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Now Itís Obamaís Turn to Win the Debate at Hofstra University [unintentional humor alert]
Daily Beast ^ | 14 Oct 2012 | Michael Tomasky

Posted on 10/13/2012 8:02:47 PM PDT by oblomov

Okay, Joe Biden did his part. Now, or soon, it’s Barack Obama’s turn again. If he flubs this like last time, this race is probably over. If he manages a draw, he’ll stay what he is now, the narrow favorite whose rickety lead is based chiefly on an edge in Ohio that doesn’t feel all that solid, and both sides will be sweating bullets right through election night. He has to win. And frankly, there’s reason to wonder whether he can. He’ll need to be on his toes on taxes and Medicare and health care, sure. But before all that, I hope someone is reminding him that he needs to remember what he’s fighting for.

What Biden did well Thursday was exactly that. Whether his lines were great or whether he interrupted too much, the viewer came away with the unmistakable sense that he was on that stage to defend a view of the world and a vision for the country. He wasn’t up there for his own sake alone. He was fighting for some ideas. This was utterly absent from Obama’s performance. I don’t know how much of the drop-off in Obama’s support after the first debate came because of dispirited Democrats, but I would bet that it was a pretty decent chunk.

Obama does have this habit of drifting in and out that precedes the debate. This sense that he is somehow powerless against the prevailing winds, has recurred throughout Obama’s presidency. I was totally mystified in the run-up to the 2010 elections, for example. Everyone knew a tidal wave was coming. The question was how big. Some effort and fight on the Democratic side might have contained some of the damage. But Obama just largely let it happen.

Similar thing with the debt ceiling fight last year. As soon as the Republicans made it known, early in the year, that they were going to tie an increase in the debt limit to their various demands, I honestly expected to see Obama say, “Hey, wait a minute, this has never happened in the history of the country.” But he put up no fight at all. It was really mystifying.

Then he got a little momentum, around that Kansas speech late last year, but he didn’t really follow through on it. Themes partially developed in that speech about middle-class economics were never fully developed, and he just kinda dropped it, or returned to it spottily. He didn’t seem to attempt to keep pressure on the Republicans.

Maybe Maureen Dowd is right that Obama always pulls back when he’s got an opponent on the ropes and gives him another shot before coming back to finish him off. If that’s the explanation, or something like that, then Obama has it in him to rally himself Tuesday.

There’s a less reassuring possibility, which is that Obama just isn’t into the kind of knife-fight he may need to get involved in to win this thing. He didn’t really have to in 2008. John McCain wasn’t a good debater. He made a fool of himself with that suspended campaign business. And he chose a vice-presidential nominee who drove independents into Obama’s arms. And mainly, the fact that the collapse happened under the Republicans made voters unusually ready to hand the White House over to the Democrats. He had to fight against Hillary, I suppose, and he did that very well in Iowa, and the next month in Wisconsin. By then he basically had it locked up and just had to avoid screwing it up. He almost managed to blow it (Rev. Wright, the “clinging to their guns” comment) but managed to pull it out.

Obama needs to treat every question and exchange as an opportunity to advance his vision and knock down Romney’s.

I hope that someone can say to him, “Mr. President, 70 million or more Americans are counting on you. They voted for you, they’re planning on voting for you again, and they want you to fight for them. If you lose, you let them down horribly—and you damage their lives. They’re 47 percenters, a lot of these folks. They need you. If the other side gets in, you’ll be fine, but they’re screwed.”

Obama put himself in the position of being the one person in the country all these people depend on. So he has to be their defender. And this is how I’d hope he spends his preparation time—not thinking about how he can look smarter than Romney or score this or that point, but how he can communicate to middle-class people that he’s eager to fight to protect their interests, and why his ideas will do that and his opponent’s won’t.

If that’s his mindset this week, we won’t give any recondite exegeses about the workings of the Independent Payment Review Board. He won’t just shrug and say, nah, no difference between me and the other guy on Social Security. He’ll treat every question and exchange as an opportunity to advance his vision and knock down Romney’s.

I remember in 2008 he used to say, “This isn’t about me, it’s about you.” Well, now that’s really true, and everything is on the line.


TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: obama; romney; tomasky
Once again, the left is ascribing preternatural brilliance to Obama:

"Maybe Maureen Dowd is right that Obama always pulls back when he’s got an opponent on the ropes and gives him another shot before coming back to finish him off."

Also, doesn't this description of Obama disqualify him for the Presidency?

"Obama does have this habit of drifting in and out that precedes the debate. This sense that he is somehow powerless against the prevailing winds, has recurred throughout Obama’s presidency. I was totally mystified in the run-up to the 2010 elections, for example. Everyone knew a tidal wave was coming. The question was how big. Some effort and fight on the Democratic side might have contained some of the damage. But Obama just largely let it happen.

Similar thing with the debt ceiling fight last year..."

1 posted on 10/13/2012 8:02:52 PM PDT by oblomov
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To: oblomov
They got issues.

/johnny

2 posted on 10/13/2012 8:06:22 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Is this from the onion?


3 posted on 10/13/2012 8:08:55 PM PDT by gswilder
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To: oblomov

obama is going to go in over-confident and over-aggressive and his nasty side will come through. I’ve seen it on the campaign trail. He starts yelling and talking with that phony drawl and glaring out with those evil eyes. Romney is playing chess — obama is playing checkers. Romney is going to finish him off on Tuesday.


4 posted on 10/13/2012 8:09:19 PM PDT by jersey117
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To: oblomov

Diminishing returns.

The people that needed to see Obama at his best instead saw Romney kick his skinny ass at the first debate.

The second debate showed a diminished crowd of independents Biden’s insane clown act.

The third and fourth debates are simply too late to make a difference for Obozo...too few of those he needs to reach will be watching. The political junkies will watch, they don’t matter at all.


5 posted on 10/13/2012 8:14:02 PM PDT by Bobalu (It is not obama we are fighting, it is the media.)
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To: oblomov

He will out Biden, Biden is my guess.


6 posted on 10/13/2012 8:15:24 PM PDT by Snuph ("give me Liberty...")
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To: oblomov
I hope to see and hear Romney wipe the floor with Hussein's smarmy, arrogant ass.

I hope Romney will not be as accommodating as was Ruan.

7 posted on 10/13/2012 8:16:30 PM PDT by stboz
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To: stboz

Ryan.....dang computer......


8 posted on 10/13/2012 8:17:34 PM PDT by stboz
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To: oblomov

I’ve got a feeling that were going to see “the angry black man” routine from Barry on Tuesday night. I think I’ll work late.


9 posted on 10/13/2012 8:19:50 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Dude! Where's my Obama "foam"?)
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To: stboz

Obama will bring his “A” game and probably be hopped up on mental acuity enhancing drugs, contact lens teleprompter aids, and/or hidden receivers implanted in his ears so that information can be looked up and relayed to him during the debate. In other words he knows he has to win so he will cheat. Hopefully Romney has thought of every angle and will be able to take his legs out from under him again.


10 posted on 10/13/2012 8:23:25 PM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: stboz

Notice that the weekend before the townhall debate, Romney is campaigning daily in Ohio, while Obama is sequestered in debate prep in Williamsburg, VA. I understand the suites where he and his crew are staying has a great view of the golf course ;)


11 posted on 10/13/2012 8:25:12 PM PDT by EDINVA (I)
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To: jersey117
obama is going to go in over-confident and over-aggressive and his nasty side will come through.

I think you're right. And this is in the "town hall" format, which usually lends itself to a more relaxed, casual discussion format. Coming off like an angry loudmouth in that setting will be a mistake, one I sincerely hope he makes.
12 posted on 10/13/2012 8:26:53 PM PDT by LostInBayport (When there are more people riding in the cart than there are pulling it, the cart stops moving...)
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To: oblomov

Romney will get his ass handed to him.. as he’s booed out of the OK Corral...
Because it’s scripted that way..

Romney will take facts to a fantasy fight.. and will be out hope and changed..
Much of America could care less about actual facts.. they want rhetoric..

Thats why Newt would have won but Romney will lose next debate..
EVEN republicans DO NOT want an actual conservative..
Thats why they REJECTED ALL OF THEM in the primarys..

America WANTS the biggest most outlandish LIAR to win..
At least the people in THAT auditorium want that.. INCLUDING the moderator..


13 posted on 10/13/2012 8:27:02 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: gswilder
Nyet, tovarich.... I mean... uh...

/johnny

14 posted on 10/13/2012 8:33:54 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: hosepipe; All

Drama queen...


15 posted on 10/13/2012 8:37:50 PM PDT by KevinDavis (And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.)
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To: hosepipe
Aren't you just a ray of sunshine.

Suppose you take a powder and lay down for a bit.

I'll expect that Romney will continue to do what he does best.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not voting for him (because it doesn't matter), but the guy is working the solution.

/johnny

16 posted on 10/13/2012 8:38:59 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: KevinDavis
In the imortal words of Iggy.. "Ya think?"

/johnny

17 posted on 10/13/2012 8:40:40 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: oblomov

The Republicans need to come out with a commercial with Obama stating he’ll do three years and out if the economy is not fixed.

It’s beyond me why they have yet to run one like that.


18 posted on 10/13/2012 8:53:42 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Dumb or Dumber? Biden or Obama?)
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To: oblomov
I was totally mystified in the run-up to the 2010 elections, for example. Everyone knew a tidal wave was coming.

Really? So is he admitting that the Dems and MSM were all lying when they said the GOP would make only modest gains in the 2010 election?

19 posted on 10/13/2012 8:55:37 PM PDT by Arthurio
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To: JRandomFreeper; KevinDavis

Some here are dogs... others are cats..
I’m not a dog..


20 posted on 10/13/2012 9:11:17 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: hosepipe
Me? I've got that opposable thumb thing going on. I'm not fish, nor fowl, nor good, or bad red herring, or catz or dogz.

It's really cool to be at the top of the food chain. Your menu is longer.

/johnny

21 posted on 10/13/2012 9:20:14 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: oblomov

Brace yourselves; here it is: Obama will win the next debate.

That’s because Obama will not be competing with his debate opponent, he’ll be competing with Obama in the previous debate.

This doesn’t mean Romney won’t win the debate; he probably will. But all ‘bam needs to do is a little bit better than ‘bam did the last time and he wins too, which will mean not losing, which is as good a thing as winning. It’ll be like T-ball, they win and we win. Win/win.

Have some champagne on hand for the celebration.


22 posted on 10/13/2012 9:21:26 PM PDT by tsomer
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To: oblomov
"Obama does have this habit of drifting in and out that precedes the debate. This sense that he is somehow powerless against the prevailing winds, has recurred throughout Obama’s presidency. I was totally mystified in the run-up to the 2010 elections, for example. Everyone knew a tidal wave was coming. The question was how big. Some effort and fight on the Democratic side might have contained some of the damage. But Obama just largely let it happen.

Similar thing with the debt ceiling fight last year..."

Seems like the same thing happened in Benghazi. It wasn't an intelligence failure as the Obama administration is claiming. It was a failure to act on intelligence followed by a failure to react when the attack started. Now that his cover-up is wearing thin, he is working to deflect responsibility and lay the blame on anyone other than himself. And some in the media are becoming weary of propping him up.

Obama continues to campaign against the straw-man opponent his campaign has tried to create. In the first debate he proved he was not ready to face his real opponent. He will certainly try to use some different tactics this time. The townhall format should be an advantage for him and certainly Candy will do what she can to help him.

23 posted on 10/13/2012 9:21:46 PM PDT by eggman (End the Obama occupation of the White House!)
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To: KevinDavis

+1


24 posted on 10/13/2012 9:29:32 PM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Reagan @ only 39/Mondale +5/Dukakis +17/McCain +3...panic is unwarranted. So is complacency.)
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To: oblomov

Riddle me this, tomasky: How is that the Independents were “driven into Obama’s arms” by the specter of Gov. Palin and then followed her in the biggest Republican congressional landslide in history.


25 posted on 10/13/2012 9:48:45 PM PDT by namvolunteer (Obama says the US is subservient to the UN and the Constitution does not apply. That is treason.)
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To: hosepipe

Romney can bring it just like the first debate part deux.
Energy, enthusiasm, confident smiles and hit Bam over the head with his policy failures. BHO is a great winsome bamboozler with speeches from TOTUS but in a debate format against a smart, viable opponent-— well not so much!


26 posted on 10/13/2012 10:05:01 PM PDT by tflabo (Truth or Tyranny)
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To: Bobalu
The people that needed to see Obama at his best instead saw Romney kick his skinny ass at the first debate.

Hey, what's wrong with skinny guys?

27 posted on 10/13/2012 10:21:25 PM PDT by wastedyears (The First Law of Heavy Metal: Not all metal is satanic.)
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To: jersey117

“Romney is going to finish him off on Tuesday.”

From your keyboard to God’s Ipad!


28 posted on 10/13/2012 10:25:15 PM PDT by jocon307
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To: Bobalu

“The political junkies will watch, they don’t matter at all.”

You are right WE don’t matter at all, neither do our “friends” on the left, over at Daily Kos or wherever.

All of US and THEM have already made up our minds, it’s now the mushy middlers’ game.

The first debate got a very large audience, I think that alone is a “doom” signal for Obama. How many will tune in for the rest of the debates I don’t know.

But Romney needs to be on his game, big time, as big as last time. Esp. in the townhall format, where people ask stupid questions.


29 posted on 10/13/2012 10:31:40 PM PDT by jocon307
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To: tflabo; JRandomFreeper; KevinDavis; Milagros

George Gilder on Why Socialism Always Fails

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvWbjpcy9jI


30 posted on 10/13/2012 10:54:26 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: hosepipe

Good interview, he s right , he especially ‘saw’ that socialism was dead - under Carter while our people were held hostage...


31 posted on 10/13/2012 11:05:07 PM PDT by Milagros (Y)
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Bah. I'm not worried. Romney's been to bigger badder board meetings than this. All he's gotta do is hammer home Libya 9/11, Jobs, and that pesky 16 trillion in IOUs to China. Obama will try dodges and lies of course, but Romney is solid on his facts.
32 posted on 10/13/2012 11:17:26 PM PDT by Casie
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To: oblomov

Jimmy Carter II. Deal with it Democrats!


33 posted on 10/13/2012 11:44:16 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (Obama likes to claim credit for getting Osama. Why hasn't he tried Khalid Sheikh Mohammed yet?)
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To: hosepipe

Such a ray of SUNSHINE you are!!


34 posted on 10/14/2012 5:57:11 AM PDT by doberville
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