Two Weeks To Go (and There’s No Stress)

I have nothing to say about the third and final debate.   I didn’t watch more than 15 minutes of it and only because it was halftime of a pretty boring Lions/Bears football game.   Even if the debate hadn’t been scheduled against Monday Night Football, I wouldn’t have tuned in.   Not because I’m tired of it all (though I am), but because there’s nothing left for me to get out of the debates.

Simply put: I have had enough.  I am numb to all this shit.  Can’t hear it.  Don’t see it.  Can’t process any more of it.   I’m ready for this to be o-v-e-r already and I know I’m not the only one.  Hell, look at Barack Obama.   He’s been forced to undergo the unpleasant experience of losing 4.5 hours of his life trapped on stages in three cities with a lying, unprincipled asshole who treated the President of the United States like he was a servant who hadn’t polished the silverware correctly.    Four years ago when he debated John McCain, it was obvious that no matter how badly Obama wanted to win the election, he wasn’t going to do so by openly disrespecting McCain.

That isn’t a problem for Obama and Romney.   It was well-established the two men don’t like each other even a bit and with the debates finished you get the feeling Obama would happily live the rest of his life if he never spoke to Romney again and is desperately hoping he doesn’t have to pose for a photo where he’s making small talk in the Oval Office with the newly elected president.

With two weeks left to go, if you’re still undecided, I don’t know what it is you’re waiting for to help you make up your mind?  Do you hold up the check-out lane at the grocery store trying to choose between paper and plastic?

I’m not criticizing undecided voters.  I just don’t get how anyone could still be undecided by now.  Even if you’re voting for a third-party candidate,  good for you that you’ve come to a decision.   I’m sure in whatever fantasy world you’re living in President Jill Stein or President Garry Johnson will be better than either of those Romney or Obama losers.

At this point of the race, I don’t need any more debates, I’ve stopped watching commercials, and polls are a source of aggravation, not information.   The pundits can save their prognostication for someone who is still paying attention.   I am not any longer, thank you.   I have already voted.   Everyone in my household has.   If I choose to, on November 6, I can stay in bed late, never get out of my robe and only get up to freshen the many Jack and Cokes I plan upon pounding down that night.

Every day I have to empty my Junk e-mail box twice.   If there’s a Democrat in a high-profile race that isn’t acting as if we’re old buddies on a first name basis, I don’t know who it is.   Give money once or twice to Obama or the Democratic Party and suddenly everybody’s calling, writing and imploring for my $3 bucks here or my $25 bucks there.

Sorry.  My wallet’s closed.  It’s the last days of October and I need to get some work done on my roof before the snow falls on it.  Yes, I really want to see Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren and Claire McCaskill win their races, but are they going to climb up on my roof and fix it if they
don’t and is three dollars really going to help you all that much?

That’s life in a battleground state.  Every Super PAC is carpet-bombing the state with commercials.   You can’t swing a yard sign without hitting a candidate or their surrogates.   If Mitt’s in Cincinnati and Barack’s in Cleveland then Joe has to be in Dayton and Paul is in Columbus and Ann’s in Akron while Michelle is down the street and up the block and Ohmigawd, if I’m tired of this, how exhausted must they be?

This is how I will survive the final days of the election.   Stop reading the polls.  Don’t watch any of the talking heads shows for the next two weeks.  Don’t read anything written by anyone that stresses you out BECAUSE  IT WON’T DO ANY GOOD TO WORRY ABOUT WHAT YOU CANNOT CHANGE (or do I have to quote Reinhold Niebuhr to you?)

Some people whose opinion I seriously respect are seriously stressed out by the closeness of the race.   I can’t be.  I said when Obama won that I couldn’t let the sun rise and set on one man’s fortunes.    I can’t go into “about-to-have-a-stroke” mode this soon.   If I do I’ll be dead before Election Night and how stupid will I feel if I worried myself in an early grave because win or lose, I’ll still have to go back to work the next day.

 

The Humbling At Hofstra: How Obama Got His Swag Back

Brother Barack smirks while Mr. Mitt steams.

Now that’s more like it.

Fresh off his appearance two weeks ago impersonating Clint Eastwood’s empty chair, the real Barack Obama showed up for the second presidential debate and he came ready.   He had two weapons with him, one seen and the other unseen.   The first was a microphone.   The second was a gym bag full of shoes to break off in Mitt Romney’s ass.

The debate was made up the usual jabs by the candidates at each other, griping to the moderator how they hadn’t had the chance to respond to the question asked five minutes ago and a lot more give-and-take directly between Obama and Romney.   God bless Candy Crowley and her shoulder pads.  She was just the woman for the job of keeping the two men (somewhat) on point and certainly she was better at it than Jim Lehrer was in his hapless performance at the first debate.

It was a very skilful moment.  It’s the kind of moment when everything lines up in perfect political harmony.   Obama should have been put on the defensive by the Libya question.  He had successfully slipped the question, something Romney could have pointed out, but he had to rush to his pre-programmed talking points and pin the president’s ears back.   Or so he thought.

 PRESIDENT OBAMA: Secretary Clinton has done an extraordinary job. But she works for me. I’m the president. And I’m always responsible. And that’s why nobody is more interested in finding out exactly what happened than I did (sic).

The day after the attack, Governor, I stood in the Rose Garden, and I told the American people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened, that this was an act of terror. And I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime. And then a few days later, I was there greeting the caskets coming into Andrews Air Force Base and grieving with the families.

And the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the secretary of state, our U.N. ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own, Governor, is offensive. That’s not what we do. That’s not what I do as president. That’s not what I do as commander in chief.

MS. CROWLEY: Governor, if you want to reply just quickly to this, please.

MR. ROMNEY: Yeah, I — I certainly do. I certainly do. I — I think it’s interesting the president just said something which is that on the day after the attack, he went in the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror. You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Please proceed.

MR. ROMNEY: Is that what you’re saying?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Please proceed, Governor.

MR. ROMNEY: I — I — I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Get the transcript.

This was the point where a little voice in the back of Romney’s perfectly coiffed hair should have screamed, ALERT! ALERT!  Why is he so confident?  What does he know that I don’t?

Crowley, playing Miss Instant Fact Check brought Romney back to reality.

MS. CROWLEY: It — he did in fact, sir.

So let me — let me call it an act of terrorism — (inaudible) —

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy? (Laughter, applause.)

A knock down, not a knock out, but all the same…

Boom! Head shot.  Romney could not have looked any more pissed if his last dividend check from Bain Capital had bounced.   Mitt will have to call up his proctologist today to see if he can get Obama’s foot extracted.

Romney’s first stumble was less severe than his first, but it was his second Big Bird moment: another “huh?” remark that resonates long everything else that was said during 90 minutes is long forgotten.

CROWLEY: Governor Romney, pay equality for women?

ROMNEY: Thank you. And [sic] important topic, and one which I learned a great deal about, particularly as I was serving as governor of my state, because I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men.

And I — and I went to my staff, and I said, “How come all the people for these jobs are — are all men.” They said, “Well, these are the people that have the qualifications.” And I said, “Well, gosh, can’t we — can’t we find some — some women that are also qualified?”

ROMNEY: And — and so we — 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 they brought us whole binders full of women.

Binders full of women? Unleash the Twitter and Tumblr hounds!

It wasn’t so bad for Mitt when he pissed off Sesame Street viewers.  Kids can’t vote.  Women can and they aren’t likely to forget how Mitt ducked the question whether or not he favors pay equity for them but isn’t so shy when he declares he wants to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood or make an abortion darn near impossible to get.

Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce  summed up just how nasty Mr. Mitt was last night at Hofstra University.   If you aren’t reading Pierce you should be.  With Molly Ivins and Hunter S. Thompson no longer with us, Pierce is the sharpest (and sharpest tongued) commentator on politics we have.

But not even I expected Romney to let his entitled, Lord-of-the-Manor freak flag fly as proudly as he did on Tuesday night. He got in the president’s face. He got in Crowley’s face. That moment when he was hectoring the president about the president’s pension made him look like someone to whom the valet has brought the wrong Mercedes.

“You’ll get your chance in a moment. I’m still speaking.”

Wow. To me, this was a revelatory, epochal moment. It was a look at the real Willard Romney, the Bain cutthroat who could get rich ruining lives and not lose a moment’s sleep. But those people are merely the anonymous Help. The guy he was speaking to on Tuesday night is a man of considerable international influence. Outside of street protestors, and that Iraqi guy who threw a shoe at George W. Bush, I have never seen a more lucid example of manifest public disrespect for a sitting president than the hair-curling contempt with which Romney invested those words. (I’ve certainly never seen one from another candidate.) He’s lucky Barack Obama prizes cool over everything else. LBJ would have taken out his heart with a pair of salad tongs and Harry Truman would have bitten off his nose.

And Romney bitched endlessly — endlessly — about the rules, and why this uppity fellow on the other stool was allowed to speak before he was spoken to, and why he didn’t get to speak at length on whatever he wanted to speak on because, after all, he is the CEO of the stage. Jesus Christ, I’d hate to play golf with the man. He’s the guy who counts to make sure you don’t have too many wedges in your bag. He knows every cheap subsection of every cheap ground rule, and he’ll call you on every one of them. You couldn’t get a free drop out of him with thumbscrews, and forget about conceding any putt outside two inches. And then, on the 18th hole, with all the money on the line, he kicks his ball out of the rough and denies up and down to the rules committee that he did it. Then he goes into the clubhouse bar and nobody sits with him.

When Obama and  Crowley fact-checked Mitt in real-time about whether the president used the word “terror” in his September 12 remarks, that was a “Drop the Mic and Fold Ya Arms” moment and the Right knew it.  The blogosphere exploded with apoplectic, whiny Republicans spitting on their laptops about “the libbrul media” and Crowley for not repeating Lehrer’s imitation of a doormat.  The talking heads of Fox News said the debate was a tie.  Which means Obama won.

Well played, Mr. President. Makes me wonder who that guy who was standing up there in your spot two weeks ago.

For Obama supporters, when you get that e-mail from Barack Obama today asking “How ya like me now?” in response to his performance in the second debate, don’t just compliment him. Send him a little green. Piss off a Koch Brother.

The Debates: No Bundini Browns Necessary

“Panic? Me? “

There’s laundry to be done.  There are leaves to be raked.   There are plants that went in the dirt in the spring that need to come out for the fall.  There’s always bills to be paid.

There’s always something else I could be doing.    Tonight though I’ll put all that aside for 90 minutes for the second of the three presidential debates.    Nobody needs yet another recap of the first one.   Romney won, Obama lost and it wasn’t even close.   Sure,  Romney won on style while Obama carried the day based upon substance, but since when have presidential races been about substance?

After the first debate the boxing metaphors came down like rain.   Romney jabbed while Obama covered up.    Romney threw punches that were high to the head, directly to the kidneys and below the belt, but at least he was fighting.   Obama just gave away round after right.   And of course,  my favorite Facebook and Twitter fall-back was, “Obama planned this.   He suckered Romney into a rope-a-dope strategy.”

Yeah?  And how did that work out for him?   If you believe the polls all it did was cost Obama the lead as Romney has pulled ahead of him.

It doesn’t matter.   Really it doesn’t.  Obama knows better than anyone he didn’t bring the noise.   I  fully expect he will do better tonight in the rematch.   He can hardly be worse.

The only explanation I’ve heard for the president’s previously passive performance came from a gentleman who has forgotten more about politics than I’ve ever known.    We were talking recently and he said he felt perhaps what President Obama feared was overconfidence that he had this thing wrapped up.    By coming in flat he not only revived Romney’s flagging campaign, he sent a sense of urgency through the entire Democratic Party and every last one of this supporters.    Some thought Obama did fine in the first debate while others were certain he screwed the pooch.  Everyone had a opinion and in the absence of any better evidence,  all of them had a small degree of truth to them.

If post-debate advice for Obama were crude oil, the price of gasoline would be $2 a gallon.    Here, there and everywhere (including here), there’s been all sort of advice on what Obama should do for the next debate.   He should come on strong like a house on fire and burn Romney on his various lies, half-truths and misstatements.   He should lay back, don’t overreact and just call up that unique coolness Obama is known for.    He should panic and beat up on Mittens like an unwanted stray dog.    I suggested Obama take a cold shower and “wake the fuck up” as Samuel L. Jackson would put it.

I don’t think Obama will do any of those things.

I don’t believe Obama will worry about things he can’t control like whether he “won” or “lost” the debate.   Twitter and the post-debate talking heads will decide that so there’s no reason to  sweat it.   Obama has one thing he needs to do and one thing only.   He needs to remind everyone why he was the best man for the job in 2008 and why he still is in 2012.

Watch an old Muhammad Ali video.  You might have to go back in the day when he was still known as Cassius Clay.   There will be two men in Ali’s corner.   One was  his trainer, Angelo Dundee.   The other was a guy who was called a trainer, but what Drew “Bundini” Brown really was Ali’s biggest cheerleader.   Bundini Brown was always in Ali’s ear offering encouragement, advice, folk wisdom, and probably strategy on how to box that Ali let go in one ear and out the other.

Bundini was always there to tell Ali what he should do, but he wasn’t  the one in the ring getting hit.   It was up to Ali to win the fight by himself and all the advice in the world isn’t much help when you’re getting punched in the mouth.

Over the last two weeks,  Obama received unasked for advice coming from all corners.   I’ve told him when he needs to do.   Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama have probably told him what he needs to do.   Malia and Sasha have probably told Daddy what he needs to do.

Does Obama needs someone like Bundini Brown up in his face?

It doesn’t matter.  Nobody’s advice matters.   Not Bubba’s, not Michelle and certainly not mine.   Anyone can tell Obama what he should do but it’s up to Obama to get the job done.    He doesn’t need a Bundini Brown yammering non-stop in  his ear.     This isn’t the first time in the ring.   Obama has debated Alan Keyes, Hillary Clinton and John McCain and any one of them is a more formidable opponent than Willard M. Romney.   Obama has squared off with foreign leaders, members of both sides in Congress, academics, journalists, and been able to hold his own.   Are we supposed to believe he’s suddenly turned into 174 pounds of mushy pudding?

Either Obama steps up his game or he doesn’t.  What he shouldn’t do is panic.  There’s more than enough coked-up Chicken Little’s running around crying the sky is falling and the election is lost.

Nonsense.    Nothing has been lost yet.   Obama once said of himself, “I’m skinny, but I’m tough.”   Guess we will have to see how tough he really is.   Just don’t believe everything hinges on what happens 90 minutes at Hofstra University is the end-all and be-all of this election.

And don’t believe all Obama needs his own Bundini Brown in his corner.   He doesn’t need anyone reminding him how to fight.

Wake the #@&$! Up, Obama!

It’s a fight now, but only because Obama made it one.

Dear Mr. President,

I’m doing my part to reelect you.  I’m wearing a “Obama/Biden” button.  I stuck a campaign sign in my yard (and handed out more to family and friends) and a bumper sticker on my car and my wife’s (despite never receiving the ones we were supposed to get for the campaign contributions we made a few months ago.  Because you’ve been busy running the country, I’ll cut you some slack on that, though my wife is a little sore about that Obama car magnet she didn’t get).

We’ve given money to both you and your fellow Democrats.  Don’t take this the wrong way, but one thing I’ll be glad about is when this election is over, I can get my junk mail folder back into some reasonable shape.   Every day I get pleading e-mails from Senators, governors, members of Congress, party insiders, ex-presidents, ex-vice presidents and all sorts of Democrats/liberals/progressives begging for another $5 or $20 or $100 to make the difference and put them over the top.  I’d love to help, but I’m a working man with bills to pay.   If I could do more, I would do more, but I can’t and I’ll be glad when you and your friends stop pestering me for dollars I don’t have to give.

The other night, I went to one of your campaign offices to get these yard signs and this nice older gentleman convinced me to sign up to work a phone back the final weekend before the election.  Why I offered to do this when I know I work weekends and I’m dead tired those mornings I agreed to call complete strangers to vote for you, I have no idea.   I suppose I want to feel as though I did my part whether you win or lose.

Now I have a question.  Have you ever seen Saving Private Ryan   Well, I want you to do me a favor Mr. President.   Remember what Tom Hanks told Matt Damon?   It’s time for you to do what he did.   Earn this.

I’m a little annoyed at you, Mr. President.  No.  Scratch that.  I’m not a little annoyed.  I’m a lot annoyed bordering on seriously pissed off.   After that debacle of a debate performance last week you may have noticed your lack of actions have had some serious consequences with the polls.  Mitt Romney has come back from the dead and he has now tied you in some polls and leads you in a few others.  According to whom you believe the race is a dead heat.

Were you not listening, Mr. President when Samuel L. Jackson told your supporters to “Wake the fuck up?”   Did you think that meant you could take a 90 minute nap last Wednesday in front of 60 million Americans?   Or are you suffering from sudden bouts of narcolepsy?

You didn’t just disappoint me, sir.   You disappointed your supporters who were expecting you to fight harder for your own job.   Or are you just trying to make things needlessly dramatic in this last month?   If the polls are to be believed, I think you succeeded quite nicely.

No panic. No stress.

I am “in” it to win it, Mr. President.  I got your back.  Do you have mine?   Can you show me next week when you’re debating Romney you want to keep the job he wants to take from you?   Can you prove to everyone you’ve given reason to doubt that you actually give a damn?

Your vice-president, Joe Biden, will have his chance to set things right on Thursday when he squares off against Mitt’s man, Paul Ryan.   Nobody will ever accuse Joe of lacking passion.  If anything, he has to put a leash on his passion in case his mouth out runs his brain.   But a debate between Biden and Ryan won’t change the race that drastically.   Only you can do that.   You’ll have two more shots at doing so.    Foreign policy is on the agenda for the October 16 debate and the last one is a town hall-style meeting on the 22nd.    That’s it.   In a race that will come down to who is more successful in energizing their base in nine or ten key states, turnout matters more than money, more than polls, more than ads, more than endorsements.   \

It comes down to who wants it more.

Do you want it bad enough, Mr. President?   Do you want it more than Mitt does?   Are you willing to put in the time and the work to keep what is already yours?

Mitt isn’t going to give up.  You had a chance to make him and you didn’t take it.   That’s history now and if you lose this thing that shabby first debate will weigh heavily in the reasons why you lost.

But you haven’t lost.  I went to vote today and I know there is an enthusiasm out there to keep you in the White House.   There is what Dr. King called, “the fierce urgency of now.”   Now is when this election is won or lost.

I am in.  I am doing my part.  I’m going to work for you and my country, Mr. President.   I still believe in hope and change and I know it takes more than four years to bring it about.

You have to earn it.  You don’t deserve it.  Anything worth having is worth working for.   And you have to go out and get it.  It will not be given to you.

Can you take the momentum back?   Can you put Mitt back on the ropes?  Sure you can.   Hell yes you can!  But will you?

I’ m done with the recriminations.   I’m not going to worry about it.  I can’t laugh at your making fun of your own shitty performance.   I just want you to take this as seriously as everyone supporting you is doing.

And I want you to earn this.   It’s all out there for you, Mr. President.  Show me you still want it.

No he can’t?

Will the Real President Obama Please Show Up?

Mitt Romney, the unquestioned winner of the first debate had a good Wednesday night.   By Thursday,  Romney was strutting around feeling pretty good about himself like he had just laid out a factory’s workforce and sent their jobs to China.    Then the September job numbers came out and Mitt’s smile disappeared.   Unemployment had dropped to  7.8 percent, the lowest number in 44 months.   The president didn’t hesitate to crow about the good news.

“This morning we found out that the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since I took office. More Americans entered the work force. More people are getting jobs,”  Obama said during a campaign stop in Virginia.

Romney was far less impressed.

“This is not what a real recovery looks like,”  he sniffed in a statement.

Maybe so and maybe no, but the positive job numbers make a better case for Obama keeping his.

Instantly, indignant hows came from the Right that the numbers had been cooked.    Former General Electric CEO (and Romney supporter, same as Jenna JamesonJack Welch went to his Twitter account to grumble,  “Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers.”

Don’t make it TOO easy for him, Mr. President.

Welch must be getting old as well as bitter.  Obama is an excellent speaker as his 2008 speech in Philadelphia on race clearly demonstrated Hillary Clinton and John McCain. I can’t argue that he was awful in this first debate, but for Welch to say Obama can’t debate is totally and hilariously wrong.

Add good news on unemployment to the $181 million in campaign contributions the president and the Democrats brought in last month and if it wasn’t for the fact he went missing in action Wednesday night you could say Obama had a pretty good week.

In the aftermath of the president’s shabby showing some of his supporters have wondered if he was preoccupied with an unknown foreign policy issue or a family matter or some other distraction.   I doubt it.  Obama simply wasn’t into it and he didn’t bother concealing how much he didn’t want to be there at that time listening to Romney, a guy whom he clearly has little respect for.   But that’s no reason to give Obama a pass for his flop sweat.

Bob Herbert, the former New York Times columnist has had enough of excuses being made for Obama when he disappoints.   There is too much at stake for him to come off as disinterested.

Ever since he was elected, there have been reasons offered, either publicly or privately, for why Obama has been unable to fully engage some of the nation’s most important challenges. Despite the rampant increase in poverty in the worst downturn since the Depression, Obama supporters whispered that he couldn’t do more for the poor and couldn’t speak out more forcefully on their behalf because that would not be politically advantageous. So nearly all of his economic initiatives had to be couched in language that referred to the middle class, even though the poor were being hurt far worse. LBJ could launch a war on poverty but not Barack Obama.

Black Americans have been disproportionately clobbered by the Great Recession and its aftermath, losing both income and wealth at staggering rates. Much of the black community is enduring a full-blown economic depression. But Obama and his advisers have been unwilling to address this catastrophe openly and forcefully out of fear that the president would be perceived as too black by prejudiced white voters, thus losing their support.

There is always some excuse, some reason for not bringing all of the president’s energy and resources to the fight.

Herbert’s bitch slap of Barack is harsh, but it isn’t unfair. The president brought it on himself. I’ve heard too many people talking about Obama pulling a “rope-a-dope” and he brilliantly laid a trap for Mittens and I have to say two words: STOP IT!
There’s a disconnect between the Obama Realists and the Obama Idealists. The Idealists are incredibly protective of the president and eagerly rush to protect him from criticism even from his own side. The Obama Realists understand the president has his failings. but see the positives and potential and we want to send him back for a second term too. But we’re not oblivious to Obama’s shortcomings.

Let’s tell the truth.   Obama stunk up the joint in Denver. He let Mitt off the mat. He should have pinned him and secured the championship, but let him wiggle free time and again. Now the Obama Idealists are shrieking “How DARE you say Obama lost the debate. He PLANNED all this. He set a trap for Mittens and he walked into it. He’s got Romney right where he wants him!”

Obama blew the debate. He hasn’t blown the election, but if he  doesn’t care enough to fight for his presidency and his principles, don’t ask me to fight for him.

“Okay, I admit it. I don’t know jack.”

The Debates: Barack Obama’s Rocky Mountain Low

Shouldn’t they touch gloves instead of shake hands?

Well, that was 90 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.  Neither will Barack Obama.

The only explanation I have for President Obama’s debate performance tonight is either he wants to build up Mitt Romney’s confidence or he wants to inject some suspense into the race.

Either way, it was the worst speaking performance I’ve ever heard Obama give.  He was lethargic, lifeless and he looked tired.   Maybe he wanted to hurry up and get out of there so he could celebrate his 20th wedding anniversary with Michelle.   That’s all I can figure out as a reason he looked so disengaged.

Obama being bad doesn’t mean Romney looked good.   All he had to do was to look like he belonged on the same stage as the president and not come off as overly robotic.   Romney won the debate thanks to Obama’s listlessness  and a moderator that went from respected journalist to tired old man right before a national audience’s eyes.   If you wanted to compare Jim Lehrer‘s god-awful moderating skills with Clint Eastwood’s meltdown call it Trouble With the Debates. 
Big Bird won.  Lehrer lost.  He looked like a NFL replacement ref.  Romney bullied him and then Obama joined in for the fun.  What a total botch as a moderator!   Lehrer said he picked the questions.  He needs his ass kicked.  Nothing about women’s reproductive rights.  Nothing about domestic spying.  Nothing about the DREAM act or illegal immigration.  Nothing about poverty or unemployment. Nothing about the environment.   Romney punked Lehrer constantly.  That’s something he learned from Newt Gingrich.   Grab ’em by the throat and let ’em know who’s running the show.

Any Obama supporter that tells you he “won” the debate is delusional or lying through their teeth.  The president looked tired.  He seemed listless, lifeless and totally disengaged.   He was boring, his answers rambled and he spent far too much time looking down at his notes.

Mitt puts a hit out on Big Bird

Obama looked like he couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there as if he rather be spending his time celebrating his 20th wedding anniversary with Michelle.  Can’t say I blame him for that, but holy guacamole! did he lay an egg tonight.

Easily the worst performance Obama has ever had in a debate.  He looked like a man who hadn’t been onstage in four years.  He was bad, bad, bad.  Obama enjoys the competition of basketball and doesn’t want the other players to take it easy on him.  He knows he stunk up the gym by clanking jumpers, laying up bricks, dribbling the ball off his foot and his shoelaces were untied.

It was not your finest hour, Mr. President.  Not by a damn sight.

Romney “won” not because he said or did anything remarkable.  He didn’t.  All he had to do was not eat his foot or set his tie afire after the lousy last few weeks he’s had.   Did he “reset” the race in the way Chris Christie said he would?  Ehhhhhh....

Romney had a good night because Obama had a bad one.   How in the hell does Obama not include a “47 percent” reference in a domestic policy debate?   That was a missed opportunity that Obama probably won’t get a second chance at.   Take the shot, Mr. President!

To go back to the NFL reference, Obama played cautious and safe. He had a lead and Romney needed a touchdown to win and a field goal to tie.  Obama wasn’t going to give up a long bomb score, but was content to let Romney throw underneath the coverage as time ticked away.

I don’t know where those “zingers” were Romney was supposed to be zapping Obama with.  He was a little flat and very professorial, but the president was even more so.   Romney pivoted back to the middle and acted as if that’s where he has been the entire time. If Obama was for more teachers, so was Romney. At least he was in October. In June, Romney said “he (Obama) wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

Now if I know Mitt was talking out the side of his neck and I didn’t go to Hah-vard, why doesn’t Barack Obama know that–and throw that bald-faced lie right back into Romney’s face?

I’ll tell you why. Because Obama practiced for this debate with John Kerry standing in for Romney. Is there a more wooden speaker than JOHN KERRY???  🙄

I don’t want to hear what Obama agrees with Romney about. If I want to know what he believes I’d vote for him, Obama needs to debate with Bill Clinton. Clinton loved a good fight. Obama hates to get in a fight.

If Obama had come out with the idea of knocking the snot out of Romney he could have ended the election tonight. But he didn’t do it and now he’s probably going to wake up tomorrow to a race that will be a statistical dead heat. And he will have no one but himself to blame.

I heard one pundit say he determined who won the debate by who showed they wanted it more. Romney wanted it more than Obama.

Romney kicked a field goal.  Not to win, but a tie was good enough for him to declare victory.  One lousy performance does not lose a presidential race.  Obama is still in the electoral vote driver’s seat, but the popular vote is not yet quite buckled in yet.   By trying to appear oh-so-presidential, Obama projected how seriously he takes the job.   Romney was more geared up for the fight to take his job.

I cautioned against overconfidence for a reason. The debates won’t change all that many minds, but they can fire up or turn off a candidate’s base.  Obama gave his nothing to fist bump about while Romney stopped the wheels from falling off his bandwagon.  Obama hasn’t won this thing yet and Romney hasn’t lost it.  The polls and the pundits are having their say, but what matters most is the voters’ final say.

Don’t book that January trip to Washington for Obama’s second inauguration.  Not just yet anyway.

Don’t Push Him ‘Cause He’s Close to the Edge

Well, that was certainly an exciting election wasn’t it?  Now that President Obama has secured a second term, the Senate is still under Democratic control and GOP majority in the House has been cut down to size, we can finally move on to other more important things.  What’s on Honey Boo-Boo tonight?

Wait…you mean the election isn’t over?   The first debate is still days away?   Obama hasn’t won yet?  Color me so surprised.

Because the way some people are talking you’d think the election was over and Obama has already cruised to victory over a hapless Mitt Romney.   Look, I get it that the polls have improved dramatically for the president and he appears to be in the driver’s seat, but come on!  The election is still a month away.   I sincerely doubt the debates will reset the odds because historically debates don’t do that.

The last guy to go against Obama in a debate, John McCain doubts the debate will set off any political fireworks.  “I can’t remember the last time there was one of the comments that grabbed everyone’s attention because the candidates are too well-prepared.”

McCain is right.  Obama has been known for months Romney would be his opponent and it isn’t likely Romney will hit him with an unsuspected line of attack.   Unless one of them falls asleep at the podium or Romney makes Obama a $10,000 bet,  do not expect this debate to be a clash of the titans.  Romney will attempt to get back on track by hammering the president on the economy as Chris “Chubs” Christie hints there will be a brand new race the morning after Wednesday night.   The only way that happens is Romney goes scorched earth on Obama.  That would serve to fire up the base, but the risk is it makes Romney look mean and desperate.   Nobody wants a desperate president.

How a debate between Mitt Romney and Sam Jackson would go.

For his part, Obama supposedly doesn’t plan to zing his opponent, but if Romney thinks Obama going to sit there taking slaps to the face and kicks to the crotch that would be a mistake.   Obama has to look like he is what he is: the guy with the championship belt.   Romney’s going to have to come and take it because Obama’s not going to simply hand it over.

So things look better.   I’ll admit things looks good.   But it would be rash to say this is all over.    Samuel L. Jackson’s “Wake the fuck up” and Sarah Silverman’s  “Get Nana a gun” videos are not just  funny reminders of what’s at stake and just how much stands in the way of Obama’s second term.   They are also cold slaps of reality upside the head of how hard these bastards are trying to stop it.

If they can’t buy this election, they’ll steal it.  But before that they’ll work like hell to block eligible voters from the polls.

“But look at the polls.  Look at all the stories.   Even Ray Charles can see Romney is toast and Ray is blind and dead.”    I know.  I don’t care.  My perspective remains Obama has to keep running like he’s ten points down, not five points up.

Oh, you can believe if Obama wins, I’m going be one insufferable bastard.   I’ve got a list of people whose lives I’m going to make miserable.

But I’m not ready to put this one in the “win” column yet. For all y’all that think Mittens is a dead man walking and Obama has this thing in the bag, stop kidding yourself. There’s no way to predict how successful the efforts to suppress the vote and steal the election will be.

They haven’t given up yet. We can’t give up the fight because Romney is stumbling around like a drunken idiot.

The Romney campaign, the billionaires and millionaires pouring money into it, Karl Rove and Fox News aren’t the only enemies to beware.   Overconfidence and apathy are too and either or both is all it takes to bring about these three words: “President Mitt Romney.”

Don’t let that happen.   Don’t just wake the fuck up.   Stay the fuck awake.   Vote early if you can and vote as if your life depends on it.   It just might.

It’s all smiles until the knives come out.