Obama, Candy Crowley, and Libya

For the first time, tonight, I managed to see an entire debate while it was happening without interruption. To do so I had to go to my office to get a better internet connection.

My overall impression was that Barack Obama did much better than he did last time and that he spoke at much greater length than Mitt Romney.

Romney himself did well nearly all of the time. On points, I think it a tie; on manner and presentation, I thought that Romney came off as the genuine item and that Obama seemed at times a phoney.

On one point, Romney got flustered and did poorly. He should have hammered Obama over Benghazi. He began to; Obama lied; and Candy Crowley waded in to confirm the lie. In the Rose Garden, Obama did not speak of “a terrorist act”; he spoke of an “act of senseless violence.”

I suspect that this lie will come back to haunt Barack Obama. Everyone who has paid attention knows that it was untrue, and that will leave a sour taste in the mouths of many Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents.

My bet is that in the polls Mitt Romney continues to advance. The last debate will be interesting.

  1. James Of England
    john marzan

    Israel Pickholtz: Final debate is about foreign policy. Does that include Fast and Furious? · 31 minutes ago

    it should. especially if they bring up mexico. · 4 hours ago

    We have the six topics released. 2x Middle East, AfPak, China “and tomorrow’s world”, Israel/ Iran, and America’s role in the world.

    I don’t think that F&F fits into that neatly enough that we can expect a question on it.

  2. Black Prince

    I don’t like the fact that Romney was going after China.  I don’t necessarily disagree with what he said (that China is currency manipulator, steals intellectual property etc.), but it makes him (and more importantly the country) look like an impotent crybaby.  Dealing with China should be a priority for Romney’s administration, but it should be done on the “down low”.  Also, on the science and technology front there is an inversion occurring:  Asian countries (and Asian immigrants) are overtaking the West.  This has to do in part with cultural attitudes towards the “hard core” subjects, but it also has to do with our failing elementary and high schools.  I know that education is a state issue, but it is a state issue with national (including national security) consequences.  The education situation is now a crisis and the future of America is in jeopardy.  It pains me to say this, but I think that there should be a federal law that forces states to issue educational vouchers and banns states from dealing with teachers unions. (Continued below…)

  3. Black Prince

    (…Continued from above)

     I think that teachers should have the freedom to join any group that they want (including teachers unions), but that doesn’t mean that the state has to deal with them (the unions).  I can foresee a time in the not to distant future where Americans of European descent are viewed as slow and stupid compared to their Asian counterparts.  This is a MAJOR crisis and something has to be done.  Quickly.

  4. katievs
    Freeven

    katievs: Normal American can tell the difference between the real deal and BS. 

    Oh? Who is president again?

    “You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.” ~ James Thurber · 5 hours ago

    Touché. 

    What I meant, though, is that now that Obama has a record, enough Americans will be able to recognize that his words are empty.

    Last time, there were real reasons for voters to be alarmed at what was happening.  And there were real reasons to be worried that the McCain/Palin ticket wasn’t up to the job.  And Obama, with the press swooning all over him, sounded so convincing.  

    Now he doesn’t.

  5. liberal jim
    Paul A. Rahe: 

    On one point, Romney got flustered and did poorly. He should have hammered Obama over Benghazi. He began to; Obama lied; and Candy Crowley waded in to confirm the lie. In the Rose Garden, Obama did not speak of “a terrorist act”; he spoke of an “act of senseless violence.”

    I think O did use the word terror, but any reasonable person probably would not conclude he was talking about Benghazi.  But O is now in a position of saying he was calling it a terrorist attack on 9/12, which means he knew it was a terrorist attack on 9/12.  Unless the administration walks what he said in the debate back today, Romney needs to take him at his word for it makes everything O and his cronies said subsequently a lie and a cover up.

  6. Israel P.

    Final debate is about foreign policy. Does that include Fast and Furious?

  7. Indaba

    No wonder Romney gets govt working because he is such a well mannered and gracious person, joe Biden types would be sent out of the room.

  8. The King Prawn

    I’d be happy if the last debate was simply moderated.

  9. Keith Preston

    Surfing around the last few minutes…we know so much, we get frustrated and disappointed when Mitt misses an opportunity for the kill.

    Mitt did well where he needed to…economy, gas and oil, etc.  Obama’s halo is broken.  This debate did not change that.  I think Mitt continues to gain into the next debate and starts showing above 50% in many battleground states.  Most voters aren’t like us gang…they now KNOW Mitt can do a better job.  It’s now ok for them to vote for him.

    Don’t be discouraged…we were spoiled by last time.  Most “low-info” voters aren’t watching these after the first one.  It’s okay.

  10. flownover

    Exactly the lies always come back and the people are becoming so skeptical that lying is not the default certainty it once was.

  11. Edward Smith

    I do not know what happened to Romney over Libya.  Maybe he had a slightly off night.  That happens.

    He will prep more for the next debate.  Any fallout over Hillary’s falling on Obama’s sword (which, repeating myself, is a hell of an image) may have sorted itself out by then.

    NPR called this a draw, and suggested that Obama needed more than a draw.

    BTW, 40 vs 44 minutes?  It kinda depends what you do with those minutes.

  12. J. D. Fitzpatrick

    I saw only the last 40 minutes. 

    I wonder how many of the genuine undecideds will notice Obama’s vault on two key questions:

    1. “Who denied the request for additional security at the Libya embassy?”

    2. “Please take a moment to respond to a misperception that voters have of you.” 

    O’s response to 2 really bugged me, since he used it as an opportunity to attack Romney instead of defend himself. I’m just hoping that his cheap shot turns off a few more lingering undecideds. 

  13. katievs

    I only saw the second half. I thought Romney far better.  Obama was rude and full of hot air.  Glib and aggressive, but unconvincing.  Romney advances.

  14. Reckless Endangerment

    If Libya becomes an issue in the coming weeks, it will benefit the GOP since it calls attention to the utter incompetence of the Obama administration. In the short run though, Mitt was not forceful enough when confronted by a man emboldened by the office he holds. The crappy clip with Crowley and Obama misleading casual listeners was tough to watch, especially as Mitt was just sitting there and taking it.

    Mitt should have turned Obama’s strong words about the office of the presidency into how someone like him would never have allowed such dysfunction within his closest inner circle when American lives and reputation is at stake globally.

  15. Reckless Endangerment
    katievs: I only saw the second half. I thought Romney far better.  Obama was rude and full of hot air.  Glib and aggressive, but unconvincing.  Romney advances. · 1 minute ago

    I hope so,  but I fear that the Libya clip since it involved the most heated and emotional exchange will be the most discussed and replayed.

  16. Casey

    I caught about 20 minutes here and there. It seemed to me we were watching a heavyweight fight between a highly skilled fighter (Romney) and a tomato can (Obama). The only hope the tomato can has is to tie up his opponent, frustrate him, and limit the use of his skills. In other words, he has to make the fight ugly. Obama succeeded in that respect but I’m not sure anyone comes away thinking he’s a champ.

  17. Jimmy Carter

    I think all registered democrat voters and republican voters should not be able to vote, because, well, We know how they’ll vote.

    Just registered “uncommitted [substituted for undecided] voters ” at the booths.

    Boy, how would that ever change the process.

  18. dogsbody

    Sadly, I think Romney whiffed this one.  Last 30 minutes were weak.  Should have nailed Obama on Fast and Furious and Libya.  Press has their “comeback kid” stories preloaded in their laptops, so that’s tomorrow’s line.

  19. Leigh
    Keith Preston:

     Obama’s halo is broken.  This debate did not change that. 1 minute ago

    Exactly.

  20. wmartin

    From the immediate reactions, media are calling it a big win for Obama on the Libya question. Was I off in praising Romney so much on economic questions?

    CBS snap poll says Obama won by 7 %. “Tie” got more votes than Mitt.

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