Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Debate Should be About Mr. Obama’s Failed Leadership

  By Victor Lundquist |  - 12:50 AM 

A Tiny op-ed: To see the details, click each of these links to read – Hillary Clinton decides to take the fall for Obama but will not allow Ambassador Rice to speak about who in the Obama administration told her to lie about the movie trailer; Riots planned if Obama loses; Look what Obama, the President of the United States has time to do; Women are now pushing Romney ahead in key battleground states; Desperate people trying to make the presidential run racist; New twist to Obama’s cover-up on Libya.

For details about tomorrow’s important debate, see Luke’s post here.
A kiss goodbye last Sunday after worship services (Photo: Reuters)
Since the first Romney-Obama debate, you probably read everything you could on the subject, as I did. Though interesting, most of the pieces I read missed the point I think (this oneinforms us Obama thought he won!). It was not about style or Obama’s lack of eye contact or his lack of energy or enthusiasm; those were simple signs of a greater truth. Mr. Obama does not know how to defend his record of failure. The best analysis I found was by Victor Davis Hanson, “The Game Changes.” (it is outstanding!)
Usually after a presidential debate, both sides spin the results. But after the first face-off between President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney, Obama’s exasperated handlers made no such effort. How could they when most opinion polls revealed that two-thirds of viewers thought Obama lost?
Within minutes of the parting handshake, the liberal base went ballistic. Bill Maher, Chris Matthews, and Michael Moore all but accused Obama of embarrassing the progressive cause. The post-debate spin focused not on whether the president had been creamed by challenger Mitt Romney, but rather on how that had been possible.
Why, then, the hysteria over a typical Obama performance? What was radically different was not Obama’s normal workmanlike performance, but two novel twists.
As David Gergen said right after the debate, it appeared that Obama, as a first-time chief executive, had been surrounded by people telling him one of two things for his entire term: “Mr. President, that was a wonderful decision.” Or, “Mr. President, what you just did in that state [or country] was historic.” As a rookie executive, Mr. Obama actually believed he had clothes on!
Hanson continues,
This was the first debate in which Obama has had a record to defend. In 2000, he ran for Congress in a primary race against Bobby Rush and attacked the incumbent. In 2004, he ran successfully for the U.S. Senate, offering all sorts of promises — but never ran for reelection on their fulfillment.
Photo: Reuters
In 2008, a blank-slate Obama ran for president and won by lumping in challenger John McCain with unpopular incumbent president George W. Bush — while offering banalities like “hope and change” and “yes, we can!”
The debate with Romney, however, marked the first time in his national political life that Obama has had the harder task of defending a record of governance. That he could not make the case onstage for a successful four years suggests either that his record is nearly indefensible — 42 months of unemployment above 8 percent, more than $5 trillion in new debt, record numbers of Americans on food stamps, anemic economic growth — or that Obama believes voters don’t care that much. Perhaps they will again be mesmerized by his promises of millions of new green jobs, more government entitlements, and more attacks on the better-off who haven’t paid “their fair share.”
Barack Obama has always felt that it was enough to show up rather than to achieve. We all know that he got into Occidental College and Columbia University, was law-review editor at Harvard, was offered a professorship at the University of Chicago Law School, and was elected senator and president. But we have rarely heard of a significant record of actual achievement as a student, academic, or legislator — until his first term as president.
This was also the first time that Obama has faced a skilled debater. In Obama’s 2000 debate with the plodding Rush, the latter coasted — rightly assuming that his long incumbency would be enough to defeat the so-so challenger Obama.
In the 2004 senatorial race, Obama’s main rivals in the primary and general elections imploded due to mysteriously leaked divorce records. The last-minute fill-in candidate in the general election, Alan Keyes, was deemed wacky and not a serious opponent.
Obama ended up mostly achieving draws when jousting with Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primaries. He won two of the three debates with nondescript presidential rival McCain by consistently attacking Bush and blaming the 2008 financial meltdown on Republicans.
In previous debates, Obama sounded not much different than he did last week against Romney. Obama customarily looked down, gave disjointed, off-topic sermons, and stuttered uncertainly.
Obama’s handlers know all this. No wonder what worries them is not that Obama was off his game against Romney, but that the game itself — not Obama — has suddenly changed.
For tonight’s debate, a selfish hope of mine is that Governor Romney will not allow Mr. Obama to skip out on why he had Susan Rice repeat a lie about the movie trailer, why he repeated the lie himself several times, and how his administration could allow an ambassador to effectively “go naked” without security on the riskiest day of the year among radical Islamists.
As to last week’s debate, based on my life’s experience, I believe Biden’s debate “offense” of the Cheshire cat smile is a ‘tell.’ And I believe that we will see that same ‘tell’ with Obama. It is a poor attempt by the weak to appear strong. Since they don’t really know how to respond with strength, they smile big hoping the uninformed with give them the benefit of their doubt and dismiss the person challenging their record. Mark my words. Tomorrow, when Mr. Obama’s record is challenged, he will look just like Biden on that stage, smiling from ear to ear! When Governor Romney is challenged, I am confident he will redirect right back to Mr. Obama to continue to hold him accountable to his record. 90 minutes simply is not enough time to have Mr. Obama support the 30+ major promises he made in late 2008 and in 2009 and 2010.
Also, lest anyone forget, the first presidential debate was lopsided in favor of Mr. Obama as he was given a whopping four minutes extra talking time by the moderator! Also, the vice presidential debate favored Mr. Biden as the moderator interrupted and challenged Congressman Ryan far more times than she did Biden. Candy Crowley knows this and should even the tables this time (I stopped holding my breath this afternoon).
See additional excellent debate analysis from the WSJ here ...
Governor Romney’s skill, intelligence, depth of knowledge, and experience was so obviously superior in that first debate. (liberals were beside themselves in this fact and therefore had no choice but to blame their own for the failure: Mr. Obama!)
Background analysis on tonight’s debate from The Wall Street Journal:
President Barack Obama's plan to confront Mitt Romney at the next presidential debate faces a challenge: the format.
President Barack Obama's plan to confront Mitt Romney at Tuesday night's presidential debate in Hempstead N.Y., faces a challenge: a town-hall-style setting with voters posing questions.
The debate Tuesday in Hempstead, N.Y., will feature a town-hall-style setting with voters posing questions. And they may be expecting real answers rather than hand-to-hand combat.
Some aides worry the president is rusty, having done only one town-hall-style event in the past nine months. And they're wary of a potential pitfall. If the president uses a question as a vehicle to attack Mr. Romney, the Republican nominee, voters at the forum may come away feeling they were mere props in Mr. Obama's bid to win a second term. To that end, he may not spar with Mr. Romney on every answer, but instead pick and choose his moments, aides said.
Mr. Romney, meanwhile, has to balance taking a forceful tone with the president while ensuring the voters feel like he is connecting with them and directly responding to their questions, aides said.
In three days of prep sessions that began Saturday at a five-star resort in Williamsburg, the president's advisers are coaching him to give answers that are punchy and concise. It's an open question whether that will be enough.
Mr. Romney has held dozens of town-hall events over the past year and a half, but has invariably faced admiring crowds. The scenario on Tuesday puts him in front of a crowd that will include some fans of the president.
"In normal town halls, almost everyone who's there is there to see you," said one Romney adviser. "It's going to be a tough debate for us, there's no doubt about it." Mr. Romney's advisers have said it may be impossible to match the results of the last matchup.
Democrats caution the president can't afford a second subpar showing, and Mr. Obama has promised to show more vigor at the debate.
"A good performance would swing the momentum to him and put him back in a fairly comfortable lead," said Edward G. Rendell, a former Democratic National Committee chairman and ex-governor of Pennsylvania. "Without it, this is going to be a horse race right until the end."
Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Mr. Obama is focused on "making a passionate case" for why he is the right choice in the election, noting the candidates' differences on tax cuts, Medicare and women's health issues.
Team Romney has been squeezing in debate prep alongside Mr. Romney's campaign events in both Florida and Ohio.
On Saturday the crew holed up at an Embassy Suites hotel in Columbus, Ohio, for a round of debate prep with advisers, including Beth Myers, who runs the sessions, and Peter Flaherty, who acts as the moderator in mock debates.
Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, who plays the part of Mr. Obama, joined the group. They repeated the exercise Sunday in a Boston suburb after Mr. Romney attended church.
"The pressure is now on President Obama heading into the debate Tuesday," Sean Spicer, a Republican National Committee spokesman said in a memo Friday. "He has to hit a home run."
Democrats point to swing state polls in Ohio, Nevada, Iowa and elsewhere showing the president has retained his lead.
"The worrisome thing for Mitt Romney is that he took his best shot and he's still not leading," said Simon Rosenberg, president of NDN, a liberal think tank.
[emphasis added]
Game on.
Governor Romney is in my thoughts and in my prayers. I believe he will again be in the prayers of many millions of fellow Americans as he challenges Mr. Obama to be truthful to his record of failure.

American Values: "In God We Trust" -- "Liberty" -- "E Pluribus Unum"

About Victor Lundquist:
Victor is a businessman working in the healthcare industry. He and his wife of 33 years have five children and four grandchildren. Vic has been blogging for Mitt Romney since 2007.
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