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Debate Thoughts: Obama Doesn't Make Mistakes or Screw Up-- Really

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Some thoughts on the debate. 

revision note:
I changed the title from "  Thoughts and Tweets on the First 2012 Presidential Debate"  to the current title. I do mean it. Whenever someone says Obama couldn't do it all, or he made a mistake, it's almost always wrong. Obama makes choices and takes actions based on strategy and intention. His performance in this debate was planned. 


-This debate was a horrible failure on many levels. It was Lehrer's swan song. He'll never do another debate. It's a sad way to exit. 

-The debate omitted three very legitimate candidates who are on the ballot in enough states so they should be included-- Jill Stein, Gary Johnson and Rocky Anderson. Percentage of approval in the polls is a despicable, disingenuous excuse for excluding participants in the debate. The three of them would have added vitality and real dimensionality to the discussion of issues. 

-Obama was incredibly info-wonkish. He failed to remember that debates are as much about theater and appearance and power as about information. This failure may reflect on how he leads. Being smart and knowing a lot is not enough. You must use the information and combine it with your personality and understanding of how things work to get things done. 

-Obama's debate prep did not prepare him for how to deal with repeated, stubborn lies from Romney-- or the prep was weak and ineffective, or, Obama chose to allow Romney to lie. What the hell, it's so much a core element of the beltway character and millieu. Maybe he just took it for granted. 

-Obama didn't throw in the strong stuff against Romney-- 47%, Bin Laden, General Motors. Maybe he's holding them for the last debate, the one that people will remember most at the polls. 

-Maybe Obama didn't go after Romney because he wanted to get Romney feeling confident and perky, so he'd go out on a limb lying even more, so the video could be used against him in campaign ads. 

-Craig Crawford has an interesting take in his Huffpo article, Obama Throws A Game, saying,
  Had it been an NBA game he might be investigated. But this is presidential politics and for whatever reasons - maybe good ones - Barack Obama didn't even try to win last night's debate.  Headlines such as " Liberals Livid at Obama Performance " won't hurt him among swing voters. And it won't hurt Democrats to lure GOP donors into thinking Romney has a chance at a moment when they were threatening to shift funds to House and Senate races.
And Crawford wraps up the article, saying,
" Perhaps Obama simply didn't bring his best game because he hasn't got one. I doubt it. No, I think he threw this debate on purpose. It's worth remembering that those who've played basketball against him say he usually fools around in the beginning, but closes strong in the finish."

-This political event, with over 4 million tweets, was the most tweeted political event yet.  I tweeted through the debate, then did a lot of retweets and a few tweets on polls and comments by people on TV. Here's my tweetstream, including retweets. 

Tweets- read from the bottom up if you want to see from start of debate to post debate.

  rob kall " @robkall

Cnn poll on who seemed stronger leader 58% Romney 37% Obama

11:33 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  rob kall  @ robkall

Van Jones: Romney was like Thurston Howell before debate, but was presidential tonight

11:25 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

   Markos Moulitsas  @ markos

CNN poll is skewed! Actually, it shows liberals are clearly not happy with president's performance. Try defending Social Security next time!

  Retweeted by  rob kall

11:15 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

" data-mentions="nytimes 9h Andrew Rasiej  @ Rasiej

Cool analysis and graphic by  @ nytimes showing hand gestures by # POTUS and # Romney during # debate http:// nyti.ms/SEgS8N  

  Retweeted by  rob kall

11:13 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h Jonathan Alter  @ jonathanalter

Why did Obama not mention Bain or the auto rescue? He left his best issues unspoken.

  Retweeted by  rob kall

11:15 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h David Swanson  @ davidcnswanson

Tell me honestly the empty chair didn't beat Eastwood better than Obama beat Romney.  # ExpandTheDebate

  Retweeted by  rob kall

11:19 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h rob kall  @ robkall

Sarah Palin: Mitt romney had so many points blah blah blah

11:07 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h Mark Knoller  @ markknoller

Poll shows 56% of uncommitted voters say their opinion of Romney has changed for the better. 13% say that about the President.

  Retweeted by  rob kall

11:08 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h Mark Knoller  @ markknoller

Poll shows Romney narrowed gap on empathy. 63% now say Romney cares about their needs and problems (up from 30% before debate.)

  Retweeted by  rob kall

11:09 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h Mark Knoller  @ markknoller

More on empathy: Poll shows 69% say Pres Obama cares about their needs and problems - up from 53% before debate.

  Retweeted by  rob kall

11:09 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h rob kall  @ robkall

Obama was not prepped on how to respond when Romney lied # debate

11:05 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h rob kall  @ robkall

The big question is Do people believe Romney's lies? Can Obama use the footage to show flipflopping  # Debate

10:55 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h Ben Simmoneau  @ bensimmoneau

CBS News Poll: 46% said  # Romney won the debate. Only 22% said # Obama did. # cbsphilly

  Retweeted by  rob kall

10:16 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  10h Ari Melber  @ AriMelber

This is what it looks like when Obama is playing to protect a lead. It works, but it's careful and bland.

  Retweeted by  rob kall

10:48 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h Michael Moore  @ MMFlint

He couldn't say ANY of these words: "47%" "BainCapital" "FlipFlop" "Bush" "Detroit" "Women(&women's issues)" Fire all debate consultants now

  Retweeted by  rob kall

10:48 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h Jesse Taylor  @ jesseltaylor

I feel like Obama just tried to see what would happen if he used none of the arrows in his quiver.

  Retweeted by  rob kall

10:48 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h Jill Filipovic  @ JillFilipovic

"My spell check keeps renaming Romney as 'zero monkey'." - my mom, whose smartphone is very very smart.

  Retweeted by  rob kall

10:49 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h Chris Bowers  @ ThisBowers

There was a time when post-debate spin determined the winner. With personalized search engines and social media, that time is over.

  Retweeted by  rob kall

10:49 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h Amanda Marcotte  @ AmandaMarcotte

In a just world, every newspaper would have a headline pointing out that Romney just lied shamelessly. But sadly, not our era.

  Retweeted by  rob kall

10:50 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h Karl Frisch  @ KarlFrisch

All you need to know is Romney wants a 20% across the board tax cut. That's $5 trillion with a capital "T."  # RomneyLies # Debate# Debate2012

  Retweeted by  rob kall

10:40 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h rob kall  @ robkall

Obama never remembered that debate is THEATER!! Wonkery does not win a debate. And even if fact checkers show Romney lied, it's too late.

10:34 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h Greg Mitchell  @ GregMitch

Maddow's first comment: "We saw this debate format die tonight."

  Retweeted by  rob kall

10:35 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h rob kall  @ robkall

I'd like to see debaters with ear phone, so they can get help-- like they would in real life-- let's see how, with all resources, they do

10:26 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h rob kall  @ robkall

Romney won this-- by staying awake, staying on his feet, not screwing up. Obama needed Romney to screw up or fail. Obama's wonking didn't do

10:24 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  9h rob kall  @ robkall

Obama to Lehrer: "You've done a great job" biggest lie of the evening.

10:14 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  10h LindaMilazzo  @ LindaMilazzo

When U dont give specifics b4hand, U have the option to make things up at anytime - like during debates.  # RomneyStrategy# Debate2012

  Retweeted by  rob kall

10:18 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  10h rob kall  @ robkall

Mitt: "trickle down government"-- interesting twist on trickle down economics.

10:12 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  10h JohnPMorgan  @ JohnPMorgan

Mitt just bullied Lehrer again. Is he going to cut his hair next? # 2012debate

  Retweeted by  rob kall

10:13 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  10h rob kall  @ robkall

Lehrer's done a record number of prez debates. This will be his last. He retired before it was over.  # debate

10:10 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

" data-mentions="nicolesandler JoshuaHol 10h NatashaChart  @ NatashaChart

RT  @ nicolesandler: RT @ JoshuaHol: Romney just used Politifact's 2009 *and* 2010 Lies of the Year. For what it's worth. # Debates

  Retweeted by  rob kall

10:10 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  10h rob kall  @ robkall

Obama: wonk, wonk, wonk Romney: govt bad, freedom, capitalism, my plan that I don't explain.

10:09 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  10h rob kall  @ robkall

don't know if it's true, but Romney's riff on health care LOOKS impressive

10:03 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  10h rob kall  @ robkall

Romney had cooperative Democrats who wanted to help people, not teabagger obstructionists like Obama has in the House. # bullshitpartisanship

9:56 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  10h rob kall  @ robkall

All the smiles from the two of them are so fake and overdone-- I'm going to throw up.  # debate

9:55 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  10h rob kall  @ robkall

time to mention Romney's throwing Detroit auto companies under the bus

9:42 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  10h rob kall  @ robkall

Romney wants to give governors billions in medicaid bucks to decide how to spend-- and they want it. What a surprise.  # debate

9:34 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  10h rob kall  @ robkall

Mitt has his own plan-- but it's a secret, just like his undisclosed personal taxes.

9:31 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  10h rob kall  @ robkall

The way Romney argues what the debate rules are-- he'd surely grab executive powers even worse than Bush and Obama-- and they're bad  # debate

9:29 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  10h rob kall  @ robkall

Romney's hand gestures look forced, not real, too expansive-- perhaps a metaphor for his efforts to be more real.  # debate

9:24 PM - 3 Oct 12 - Details

  10h rob kall  @ robkall

Romney looking like self-righteous church elder, as he watches Obama eat him for breakfast. What an insipid pinched smile # debate # p2


 

Rob Kall is editor-in-chief, publisher and site architect of OpEdNews.com, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor. He hosts the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, aired in the Metro Philly area on AM 1360, WNJC. Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.

See more Rob Kall articles here and, older ones, here. To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..  and here's an article on the Storycon Summit Meeting he founded and organized for eight years. Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal: Party's Left Pushes for a Seat at the Table

Here is a one hour radio interview where Rob was a guest- on Envision This, and here is the transcript. 

To watch Rob having a lively conversation with John Conyers, then Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click hereWatch Rob speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

Follow Rob on Twitter & Facebook. His quotes are here

My articles express my personal opinion, not the opinion of this website.


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At the magazine I write for (Nonprofit Quarterly),... by Rick Cohen on Thursday, Oct 4, 2012 at 8:04:06 AM
To explain why so many Americans are poor and peop... by BFalcon on Saturday, Oct 6, 2012 at 6:41:12 AM
Sent to Obama last night, 3 X:     ... by John Cooper on Thursday, Oct 4, 2012 at 8:53:20 AM
There are enough of us who will not be swayed by l... by BFalcon on Saturday, Oct 6, 2012 at 6:43:23 AM
"Obama needs to make this election about something... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Oct 4, 2012 at 10:20:34 AM
Well said.... by Don Caldarazzo on Thursday, Oct 4, 2012 at 2:19:45 PM
I really like the idea of a real debate with third... by Kevin Tully on Thursday, Oct 4, 2012 at 10:52:55 AM
Those who supported Barack Obama, back then, did s... by goedel on Thursday, Oct 4, 2012 at 1:17:20 PM
First, Obama was the best among available choices.... by BFalcon on Saturday, Oct 6, 2012 at 6:48:00 AM
The CNN poll showing Romney appearing stronger lea... by Bob W Ryley on Thursday, Oct 4, 2012 at 2:22:47 PM
I guess I'm in the minority.  I appreciated t... by Maxwell on Friday, Oct 5, 2012 at 8:07:13 AM
I've seen a bunch of Lehrer bashing -- what could ... by Kevin Tully on Friday, Oct 5, 2012 at 10:39:06 AM
Apparently Lehrer also feels the debate went as he... by Maxwell on Sunday, Oct 7, 2012 at 10:14:27 AM
But here it is again.   Have you ever a... by Lynne Kringler on Saturday, Oct 6, 2012 at 3:59:56 AM
I read the transcript and looked at how much time ... by Lynne Kringler on Saturday, Oct 6, 2012 at 4:07:38 AM
The winner is called by the pundits and the detail... by Maxwell on Sunday, Oct 7, 2012 at 10:16:13 AM