Skip to comments.Botching the Debates: How Biden and Obama blew it.
Posted on 10/27/2012 8:02:04 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Joe Biden was forewarned. When he did a walk-through at the site of his debate with Paul Ryan, he asked if there might be double screens when the debate was broadcast. Yes, indeed, he was told, though it would be up to each TV network and cable channel whether to show both candidates at once on a split screen.
Biden may have ignored how he might appear on one screen while Ryan was speaking on the other. Or he may have purposely run the gamut of disdain from mockery to disgust as he listened to Ryan. Either way, he played the foolto the detriment of the Obama campaign.
That the debates have dominated the presidential race as never before is indisputable. And whats most striking about them is how well Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan performed and how thoroughly President Obama and Vice President Biden misunderstood what was required to appeal to the broad audience of voters.
Without the debates, Romney would be on his way to losing the election. With themand especially the first and third presidential debateshe now has a 50-50 or better chance of winning the presidency.
Why the first and third debates? Those were the ones in which a single moderator was assigned to give Obama and Romney 2 minutes each to answer a question, then let them go at each other for 11 minutes, as much as possible without interruption. This sequence was supposed to be repeated six times, only moderators Jim Lehrer and Bob Schieffer wisely didnt insist on it. They allowed the candidates to talk far past the arbitrary time limits.
The freewheeling format aided Romney. He had plenty of time in the first debate to present himself as knowledgeable, reasonable, and likablewithout the moderator breaking in. In the third debate, he was able to lay out his agenda for dealing with foreign policy issues, again absent the moderators intervening frequently with questions.
This wasnt possible in the second presidential debate, with its town hall format. The moderator, Candy Crowley, repeatedly interrupted the candidates to summon a questioner she had selected to ask a question she had personally decided on. It was as if the questions were more important than the candidatesthat is, more important than the president of the United States and the Republican presidential nominee.
As you might expect, Romney didnt do as well in the town hall event. In the other two, however, he was also aided by a strategic mistake by the Obama campaign, a blunder abetted by the presidents contempt for Romney.
In leaks to the media, Obama let it be known he regarded Romney as a poor excuse for a candidate and someone not qualified to be president. His campaign, in turn, spent tens of millions on TV ads characterizing Romney as a cold-hearted, greedy, and immoral businessmanand right-wing extremist to boot.
Given their view of Romney, what happened in the first debate was inconceivable to them. To their shock, Romney destroyed the caricature they had created in their ads. What were viewers to believe, negative ads or their own eyes as they watched Romney unfiltered and in person on live television? Well, as everyone by now knows, they believed their own eyes.
Misjudging Romney wasnt the only mistake Obama made. He and his team seemed to think that scoring debating points was the way to win a debate. The more points you score, the more lopsided your triumph. But Washington Post/ABC News polls found after each debate that voters had a better opinion of Romneyeven after the debates they thought Obama won.
Had Obamas strategists never watched the 1980 debate between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan? Some may disagree, but I think Carter won on points. But, in 90 minutes, he lost his presidency. Reagan understood debates are won or lost on the overall impression a candidate makes. He made a positive impression while undermining any thought he might be a warmonger or extremist. With Romney, it was 1980 all over again, a Republican debate expert told me.
Theres still another lesson from the debates that was lost on Obama. Romney had participated in 20-plus debates during the Republican primaries. And hed gotten better as the race wore on. After Newt Gingrich defeated him in the South Carolina primary, Romney responded by crushing Gingrich in the next debate and vastly improved his prospects of winning the nomination.
Obama, I suspect, didnt think his lack of practice since the 2008 campaign would matter. But it did. He was rusty. It might have helped if hed had numerous press conferences and faced an adversarial press corps. He hasnt.
In 1984, I was one of three panelists in the first debate between Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale. Reagan made a weak impression and badly lost the debate. I think Romney would have lost in similar circumstances in which the candidates were forced to lurch from subject to subject. Fortunately for him, he didnt have to.
Debates with a panel of questioners are long gone. They turned debates into press conferences that brought out the least in the candidates. Scoring points and dispensing one-liners were usually the best a candidate could do.
Town hall debates may be the next to go. They began in 1992, when President George H. W. Bush preferred that format. It didnt serve him well. He was caught on camera looking at his watch as if he wished the debate were over.
Whats kept the town hall concept alive is the notion that the public is partial to the format. But the Commission on Presidential Debates, after the fiasco with Candy Crowley, isnt partial. It plans to research the matter. Its a good bet the commission will jettison town hall debates in favor of four single-moderator, let-the candidates-go-at-it debates in 2016.
And split screens will continue. They were used sparingly before 2012. In 2000, Al Gores sighs at George W. Bushs remarks were audible, but Gore was not shown on screen.
Obama, by the way, was forewarned about the split screen. He saw the Biden-Ryan debate. Yet in the third debate, while Romney talked, he often appeared impatient and irritated. Romney, with a quarter-smile on his face, looked on intently as Obama spoke. His expression didnt change. He won the battle of the split screens, and maybe the election as well.
Personally, I think both of these guys mailed it in weeks -- if not months -- ago. As I suggested in a senior management meeting in my company where the election and its implications for our industry were discussed: "I think Romney is running for a job that Obama doesn't even want anymore."
My dear and close friend penelopesire said the other day, that the Marxist’s fawning media have done him no favors mollycoddling him over the past four years.
She’s right. He can’t stand to answer any questions, and makes ugly, contemptuous faces whenever he’s asked a question he doesn’t like.
The debates were too much for him, and he was lost without his teleprompter, so he lied and lied and lied.... for the record...LOL.
LOL. The Marxist has been running for reelection for over 15 months!
He wants to win more than anything else!
His ginormous ego will NEVER recover from a defeat!
Romney not only understood, he has the discipline to conduct himself appropriately in the setting based on his understanding.
Obama has neither.
I’m wondering if Obama has recycled himself to act in ways an outsider might (a rude, crude one at that) rather than as the President. Already anticipating losing, might he not be “acting out” as a community organizer, a rabble rouser, on purpose?
After all, he’s gonna need those sychophantic DRONE supporters of his even after he’s out of office if he’s going back to community organizing, and those people seem to love his most recent lowlife antics...
Finally, America got to see the real Obama and Biden — petulant, rude, dismissive, prone to thinking in cliches. The surprising thing is that they appear to believe that there are people outside of the MSNBC audience who find that kind of behavior in any way attractive.
“Personally, I think both of these guys mailed it in weeks — if not months — ago. As I suggested in a senior management meeting in my company where the election and its implications for our industry were discussed: “I think Romney is running for a job that Obama doesn’t even want anymore.” “
No, this was Obama all along. Without his teleprompter.
I agree. I glanced again at the 2008 debates, and Obama had the same bad attitude he always has. McCain, contrary to the historical revision, was not just rolling over during the debates. Obama could not hide his feelings and his displeasure. e have seen Obama over 4+ years, and Biden for decades, and they both lie and act poorly.
That long, 2-week delay between D1 and D2 helped Romney immensely. Like Edward Heath (former British PM) once said, “In politics, a week is an eternity” - so, in essence, there were 2 eternities between those two Presidential debates, during which time Romney’s commanding victory (and Obama’s cluelessness) in D1 was allowed to crystalize in the voters’ minds.
By the time D2 happened, voters had already decided Romney wasn’t so evil after all, Obama wasn’t so smart, and that Team Obama - and their media pals - had basically lied to them all along. No amount of negative ads could change things at that point.
And then the Benghazi fiasco exploded ....
The debate commission should hire NFL officials, give them a stopwatch and a button that controls the audio and video. What more do you need from a moderator?
They’re both complete idiots...no further explanation needed. Obama can’t THINK on his own without TOTUS, and was probably jonesin for a penis the whole time.
Obama's sure fooling a lot of people who think he looks, acts, and spends like he wants to keep his job. I don't think Obama's performance is because he doesn't want to "finish the job" (...of destroying America). I think his own arrogance is the culprit even though he SHOULD be struggling because of the disastrous results of probably the worst presidency in U.S. history.
If Obama openly felt that Romney was a bigger issue than what was going on in Benghazi, the man is perhaps the most incompetent and classless individual I have ever seen set foot in the oval office.
Since he did, that pretty much confirms what I just said.
Romney, on the other hand, wasn’t afraid of Obama, and from what I observed of him, doesn’t really care if he loses, he just wants to get his point across, and let people know what he feels like doing in the oval office.
To Obama, it’s all about him, and he does care about losing, in fact, he’ll play spoiler, resort to acting as low as possible, just to try and win.
“Acting low as possible to try and win”...but the problem for him is, a low acting President isn’t very appealing to any but other low acting people.
There’s another thread saying that Gallup shows Obama’s approval rating has plummeted the last 3 days.
Trying to win with a low, in the gutter strategy, “ain’t” workin’ for Obama.
That’s why I wondered aloud if Obama expects to lose...not WANTS to lose, but expects to, and has already transitioned in his own mind back to being a low acting community organizer again, instead of a President of the United States of America.
I shudder to think how the Cretin in Chief behaves behind doors when questioned by advisers, adversaries and foreign leaders.
ROTFL. Hitlery threw ashtrays. No telling what the Marxist throws or says when cursing?
Question is, does he curse in Farsi or English?
Been playing with my new Iphone 4. $0.99 for the 8gb and selected the 1gb calling plan. Happy camper tonight.
Pretty good things can come to those who wait. :)
I’m so happy for you! I couldn’t make use of an Iphone for a million dollars! Can’t see the dang thing with all its fancies and fixins. LOL.
biden and obama blew it by being biden and obama. It’s just that simple.
Even Obama doesn't want to clean up Obama's mess.
I think Romney is running for a job that many voters have already decided to give to anyone but Obama. The buyer's-remorse-Obama-2008 voters may have been saying they planned to vote Obama again, but they have been looking for an excuse to vote for anyone else without being called racist. The debates and the subsequent swing in polls gave them that excuse, but most of those voters would have found another excuse by election day.
What Joe did was calculated and for the audience so he could show everyone how “superior” he was with his open disdain for his opponent. It worked out kind of like the guy, who being confronted, will put on a steely look and wiggle his fingers like a gunfighter so the other person is suitably impressed and backs off in utter terror - except the poseur usually gets his a$$ whupped.
Hitlery threw ashtrays. No telling what the Marxist throws or says when cursing?
Oh I think I have a pretty good Idea on how that goes down Onyx my dear.