Tag Archives: primaries

President Obama smokes Mitt Romney in 3rd and Final Debate

It was very good to see. President Obama did a very good job last night. Mitt Romney did not.

I think that EJ Dionne wraps it up well:

The cost of creating this reassuring presence, however, was that doing so reinforced Obama’s attack line on Romney as an unprincipled politician. Romney’s stands on issues seem related almost entirely to the political calendar: Veer as far right as necessary in the primaries, then slam on the breaks, turn right around, and head in an entirely new direction – all in pursuit of those moderate suburban moms whom strategists on both sides see as central to the election’s outcome.

Obama seemed confused in the first debate by the New Romney (or, depending on how you want to count these things, the New New Romney). He wasn’t this time. “I’m glad Gov. Romney agrees with the steps we’re taking,” Obama said at one point, and then catalogued how it has not always been thus. Obama was particularly tough after Romney praised the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Obama noted that Romney had once said, “We shouldn’t move heaven and earth to get one man,” thereby using one foreign policy matter with which all Americans are familiar to illustrate Romney’s habit of altering his positions when doing so is convenient. In a foreign policy debate especially, a Democrat wants to convey toughness. That’s what Obama’s demeanor did.

NY Times editorial:

Mitt Romney has nothing really coherent or substantive to say about domestic policy, but at least he can sound energetic and confident about it. On foreign policy, the subject of Monday night’s final presidential debate, he had little coherent to say and often sounded completely lost. That’s because he has no original ideas of substance on most world issues, including Syria, Iran and Afghanistan.

During the debate, on issue after issue, Mr. Romney sounded as if he had read the boldfaced headings in a briefing book — or a freshman global history textbook — and had not gone much further than that. Twice during the first half-hour, he mentioned that Al Qaeda-affiliated groups were active in northern Mali. Was that in the morning’s briefing book?

Countdown – Special Comment, FISA and Barack Obama

Congratulations, Glenn Greenwald. Glenn Greenwald challenged both Barack Obama and Keith Olbermann over this FISA legislation. The bottom line, as Glenn pointed out, was that Barack Obama stood firmly against immunity for the telecom companies during the primaries. Now that he is one step away from the White House, he appears to be playing politics, and backing off from this pledge.

Keith Olbermann did his homework, or rather, he had John Dean do his homework for him. Over the weekend, John Dean not only read the FISA legislation also looked at related statutes. He concluded that the telecom companies would be immune from civil lawsuits but not from criminal prosecution. Therefore, Barack Obama can vote for the FISA legislation and still pledge to prosecute any criminal activity of the telephone companies. This would be something. But for me, I would like to see Barack Obama say no telecom immunity. No! Then, follow up with a pledge that if criminal wrongdoing is found he would instruct the attorney general to prosecute.

With John McCain cranking up the rhetoric on Barack Obama’s campaign-finance “flip-flop,” I think it is important that he (Obama) takes a stand on principle. The Republicans are going to do what they’re going to do (lie and distort). Therefore, it is critical for Barack Obama to decide where he’s going to stand in this election.

Congratulations to Glenn Greenwald (Glenn’s Olbermann posts – here and here. Glenn’s original post on FISA and Obama here.) It is rare for a blogger to have any influence of the world on which he blogs. Glenn’s arguments are thoughtful and well researched. It is very hard to argue with Glenn… and win.

How do you count the popular vote?

How do you count the popular vote? We’ve been hearing for months from the Hillary Clinton campaign that she is ahead in the popular vote. According to the blog 538, there are over 900 different ways to count the popular vote. All of them can be argued to be legitimately “correct.” He has included an excellent Excel table so that you can come up with your own permutations. Do you count Florida yes or no? If you count Florida to count them at 100% or 50%? The same with Michigan. With the added caveat of what do you do with the uncommitted votes — don’t tell them, count them for Obama or a portion according to the exit polls. Do you count Puerto Rico and other territories? Do you count the Texas Caucus? Do you count advisory primaries? Finally, do you use caucus vote estimates or do you blow off caucuses completely.

If you use caucus votes estimates, you ignore the Texas Caucus results much account Puerto Rico in the territories, exclude Michigan uncommitteds, exclude Michigan and count Florida at 100%, Barack Obama is up by more than 100,000 votes.