Tag Archives: Presidential Debate

Obama Slips, “My Current Vice President”

Lost in the chatter of horses and bayonets is a small, seemingly insignificant, slip of the tongue by the president.

The third and final debate between Governor Mitt Romney and President Obama focused on foreign policy and was largely uneventful but for the occasional snarky remark. One exchange, though, could actually be a revealing sound bite.

When discussing the meetings with senior administration officials about the Osama Bin Laden raid, President Obama quips, “Those decisions generally are not poll-tested. And even some in my own party, including my current vice president, had the same critique…”

“Current” Vice President?

With his blatant gaffes and questionable behavior at the Vice Presidential debate, perhaps VP Joe Biden is temporary in the eyes of the current president?

Where’s that Teleprompter When You Need It?

The inspiration for Obama’s flag pin.

Not only did Mitt Romney win the first presidential debate, he was also victorious in the battle of the flag pins. Compared to the horizontal flag pin Obama was wearing, Romney’s looked like the mainsail on a frigate.

Obama’s pin resembled those narrow, black eyeglass frames that geeks and hipsters wear to show their superiority to people who don’t know what “jelly bean” on an Android is. It had the same proportions as the gunport on a pillbox, only smaller.

Romney’s pin, on the other hand, was large enough to contain a mysterious dot that even on HD–TV didn’t have enough detail to allow one to identify it. Had the debate been in Orlando, I would have assumed it was Mickey Mouse, but Denver is not associated with any cartoon characters, unless you include Gov. Hickenlooper. Turns out that Romney’s pin is the one worn by members of the Secret Service and it was given to him by an agent on his protective detail.

I suppose Obama’s Secret Service detail thought it more fitting to give him golf tees or a bank bag, either of which would have looked out of place at the debate. And speaking of out of place, where do you think Obama would have rather been last night? He spent most of the evening looking like a petulant celebrant missing his big 20th wedding anniversary shindig.

The audience thought it was a joke when Obama began his opening statement promising Michelle they would not be celebrating next year’s anniversary on a debate stage. But based his frowny–face during the split–screen shots when Romney was talking, I think he was serious. He looked testy and put–upon all evening.

It was evident the Obama hadn’t faced any hostile questions from anyone during the past four years, assuming you overlook Michelle’s demanding when he intends to quit smoking.

The “yowza boss” attitude of the White House press corps is not conducive to making one fast on his feet.  Nor is becoming an alternate cast member of ‘The View.’ Maybe his schedule for the day read “9PM: slo–jamming the debate with your PBS homies,” because he was woefully unprepared.

Ann Romney may not like the questioning the campaign and her husband have undergone this year, but it sure made him sharper on his feet. Mitt was even mildly humorous at times, although he had a tendency to step on his own laugh lines. He needs to pause a beat after the punch line to give the audience time to respond. He could have made the “changing insurance companies” comment into a punch line and made himself look more like a regular guy, with just a bit of work. And Mitt went too fast when he accused Obama of only picking losers, so the impact was damaged. Unfortunately every comedian in the country appears to be on the Obama team, so it’s hard for Mitt to rehearse. I wonder what Drew Carey is doing?

Currently Obama spinmeisters are complaining about the replacement referee, er moderator. But the fact is when Obama the moderator and drones on FIVE MINUTES longer than Romney, yet still loses the debate, your candidate and your campaign are in a world of hurt.

As a result, I predict the Obama campaign will demand changes in the ground rules for debates two and three. First and foremost David Axelrod will be in charge of the visuals. This means no more cutaway shots or split–screen views when Romney is speaking. Obama will be able to chew Nicorette and stamp his foot with the audience none the wiser.

They may even demand Obama appear backlit behind a screen like 60 Minutes does when they interview a whistle–blower who doesn’t want to be recognized.

And all evidence points toward Obama’s team urging him to be more aggressive during the remaining debates, ready to pounce on Romney and his evil plans.

Fors fortus, as the Romans say.

He may be able to frighten the White House staff and startle the interns when Obama gets forceful, but I have an idea that during the debate it will only look bitchy.

Let's Be Blunt- Presidential Debates Are Boring

Let’s be blunt.  The format of the Presidential debates, whether in the primary or the general election seasons, is boring, lacking in quality content, and generally just painful to watch.  These problems are caused by two major factors:  The ineptitude of the American media establishment, and the lack of attention paid by the American electorate.

There are obviously other problems with the system, but those two causes, together, are the root of the problem.

The media take it upon themselves to make or break candidates.  They believe, quite wrongly, that they are the arbiters of American politics.  They do have a job to do, of course, but it isn’t what they think it is.  It is the media’s job to present all the facts about the various candidates.  They are supposed to look into each candidate’s background and history and present an accurate account of who and what each candidate is.  This is a job the media abandoned long ago in favor of thinking themselves king makers.

The media still research candidates, but they pick and choose what information to release.  They sift through pages and pages of documents centering on candidates they collectively hate (Sarah Palin, anyone?), but choose to gloss over and ignore glaring problems with candidates they adore (Barack Obama).  This is where the second portion of the root problem comes in.

The American public simply doesn’t give a damn.  A large swath of the American electorate vote for candidates based on press coverage, good looks, or for a chance to make history.  These voters don’t vote for candidates based on credentials and convictions.  This explains why someone could vote for Ronald Reagan in 1984 and then swing around and vote for Barack Obama 24 years later.  These voters don’t have values.  They vote for a candidate based on that candidate’s popularity or on what that candidate promises to give them.

All of this leads to Presidential Debates that never actually address real issues.  The questions asked by the media are often irrelevant, softballs for candidates they like, or purposely loaded to cause a candidate issues no matter how he or she answers the question for candidates they wish to destroy.

The media also can determine which candidates get the most camera time and which ones get ignored.  That shouldn’t be up to them.

There was one “debate” during the 2008 season that I found intriguing and refreshing:  The Rick Warren Debate.  In this format, each candidate was asked identical questions and each candidate could not hear his opponent’s answers.  This debate gave a clearer insight into the positions of John McCain and Barack Obama than any other.

I would support having each debate conducted in such a format, but I would take it one step further by eliminating the audience as well since those audiences do not really represent every day American voters.  They are “invited guests” of the various candidates and as such, biased.  The job of the person asking the question should them be to make sure the candidate actually answers the question and follow up as necessary.

Then, after that question and answer period, the candidates will be brought together, given a topic and turned loose on it.  The proctor will control the time each candidate speaks, but that’s it.  Every candidate will have equal time with each topic to give their position and debate each other.

Of course the media wouldn’t allow for changes such as these.  They would cause debates to be boring and actually cause more Americans to tune out.  At least, that’s how the argument goes.  Perhaps the opposite would be true.  If Americans started seeing questions that actually mean something, politicians that actually answer questions instead of dodge them, candidates actually turned loose to discuss topics amongst themselves, and all candidates treated equally, interest in those debates might actually increase.

It’s nice to dream sometimes.  Too bad that’s all it actually is.

A Bizarre Marriage Of Ideals: Reviewing the GOP Debate

Tonight was the next installment in a series of  televised GOP Presidential Debates.

Oddly enough, the debate itself was a very bizarre marriage of ideals. It was held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library, and sponsored by NBC News, parent company of the extreme left network MSNBC,  on which it was televised.  This partnership is not one you often think of.

This fact alone is more than likely the reason Jon Huntsman, Jr. received the amount of  time he received tonight.

Someone forgot to tell Jon Huntsman, Jr. that this was the REPUBLICAN debate, not the Democrat debate. However, it is doubtful he would have understood, if he had been told, given the fact he is running on the GOP ticket. The best advise his campaign could give him right now is to change the (R) behind his name to (D). The rumor is that Democrats are not too happy with President Obama right now, so maybe Jon Huntsman should consider making it official and just change parties. His ideals most certainly do not meet the Conservative standards.

To support this fact, Mr. Huntsman had more TV time in tonight’s debate than some of the other candidates who actually are ranking high in some of the polls. The obvious goal of the liberal MSNBC network tonight was to make Mr. Huntsman appear as though he truly has a chance in this race. The reality is he is completely delusional to think he is taken seriously by anyone, much less that he has any chance at all of winning the nomination.

Texas Governor Rick Perry made his debut on the debate stage, and by many accounts was hailed as tonight’s winner. He stood strong in his stance that Social Security is a ponzi scheme, to which Herman Cain suggested the Chilean model as an example of how to go about actually fixing the problem of Social Security, rather than just talking about it.

Rick Santorum was on the stage, but was more like a reminder that kept popping up than a serious challenger in the debate. With a few answers to the obligatory question or two thrown his way, he made some good points, but you often forgot he is was there, much less still in the race.

Mitt Romney actually faced up to Romneycare, rather than running from it. That’s about all that is worth mentioning from his podium, other than the fact that he made sure to point out he thinks President Obama is “a nice guy”, though he doesn’t agree with his leadership decisions.

Michele Bachmann appears to have lost her momentum, not having a “defining moment” in the evening.

Ron Paul was, well- Ron Paul. There is no question where Ron Paul stands on the issues. We know his voting record- he never waivers. While he has many good points, the “kooky” side of him tends to overpower the sane side of his argument.

The best moment of the debate came from Newt Gingrich, surprisingly. When asked by John Harris who, between the two governors- Perry and Gingrich- has the better end of the argument on the health-care issue, Mr. Gingrich replied:

Well, I’m frankly not interested in your effort to get Republicans fighting each other.

After much applause from the audience, and Mr. Harris trying- without success to shut Mr. Gingrich down, the former Speaker of The House went on to point out the overwhelming failure of President Obama. Mr. Gingrich closed by acknowledging the fact that he had more time, saying:

I for one, and I hope all of my friends up here, going to repudiate every effort of the news media to get Republicans to fight each other to protect Barack Obama who deserves to be defeated. And all of us are committed as a team, whoever the nominee is, we are all for defeating Barack Obama.

One thing is for certain: the next 15 months are going to be interesting indeed! The main stream media will most certainly make every effort to cause fighting among the GOP candidates. While they may be disillusioned with Obama, you can be certain they will never cast their vote for a Republican!

Cain Confirms Attendance for ATRF/ Daily Caller Debate

(Stockbridge, GA)- Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain confirmed his attendance today for the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation/ Daily Caller debate scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 10, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nev.

“I have spent nearly all of my professional career in the private sector, rescuing failing companies, balancing budgets and creating jobs,” Cain said. “I look forward to sharing these experiences and the common sense solutions I have always employed during the ATRF and Daily Caller debate in Las Vegas.”

Cain also urged his fellow Republican presidential candidates to accept the invitation to participate in the debate.

“Now is not the time for political games. It’s time to get serious about our anemic economy and the millions of Americans out of work because of it. People deserve to hear from all of us,” Cain said. “Governor Romney, saying you’re a businessman simply isn’t enough. I hope you will participate in this debate to showcase what experiences and vision we each have, and which of us would be able to best help stabilize and grow our economy.”

Herman Cain has participated in the two previous presidential debates hosted by FOX News/ South Carolina Republican Party and CNN/ WMUR/ The New Hampshire Union-Leader.

He has signed the Americans for Tax Reform Taxpayer Protection pledge, which vows to oppose any tax increases or elimination of tax relief.

Conservative Presidential Debate Watching Party: June 13th, 7pm Eastern

Missed the debate? – Catch Michelle’s excellent article on the event: The Dating Game .. errr .. the Debate

The CDN crew will be watching and live commenting on the New Hampshire GOP debate on Monday, June 13th. We’ll be here before the event to talk about the candidates and expectations as well as during and after the debate to discuss the candidates performance.

The debate will air on CNN (yes I know, but that’s where it is), if you don’t have CNN, you can watch it HERE from an internet live stream. Join us as we watch the seven attendees as they discuss the issues from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. from 7pm Eastern until… So bring your chips and drinks – it’s a debate watching party!

The debate will air at 8pm Eastern and go for two hours. We will get started a little earlier and go until we’re out of things to chat about.

Debate participants:

  • Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney
  • Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty
  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
  • Businessman Herman Cain
  • Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum
  • Representative Ron Paul (R-TX)
  • Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN)

Live Chat:

Pawlenty Will Attend New Hampshire Presidential Debate

Tim PawlentyIn an announcement from his campaign office, GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty will attend the next scheduled Republican presidential debate in Manchester, New Hampshire on June 13th.

I look forward to discussing my vision for growing our economy by cutting spending and unleashing America’s job creators,” Pawlenty said. “We cannot wait to begin the campaign to defeat President Obama and discuss our records with voters. President Obama’s policies have failed, and we need a new leader to tell the hard truths necessary to restore American prosperity. I look forward to sharing my vision and discussing my record in front of first-in-the-nation primary voters

Less than two weeks away, Herman Cain is the only other candidate that has announced plans to attend the event.

Herman Cain to Attend Debate in New Hampshire

Presidential candidate Herman Cain will be participating in a New Hampshire debate hosted by CNN, WMUR and the New Hampshire Union Leader. The debate is schedule for 8pm to 10pm on June 13th at Saint Anselm College in Manchester. The event will be broadcast on WMUR in New Hampshire and nation wide on CNN.

“I look forward to sharing my ‘common sense solutions for America’ and my record of real results with the people of New Hampshire and those watching at home,” Cain said. “I am especially excited about the ‘town hall’ format that will allow for me to speak directly with the people of New Hampshire about their concerns facing this country and my vision for getting America back on the right track.”

Mr. Cain is largely thought to have won the first Republican presidential debate held in South Carolina in early May.

Was That George McFly In The First GOP Debate?

The buzz tonight is all about the GOP Presidential Candidates Debate in South Carolina. It was with great enthusiasm that I sat down to watch the debate. To date I do not have one candidate that truly sticks out as a solid choice for me.

There was one candidate tonight that I did not know at all. As a former governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson was a new name and face to me.

Right out of the gate I was somewhat impressed with him. When asked about his views on Afghanistan he immediately earned my respect, saying that we should leave tomorrow. He added that he realized leaving tomorrow would take approximately 3 months.

Unfortunately, Mr. Johnson did not continue to impress me. At one point I literally stared blankly at the TV, not believing that I was actually hearing and seeing correctly! But my eyes and ears were not deceiving me!

Gary Johnson- a man applying for the job of President of The United States- actually interrupted Chris Wallace to complain that he was not receiving enough questions! Are you kidding me? He continued on, going from bad to worse, when he compared himself to the idea of the “fair tax”, stating the “fair Johnson” should be applied.

Chris Wallace assured Mr. Johnson that he had a question for him coming up.

It was like watching a warped TV episode of “Back To The Future”. Gary Johnson laughed nervously, stumbling awkwardly over himself in true “George McFly” style.

After one of the other candidates completed answering his question, Chris Wallace turned to Mr. Johnson, stated that he was glad to get to him. To this, Mr. Johnson replied sheepishly, “Great. Thanks!”

Quite honestly, the question that was asked of him was a very important question concerning Medicaid and Medicare but I could not have told you how Mr. Johnson answered the question had I not implemented the luxury of modern technology. Thankfully, I had DVR’d the debate. I had to rewind the DVR twice to actually hear what Mr. Johnson had to say because I was so embarrassed for him!

After he completed his answer, he thanked Chris Wallace, and it seemed as though the evening was going to move along as planned. However, Brett Baier must have felt sorry for Mr. Johnson as well, because he interjected a quick comment to him that they would be “fair and balanced” with the questions the rest of the evening.

Once again I could only stare at the screen in horror and embarrassment for this poor man! Is he serious? Once again, the images of George McFly flashed before my eyes! Gary Johnson- GOP Presidential Candidate for 2012- grinning a goofy grin, pointed his finger playfully at Brett Baier and said, “fair and balanced… that’s what I was thinking!”

What? You have got to be kidding me!

It continued to be a point of banter a bit later when Shannon Bream had her turn to ask the candidates questions. She turned her attention to Mr. Johnson, and said, “Governor Johnson, another question for you…”  You could hear the hint of laughter in her voice. She tried. She really did. And she almost made it to the question without actually laughing. But she didn’t quite make it. You could hear the ripples of laughter lightly sprinkled throughout the crowd, and Ms. Bream allowed a small, seemingly embarrassed chuckle to escape her before she asked Mr. Johnson his question.

Unfortunately, his answer did not impress me greatly. The question was regarding his stance on immigration, and he went on to explain that he was not in favor of putting up a fence to protect our borders. He turned my head a bit when he explained his idea for a “grace period” for illegal immigrants who are here now to be able to get work visas. While I do not believe his idea will actually work, I think it is a start. However, I STRONGLY disagree with him regarding a border fence! We MUST secure our borders or we are not going to have a country to be concerned about immigrants- legal or illegal.

By the end of the debate it appeared that Gary Johnson had regained some sense of self-respect, albeit it very little. There was no more whining from him about not receiving as many questions as the other candidates. The panel composed themselves and were able to ask him questions without having to stifle their giggles and reassure the Presidential Candidate that he was going to be treated “fair and balanced”. However, I found it very interesting that he received a somewhat “whimsical” question asking him if he had a reality show, what he would call it. Yet another odd and uncomfortable moment for Mr. Johnson!

While there were other issues discussed that I won’t discuss here, there is one last issue that I will cover.  Gary Johnson’s stance on this issue absolutely, without a doubt lost my vote if he had not already, when he discussed his pro-choice views. No thank you, Mr. Johnson! No thank you!

To paraphrase Biff, “Hello? Hello? Anybody home? Huh? Think, Johnson. Think!”  

You are applying for the job of Leader of The Free World! We already have one whiney weasel in the White House currently! What makes you think We The People will willingly elect yet another whiney weasel on the other side of the aisle? If you want this job you have to at least appear Presidential! Mr. Johnson- tonight you did not appear Presidential at all! Issues aside, America needs and wants a President with class. I’m not so sure you will get another chance to show us if you have class or not.

If I close my eyes really tight, I can almost hear that embarrassed and nervous chuckle/giggle/cackle from George McFly…..”Ah-ha-ha-ha, very funny.”

Well, not so much, Mr. Johnson. No so much!

What to Expect from the First GOP Presidential Debate

Thursday night at 9pm, Fox News and the South Carolina Republican Party will co-sponsor the first debate of the 2012 Presidential election. Five presidential possibles will be present for the debate: Herman Cain, former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza; Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico; Ron Paul, U.S. representative from Texas; Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota, and Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania.

What’s also important to note is that the candidates polling at the top of the most recent polls, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, and Sarah Palin will not be in attendance.

For those that chose to show, two main themes will more-than-likely be omnipresent: pot shots at President Obama and attempts for each of the candidates to differentiate themselves from each other.

Gary Johnson and Ron Paul will likely stress their libertarian roots by attacking the Fed’s monetary policy, shrinking the size of government and stressing the need for the U.S. to get out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. Johnson’s laser-like focus on the legalization of marijuana may place him firmly in the fringe camp especially since he’s been largely out of the limelight since leaving the New Mexico Governorship in 2002.

Tim Pawlenty will likely stress his executive experience as the Governor of Minnesota and crafting the image that he is the only realistic candidate in the race against Obama. In the past, Pawlenty has struggled to create an image of himself that excites the Conservative base. The debate could prove a pivot-point for him in becoming the most-serious contender for the GOP nomination.

Herman Cain has a tough push in the debate. While an effective communicator, he has some unclear positions on more liberal-leaning policies such as affirmative action and government intervention in the workplace. If those issues come to light, he will be hard pressed to either distance himself from prior stances on these issues or avoiding answering them altogether. Either one may not play well with the GOP base.

Rick Santorum will likely do well in the debate if it focuses on foreign policy, a strong point for the former Pennsylvania senator. A key concern is Santorum’s electability. While he will likely be fiery and exciting in the debate format, his loss of his recent Senate seat may cause many to question if he can beat Barack Obama in the general election.

First Republican Debate Set for Thursday in South Carolina

Greenville, SC will host the first of several Republican primary presidential debates, but the question remains – who will show up.

Confirmed acceptance of debate invitations is happening late. As recent as Monday, May 2nd Herman Cain voiced his intent to join the debate.  Others that have confirmed that they will attend don’t include those at the top of the GOP polls.

While some candidates argue that the debate is too soon, some, like Mitt Romney, have been campaigning for months. Those set to attend are:

Herman Cain, former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza; Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico; Ron Paul, U.S. representative from Texas; Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota, and Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania.[1]

Several other candidates had expressed a desire to be in the debates, but like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, have not yet filed the required paperwork to run.

[1] “SC presidential debate participants set” – http://www.thestate.com/2011/05/04/1805151/sc-presidential-debate-participants.html#ixzz1LOmpS8OY

Herman Cain Accepts Debate Invitation

Herman Cain(Stockbridge, GA)- Business executive and conservative leader Herman Cain announced today that he has accepted the invitation to participate in the South Carolina Republican Party/ FOX News Presidential Debate at 9 p.m. EDT, Thursday, May 5, 2011 in Greenville, South Carolina.

“I look forward to participating in the debate Thursday,” Cain said. “It gives me the opportunity to share my ‘Common Sense Solutions for America,’ as well as my private sector experience in balancing budgets and creating jobs.”

“We are incredibly pleased that Mr. Cain plans to join our field of candidates for this debate,” said Karen Floyd, Chairwoman of the South Carolina Republican Party. “We are eager to hear from him and the rest of our great candidates about their plans for putting our country back on track.”

Cain meets all debate qualifications and will file necessary paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission to participate. This is not an announcement of a candidacy. Rather, Cain will use the debate as means to “test the waters” and gauge the reaction to his “Common Sense Solutions for America.”

“Americans agree: it’s time to change the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.,” Cain said. “That starts with selecting a Republican nominee willing, able and qualified to take on President Obama in 2012 to ensure we restore America to its greatness. It all starts with the first debate in Greenville on May 5.”