Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Unfortunately for President Obama, his task tonight is basically this:

Even though the evidence of Romney and Ryan's extremism is hiding in plain sight, even though Obama pointed out that extremism in the first debate (a debate in which he's now universally thought to have done nothing right), I'm afraid that when Obama points out what's in the agenda, people simply don't believe him. There's Romney -- right there in front of us! -- his facial muscles carefully arranged using the "Sincerity" app, and butter wouldn't melt in his mouth as he tells everyone that he would never, ever dream of kicking Granny out of her nursing home or letting unemployed sick people die in their homes. How do you get people to believe that lovely man with his nice family and his firm white jaw is really a meanie? How do you get people to believe in the pods?

What's more, it's a town hall, and he's Obama, not Biden -- if he's rude or overly harsh in pointing out that Romney is going to eviscerate the social safety net, he'll lose the post-debate to all the tut-tutters, who'll chastise him for his tone.

I'd say something like this:

Here's the thing: We've seen a lot of different Mitt Romney's over the years. He's kind of a chameleon. When he was governor of Massachusetts, it was almost as if he was a liberal, on issues like health care and reproductive choice. Then he ran for president in a very conservative Republican Party, and he became a very conservative Republican -- "severely conservative" is the way he described himself.

Now, in the general election, he sounds like a moderate.

But what happens if he's elected president and there's a tea party Congress? Which way is he going to change? Since he seems to take on the color of everyone else is in his environment, what's he going to be like if he's surrounded by members of the tea party?

Now, as for me, you may not agree with everything I do, but you know who I am. You've
seen who I am. If I'm your president for the next four years, what you see is what you'll get. If Mitt Romney is president for the next four years, which Mitt Romney will you get?

I don't know if that would work. It might be worth a try.


But maybe I shouldn't worry, because AP has a story titled "5 Things to Watch for in Presidential Debate," and #1 is:
1. A REBOUND? After taking a drubbing in the first debate, Obama's under big pressure to step up his game Tuesday night. He'll try to show energy and passion. And look for him to challenge Romney's claims more often. Obama's comfortable taking audience questions at campaign events, and that should work in his favor at this "town hall" style debate.
So an Obama rebound is the story the press is primed to write. Which may mean that Obama merely needs to be competent tonight to be the Comeback Kid in the post-debate narrative.


AND: I'm predicting that if this really is an audience of undecideds, with no Fox News-watching fakers, then there won't be a single question on Benghazi.

(AP link via Memeorandum.)


Philo Vaihinger said...

It ain't just Fox News on the Benghazi thing.

Steve M. said...

Oh, I know. It's a real gift for most MSM news organizations: they can seem as if they're doing "serious" foreign policy news without having to do any actual reporting (all they have to do is re-transmit the talking points of right-wing spinners) -- and they get to demonstrate that they're not in the tank for Obama when they do this. Winning!

It's not just Fox talking about Benghazi, but I think it's only Fox viewers who see Obama as the Antichrist as a result of Benghazi. For everyone else, I think, it was just one more bit of bad foreign news in a long, dozen-year string of foreign news that was mostly that bad or worse.

Victor said...

Nice touch, with using "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers" as your analogy.

Oh, and it would be helpful if the President put a whomping on Mitt tonight and in the last debate.

He needs to go into Election Day with a good-sized buffer at the polls, or else we'll have another election like 2004 with Electronic Voting Machines flipping at rates that even Mitt would envy:


Anonymous said...

I would still like to hear Obama say something like, "When we talked to voters about Governor Romney's plans, they had a hard time believing them. But it's true:" etc. Just foreground the idea that the extent of the bullshit is so breathtaking that people can't even comprehend it and think it would never really happen.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Just doing a debate at all favors the party of lies, given the entire right wing noise machine is thrilled to eccho them.

But refusing a debate would be disastrous.

M. Bouffant said...

But, but ... the audience will be full of "Democrat plants."