The Morning After

Ken AshfordBloggingLeave a Comment

Fun Fact: Winners of first Presidential debates include "Presidents" Mondale, Dukakis, Perot and Kerry.

Still, I'm not comforted.


It's amusing to watch the media narrative congeal.  Last night, it was clear that Romney won; this morning, Romney gave the greatest debate in the modern history of the Republican party.  Maybe that's true, but I certainly didn't feel that way last night.  He was the walk-away winner, that's all.


Obama and his team made the calculated decision not to hit Romney on Bain or the "47% talk" because a) it wouldn’t look presidential and b) it’s already penetrated deep into the political consciousness of the electorate.  Maybe so. But does it ever hurt to repeat the attacks that have been proven to work against your opponent?


Something nobody is talking about this morning, which I didn't understand: Romney said he wouldn't lower taxes on anybody if it would contribute to the deficit.  Won't lowering taxes automatically contribute to the deficit, especially if you intend to increase spending for the military?


Mitt Romney likes coal. Mitt Romney likes Big Bird. He will give money to help coal. He will take money away from Big Bird. Mitt Romney's affection is meaningless.


Check out page 9 of CNN's "snap poll" of the debate, in which 35% said the debate made them more likely to vote for Romney while only 18% said the faceoff made them more likely to vote to re-elect the president.  ALL of the respondents — 100% — were white Southern men over the age of 50.

Well done, CNN.


CNN's fact-checking was pretty bad last night, too. This was CNN's John Berman's quick factcheck on the dispute over whether Mitt Romney had anyway to pay for his $5 trillion tax cut for high income earners …

Now let's look at the facts here. Mitt Romney does propose across-the-board, 20 percent tax cuts. The nonpartisanTax Policy Center said under that plan, taxes on the wealthiest Americans would be reduced by $5 trillion initially. Romney said he would offset that by closing loopholes and reducing reductions. So if you take him at his word, our verdict that Mitt Romney would cut taxes on the wealthy by $5 trillion, the verdict here is false.

If you take him at his word?  That's how you fact-check?


There was a lot of bad in what Romney said last night.  For example, his position on pre-existing conditions is terrible.  Top Romney advisor says people with pre-existing conditions will need their states to enact versions of RomneyCare after Obamacare is repealed at the federal level.  Well… what if your state doesn't?

Obama didn't jump on this last night, but hopefully, low-information voters will hear some of that in the days to come.


By the way, Romney moved to the center last night.  Obama didn't notice that either, but it's going to be interesting to see where Romney places himself in the upcoming weeks.  He can't etch-a-sketch much more.


On Intrade, the President began the debate with a 71 percent chance of winning the election. Immediately following the debate, his chances had fallen to just over 67 percent.  Over the course of the day, his odds declined by more than 8 percent.

Romney's odds of winning shot up to 32.3 percent. That means that for the day, Romney's odds of winning rose more than 24 percent.

67% chance of winning the election for Obama is still damn good.


According to Mitt Romney, his children are lying sons of a bitch.


Mitt Romney Adopts New ‘Ronnie Ferocious’ Persona For Debates

Wearing a sleeveless cutoff suit jacket, tight leather pants, and a blue tie knotted around his head of spiky, red-white-and-blue-streaked hair, Romney swaggered on stage, took his position beside Obama, and ordered debate moderator Jim Lehrer to “fucking do this already.”

“You know what? I’ll ask the first question,” the former Massachusetts governor said before putting out his cigarette on his forearm and flicking the butt at Lehrer. “What kind of little shit show do we have here this evening, folks? That’s my question. Because from where I’m standing, seems like a big ol’ shit show. And Lehrer, shut your fat mouth when Ronnie Ferocious is talking, or I’ll pound your goddamn face in.”

“As for you, Mr. President, you can wipe that smug grin off your face or I can do it for you,” he added before sticking out his diamond-pierced tongue and wagging it at everyone in the auditorium. “I don’t need any of that ‘Forward’ shit from you tonight.”

Read the whole Onion piece….