Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Obama Cleans Romney’s Clock: Will It Be Enough?

"Fool me once, I'll lie to your face! Fool me twice, I'll lie behind close doors that you can't get past.....BAAHH!"

Just like Muhammad Ali, who in his peak boxing years would “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee”- so also Barack Obama stung the holy hell out of Willard Mitt Romney last night, while also exposing his ugly-entitled Uber Capitalist persona. There are so many ways that Obama jabbed and ko’d Willard Rat it would take six blogs to describe them, so let me focus on the highlights:

1) Hammering Mitt’s “Five points plan” and making it a "one-point plan": ensuring the über-wealthy types keep all their gains at the expense of the rest of us.

As I referenced earlier (The Economist, Jan. 14, p. 25) Romney’s five points plan to “turn the economy around” is bollocks. Summarily put it amounts to: 1) Killing Obamacare (so the Middle class he weeps so much about will now have to cough up more money once they reach an insurance limit and will be denied based on pre-existing conditions), 2) Killing key regulations – so we can now expect more contaminated food with E. Coli, Salmonella, etc. 3) Gutting Medicaid – via “state grants” – so the poor will now be left with their kids dying of chronic diseases and lack of care, 4) A 20% “across the board” tax cut which will translate into massive tax increases for the middle class to avoid a $5 trillion deficit, and 5) Further economic impositions on the middle class, since Romney also plans to add $2 trillion to the Pentagon.

Where do people think that extra dough will come from- to keep things revenue “neutral” for Mitt  – if not from THEIR hides?

2) Undoubtedly Romney’s worst moment of the night was induced by himself when he brought up the Benghazi  (Libya) attack. As he pressed Obama on this, the president stared stone-faced at Willard Rat and told him straight up that the sort of accusations made which implied a political motivation to delay comment were “offensive”. Not satisfied, Romney adopted his best feral rat face in confronting Moderator Candy Crowly - stuck his jaw out- and re-asserted a 14-day delay in calling Benghazi a terror attack. Crowley then did a simple fact check (perhaps expecting this might come up) and thereby exposed Romney in making a factually incorrect attack. This was the first real time fact check in presidential debate history

Crowley also deserved kudos for not allowing herself to be pushed around by the CEO brat to demand more time. Unlike Lehrer who was rolled over and over, Crowley stood firm.

3) Mitt’s “Binders full of women” blather. (Can you just see all those women screaming and pounding to get out of his binders?) While the comment went viral as it ought to have, it also exposed yet another monumental Romney lie because he did no such thing. (Which makes sense, because he also had no use for the Lily Ledbetter act that would have ensured women are paid the same as men.)

According to Romney – in his own words:

“We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said, can you help us find folks? And I brought us whole binders full of — of women,”

But according to veteran Boston Phoenix journalist David Bernstein (as reported on, what actually happened is that "a bipartisan coalition of women’s groups came together to compile lists of eligible female candidates for office before the 2002 gubernatorial election had even occurred". Romney insists he “went to a number of women’s groups” and asked them for the binders, but the converse is true: they went to him . Bernstein also shows that many of the senior-level women Romney eventually hired were given control of departments and agencies that were not a priority for the governor (think of tracking purchase orders for cleaning materials.) Meanwhile Romney had net zero women working on the budget or actual businesses development. Nice, equality minded guy! NOT!

4) Crowley’s firm control induced emergence of the nasty and entitled CEO. My wife, myself and a female guest noted this from about ten minutes after the start of the Town Hall debate until just before Obama’s closing statement at the end. At key points when Crowley brought the hammer down, one could see Romney’s argumentative testiness on display- not only in his facial contortions but in aggressively pressing the moderator for more and more time. At one point his disrespectful rebuke of the president: “Just be quiet and wait your turn!” shocked us and many in the audience. Who the hell does he think he is? Chris Matthews in a post-debate analysis made the observation that he was then: ‘The Boss we all love to HATE!” Yes, the entitled CEO barking his orders to underlings and taking no account of their voice.

5) Obama’s ending statement and the “47%” parting shot. Obama aptly reminded those delirious voters still undecided that it was Romney who dissed them all back in May with this snide comment to a group of billionaires in Boca Raton, FL. The message was critical in depicting Romney as the shape shifting liar he is and a rat who will say or do anything to get elected. It was also critical in showing that what Mitt bloviates to voters, and what he says behind closed doors (when he believes those voters aren’t around) are two different things.

So why elect a two-faced turd whose personas in private and public are at such variance?

The question among Obama supporters is 'Will this be enough to halt Romney's momentum?'  The early indicators are that it might, with post debate polls giving Obama an edge, for example the CNN poll has Obama winning 46%- 39% and the CBS poll winning 37% to 31% with 32% awarding a "tie". At the same time we have to be wary of polls and how easily they can be detached from reality. For example, one poll (USA Today-Gallup) that came out yesterday showed Obama losing to WOMEN by 49% to 48% in battleground-swing states. But one pollster from interviewed on 'The Cycle' admitted lots of problems with that when his own and other internal polls continue to show Obama with a double digit lead over Romney - as it ought to be - because no woman in her right mind could possibly contemplate or accept what Romney's inevitable economic changes would do to her family: from losing the child tax credit to losing college loan deductions, to having health insurance limited.

Another poll taken after last night's debate also is enough to twist heads, with 56% saying Obama would do more for the Middle Class and 65% saying Romney would do more for the economy. Hello,  pollsters and people! The two are not mutually exclusive! If the Middle Class are more likely to be helped then the economy will be also! 

One is led to conclude here that while these voters probably accept Obama's economic prescription and his economic facts, they have still allowed Romney's "style" and his history as a "businessman" (actually a vulture capitalist whose main mandate was to dispense with U.S. jobs and incept company bankruptcies) to pollute their thinking.

Let me also reinforce a point here,  made -  I believe, by Ariana Huffington many times the past five or six years: that most polls notoriously under-represent democrats because of the split nature of telephone communications. We know more Dems have cell phones, but at the same time are less likely to accept 'unknown' callers - who are also those who may want to poll people. Even land line Dems are more averse to any telephone nuisance factors-  and speaking for wifey and myself- we never answer the phone to an unknown caller, or to address or respond to a poll! (We let the answering machine field everything!) If this is not unique then it may portend very well for Mr. Obama in what the REAL polls probably show. My guess? Possibly a 5-6% Obama lead, which also assumes the pollsters likely keep calling until they finally reach a willing respondent (to complete their poll - say using a sample of 1,000)  who - 2 out of 3 times- is more likely to be Republican or conservative.

As to whether Obama's performance last night will be enough, I believe it might be, but only provided: 1) Most of my assumptions above to do with polling prove valid, and 2) He follows up with an equally energetic and spot-on performance next week. All the same, it's a pity he didn't bring this verve and pugnacious element in the first one on one debate (which 70 million watched) because if he had Romney by now would be past history.

Note to any “uncommitted voters”: If this debate was too much heat for you and ‘turned you off’ (as some on CBS claimed this morning), do us all a favor and stay at home on Nov. 6th! This embodiment of fierce conflict, reflected in most partisans - is what the heart of democracy looks like!

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