Cliff Notes on Second Presidential Debate: Obama Stopped the Bleeding

YouTube screen grab

  • Without question, Obama did much better tonight than in the first debate.  He also did much better than Smirky Joe last week.
  • In addition to the comeback award, Obama gets points for tactical cleverness, for waiting until his closing statement to mention Romney’s dreadful 47% gaffe — leaving Romney no opportunity to respond.
  • I got REALLY tired of all three of them talking at once.  I don’t know whether to blame Candy Crowley (whom I generally admire) or the “town hall” format.  Actually, I just decided while typing that sentence — “town hall debate” is an oxymoron.  A true town hall features one candidate, not two.
  • Romney stepped on his own foot on the Libya issue, arguing about what Obama did or didn’t say in the Rose Garden, rather than emphasizing that the administration continued to maintain for two weeks that the attack was caused by a YouTube trailer for a non-existent movie.
  • Romney certainly hammered home his resume, and the fact that the top earners will continue to pay a disproportionate share of taxes. I liked his “we don’t have to settle” mantra in his closing statement, talking about high unemployment, high gas prices, 47 million people on food stamps, 23 million “struggling to find a good job”, etc.
  • If tonight’s debate had occurred first, we’d all be talking now about Romney being toast.  But between Sleepwalking Obama and Smirky Biden, the Democrats were in free fall after the first two debates.  Tonight certainly slowed that momentum, but I don’t think it reversed it.
  • We may be up late on November 6.

(The image is a screen grab from YouTube.)

5 thoughts on “Cliff Notes on Second Presidential Debate: Obama Stopped the Bleeding

  1. You forgot to mention the “binders full of women” line, which is ripe for parody in about a gazillion ways. “Want control of your own body? Sorry, you’re going to be in a bind there.” It makes me wish he’d been debating Hillary just so I could watch her filet him.

  2. “The Democrats in freefall after the first two debates”, uhh maybe the first one. But with this economy, Romney should have been ahead but the reason he wasn’t was because he was such a poor candidate and the party had picked so many fights with undecided factions including women and Hispanics. So Mitt legitimized himself in the first debate and nearly assumed the place where he should have been. And the 47% was offered by Romney in his first response to the last question. Chris Matthews made the analogy of Romney sticking out his chin in the last round and Obama knocking him out. The facts don’t support Mitt but they are irrelevant. Now the game is a popularity contest to appeal to people in the middle. I’ll take my horse in the game. Chuck Todd this morning said that married women are going Romney, and single Obama. Maaaarrroooonnne!

  3. Hi Sweetie! My response to your comment is at http://blog.kirkpetersen.net/2012/10/binders-full-of-women-c-f-you-didnt-build-that-context-behind.html

    Dan, my support for the “free fall” statement is at http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2012/Pres/ec_graph-2012.html . Electoral-vote.com, which awards electoral votes to a candidate even if the survey results are statistically tied, showed Obama with 323 EV on October 3, the date of the first debate. As of this morning, Obama’s at 277 (uncomfortably close to the magic number of 270).

    I’ll stipulate that Obama still should be considered the front-runner.

    • Point of clarity: neat graph, thanks! The data goes up to the time before the second debate only. So I would say that the point would be that the Dems were in freefall from the effects of the first debate as recorded up to the second debate.

    • I would stipulate that it is not a statistical tie, but a lead by Obama, but not enough to ensure he gets elected. the remainder of states are in a statistical tie.

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