That big eagle’s climbing on his surfboard, so it must be time for Presidential debate #2. I’ll be playing some post-debate chin music on CNBC. See you there.
In the meantime, does anybody else feel this way?: You captain the ship of state for four years through terribly treacherous waters, move landmark legislation over huge political barriers, bring the economy back from life support, manage tremendously gnarly foreign relations…and after all that, you’re stuck on a stage, trying to figure out how get it all across while your opponent says anything he wants, regardless of his agenda. And you’re graded by some amorphous group of undecideds who may well decide this thing but apparently are incapable of making up their minds.
I really wouldn’t hold it against him if Obama came out, looked in the camera and said:
“I apologize to the folks who came out here tonight, but I’m not gonna do this. You know me, you know my record, I’ve said where I hope to take this country if you see fit to give me another four years in office. But I’ve come to believe the electoral process is not well-served by debating Mr. Romney, who distorts both my own and his record to the point where I fear these debates do more harm than good. Plus, I’m a much better President than you’d get from my performance up here.
If you will support me, I deeply thank you for your vote and will work as hard as I can to accomplish the goals we’ve set out. If not, God bless.
Good night, Mitt, Candy, our Hofstra audience…and God bless America.”
For all I know, that would win him more votes than another two rounds of this.
UPDATE: OK, I’m glad he didn’t say all that. President Obama had a very strong showing, effectively laying out the differences between himself and Gov. Romney, and calling the Gov out much more aggressively on his attempts to shade his conservative agenda as moderate.
–Gov Romney tried to disparage the President’s energy policies by citing the price of gas. My 13 y.o. daughter had to watch the debate for social studies and I’m looking at her notes. She wrote “President doesn’t set the price of gas–it’s supply and demand [I'd add: in global markets].” So how come she knows that and Romney doesn’t.
–So this woman from Long Island goes through the trouble of writing down a bunch of tax deductions and credits that mean a lot to her and asks Gov R a simple and highly relevant question: just tell me which ones you’re going to get rid of to pay for your tax cuts. That’s exactly the kind of question a voter like her needs answered. But she got nothing.
–On gender discrimination, their exchange was elucidating: Romney talked about his managerial largess; the President talked about corrective policy.
I actually ran into a guy tonight who claimed to be undecided. I asked him, “what information do you need to make up your mind that you don’t yet have?”
“I dunno,” he responded. And that’s where we left it.