stream was interesting I do not believe Santorum is a supporter of Mittens.

When you do see, there is a challenge to Mitt to come on Letterman or people should not vote. I love it, been going on for at least ten days... Imagine getting the hohums due to this challenge. Off to see the top ten tonite
+20 # BradFromSalem 2012-10-04 13:34
December27, what was it with the watery eyes? He acted like a caged animal, a well rehearsed caged animal. And the blinking eyes were remarkable. A couple of times we had to put it on pause and both times his eyes were in the middle of this alien looking blink.

Scary guy.
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-04 21:08
+43 # Buddha 2012-10-04 11:56
Parry, you are not looking at this the right way. The debate wasn't whether Robme could convince you to his side. He was preaching to those "low information voters", those without the brain activity and information to really know he was spouting so much BS that we needed wings to stay above it. And to THOSE people, Robme came across plausible, and his ability to lie with confidence likely snowjobbed them. Just because it didn't work on those of us with a brain and who have been paying attention to what the GOP are trying to do doesn't mean that Robme wasn't hugely successful in confusing the sheep.
+5 # brux 2012-10-04 13:29
EXACTLY, Romney was using neuroscience and was very driven pointed almost military, and Obama was not even on the battlefield. He was acting like he was debating a Democrat in the Primary. Romney was out for blood, and that is not such a negative in the Presidential debate because in a subliminal way we want our leader to be able to be a complete bastard if he needs to.
+19 # ErnieY 2012-10-04 11:56
Only the most committed and ardent Obama supporter could write something like this. The serious debate I have been having with people on the left and other progressives is whether the President's performance was mitigate or unmitigated disaster. I have taken the former position without trying to appeal to abstract forces (the media, etc.) or disingenuous excuses. The President stayed with his script but failed to strongly call out his challenger with arguments he already has used on the stump and he allow Romney to frame the discussion in terms of vague and obfuscating claims that needed to be challenged and exposed. Perhaps the biggest failure was to allow the major gaffe of the night--Romney's defense of the Massachusetts healthcare plan as a model for state-by-state emulation. If this is his intended proposal to replace his overturning of "Obamacare," it should have been attacked for the folly that it is and the consequences it would trigger to those who would become uninsured.
+3 # brux 2012-10-04 13:33
I think Obama has been using canned arguments on the stump, and in front of supporters. His people have kept him cloistered and whatever he did to prepare for this debate with John Kerry was a foolish stupid maneuver.

I was thinking Obama was out of his comfort zone for sure, and he looked like he felt guilty and all he could do was chirp out some tepid facts while Romney was hot and aggressive.

The Replubicans use a neuroscience advertising guy that tells it like it is, "the reptile always wins" and Obama was like a mouse trying to argue with a snake.

My gut feeling within just a few minutes of listening to the debate on the radio was that Obama has just pissed away the election. I hope I am wrong, but the gut does not lie.
+43 # Barbara K 2012-10-04 11:58
Not if you think truth matters. Personally, I hate liars. They cannot be trusted. I don't trust Romneyhood as far as I can see him. He is such a liar and so out of touch that he thinks we don't think the truth matters. It does matter. How in the world can anyone debate with someone changing his stance on everything he has been saying all along? The President was smart to just let Romneyhood spew his lies, the fact-checkers would let us know. Romneyhood is stealing the President's plan, that is plain to see. But it won't work for Romneyhood. I imagine the Kochs and Rove has already straightened him out on that. He cannot adopt things that the Dems like. He's stuck now. Besides, there were only 2 minutes each to answer the questions that required much more time. Romneyhood tried his sneering stare at the President to intimidate him. This is a bullying tactic that Romneyhood is well practiced at. Obama was taking notes, and writing, not staring down. I think he was probably chuckling to himself how Romneyhood was burying himself. Truth matters, and we will never get it from Romneyhood or any of the Rs for that matter.
+17 # lollie 2012-10-04 12:59
You may have a good point here... give him enough rope, and he will hang himself. Romney has changed positions on everything. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but Obama seemed intense and contained, it could be strategy, and maybe that has been misinterpreted by the pundits.
+5 # Cliff 2012-10-04 18:52
Yeah, all of sudden when Obama made an eloquent hard to argue point Romney would say he agreed when these were things he had never before spoken in agreement on. He had no risk of losing his far right with these lies, because they know better and hate Obama more.
+2 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 08:13
Obama knows how to be... I like his way of intense and containment... he always thinks before he reacts or speaks... and Mitt Romney was not worth speaking to..

Romney will hang himself... look at his secret tape... and now he is changing his mind, yea right.
-17 # JackB 2012-10-04 13:49
You hate liars & you are a member of the Divine Barry Adoration Society. Now that's funny.
+2 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 08:20
I'm glad Romney only had 2 minutes, he talks and talks and says absolutely nothing. Romney had lots of sneering stares and strange jesters and too bad the media overlooked all that.

And Romney's tie and shirt... for all his money, he certainly didn't dress well. Maybe he had Ann dress him???

Anyone remember four years ago, a photo of Obama came out, with his feet upon his old desk, and his shoes were worn out? That to me said, this man knows what this country needs because he has walked in our shoes and I believe he still does..but Michelle made him buy new shoes.
+1 # mjc 2012-10-06 10:37
Imagine Peace, it is strange gestures that characterize Romney's so-called "style", upper body leaning forward seemingly to get Obama's attention,.,whi ch didn't happen for the most part, wildly blinking eyes, and loud voice as if that would wake Obama. Think Obama does have to look at this prevaricator a bit more but be like Romney??? Never.
+3 # Carlosmik 2012-10-04 11:59
Sorry, Robert. I wish it were as you say. However, to me Obama appeared weary and not at all "hungry" to win. He constantly stared down when Romney spoke and refused to go after Romney's distortions and flips, nor did he explain his reasoning i.e where the "5 Trillion tax cut" comes from (20% across the board cuts?!). Bottom line: unfortunately Romney romped while Obama flopped. He needs to practice, listen to debate experts and get rid of Kerry as a stand in for Mitt. Find a tough corporate exec!!
-11 # brux 2012-10-04 13:34
Yes, the staring down with shifting eyes and a hunched over tired posture made Obama look like someone off the street, not the President.
+1 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 08:08
He was not "hunched over".... he is "humble".
+36 # Oljeto 2012-10-04 12:01
What he should have said:
Open with "When I took over, the country was faced with another Depression, caused primarily by the policies of the Governor's Republican Do-Nothing Congress. Why in the world would we want to return to the failed policies of the past?"
Every time Willard went off the rails: "Who ARE you? Every appearance you make contradicts the last. I don't think the country needs a shapeshifter as President." Over and over. "Who ARE you?"
On Energy: " I believe that America needs to lead the green technology revolution. You believe in the past. It's as simple as that."
When Willard hops around to lie to make a point: "Look, we all recognize a good salesman when we see one. Well I'm not buying what you're selling till I see the CarFax!
Case closed. Mittens is toast!
-9 # brux 2012-10-04 13:36
This was psychological warfare and Obama was waving a white flag and getting shot at. He just appeared totally from another world. The way Romney played it, which was certainly lousy, but it worked, was to just keep attacking and unnerving Obama because Obama isthe President and he loses if he becomes unnerved. Without understanding Romney's psychological strategy Obama was a sitting duck.
+2 # ptalady 2012-10-04 14:09
I kept wondering whether Obama was on an antihistimine or had a bad cold. He seemed out of it to me. It reminded me of W's precipitous decline in mentation over the years of his presidency, and we know in his case it was not due to overwork. Maybe there is something poisoning the environment over at the White House.
+11 # brux 2012-10-04 18:44
I think it's the mindset ... remember that Romney has spent a year preparing for debates and looking and vulnerabilities ... he has spent a lot of money and has expert advice. The President cannot really do that so much, he has a full time job.

Plus, the Republicans are always pushing the edge as to what kind of rudeness and underhanded antics they can get away with. I don't think I've ever really seen a Democrat do any of that kind of stuff.
0 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 07:49
Romney and the Republicans have been preparing for 4 years.... And Rob Portman thinks he is cool now... I bet Mitt wishes he would have picked Portman for his running mate... Portman fits right into those rich Repulicans, who cares about the 47%.
+1 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 08:00
Sorry, but I have to say President Obama is overworked, how can he not after taking over from 8 years of a total mess!

What is poisoning the environement at the WH and poisoning this country is the Republicans who won't pass anything just to try to take over again.
+6 # Eliza D 2012-10-04 16:09
Fabulous suggestions. Obama came off as the victim being bullied by the alpha male. And Americans don't want victims. Obama also needed a great retort to Romney's anecdote about meeting a woman who begged him for help because her husband had been out of work. Something along the lines of:"Wasn't it your company who put thousands of K-B Toys employees out of work when Bain Capital did a hostile take-over?" I think that one story gave Romney the upper hand in the eyes of many viewers and left Obama in the dust. I was so hopping mad, I wanted to jump into the TV!
+1 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 07:45
His stories didn't seem real to me... I think he was even lying with his stories... where's the video of this woman telling him this???? If it were true Romney would have it on every channel.
+1 # mjc 2012-10-06 09:46
Think other "alpha males" would certainly reject Romney as such...especial ly after seeing that debate. That wasn't anything but a bully exercising his prevaricator's right to NOT address the opponent's ideas, positions, policies but screech out his own vague misrepresentati ons.
+1 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 08:06
I heard someone say.... too bad we don't have Bin Laden's ashes... Obama needed to just sit an urn on the podium... that would have said it all.... A President that does something.... and it just happens to be a Democrat... Republicans love war, which as George W. thought going to war made him "Commander and Chief".... Obama has a much different view of how to be "Commander and Chief" and I like what he is trying to accomplish in spite of the Do-Nothing Republicans, except to try to get the Republicans back in.
+60 # phlower51 2012-10-04 12:02
There is a gender/race issue relating to the presidential debate that you mentioned in your post. I am a woman in my 60s and totally turned off by aggressive or bullying behavior. I think that Mitt Romney exhibited both and it was not attractive to me. Yet, it is this behavior that is cited as evidence that Romney "won" the debate. If a black man engages in similar behavior, he is labeled "angry." If a woman displays aggressive behavior, she is called a "bitch." A white man who does the same is called a "winner"!
+16 # Regina 2012-10-04 13:53
It's white men who are calling the shots you listed. No surprise!
+19 # ptalady 2012-10-04 14:13
You have hit the nail squarely on the head! Lehrer (or his producers managing the camera angles and sound) simply rolled his eyes and let the white man bulldog his way forward, makign point after point, while choosing the president (the PRESIDENT OF THE FREE WORLD!!) to chide for going overtime. What?!! I can allow that it might be unconscious, but racism seems to me the best explanation for the grossly disparate and unfair moderating job provided for the televised debate.
+1 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 07:40
Gather the Women.... and the white man, Romney, won't know what hit him...
+43 # James Wilson 2012-10-04 12:02
I agree Robert. I think once the dust has settled, and the "Fact Checkers" do their thing, this will not look like a victory for Romney at all. The devil is in the details, and Romney as per usual gave us nothing new. The jury still is out however whether or not voting America will do the necessary thinking and research to determine for themselves that what they saw was the same old Romney with the same "trust me" problem.
-31 # HowardMH 2012-10-04 12:03
Oh Yes, thanks to Obama the Wimp.
-22 # 4merlib 2012-10-04 12:04
I wonder if Robert was watching SNL or the Onion's version of the debate.
-8 # Merschrod 2012-10-04 12:05
Unfortunately, I have to agree, i.e., that Romney did a better job of delivery and Obama was not crisp in his delivery - Obama wandered. Romney looked like and sounded like the better prepared and he had "facts" that he delivered about Obama's record - true or not, the delivery was much better and Obama did not respond.

The twitter was the best line to follow.

Jim Leher was the clear looser - he was out of his league and should be put out to pasture. Sad to see. After all this was a paid show by the Dems and Repubs and the action should have been smoother.

Too bad the Dems and Repubs through the debate corporation was engaging in restraint of free expression. Conspiracy actually against the democratic system. Vote for Rocky Anderson! Go Green
0 # indian weaver 2012-10-04 14:03
Rocky Anderson is the founder and presidential candidate of the Justice Party: "justicepartyus". He's my kinda guy, or Jill Stein of the Green Party.
+30 # evelyncarnate 2012-10-04 12:09
It seemed to me that many of the professional opinionaters judged the president's performance on the basis of what they expected to hear, e.g. the 47% stuff. Certainly, Obama passed on some obvious opportunities, but had he answered as Ed Schultz would have preferred, he might have seemed small or petty. Which he did not.
I'm grateful to Robert Parry for giving voice to what many people undoubtedly saw and heard: Apart from the creepy laughs and herky-jerky movements and obvious lies,I was struck by Romney's line about having ( and managing) five "boys" who insisted on repeating untrue stuff--dog whistle, anyone?-- and also his preference for the term "the poor" (which he once corrected to "low-income.")
Why do we call these presidential debates? Jim Lehrer hoped for a serious discussion,whic h he did not get, but he also refrained from throwing out the kinds of questions that might elicit buzz-feed responses. If he'd done that, would it have been more like a debate?
+4 # 6thextinction 2012-10-04 22:08
The biggest loser of the night was Jim Lehrer, who was constantly intimidated by Romney, and aggressive toward Obama. (The whole PBS political group needs to retire. They are insufferable, and there is more than one who is Republican.) I had no intention of watching the whole thing, but became mesmerized by the strangeness of Romney and ineffectiveness and weirdness of Lehrer. I'm voting for Stein due to the well-known list of Obama's betrayals, but I felt sympathy for him last night. Maybe he was thrown off by the sucker punches thrown by those two very, very strange men.
-1 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 07:36
I want to know who picked Jim Lehrer...Did anyone hear Romney say "he loved him"? He's old and needs to go sit in a rocking chair.
+37 # Dangoodbar 2012-10-04 12:09
I agree with this article. In the next week or so I think several of Romney's answers are going to be punch lines. Like his plan to cut taxes, increase military spending, Medicare spending and balance the budget all by putting the Cookie Monster on a diet.

I also expect to see John Stewart put up clips of Romney from the debate last night with Romeny from Romney debating other Republicans and on the campaign trail.

For the record challangers always seem to win the first presidential debate so it is no surprise that at first blush Romney seemed to win this one. But what is surprising is that instead of using this opportunity to be equal to the president and present his views Romney instead gave so much amunition to Obama by flipping and flopping on issues and avoiding spicifics, much like Paul Ryan's convention speach, that I suspect by the end of the election this debate will be a positive for Obama.
-14 # brux 2012-10-04 13:45
Yeah, but John Stewart being a better supporter of Obama's policies than Obama is a big problem. The President looked weak and out of touch, and that permanent record out in the world for everyone to see and ridicule is a really bad thing. I wanted to vomit.

I listened to this thing on the radio, and I could hear Obama's breath in the mike and he was really nervous and letting it show. He behaved like there was a sniper out there, like he was afraid of the people. Maybe he was on some kind of medication?
0 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 07:33
The sound waves must have been bad. I'm surprised Romney's words didn't break your radio, but on the radio he wasn't in your face.
+25 # Hey There 2012-10-04 12:10
Thanks for a different perspective on the debates. Far too often when one 'PUNDIT" voices an opinion everyone else falls in line.Conflict is avoided and thoughtful accessing of what was said is replaced with being one with the more outspoken group.
This type of thinking was pervasive when NAFTA was passed, the Glass-Steagall Act revoked, welfare reformed and arguments advanced that workers were being overpaid particularly government workers who needed to have their pay frozen even while prices continued to rise.
-10 # JonAnthonyr 2012-10-04 12:15
Mr. Parry, perception over substance won last night. Your completely lost in putting a good face on it or on spin mode. I support my party & the President but he did not perform or bring his A game last night, he lost. Put your Kool Aid down and have a water cleanse since its clouding your credibility as a writer.
-6 # indian weaver 2012-10-04 14:09
Now now, the Kool Aid is serious stuff, try it. I liked it. It's very strong but very good for one's spirit. It is discriminated against by those who have not experienced it - having bought the party line instead, the easy way out of thinking or choosing to make one's own judgement based on one's personal experience. Have you? it takes courage, if not recklessness, to know instead of repeat what others tell us. We all have a right to our own opinions, whether it be Mr. Parry or you or me, right or wrong.
0 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 07:30
We all SHOULD have a right to our own opinions, but many are not heard. Those with money have the control, but what they don't understand, they will never take my spirit away.
+14 # noitall 2012-10-04 12:16
Single-payer health care...PERIOD! Punish those who gamed the financial system! Tax appropriately to regain the ill-aquired wealth by the rich! Begin the development of a green future through investment and education! Punish war criminals and re-investigate the Towers! There was nothing of substance (as I expected) in these "debates". Stop the private looting of the U.S.A. and the world through never-ending wars (on 'terrorism', 'drugs', etc.) The issues important to Americans are not contested by Mitt and Barack because they agree on the no-solution. The People will be responsible for the looting of America; WE will pay with shortened life due to out of reach health care, less educational opportunities, more WAR, more pollution, more environmental catastrophy, loss of retirement, Social Security under attack, more strength for the 1%, further loss of our democracy and our constitutional rights as PEOPLE, a continued and increased downward spiral. With Barack, all we can hope for is a slower slide. They pray to the same master. I'm voting for Jill Stein, the one that represents what I wish for my Grandchildren. We've been so brainwashed that what is sane we are led to believe is impossible...on ly in this corporate world is a future for the PEOPLE impossible!
-7 # brux 2012-10-04 13:47
> Single-payer health care

Totally agree, but since Obama spent his whole administration on what is a Republican program, that even the Republicans attacked him for, and he never strayed from trying to be the dutiful civil American citizen, he showed he was unprepared for a street fight, and whatever Romney looked like, Obama looked weak.
-2 # crispy 2012-10-04 14:39
U are 100% right noitall but for some reason the Green party and Justice party candidates were not invited...
Let's call this "Commission" what it is: an antidemocratic bipartisan obstacle to DEMOCRACY.
The time for the mews media (N Y Times CBS, NBC, Democracy now, PBS, pacifica Radio and others) to denounce this and call for a debate where ALL presidential candidates get equal time!
+33 # Mercedes 2012-10-04 12:26
So Romney is "begging [us] to buy his vehicle so he could meet his quota and not get in trouble with his boss"? Exactly! Why are we even talking about Romney? He's a suit, a mere front man. As Grover Norquist told CPAC last February: "We're not auditioning for fearless leader"... "All we have to do is replace Obama"... "Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen"... "We know what direction we want to go...we just need a president to sign this stuff." These are direct quotes (check it out), blatantly undisguised. Norquist, Rove, and their well-heeled backers are counting on us to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, because it's just too hard to believe - we must be hallucinating. This needs to go viral, but it just sits there.
-7 # James Marcus 2012-10-04 12:28
Banksta Boys, Both. Either wins, and America loses. Both will take us to More War, More Money Mess (we are already Broke), More Constitutional Violation; Less, for We, the People.
Banksta Boys...Both!
+35 # Old Uncle Dave 2012-10-04 12:33
I took a couple semesters of debate in college. As I recall, lying causes a debater to lose points, not gain them.

These things should be on radio, not TV. The "analysts" apparently think style trumps substance and factual accuracy is irrelevant.
+2 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 07:22
I think the truth will come fact it already is.
+34 # genierae 2012-10-04 12:35
I too was totally bewildered by the reaction of supposedly progressive MSNBC's betrayal of President Obama, but they were not the only ones to stick a shiv in his back. All the "liberal" hosts on Current TV, along with Al Gore of all people, had a wonderful time sticking it to our president. Jennifer Granholm was the only one to speak positively of Obama, and she was quickly silenced by the rest. I will never see them the same way again, and I don't think I will continue to watch Current at all. At a time like this I long for Steve Olbermann, where has he gone? I thought President Obama did very well all in all, but I think he was thrown by the blatant lies Romney kept repeating. Honest people are often taken aback these days at the dirty, underhanded way that Republicans are behaving, and the sad question is, will there be enough Obama-haters and gullible voters to put Mitt Romney in the White House?
-8 # brux 2012-10-04 13:48
I don't think people vote for a President because they feel sorry for him, in this case we will find out if people will vote for a President in spite of feeling sorry for him.
+2 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 07:22
It depends on how many votes Romney can buy. I got a letter saying I wasn't a "registered voter", although I've been in the same place for 20 years! Of course, they wanted my information. The return address was not official.
+1 # genierae 2012-10-06 09:37
Of course I should have said Keith, not Steve. I don't know where that name came from.
+34 # tomr 2012-10-04 12:40
I'm in Toastmasters and I've seen many speeches, given quite a few, evaluated quite a few, and watched others evaluate many. Our purpose is to work on your public speaking - both prepared and impromptu. So, we "judge" each other based on delivery and not so much on content.

On this basis, Romney was clearly superior in this debate. He was well organized in his presentations, had good body language, had very few "ums" and "ahs", and good vocal variation.

These are the facts, even if many of us would like to think differently. Let's not be like "their" side and create our own little reality where everything that agrees with us is better.

That being said, Romney seemed to be suffering from (as predicted by some, including me) schizophrenia. He completely and directly contradicted many of the positions he articulated during the primary debates. He made it clear that Barney Frank had been right when he said that Mitt had no core principles, except for the confidence that he would be able to do the task.

Romney obviously didn't become a big success in business without being a solid communicator. He just doesn't have any underlying substance and certainly doesn't understand that leading this country will take more than the right personality.

President Obama had prepared for the Romney that had been seen before, not the new, re-worked, flip-flopped Romney. Obama will be MUCH sharper next time - you can count on it.
-4 # brux 2012-10-04 13:49
Romney won the non-verbal debate so definitively that the verbal debate did not matter ... in that sense he cheated the country of a real debate.
+2 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 07:17
Obama is right behind Clinton in the best speakers ever so I agree, Obama will be back without a doubt!!!

I was in Toastmasters too. I prepared for what I wanted to say....not what I thought others wanted to hear. And I never prepared a speech thinking I wanted to win everyone's approval because that would have included lies.

You can't be a "solid communicator" if you lie...that's not solid. Romney can say he is successful because to me success is not from lies and cheatings!
+2 # genierae 2012-10-06 09:45
Obama is the kind of person who instinctively thinks before he speaks, and in debates the very thing that makes him a good president can be a liability. And how can you debate someone who has no integrity and can say whatever suits his purpose in the moment. I have tried to reason with a liar, but it is quite impossible. Romney "won the debate" only in the minds of those who value the superficial performance of a corrupt and vacuous man. In any other respect he lost dismally.
+33 # Rain17 2012-10-04 12:42
I saw the debate, but I was at a restaurant where it was on closed caption. I looked at the body language, and Romney looked like an arrogant jerk to me. I noticed the smirk on his face and he looked pissed off. I was pretty surprised that, when I came to home, to hear that "Romney won the debate".

Whatever the case this should destroy the myth of the "liberal media". Yet I got into an argument with a conservative leaning friend who said "the media was liberal". If it was so "liberal", why would it be fawning over Romney "winning the debate?"

Anyway I must have seen a totally different debate. Without the benefit of sound Romeny's body language made him look like a jerk. But I guess that maybe I just didn't it. And I guess that the vast majority of everyone else, who says that Romney won, must be right.
+9 # indianfirst 2012-10-04 13:30
I also watched the captions with the sound turned off at home after a few minutes of Romney's whining. That's what media does to us.
+12 # brux 2012-10-04 13:50
Many Americans seem to want their President to be able to be a jerk, look at Reagan.
-11 # dick 2012-10-04 12:48
No brainer. Obama BLEW IT, almost blew it off. Tragic. See polls. INEXCUSABLE. Obama did not SPECIFY what he would do to CHANGE things. "Give me more conscientious people in Congress & we'll make America the unrivaled sustainable technology economic powerhouse of the 21st Century." He could have annihilated Mitt over reckless claims of GOP bipartisanship.
Obama was TOTALLY unprepared to defend his green choices.
Green politician, green environmentalis t, lazy debater.
-5 # Jyl 2012-10-04 12:49
I abhor Romney but I believe he emerged the strongest, last evening. He took charge, controlled the stage, the moderator and unfortunately, Obama, much of the time. I felt disappointed and disheartened about Obama's sluggishness, lack of passion and flat demeanor. As well, he is usually exceptionally articulate, which was not the case, IMO. I feel more disturbed about the next four years, than previously.
+7 # adolbe 2012-10-04 12:51
I think what happened was that Romney somehow was allowed to set the tone and pace if not just due to his weird persona. When Obama rebuts he has to go through facts slow and cool and with a bit of humor it is an art. Biggest disappoint with Pres was him not just reciting his many achievements and bypassing Mitt
+3 # grouchy 2012-10-04 13:02
Well, perhaps thats because HE IS sneaky and nervous! You can see it in his face if you have watched his pre-debate actions and ignore his voice in the debate which was fine.
+9 # telebob 2012-10-04 13:09
By not abjectly 'losing' Romney de facto 'wins' due to the low expectations most had for him. Don't worry, if elected, he will live down to those expectations.
+1 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 07:07
Don't even go there... "if elected"... too scary to even put in my thoughts! I'm thinking positive not negative...
+2 # wfalco 2012-10-04 13:18
It was clearly a disappointing performance by Obama-particula rly since he is aware of the affect a completely non-confrontati onal approach would have on the TV personalities.
The Corporate news "analysts" are clamoring for a story-which in presidential politics means a close race. Being mindful of their corporate backers is always on their minds.The "spin" must always be "fair and balanced." That is why we need a fighter.

Going into this ring of fire-Obama was poorly managed. Or perhaps he was just tired and bored(that is how he appeared.)
All this viewer saw were a few Obama jabs-while the Great White Hope was letting it rip-all or nothing (like a fictitious Rocky Balboa.) Or maybe the "fix" was in. Was Obama playing Sonny Liston to Romney's Ali? Was Lehrer the "paid off" referee? It is hard to imagine a weaker performance than what was offerred last night.
+21 # Art947 2012-10-04 13:19
I want to commend Ernie Y, Carlosmik, and Oljeto for their perceptive remarks about the "debate last night. It was clear that the snake oil salesman was prepared to throw whatever he could into the program. As had been said by a number of commentators prior to the event, if you throw enough stuff at a wall, even if the stuff is bogus, some of it will still stick to the wall.

President Obama had two major difficulties last night. One, as a "black" man, he had to restrain himself so as not to appear angry and unpresidential. Two, the number of lies that were being thrown by Romney far exceeded the amount of time alloted to counter them!

Personally, I would have wanted our President to have slapped Romney in the face many times throughout the evening. Unfortunately, our President is an extremely civil individual. His intelligence and personal quality showed throughout the evening. It is too bad that the commentators were too ignorant to appreciate his talent.
+15 # indianfirst 2012-10-04 13:28
Well as we see with the media having taken over how presidential campaigns are presented to the public - the lighting, the cameras, the instant playback, the nearly instant "analysis" and arguments on who won the debate. What do we look for? Ums and ahs, aggressiveness versus rhetoric, and all the other little visuals no prizefighter has to endure.

Who lost the debate? Jim Lehrer seems to have lost as he merely blinked when the bully Romney blasted right through any time limits tried on him. I think we got a glimpse of the real Romney last night and it wasn't good.

The president was clear and considered in his answers, no funny business, but if this is about the bathing suit portion, yes Romney won - but its an empty suit.
+1 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 07:05
Good take!!! Maybe they should have put Romney is a bathing suit.... he would loose some of what he thinks is power.
+6 # nancyw 2012-10-04 13:34
I think that the masses, at least in America, have been trained to stay shallow and revere style over substance. This is why our populations wear popular design logos on their t-shirts, fawn over movie stars, do make-overs, watch reality tv, laugh when people mess up or get hurt of shows like 'You're on Candid Camera', etc. Rarely do our schools get to teach students to think for themselves. Rote learning. So when tv shows a man smiling, wearing a brighter red tie, being loud and insistent (really bullying Lehr) and coming off as if he knows what he's talking about, of course he's the 'winner'. Sadly, Obama looked the opposite. He did not look into the tv camera enough, he did not smile his glorious smile enough, his tie was dull blue, he did not look organized ...did not punch his ideas with "1... 2... and my 3rd point ..." So to the common everyday person, Romney looked the winner, believing everything he said... AND, Obama will do much better the next time. You can bet he is reviewing the video, he is being coached, he will give us what we need! He's too intelligent to not.
+7 # ptalady 2012-10-04 14:25
I noticed that the camera angles did not seem congruent. When the shot focused on Romney with Obama to the side, the words of the constitution were behind Romney. When focused on Obama with Romney on the side, it was just blank behind Obama. Also, it might be appropriate to blame the behind-the-scen es producers of the show as much as Lehrer for staying focused on Romney while he blatantly violated the rules of the contest and took waaaay more minutes for himself than were alloted to Obama.
+22 # mainescorpio 2012-10-04 13:35
Mr. Romeny erased all doubts in my mind about "bullying" in high school. Last night he spoke and looked not only like the bully he is, but a lying bully to boot.
+9 # MainStreetMentor 2012-10-04 13:37
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being high), I'd have to give Romney a 7 - but only on his "appearance" of being on "solid ground". Obama is unsurpassed, (in my opinion) when it comes to "prepared" speeches - but, in the extemporaneous category of speech delivery, he is not as "polished" - and, (again, in my view) he tried to 'cram' too many specifics into too short a time frame. Obama is STILL the ONLY choice for "pres" - and I'm gonna vote for him.
+17 # Exotikat 2012-10-04 13:40
Finally! Thank you, Robert Parry! I, too, was shocked when the debate ended on MSNBC and the pundits immediately began tearing apart President Obama's performance. Without their opinions, I would have gone to bed thinking the former governor was an ass who vomited so many disparate ideas all over the stage it was impossible to keep up. I thought Obama was solid, calm and clear in his defense of his policies. I thought Romney was totally jacked up on something, with his red eyes and almost drooling mien (that creepily hungry smirk!). I then got into a debate with my mother-in-law (an Obama supporter, BTW) who also thought Obama did a terrible job. I told her I was of the opinion throughout the whole debate that Obama just kept giving Romney rope, and more rope, to hang himself. Yeah...let the guy have verbal diarrhea, and at some point his lies and misrepresentati ons and Etch-A-Sketch moments will end up in political anti-Romney commercials all over the country. Well, I could be massively wrong about my perceptions and read on the debate, but still..... And finally - can Jim Lehrer go back to retirement, please?
+16 # janie1893 2012-10-04 13:42
President Obama arrived in Denver at 2PM, just hours before the telecast. If you have ever flown into Denver, you will know how out of touch you feel until you adjust to the altitude. Also, President Obama spent the day being President, a difficult job at best, but with Syria attacking Turkey, yesterday was not easy for him. Romney did 'win' because he was rested and looked it. He also lied his face off. That doesn't matter to most Americans who see the debates as entertainment. In America these days, appearance is much more important than truthfulness and integrity.
0 # crispy 2012-10-04 13:42
Mr Parry,
I am one of your LOG term admirers for accuracy, precision and objective analysis of facts.
This time, your piece must be a desperate effort to do damage control.
The basic thing we agree upon is "By contrast, Obama looked, well, presidential."
Yet Romney looked like he was more energized and sure of himself as a true commander in chief should be vs an analytical serious Obama sticking to a school teacher style...
I am not stuck on the lack of mentioning the 47% as much as I am about the president not jumping on opportunities to catch Romney.
For ex, The answer to "trickle down government" was (perhaps - " Mr Romney, we've tried Trickle down economics for almost 30 years (with a short moderation under Bill Clinton) and it lead us to the worst economic + financial crisis sine the great depression. It also caused a 40% drop in middle-class buying power while the wealthiest 1% did very well increasing their wealth by ...%"
Trickle down government does work: it takes some time to come up from the abyss your party left us in 4 years ago.
Trickle down government may not have worked as well as Americans hoped for but "gush up economics" started under Mr Reagan and which you want to put on steroids will only lead to more poverty for American workers and extra billions in the hands of the few who could care less about the many"
+6 # letsfixit 2012-10-04 13:45
Oh yeah like that decisive answer that Obama gave about the good use of the $90 billion in green energy investment.

Let's get serious. To fix this everyone will have to suffer. People will be required to make less money.

Jobs must come back from china. Continuing to fill walmart with Chinese garbage will NOT employ anyone.

The old adage that the economy is "70 percent consumption" - if you consume all Chinese garbage- there will be no jobs.

Everyone cannot sit at computers cranking out useless reports - for a manufacturing concern in china.



ELECTRONICS- not for the military

I thought we had the beer market cornered but nope INBEV a Belgian company bought anheuser - Busch.

We as a nation must all suffer to stop the gross spending without a plan for recovery. Even the Russian Pravda sees our plight.
+4 # crispy 2012-10-04 17:04
Obama did a terrible job on the 90 billion green energy investment: he could have said that not all investments could be successful in a world open market and that green energy investment remain a security issue for the US at a cost lower than fighter planes with built-in obsolescence.(t rue for all military equipment).
Even Nasa, a program we are all proud of had some failures.
Has INBEV Laid of workers? If not then we should NOT be worried about foreign investments in our country.
Mitt's investments thru Bain Capital destroyed jobs
0 # Vern Radul 2012-10-04 13:48
The real debate was outside.

Democracy Now - Expanding the Debate Exclusive: Third Party Candidates Break the Sound Barrier As Obama-Romney Spar

+2 # overanddone 2012-10-04 13:48
Yes Romney won the debate.
Facts, Lies Truths, Flip Flops don't matter, if it looks like you won you won.
+3 # crispy 2012-10-04 17:05
For those who won't go to Democracy Now or fact finders debunking 27 Romney lies there is NO HOPE
+19 # pernsey 2012-10-04 13:51
This is what I wrote on an earlier post and I feel it still applies in here.

Romney etch-a-sketched himself again. He tried to appear more middle of the road...which he isnt. He flip flopped on all his points, but dang it he said it what.

This is my honest assessment, Romney flip flopped on everything he said he stands for previously, he was rude to the moderator and rude to the president. If rudeness and lies are good debating then I guess he won. Also he had that creepy smirk on his face while the president was talking, he reminded me of a crazed lunatic. More lies, more creepiness, and more empty suit, but dang it he said it with fervor...SO What!

Thats it!!! Mitt Romney reminded me of Mr. Burns from "The Simpsons". That crazed look on his face when he thinks his tactics are working. The only thing he was missing was the wringing of his hands and saying "Excellent" in a sinister voice. Mitts forced creepy smile looked crazed like a dog who hadnt had any red meat in a long time.
+11 # Activista 2012-10-04 15:26
"Mitts forced creepy smile looked crazed like a dog who hadnt had any red meat in a long time."
I was thinking the same - what drug makes person act as Romney did?
Debaters, like Olympic athletes, should require the drug test.
+8 # tswhiskers 2012-10-04 13:52
I would agree that Romney often lied about his policies during the debate. But then I wasn't looking for style. I was looking for substance. It looked to me as tho he and his staff have realized that he can't win with the platform he and Ryan have been running so far, so they must have decided to moderate their positions on a host of issues incl. Medicare, Soc. Sec., Obamacare (I was glad that Obama decided he likes the name). I thought O wasn't aggressive enough with Romney, not Lehrer. However there is a month and 3 debates to go. I suspect that Obama and his staff have learned a lot. I hope they will better cope with Romney's "moderated" views in the coming debates.
+5 # pernsey 2012-10-04 20:41
Quoting tswhiskers:
I would agree that Romney often lied about his policies during the debate. But then I wasn't looking for style. I was looking for substance. It looked to me as tho he and his staff have realized that he can't win with the platform he and Ryan have been running so far, so they must have decided to moderate their positions on a host of issues incl. Medicare, Soc. Sec., Obamacare (I was glad that Obama decided he likes the name). I thought O wasn't aggressive enough with Romney, not Lehrer. However there is a month and 3 debates to go. I suspect that Obama and his staff have learned a lot. I hope they will better cope with Romney's "moderated" views in the coming debates.

Tswhiskers, he hasnt changed his views, or become more moderate. His staff has apologized for him, or said he didnt mean to say half the stuff he said last night. He will say or do anything, he changes positions and his mind to suit his purpose. He just tells whoever hes in front of what they want to hear. Shake the etch-a-sketch clear the slate and let the lies spew forth...thats Mitt.
+2 # crispy 2012-10-04 14:03
and more - since my text was "too long"

On Obamacare, he failed to remind us that the reform was needed to put us on the same competitive level as modern nations that have offered national heath insurance for years; they have seen huge benefits for their economy and people. "The current system promoted by my opponent was proven to bankrupt the country as reported by top economists"
Also "Mr R was for it as Governor of Pennsylvania and now he's against it?"
How can voters know what your policies are: they keep changing!
“I am asking my opponent: Why is it that what was GOOD for Pennsylvania is NOT GOOD for America!?"

How can voters trust SO whose views are constantly changing (and repeating that every time R went back on his positions).
+9 # Pikewich 2012-10-04 14:03
Well? What do you expect from a corporate sponsored event? Hosted by the likes of:

Anheuser-Busch Companies
The Howard G. Buffett Foundation
Sheldon S. Cohen, Esq.
Crowell & Moring LLP
International Bottled Water Association (IBWA)
The Kovler Fund
Southwest Airlines

The "Commission On Presidential Debates" IS a partisan corporate sponsored event. The days of open unbiased debates hosted by the League of Women Voters is history.

What we had last night was more fact-free theater of the Politically Absurd, where theatrics are the sole criteria of determining who "won", instead of "who is telling the truth". Under that criteria they both lost, Obama was closer to the truth.

Oh Cry, the Pathetic Country.
+1 # crispy 2012-10-04 16:47
It's been years but I do not remember the League of women's voters pikewich is lauding ever inviting all presidential candidates to debate with equal time.
IT can't happen with the current bipartisan commission of course but it NEVER happened before either.
Ross Perot had to sue to get into a debate!!!
Ask Ralph Nader how many debates he had with the 2 main candidates ask all the past green party candidates.
Where is memory of history in this nation?
0 # crispy 2012-10-04 16:56
That's why one MUST watch the alternative debate that is still posted on Democracy Now's website and possibly others.
U will hear the answers of 2 candidates who are not bought and owned by LARGE corporations and the wealthy 1-2% who have benefited from both republican and democratic policies.

Pathetic country indeed! A BANANA REPUBLIC IS the term for it

A plutocracy is our regime of govt and it has been since the 1963 coup d'etat

Eisenhower would be shocked if he listened to Romney or even Obama because
he knew how big MONEY interests could highjack the government and bring fascism.
They would both call him a radical, a communist (think of a 92% marginal tax rate the wealthy - above $3 million in today's dollars - had to pay)
+3 # ghostperson 2012-10-04 20:36
In the same rabbit hole where recollection of who took us down the crapper in 2007 & 2008 went.
+2 # Phlippinout 2012-10-04 14:05
Finally someone who saw the same debate I did!
+7 # Kvhawk 2012-10-04 14:09
I agree that Romney was very weird during the debate last evening. The speed and rapid fire of his comments, the pasted smile and evil look in his eyes, I was waiting for the foaming at the mouth, lucky it never came. If we want to go back to the days of tell a lie enough it will become the truth, corporations taking over your our lives more than they do now, Mitt Romney and the republicans are your choice. About jobs, large corporations are the richest they have been in to history of the world, and I do not see them creating new jobs.

I think Romney will be crushed if he don't get to be president because it is on his bucket list, it gives him more status in heaven.
+1 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 06:44
It would have been great for the American people to see the real Mitt Romney, because I believe he could foam at the mouth. He's rabied.
+1 # bracero 2012-10-04 14:26
I am an Independent and I wonder if any of the above commentaters even watched the debate.
President Obama looked like he resented being at the debate and was detached.
Romney appeared to be enjoying himself and why shouldn't he as President Obama let him get away with one mistatement after the other. President Obama never brought up the 47 million people in the US that did not have medical care prior to the enactment of the new health bill. President Obama never shot down romney's statement that Obama Care would cost the nation 600 billion dollars. Further,if Romney was such a great governor of Massachusetts why did they boot him out after one term?
Why didn't President Obama say Tip Oneal never said "he was going to make sure Romney was a one term Governor" like the minority whip for the Republicans said about Obama. Romney did not win the debate President Obama gave it to him.
+5 # BobbyLip 2012-10-04 14:27
The President set the tone with his "It's our anniversary" opening. He's a lover, not a fighter. I hate to say it, but Parry got this one wrong. Nobody disdains Mittens more than I, but he did exactly what he needed to do, all the lies notwithstanding . Hopefully, probably, this won't change the results on November 6, but Obama needs to treat the next two debates like basketball games and throw some elbows. Too bad, but optics do matter.
+1 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 06:41
He is a lover and not a fighter. And yes his way is to throw some elbows, not kill Big Bird or the American MIddle Class.
+7 # crispy 2012-10-04 14:32

Romney talked about the Constitution. This was a perfect time to jumped in: with " U forgot the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS Sir.For democrats hat means a RIGHT to the same high quality healthcare for ALL Americans , not just a for selected few"
"We have proof that trickle-down economics, which GHW Bush called voodoo economics, did not work. The same is true for healthcare left to the goodwill of a few insurance companies only motivated by greed."
Finally, at no point did Mr Obama reminded voters of the obstruction by the party of NO with endless debates and a record high level of threats to filibuster legislation in the senate (comparing with dems under G Bush)
The president needed to blame republicans for preventing a strong recovery by blocking investments in American infrastructure and schools (name specific bills that were blocked).
On solar and wind:
"we are so behind in this area that a bold move was needed and yes, some beneficiaries failed while others are thriving.
Republicans opposed ANY government intervention as jobs were lost at record levels: they opposed subsidies to solar and wind but like my opponent,they also opposed saving the American auto industry."
-1 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 06:38
Romney doesn't want to talk about wind & solar because his money is in destroying and controlling.... and take, take, take and never give back.... he doesn't want what can be free.
+9 # karlarove 2012-10-04 15:16
The pun-idiots lacking critical thinking skills are touting this as a Romney win. His lofty plan for 12 million jobs, no details. A revenue neutral tax cut - no details. What happened to facts and details in a debate? All Romney did was pontificate - not debate. He sure looks, acts and sounds like a psychopath, defined as "glib, superficial charm, pathological liar, lacking empathy "
+12 # vgirl1 2012-10-04 15:48
Romney looked sweaty, fidgety, agitated, and sneaky in appearance to this observer. He sucked his teeth and generally looked insincere and sleezy. He made me think of the stereotypical,I 'll say anything used car salesman that has become an American icon. It is amazing to me that the pundits and regular news anchors could rally around a candidate for President of the United States who spent the whole evening engaged in lying to the American people. This complicity is right up there with the media and pundit actions in helping the Bush administration spread its lies of WMDs which took the USA into an unnecessary war of aggression. Shame on the cable and network news representatives . I know they are part of the corporate oligarchy machine, but it is still disgraceful and a sad day for the United States of America.
+2 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 06:31
SNEAKY is the perfect word for Romney!!!
+8 # vgirl1 2012-10-04 15:56
I would have liked to see the POTUS engage in a little more push back. However, I think that maybe the POTUS may have another ace up his sleeve. He now has Romney on the record, on the national stage having stated a series of lies. The ad material that these lies which made up Romney's debate performance present to the campaign of the POTUS and his independent supporting groups is immense and priceless. I hope they all use the diametrically opposed lying comments of Romney side by side in all the ads to come. This is how Obama can take on /down Romney.
-1 # Billsy 2012-10-04 15:56
I thought the debate was dull and devoid of honest content. The pundits claiming a winner are guilty of promoting style over substance. Lehrer, decent honest guy that he is, was too polite to seize control so Romney took charge, sputtering out confidently one lie after another. Obama looked prosaic in his responses, lacking the kind of "educational" point by point speech delivered by Clinton so brilliantly in the Dem convention. No participation from any 3rd party candidates left control solely up to two corrupt political parties. We turned this dull circus off after 15 minutes and didn't miss a thing. Our battered democracy deserves so much more. Watch this link on democracy now to hear some commentary from the omitted candidates:
-2 # fredboy 2012-10-04 16:07
Romney kicked ass and took names, while Obama stood there, eyes down like a sheep, "uh, uhing" and apparently afraid to throw a jab or counterpunch. Amazing! Was he afraid of Romney, I mean physically afraid? He behaved like a guy who'd just been threatened. Shameful and terribly unprofessional. I've taught professional speaking and advocacy for 25 years and Obama missed every mark. Can't even explain a basic concept clearly. A tragic meltdown.
+7 # goodsensecynic 2012-10-04 17:06
Fans of Rowan Atkinson's brilliant satire, "Blackadder," will know what I mean by the phrase, "a cunning plan." I certainly hope what I witnessed last night was such a plan, but that for once it will succeed.

The most generous interpretation I can put on Mr. Obama's baleful performance is that it was political "rope-a-dope," and that he was allowing Mr. Romney to strike out in anyway he pleased in order to be able to attack him after he had tired.

Today, as Mr. Obama addressed a friendly audience at the University of Wisconsin, he seemed to have more than a faint pulse, and went after the "man who played Mitt Romney" with some gusto.

Perhaps last night's mess was planned all along, and the corporate media will learn that, once again, they missed the point.

Perhaps ... perhaps
+1 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 06:29
At least some of us got the point! I'm still FIRED UP ...READY TO MOVE....FORWARD no matter what Romney is saying...
-1 # fredboy 2012-10-04 17:38
For those claiming "style over substance," don't forget the obvious: substance doesn't stick--it has little impact or meaning and can't be remembered--if there is no style. Obama folded. He owes us more.
-5 # cassandrapt 2012-10-04 18:41
Winning means getting the most votes. Obama could have wrapped it up neatly - he didn't. I don't think he wants a second term. He has let a lot of us down.
+2 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 06:24
HE HASN'T LET ME DOWN! I wouldn't have taken on what George W. left for all the money in the world!
-3 # cassandrapt 2012-10-04 18:44
Check out The untruths were on both sides.
+4 # worldviewer 2012-10-04 19:55
It's easy to lie--if people believe the lies. And "you can fool some of the people all of the time..."

ONE OF THE BIG LIES that's been going around for 4 years is that the president is responsible for creating jobs.
Business creates jobs and they don't want the fed. gov't regulating them.
This is one of those Catch-22 crazymaking conflicts that need to be called.

Romney has quite consistentlhy demonstrated the ability to say whatever he needs to say whether or not it connects with reality; To contradict himself without effort; To promise anything.
And the present group of so-called "Republicans" have shown no ability to govern, no ability to negotiate even with their fellow Americans. They have been a do-nothing Congress in chorus to blame Obama for their own failures.

Don't buy their lies. Don't get upset by their craziness. Don't try to match them in their corruption.
Be an example of integrity. That's what people need and want to hear.
+1 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 06:21
And Obama is one who doesn't try to match them. Obama is an example of integrity and a good heart.
+8 # worldviewer 2012-10-04 20:17
PEOPLE WHO LIE without flinching need to be recognized for the con artists that they are.
They convince themselves of their own lies and so can sound like they're telling the truth.
But the parts don't fit together in the long run.

Romney established health insurance for all in Mass. and claims he did the right thing. But he wants to condemn Obama for doing it for the nation.

He refuses to accept that the rules he make for others apply to him also.
0 # ghostperson 2012-10-04 20:34
I had to quit watching, salvo after salvo of bull shit not countered or even addressed. The leader of the free world (what an arrogant designation) let some magic-garment underwear-weari ng manic, eye-blinking chihuahua interrupt him repeatedly and rudely and allowed him to take control of the alleged debate.

Obama, at the next debate, should shut his jets down the first time he does it, interrupt him before he is finished. Romney can only machine gun memorized junk he is allowed to fire for effect at his own election.

If Obama doesn't correct this in the next debate, I will not vote for him.

After being stonewalled since he was elected by the house and senate minority leader, what the hell is the matter with him that he can't say Romney and company should look in the mirror whenever they say Obama did nothing.

It is going to take me a long time to get over this debate. Obama took an eyelash curler to a knife fight.
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-04 21:16
Ob had manners, was definitely dignified compared to goon eyes.
I applaud his not getting sucked into womans' rights.
I cannot wait until the next Mittens diary of lies are opened again. I hope Biden is as elegant as he was at the DNC,,,,Let ryan hand his diapers out....Biden used to be a good fact man, budget man...hope he stays kewl.

I hope we get a better Referee...perha ps I should call the AFL-CIO and see who we can get from Sports.

No one wins Debates...most never really bite into the questions we want to ask.
And I would love to see the Polls and areas that were polled I did these most companies know exactly where to call, what is general partyline in the area. Polls tell you what the party or media? wants you to hear. Polls are for dumb people....The average person does not care about debates... I forgot it was on until the last couple minutes after all I could stream it, or believe what Media said. I just know OB looked dignified compared to the goon next to him.

When do the wives get their shot at discussion or debate. Let's see what their made of...get the gloves (Ann would probably bring the latex)
+1 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 06:18
Ann would have latex with lipstick on them.

I tried all night long to cast my vote, but could not find anywhere I could do that. I don't think they asked any of the 47%.
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-04 21:19
I just relooked at the Picture for this Romney afraid of Black Men, is he afraid that OB may rub off on him...that is a scary picture that says a lot...not good for mitts
I like OB smirk seems everyone missed that....I belive OB got something up his sleeve
+1 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 06:15
I agree, Obama knows what he is doing and Romney will not know what's coming. Maybe he'll slip into his real Mitt and speak again that he doesn't really care about us 47%.
+3 # brux 2012-10-05 06:03
One thing that occurred to me after I heard Al Gore's comment was that maybe he was jet-lagged, or suffering from anoxia - lack of oxygen from the altitude, or maybe he had a bad headache or was getting the flu and sick.

Or,and I would not put this past the Republicans, if he was drugged or poisoned? He sue did not seem to be himself.
+2 # ptalady 2012-10-05 11:08
I worry about the dirty-trick squad in this too. Might also be VLF vibration, germ delivery -- many possibilities. He certainly did not seem himself to me.
+2 # Corvette-Bob 2012-10-05 11:05
I felt like I watched the school bully push my best friend all around the playground even though my friend was bigger and stronger but was just to nice to beat the shit out of him. All I would have asked of Obama was to be more assertive and to take control when Jim Lahrer lost control over an aggressive Romney. Also, he should have had some zingers ready, like when he denied the $ 5 trillion deficit over his tax cuts. Obama should have said something like "fact checkers gave you five pinnocchio for that" He should have treated Romney like someone who does not know what he is talking about, which would be true. But instead Obama took Romney's punches and smiled and looked down and appeared to be weak.
+2 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 06:10
I agree with what you are saying..... except I didn't think Obama looked weak. I think his look was a shock of someone standing on this forum to speak lie after lie after lie. I'm shocked to how the people are so gullible to Romney's lies. Even the media fell into it. Shame on the media!
+5 # Doctoretty 2012-10-05 13:03
Is is just me? Or did anyone else think Romney seemed a bit like someone high on coke?
-2 # Jyllie 2012-10-06 00:03
No matter if one far prefers Obama and feels considerable distaste for Romney, when people read well-deserved criticism about Obama, they give the comment a thumbs down. I find this completely immature and unrealistic. If the Commander-in-Ch ief isn't coming through appropriately, then this should be expressed as it is a serious problem. It certainly doesn't help that people cannot bear to hear anything negative under *any* circumstances and prefer to hide from the blatant truth!
+1 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 06:01
How do you debate a liar? It's ey just tell more lies! Romney lied 27 times in 38 minutes!
-1 # RMDC 2012-10-06 06:34
I don't know who won the debate. I only watched the beginning, then I had to go puke. I would not vote for either of these assholes if my life depended on it. Either one would make a quite fitting occupant of the Whore House at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. There they will be bent over the presidential desk all day. That will be just fine.

Amerikkkan politics is horribly broken. It does not even retain the slightest hint of "democracy" or representationa l government. These two clowns don't represent the american people. They are puppets and empty suits sent out on stage to entertain and distract americans while the real powers are somewhere else. They don't even hide who the real powers are.

I don't care who won. The american people and the people of the world lost. This will be one more political whore in the Whore House who will continue the rape and pillage of the world on behalf of billionarie banks, corporations, and militaries.
+1 # Imagine Peace 2012-10-06 06:59
The photo at the top here shows the real Mitt Romney... he's a JOKE!
-1 # Jyllie 2012-10-06 07:14
Politics is a lying game! I can't recall a president who didn't lie to become president. How many promises have been broken, from Obama's first successful campaign when we were all naive enough to blieve, yet again? The audacity of hope, indeed. The question is "who lies least?"
0 # bookzen 2012-10-08 00:11
Sometimes, when expectations are greater than the President is able to fulfill. Considering that the Republican hierarchy met the same night President Obama was elected and swore to block everything he tries to do. He has received no cooperation from Congressional Republicans, and many things do not get done; regardless, a great deal has - without the Republicans. Just getting the nation so much closer to equitable health care for all is more than every previous President who wanted a national health cate plan was able to get.
+1 # SF Girl 2012-10-07 14:42
I totally agree with Parry's article. That's the Romney I saw. I also saw a bully - he was really pushing Lehrer around. And the "zingers" he was supposed to deliver - well, those were all the lies he told. And boy, there were a lot of zingers! I have a feeling that Obama was in shock, watching Romney tell lie after lie. I know I was.
0 # bookzen 2012-10-07 23:48
Viewers expect and enjoy performances, but viewers also recognized that Gov. Romney lied a number of times during the debate. Something must be wrong. What could it be? In the meantime ask yourself, "Who can believe him?"
0 # Linda 2012-10-10 11:35
If we were judging this debate by who could tell the most lies then hands down Romney won with 27 lies ,"Fact Checked ,"!
I thought debates were about giving both sides to an issue ? Romney wouldn't even reveal the specifics of his plan let alone debate it with Obama !So how do they get Romney won this debate ?

Obama may have had an off night for one of many reasons that we don't know about . Or maybe just being on the same stage with Romney makes him nauseous, as it would me !

If you do the math Romney's so called plan doesn't hold water ,its impossible and he knows it but he figures the American people are too dumb to figure that out ! We already know that he thinks of 47% of us are moochers so I guess he also thinks we are dumb too!

BTW anyone interested in voting for Rocky Anderson or Jill Stein you should remember that Rocky is a Republican which means if he were to win this election ,"that is a really big if," he would add two more Republican's to the Supreme Court ! There is no Justice Party so he would have to run as a Republican ! As far as Jill and actually the same goes for Rocky ,they have no base and wouldn't have the electoral votes to get elected, so all you are doing when you vote for them is throwing your vote away allowing Romney to win ! Haven't any of you learned anything from when you sat out 2010 and the crazy Tea Party took over Congress?

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