Open Chat... All Day, Every Day! Express Your Views, Debate, and Challenge the Views of Others!

In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Open Thread Today and Post Debate Radio Show Tonight!

This post is an open thread dedicated to sharing your views, thoughts, and opinions of the presidential debate. Share anything you'd like from media positions to predictions to live updates if you're following.


Can you think of a better way to cap off the first presidential debate tonight than with a......... debate?! :-). Join me and the usual crew on The 405 Live at 10:30pm EST tonight for our special post debate show!  The show is hosted by @johng405. Listen at the following link:

Call in at 877-297-8022 to give your take on the presidential debate. Jump on the air and join us in the fun! As always, feedback on the segment is greatly appreciated.


  1. Obama will mop the floor with Mittens tonight!

    1. Obama wouldn't know what to do with a mop. He doesn't believe in hard work by the majority. He just wants people to be supported by the minority's hard work.

  2. Your mom!

  3. In case anyone is interested and doesn't already know, here are portions of a CNN article which provides the topics for tonight:

    The first three of the October 3 debate's six segments will focus on the economy, moderator Jim Lehrer said in a statement provided by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

    The other three segments will focus on health care, the role of government, and governing, according to the release.

  4. Replies

  5. Good afternoon, all. I wish I had more time... It has been a busy few weeks.

    I just wanted to say that I hope everyone can watch the debate. I think it's a good opportunity for Americans to learn, straight from the horse's mouth, what the candidates' views are. Of course, I'm rooting for Romney... and I hope he simply says, "Mr. President, if the last 4 years were so good, if you deserve re-election, you really wouldn't need to advertise so much."

    Just my take :-) What do you guys think each candidate should say? What would you ask? Have a great day!

  6. I'm floored at how moderate Mitt has chosen to represent himself as in this debate.

    1. I think he did great! Obama actually looked p*ssed on several occasions - while Mitt just kept his cool. O also did that stuttering thing he does when he's off prompter - and lying.

      I just wish Romney had actually used the word 'rationing' when addressing Obamacare instead of skirting around it. And I LOVED when he answered the 'what should government do?' question: Protect and defend the Constitution - and then showed it to him... yippee!

      Obama overran his time - a lot, and was kind of mean to the moderator while he was at it. I kind of felt sorry for Jim : (

      One down... two to go : )

      P.S. 'I love Big Bird' was trending on twitter for awhile... lol

    2. More on this tomorrow, but Mitt definitely performed better overall in this debate. But he also definitely moved much further to the center; I don’t think there’s much questioning that? That’s typical procedure for the debates anyway.

      Mitt also used just about every right-wing punch he had though, while Obama refrained from using most of the major aggression/attacks/gaffs/talking points the left would typically use against him. Could be good and bad... the first debate is the most important and most watched, so performing well in it is key. At the same time, you don't want to have nothing new to say for the remaining two; which Romney may now have trouble with. But I think it's obvious his strategy is to simply drive home the point of jobs, numbers, and jobs. And that has been working fine for him.

      Poor Jim did horribly, but that wasn't a fault of just Obama.... Mitt was actually far more aggressive in getting the final words in, though on the other hand Obama was certainly more long-winded. Jim just wasn't forceful enough with either of them, but in his defense it was a rather combative debate.

      One aspect Obama harped on though, and will certainly start to headline and come up as a topic in the news more often is the details of Mitt’s plans.

      It’s easy to make goals and say what you want to do, but it isn’t easy to create realistic ideas to get to those goals (particularly when they have to be passed by a divisive Congress). Even tonight when prodded, Mitt failed to provide meaningful details. Cut PBS? A few other minor programs? Even that combined with everything Mitt lists on his site ( we’re still only talking, at the very best, $3T in savings over the next 10 years. Knowing that his expansion of the DoD and significant tax cuts total to an additional cost of $7T over the same 10 years, how exactly are we going to reduce debt/deficits? Where does the other $4T in spending cuts come from if the DoD, entitlements, and additional revenue are off the table? This isn’t a small detail here.

      Another specific point of interest for me is Romney not properly addressing how he would replace Obamacare, and more specifically what his plan is for people with pre-existing conditions. He insisted he has a specific plan for pre-existing conditions, and that they wouldn't be left to fend for themselves, but he has never spoken to this or the specifics. Nothing about it is on his website, either (

      Ahh... going to be a long day tomorrow, have to wake up in ~5 hours. :(

  7. Anyone who thinks Obama won this is a fool. Seriously, he couldn't hold a claim.

  8. Stayed up to listen to you, Mike... and I have to admit, you were sharp. I love you "I'm a numbers guy" approach. You were right. Most American's don't understand cold hard numbers, but they don't lie. You quoted Romney's "23 million people out of work… and the best course of action is to spend 2 years pushing Obamacare" line. I wish every American could have heard your point on that that yes, this is the truth. Truth hurts. Face it, Obama.

    1. Well said, sir!

      I just heard, from MSNBC, of course, it was the moderator's fault!

  9. I would also beg the question, doesn't this headlining the CNN front page cast reasonable doubt on the whole 'liberal media polling conspiracy number fixing' idea? Generally asking this, not pinpointing LME:

    67% believe Romney won the debate, 25% believe Obama.

    And this was again with a disproportionate Dem/Rep sample of 37/33% respectively (20% more Dems). From a 'liberal media outlet.'

    I mean, heck, doesn't the strong criticizing of Obama coming from CNN/MSNBC/etc speak against all of that on some level too?

    1. Nice attempt, but one poll does not a debunk make. Even with an oversized dem pool, the debate was such a kill that loopy libs have to agree Romney won. And they are. See Bill maher's twitter feed. But you pointed it out, and what LME has said the whole time: the poll oversampled dems. What do the results have to do with it? If CNN and MSNBC came out FOR Obama on this one, when it was so blatanely obvious he lost, don't you think they would have been called out left and right. Theyre smarter than that.

    2. Who said anything about debunking?

      Anytime the media or polls report something that does not go in Mitt's favor, there are people jumping on the 'liberal media/conspiracy' bandwagon (sometimes with credible reasoning of course, to be fair). But when they're clearly painting Obama as the loser, it's not worth mentioning? It doesn't go only one way.

      Sounds like a damned if you do, damned if you don't approach to me.

      Regardless of the topic, you can't fairly champion a cause/topic/point only when convenient for your argument.

    3. Oh come on. You're trying to debunk LME's theory here.

      - I would also beg the question, doesn't this headlining the CNN front page cast reasonable doubt on the whole 'liberal media polling conspiracy number fixing' idea? Generally asking this, not pinpointing LME:

      - I mean, heck, doesn't the strong criticizing of Obama coming from CNN/MSNBC/etc speak against all of that on some level too?

      You tried, and like I said, it was one poll that no matter who you are, you are not going to dance around the fact that Romney won hands down.

    4. Good morning RKen and Anna,

      First, I gotta say, holy cow did y'all stay up late! After the radio show I walked the dog and went straight to bed. I too, got up < 5 hours after I went to bed, and I doubt I'm going to handle today well. I don't sleep well, so you RKen, could probably handle it better. For today, I wouldn't be surprised if what I say/type is even more incoherent than normal :-)

      To address this quickly, debunk or not, everyone has that right. Anna, I've said time and time again, I'm giving my opinions, and I'm backing them with why I feel the way I do. I give a "thesis," whether it's on tax policy, economics, polls, etc., and I give examples of data and such to back why I feel the way I do. I admire when people do that on both sides, and I hold to that standard. With regards to my poll theory, it's my theory, and that's how I feel. I gave why I feel the way I do, and RKen and anyone else is welcome to say whatever they like. I'm always up for a debate, and while we may not agree, we learn from each other. I will never say that I'm "right," and I always say that I'm not the gold standard of opinions.

      RKen, I kind of agree with Anna, though I don't think I would have put it as "eloquently" as she did :-) Basically, as she pointed out, the poll still oversampled democrats. I always want to say to these pollsters, "can you find a sample of people that more accurately represent the country?37/33 is close, but not quite there. I think Anna's point is valid as well that no matter who you are, you're going to agree that Romney won. Even most prominent figures on the left agree with this. Chris Matthews said, "I think the only people that are claiming Obama won are the diehards that would say that no matter what happened." I'm not trying to assert my view that Romney is king here and Obama got squashed, but, I'm just saying that though this sample was like 430 respondents, as of now, it is pretty much the view of the country no matter who is polled. The only other thing I want to point out is that this poll was slightly different. It was taken nearly instantaneously after the debate as opposed to the traditional phone call polls that we see posted daily. These are people who are being asked about things that are fresh in their minds, not just notions of "for whom would you vote." Either way, the case still remains that Ds were oversampled, and to me, that's a huge point.

      I hope to hear back from you. Now I have to try to write up how I felt about the debate... and then hopefully figure out a way to sleep under my desk a la George Costanza:

      I'm a HUGE Seinfeld fan... and I'm often disappointed in myself that I don't reference the show more. :-)

    5. Struggling so badly today :( got about 4 hours of sleep. Going to be a long, grumpy, hard day.

      Anna: Not sure how you can say I'm speaking to LME's theory, when in the very quote you reference I made a point to say that I was generally asking this question and not targeting LME's points/opinions specifically.

      The point is though, Anna, is simply as I said: you can't have these things both ways. You can't make the argument for X and only call the evidence of that argument credible when it proves your point. This, to me, is akin to the liberal accusing the right of waging a war on woman but then calling the facts against that argument a "nice try."

      LME: I certainly understand your point in the poll analysis, and as what seems to be misinterpreted here I wasn't calling you out specifically. I think you present a more than reasonable argument in your theories on this blog, but on the other hand I've heard far less compelling arguments from others on the right concerning these issues (more on the conspiracy theory aspect).

      But I suppose I should ask those questions more clearly or perhaps through a different avenue.

      The point of confusion seems to be that this tends to be one of my main places to gain perspective from the conservative side, so likewise I’ll ask the questions that concern me in some of the reoccurring conservative arguments… even if they aren’t necessarily pioneered here or by this blog. So I can see how it may be unclear that when I ask questions like that, I’m not necessarily accusing this blog or the people here of supporting it as much as I’m looking for the perspective of people that do (or perhaps how other people on the right feel about it). In hindsight, that being the case it likely sounds like sort of strawman, but not my intention.

      That said, hope you end up making it through the day! Look forward to your write-up.

      And I think this blog could benefit from more Seinfeld references!

    6. RKen - I'm still writing my thought's on the debate... a hour and 28 minutes after my last reply to you :-) It's a slow day for me with respect to writing, to say the least. I saw your post come to my phone so I had to take a break from my write up and reply.

      The one thing I hope everyone knows here is that debunking or not, theories or thesis... questioning is okay. Regardless of if you were "debunking" my opinions or theories, that's all fine. I don't mean to be calling out Anna here (it wouldn't be the first time - don't take it personal ma'am), but the harsh tone against someone who is merely questioning is, to me, counterproductive. Questions should be welcomed. I think Anna got more personally offended than I did (which I didn't - not even 1%).

      I know what I say can be controversial. I know sometimes it's not. I don't care how many times you disagree with me, RKen, you're a voice of reason, and you embody precisely what I think this country needs, and sadly, what this country is turning away from. If you're posting to debunk or just to give another side, it's what we should have in political debate. I'm not trying to sound all @$$ kissy, but I always want my feelings to be known, and my respect for civil debate, to me, rises above any opinion I have and this very blog itself. Nothing you've ever said has been personal... ever. Maybe I'm just overreacting, but if there is any resentment on your side, please don't. I'd hate to have someone's views discouraged simply because they don't line up with this blog's theme.

      And yes, if econ/finance is the one thing I know in this world, Seinfeld is #2. My brain is wasted with storing so much information from the show it's silly :-)

    7. And yah, I'm sure I overreacted. I know you weren't "debunking" and you were just providing your views for another case... I just get quite defensive when someone goes on what I see is an attack on free, civil debate :-) If you didn't feel attacked by Anna, disregard all this :-)

  10. Chris Christie was right.

  11. Obama is used to his friends on - The View, Ellen, Letterman, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, NPR, CNN, CNN Headline, MSNBC, BET, MTV, VH1, the Comedy Channel, and the Stepford wife liberal voters that get their "news" from these organizations, all kissing his behind.

    Last night, for the first time in 4 years, his pathetic record was challenged. He had no idea how to handle it.

  12. Did anyone notice how quickly Obama left the stage?

    1. He left like a beat dog.

  13. Your mom!

  14. Daga Delu DelacruzOctober 4, 2012 at 5:46 AM

    I think it was Romney v an empty podium this time. Clint - you got beat, sir!

  15. Good morning everyone.

    This is probably going to be long… I expect many people to glaze over it, and that’s fine. There are so many things to talk about, and after watching it twice and hearing it on the radio this morning, there is a lot to say… and I keep adding to the list in my head. So here is my analysis of the debate. Wish me luck.

    To start, you know you can tell this is going to be long when you realize I have 3 preface points. :-)

    1. Stop with this “the moderator sucked” stuff. I thought he did fine. In fact, I liked the way he let things just go. I wanted the two to talk and have a discussion… and he let that happen. For those that claim Romney “bullied” the moderator: your claim holds no water. Obama have more than 10% more talking time. If Romney “bullied” the moderator, I would have expected that to mean he would have talked more… not a near 5 minutes less.
    2. Stop with this “Romney was rude and interrupting” junk. They both did it. It happens in a debate. Get over it. To cite two quick examples of this that Obama did:

    a. Romney was explaining his position on oil subsidies and Obama interrupted with “it’s time to end it.” Yes, that’s an interruption.

    b. Romney was talking about the 15-panel of unelected officials that will control Obamacare and Obama interrupted with “no they’re not.”

    Big or small, these are “rude” interruptions, and both sides did them. To highlight that “Romney was rude and interrupting” in my opinion is an attempt to distract away from the debate itself.

    3. Please stop with the “Mitt had more practice” stuff. This is the presidency. It’s the top of the heap. If you’re not the best, if you’re not always on your game, you shouldn’t be there. Does being the president mean, “I’m the post perfect person in the country?” No. But losing a debate shouldn’t be coupled with “well, he hasn’t practiced and Mitt has.” If someone was truly concerned and truly cared, they wouldn’t have floundered as badly as Obama did. Liberal commentator James Carville put it best: “It looked like Romney wanted to be there; it looked like Obama didn’t.” This is the big leagues… there is no crying :-)

    1. Okay… so here is my analysis. I will try to summarize it in 5 points. But first, let me start by saying that yes, I think Romney did great, but it wasn't a knockout. I said this on the show last night that I think that the post-debate feelings are similar to when you get off a roller coaster. Yes, it was fun. Yes, there was a lot of excitement and wow… but once you come back to the station it’s still the regular world. Though Romney did well, I think he wasn’t perfect, but he got the job done. I’ll highlight what I think he did well with in addition to where I think he missed some opportunities. These are my top 5 biggest points.

      5. Who looked presidential? The answer was definitely Romney. I’m a numbers guy. I like when facts drive any discussion. There are many people who focus on ancillary things like who sighed, or who looked down, or who couldn’t look at whom. To me, those issues aren’t that impressive… but I think they should be noted. Even liberal pundits are point out that Mitt looked at Obama while he talked while Obama couldn’t often look back at Mitt. As far as presidential persona, Romney played the key.

      4. Facts win: Mitt kept it about the resume. I thought Mitt had a great balance overall. He balanced facts and details with one-liners and zingers. Most importantly, he held Obama out in front of the American people and said, “this is what the last four years got you.” A few examples of this:

      a. The candidates were discussing Simpson Bowles and it went like this (all my transcript cuts are from

      LEHRER: Governor, what about Simpson-Bowles? Do you support Simpson-Bowles?

      ROMNEY: Simpson-Bowles, the president should have grabbed that.

      LEHRER: No, I mean, do you support Simpson-Bowles?

      ROMNEY: I have my own plan. It's not the same as Simpson- Bowles. But in my view, the president should have grabbed it. If you wanted to make some adjustments to it, take it, go to Congress, fight for it.

      OBAMA: That's what we've done, made some adjustments to it, and we're putting it forward before Congress right now, a $4 trillion plan...

    2. ROMNEY: But you've been -- but you've been president four years... You've been president four years. You said you'd cut the deficit in half. It's now four years later. We still have trillion-dollar deficits. The CBO says we'll have a trillion-dollar deficit each of the next four years. If you're re-elected, we'll get to a trillion-dollar debt.

      This was great. This is holding the president to his record. Regardless of who inherited what economy and who got us into this mess, Obama did say he would halve the deficit. He did not, and Romney took it to him.

      Here is another one I like from Romney:

      ROMNEY: Fourth, there was a survey done of small businesses across the country, said, what's been the effect of Obamacare on your hiring plans? And three-quarters of them said it makes us less likely to hire people. I just don't know how the president could have come into office, facing 23 million people out of work, rising unemployment, an economic crisis at the -- at the kitchen table, and spend his energy and passion for two years fighting for Obamacare instead of fighting for jobs for the American people. It has killed jobs.

      I was hoping he would go down that path… something along the lines of “tell the millions of unemployed people why you’ve failed them.” Romney did that, to an extent. He misquoted the 23 million part (he should have said unemployed or underemployed), but I like the holding of Obama’s the feet to the fire.

      3. Mitt showed that it’s about making the tough decisions and not about being popular. We’ve heard it all before: “Obama is cooler than Mitt.” “Mitt is a robot.” “Mitt is a drone.” “Mitt wears magic underwear,” and on and on. To me, that’s all irrelevant. You know what I heard tonight? I heard a man that says, “I can turn this country around, like me personally or not.” I heard a man that said, “look, it might not be popular, but it’s necessary.” When leading, it’s not about making friends; it’s about making decisions. My support for this: Big Bird. Mitt Romney looked a PBS pundit right in the eye and said, “I will end federal spending for what you do.”

      BOOM! Popular, probably not? Will it make a dent in the federal budget? No way. But it’s about the principle: I will make the necessary decisions… I will make the tough decisions… I will make the decisions that while they don’t seem “warm and fuzzy” now, they will help save this country long term. Agree with his specifics or not, I admire someone that can come in and shoot for sense, not for smiles.

    3. 2. Romney explains the “vagueness” issue – the “how I will lead” part: When I say Mitt had a great balance overall, this is what I mean. In point 4, I talked about how he talked about Obama’s resume. This was him saying, “you’ve had your chance.” The balance part is how he touched a little on the past and a little on the future. Though it will probably get washed in the dilution that is going to follow the debate, I think THIS is the most important thing we should take away from the debate if you’re looking for the answer to the question, “what would a Romney presidency look like?”

      Mitt Romney is often accused of being “vague” and not giving intrinsic details of his plans. I think that’s an attack talking point. In my opinion, he answered this perfectly:

      ROMNEY: Which is -- which is my experience as a governor is if I come in and -- and lay down a piece of legislation and say, "It's my way or the highway," I don't get a lot done. What I do is the same way that Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan worked together some years ago. When Ronald Reagan ran for office, he laid out the principles that he was going to foster. He said he was going to lower tax rates. He said he was going to broaden the base. You've said the same thing, you're going to simplify the tax code, broaden the base.

      Okay… not perfectly. The plan is how I think he should govern. The president should have a platform, and he should have ideas. But we have 3 bodies of government and a bicameral legislature for a reason. I like the idea of “I have my principles and my baseline views, and from that, I’ll work and compromise,” which, YES, though I’m a conservative, I do want compromise, and I think that answers the vagueness question. I really think he should run with this more. Where I think he dropped the ball was how he had a chance to call out Obama for failing to be the great unifier and compromiser he said he was going to be. Many things Obama has done through his term have been “my way or the highway.” He talks a big talk about compromise, but that’s simply not the case. Details aside, Romney could have hit harder on this. He did well in a blue state, and he should have made the case that he can do will with both sides of Congress.

      1. No more Obama lies. This is what I liked the most about Mitt’s debate. Team Obama has the press in its corner. It’s pretty hard to dispute. Sites like put cited facts (transcripts, video, audio, cited, linked data analysis) behind their case. To say the media isn’t spun left is truly shortsighted. Random “fact checks” against Obama don’t dispel that across the aggregate, the media slants.

      In last night’s debate, Romney took no more of it. I wish he would have used a more “rememberable” line here or there…. Something along the lines of Reagan’s “there you go again,” but oh well. He stood up against baloney. Obama and Biden have been doing this on the trail for months. The $5T in tax cuts, claim, the $2,000 in tax increases for the middle class claim (I mean, seriously, who would even run on that?, come on), and on and on… with no debunking from anyone. For example, here are some bogus Obama claims Romney stood up against:

      Right off the bat, Obama tried to use this mythical “$5T in tax cut claim” and right off the bat, Romney squashed it a few times:

    4. ROMNEY: Well, sure. I'd like to clear up the record and go through it piece by piece.

      First of all, I don't have a $5 trillion tax cut. I don't have a tax cut of a scale that you're talking about. My view is that we ought to provide tax relief to people in the middle class…

      Obama tried again:

      OBAMA: When you add up all the loopholes and deductions that upper-income individuals can -- are currently taking advantage of, you take those all away, you don't come close to paying for $5 trillion in tax cuts and $2 trillion in additional military spending.

      ROMNEY: So if the tax plan he described were a tax plan I was asked to support, I'd say absolutely not. I'm not looking for a $5 trillion tax cut. What I've said is I won't put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit. That's part one. So there's no economist that can say Mitt Romney's tax plan adds $5 trillion if I say I will not add to the deficit with my tax plan.
      Obama tried AGAIN:

      OBAMA: Jim, I -- you may want to move onto another topic, but I -- I would just say this to the American people. If you believe that we can cut taxes by $5 trillion and add $2 trillion in additional spending that the military is not asking for, $7 trillion -- just to give you a sense, over 10 years, that's more than our entire defense budget

      Again, Romney replied, and I wish he would have simply said, “stop F***in’ lying”

      ROMNEY: I think first of all, let me -- let me repeat -- let me repeat what I said. I'm not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut. That's not my plan. My plan is not to put in place any tax cut that will add to the deficit. That's point one.

      So you may keep referring to it as a $5 trillion tax cut, but that's not my plan.

      Romney even said, and this is a strong “zing”… “Look, I've got five boys. I'm used to people saying something that's not always true, but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I'll believe it. But that -- that is not the case.” I loved that.

      This went on with many other things. I was glad to see Romney stand up for the truth. Some people, and I’ve seen a lot of these comments on this morning, claim that “Romney was lying… everything he said was a lie…” First, if he did, cite it. What are you talking about? Secondly, Obama had the chance to call him out… why didn’t he? Romney called out Obama. Obama had his turn. Additionally, I hear some people saying, “why isn’t Obama calling out Mitt on the 47%... Caymen islands… Swiss Bank accounts… etc.” First, it was apparent: Mitt was prepared. Secondly, as I’ve said before, Obama in 2008 said, “if you have no record to run on, you make your opponent out to be someone we should run from.” These personal stabs would have put Romney in a position to hit Obama in that regard, and frankly, I think Romney was ready for them.

      So those are my 5 biggest points. Was it a knock out? No. In fact, like I said, I don’t want conservatives getting a sugar high from this. The media will spin it… and most people are still stuck in their voting position. There are few undecided, and there are few that will change. I don’t want to see conservatives go wild on this.

    5. But quickly, why wasn’t it a knock out? Well, Romney did miss some opportunities. Obama cornered Romney on Romneycare being the model for Obamacare. Though Romney tried, I don’t think he did a good enough job on explaining the STATES RIGHTS argument of Romneycare. He didn’t explain well how it was a simple 20-something page law the HE designed. He didn’t explain (zing opportunity) that he read the whole thing, and he didn’t explain that it works for STATES, and should not be a federal program. I think it’s a big miss there. Also, I think Romney should have gone deeper into his government style. The part I mentioned in number 2 about how he will work together with people in a compromising fashion appeals to all. He only said it briefly. I wish that would have been expanded on more.

      My final thoughts… again, it’s just one debate. Romney won, I think most agree on that. But don’t take it to the bank. He needs to keep winning and keep explaining how he will govern. He needs to squash the empty democrat talking points (the “Run from Mitt Romney” garbage we hear), and do more of what he did last night.

      A few interesting ratings from CNN’s post-debate poll showed interesting figures for Romney (yes, it’s only like 430 people, but those people just watched the debate, and I think their opinions are interesting).

    6. Who would do better on:

      Healthcare: 52R 47O
      Tax Policy: 53R 44O
      Deficit Management: 57R 41O
      Does his view of the government reflect yours? 54R 44O
      Who is more likeable? 46R 45O ---- probably the biggest gain

      Again, these are not knockout numbers, but they are significant.

      And the final, final though on the debate. My “best line of the debate award” goes to Obama. I thought this was well played…almost scripted… like something out of a movie. Romney, right after his “Big Bird” moment, Romney said:

      What things would I cut from spending? Well, first of all, I will eliminate all programs by this test, if they don't pass it: Is the program so critical it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? And if not, I'll get rid of it. Obamacare's on my list.

      I apologize, Mr. President. I use that term with all respect, by the way.

      OBAMA: I like it.

      ROMNEY: Good. OK, good. So I'll get rid of that.

      Obama’s “I like it” was great. It was light-hearted… quick… modern… comical. I’m being sincere. In the 2000’s style comedy, Obama looked like he was hip. Touché, Mr. President. I know it will get overlooked, but I noticed it, and it was smooth.

    7. Good morning LME. I was amazed at how fair the moderator actually was.

    8. One final, final, final point :-) It just popped into my head because I realized most of the debate talk is about what just happened and not what is going to happen going forward. Forgive me if I go wayyyy off base with an analogy here… I blame the lack of sleep.

      Okay… I’m a submarine guy. My 4 years in the navy researching subs is to blame. One of my favorite movies is The Hunt for Red October. At the end, there is a crucial scene:

      Sean Connery’s character (a Russian Sub captain) and an American sub captain are on the Russian sub the Red October. It is believed to be going rogue, and a Russian fleet sub was sent to kill it. When this sub, captained by a guy named Tupolev finds the Red October he fires a torpedo at it. Connery, upon realizing this, turns head on INTO the torpedo’s path. The American captain nervously objects. The plan works, and the Red October is saved. Connery explains that torpedoes have a safety device on them that prevents them from detonating within a close distance of the submarine that fires them (obviously for the safety of that sub). By turning towards the torpedo path, he shortens the torpedo’s travelling distance causing the potential impact to be within that safety range. The torpedo is naturally unarmed, and the Red October survives. Tupolev was quite embarrassed. The American captain is mystified to which, and this is where I’m going with this… Connery explains:

      Right now, Captain Tupolev is removing the safety features on all his weapons. He won't make the same mistake twice.

      Why is this key? I’m hearing that Obama didn’t sharpen his teeth because he didn’t want to lose likeability points. In a debate, if you go on the attack, those points are something you potentially sacrifice. Romney went head on at Obama… Obama’s plans of just firing regular shots didn’t work, just like Tupolev’s torpedoes didn’t. But seeing the embarrassment that this strategy caused will push Obama to “remove his safety devices.” I fully expect Obama to come out firing the next time. While this debate was a big win for Romney, I don’t expect it to be the same the second time around. Expect Obama to be like Tupolev, removing the safety devices, and shouting, “okay, game on!”

      And 32slim32... you and me might be the only two people who think that about the moderator... from what I'm hearing.

    9. Think you wrote enough, LME? HAHA

      In all seriousness it's a great analysis. I pretty much agree with all of it. I wanted to add something I took from teh CNN transcript too:

      So for those reasons, for the tax, for Medicare, for this board, and for people losing their insurance, this is why the American people don't want Medicare -- don't want Obamacare. It's why Republicans said, do not do this, and the Republicans had -- had the plan. They put a plan out. They put out a plan, a bipartisan plan. It was swept aside.

      I think something this big, this important has to be done on a bipartisan basis. And we have to have a president who can reach across the aisle and fashion important legislation with the input from both parties.

      22:03:12: OBAMA: Governor Romney said this has to be done on a bipartisan basis. This was a bipartisan idea. In fact, it was a Republican idea. And Governor Romney at the beginning of this debate wrote and said what we did in Massachusetts could be a model for the nation.

      It's kind of what you were talking about. Mitt Romney is telling the American people that he can work with BOTH SIDES. This is something Obama has not done. I like Obama's counter: we did work with both sides, look at Romneycare.

      WRONG! Romneycare was bipartisan. Obamacare wasn't. In fact, remember when Ted Kennedy died? Upon hearing that Scott Brown would be seated, the senate pushed the vote up a month. There is nothing more partisan than saying "hey, let's hurry this up, we don't want our opposition to have a say."

    10. Just so you don't feel it was for nothing, I did read the entire analysis LME. :)

      I wish I had more time to discuss it and my own views in more detail, but likely won't be able to today. That said though, much of what you say I agree on; Mitt certainly did win and handle many of the issues far better.

      The main point I differ on though, is regarding the back-and-forth of Romney's tax plan. I actually have to side with Obama on this one. No where has Romney or any part of his campaign explained how you could enact the principles of Romney's plan, which is expensive (, and not add considerably to the deficit without ultimately eliminating so many deductions/loopholes that the net effect is a tax increase on the middle class.

      There is no mathematical analysis, anywhere, that says this is even remotely possible apart from some, lets face it, incredibly unrealistic economic growth scenarios (I recall seeing 8-10% referenced, will look for it later). And even if they're not unrealistic by some stretch of imagination, I can't say I'd stand behind a plan that depends on that wholly to not result on a sky-rocketing deficit.

      I mean, we all realize that Obama’s strategy was exactly the same, right? I didn’t support that type of forecast model with Obama and I don’t support it now, and it’s apparent that most people don’t either for Obama’s case. So why is it acceptable for Mitt to do the same? The whole promise of Obama halving the deficit was majorly based on an expectation of a quick economic turn-around and job growth to boost the revenue stream back up (and in turn, reduce the deficit). When the economy instead flat-lined and chugged along in a slow growth, the result of course was stagnant revenues and stagnant deficits. No big surprise there.

      So why are we seeing what is effectively the same strategic type of ‘unpredictable promise’ here? And accepting it?

      Even apart from all of that, to make such a grand promise of 20% cuts without increasing taxes on the middle class and without adding a cent to the deficit, but provide absolutely no details how that is possible in the face of questioning, prodding, and mathematical analysis… makes it sound to me like it’s little more than a grand promise in hope to get votes from those that don’t know any better.

      What I effectively saw in that section of the debate, is Obama saying that the tax plan Mitt has discussed for the past 6 months isn't mathematically possible. And Mitt wouldn't defend himself with anything more than "Nah-uh…. No it isn’t… no it doesn’t… My plan doesn’t do that." So what DOES it do?

  16. I missed the first 20 minutes of the debate last night. I caught it on the radio and not on TV. As I tuned in on the radio, Romney had just finished speaking and President 0bama appeared to be asking the moderator to change the subject. Am I reading that wrong? He said something along the lines of, "Jim you may want to change the subject". I thought to myself, "Man he must be getting his @$$ handed to him".

    I tuned in at about 9:20 Eastern. By 9:40 I was thinking, if this were one of those Ultimate Fighting matches someone would either be throwing in the towel for 0bama or the ref would have stopped the fight.

    Of course the talking heads at the end of the night were talking about how Romney was on the defensive early on. I was thinking it had to be very early on because when I tuned in it seemed as if Romney had 0bama by the nose and was kicking him in the seat of the pants (as General George S. Patton would say).

    I also liked the way Romney called 0bama out on the "Shipping jobs over seas tax deduction".

    Not sure what it looked like on the TV, but from listening to it on the radio President 0bama seemed very unprepared and uninspired.

    1. 32slim32 - Good morning! I hope you didn't lose sleep like me and RKen did! :-)

      When I read your comment, the first thing I though of was "crap, I forgot that!"

      You hit it... I missed it. When talking about the "shipping jobs overseas tax deduction" this falls into my #1 point: stopping Obama's lies. This is a HUGE one that Team Obama is pumping on the campaign trail. It get's a lot of Obama supporter's ears perked, but, as Romney pointed out, (very well, I might add), it's a factless talking point. Romney had replied:

      "The second topic, which is you said you get a deduction for taking a plant overseas. Look, I've been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you're talking about. I maybe need to get a new accountant."

      That was great. I was so glad to hear him address direct Team Obama hollow talking points. His analysis, using figures, of course, on "big oil subsidies" again, another talking point (used VERY often by Nancy Pelosi) made Obama looked surprised and almost "oh crap, he called me out!"

      Great points, slim!

    2. Mitt brought his "A game" last night. I was pretty impressed. When 0bama started talking about the $4 Billion in oil subsidies, Romney slammed him with "50 years worth of oil subsidies in green energy subsidies" or something to that effect.

      My two favorite "zinger" lines were:

      1. It's not that you pick winners and just pick the losers (when speaking of all the failed "green energy" companies 0bama "bet" on [0bama's word BET].

      2. You are entitled to your own house and own plane but you aren't entitled to your own facts.

      I hate I missed the first 20 minutes, especially if Mittens was laying the wood to 0bama the same way he did from the time I tuned in.

      I almost felt sorry for 0bama. I could tell by the number of "uuugggghhhhs", "ummmms" and "aaaaannnnnnnndddddddd" that he was rattled. Maybe he can have his teleprompter for the next two debates.

    3. Good morning all!

      Slim - You didn't miss much. You missed pretty much the only part I saw. It was a rough day and both Obama and Romney were getting on my nerves with almost answers. The first 20 mins or so was Obama saying $5T tax cut + $2T military and wouldn't elaborate. Romney kept saying that wasn't true and wouldn't elaborate. Romney would just say he was going to get rid of loopholes which he wouldn't elaborate on. It was a he said, he said debate without substance. I had a rough day and wasn't about to end it listinging to two 4th grade girls debate over what the other had for lunch. I though it was pathetic on both ends and that Lehrer was a waste of space. This debates seem to continually get more and more out of control. Someone needs a button to kill the mic if they go over 30 secs past their alotted time.

      After reading what everyone is saying here, I do wish I had the patience to stay up and watch the rest of it but the first 20 minutes or so was absolutely pathetic on both sides. Obama really needed to impress in that debate because it is almost certain that Ryan is gonna hand it to the clumsy Biden. So Romney is gonna come out of the gate with two definitive wins. It'll be interesting to watch the polling trends over the next week or two.

  17. I loved this line from Romney - 'You can have your own house and your own plane, but you don't get to have your own facts.'

    I thought it was a great debate.
    No, I don't think Obama was prepared for what he got.
    I think the moderator (Jim) did a good job, under the circumstances...

    ...and it was Obama who started the 'run-away' debating. To me, it appeared that he wanted to end with a jab (a blatant, outright lie that he's been pounding the campaign trail with)and move quickly on --- Romney said, 'Wait, I want to answer.'

    Not to be outdone, Obama continued to run over throughout... and to be 'fair', Romney did too, but not to the same extent.

    Obama is just not accustomed to NOT having the LAST word. (I loved it : )

    Obama looked like a student - who was assigned an oral report, but forgot to read the material... his body language was also quite telling - I don't think he'd be a good poker player!

    All that said, I think Round 2 will be very interesting.