Obama’s Stunning Non-Performance at First Presidential Debate a Classic Empty Podium Event

Obama waves white flag at Mitt Romney

Unilateral Disarmament:  Obama’s Stunning Non-Performance at First Presidential Debate a Classic Empty Podium Event

UNILATERAL DISARMAMENT & ROLLING CALAMITY:  I was overcome with a sense of nervousness an hour before the debate started because I knew Mitt Romney would come out like a pitbull, BS and all. This was his last chance to take a stand and boy, did he. Yes. BS and all. President Obama, on the other hand, stunned me beyond words. He had an empty podium performance that is contrary to anything I have ever seen him do. He wasn’t there. He reminded me of former president George H. W. Bush looking at his watch during the debate with then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton. He, too, had presided over a shaky economy, while fighting a war of sorts against Saddam Hussein over his Kuwait invasion. As a centrist, Mitt Romney said a lot of things I agree with. One problem.  A day ago on the campaign trail he was singing another tune. Obama didn’t capitalize on that. He didn’t push back one bit. No 47 percent zinger. No comeback to the “where your treasure is there your heart will be” line in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Switzerland.  He muddled his response on Social Security and the economy. In other words, President Obama was out to lunch, dinner….. I don’t know where, but this was stunning and a wake-up call to his campaign that he may lose this thing if they don’t get it together. The foreign policy debate will be no walk in the park for Obama, considering the mess that unfolded in Benghazi that left ambassador Chris Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty and Sean Smith dead.

Chris Matthews and Ed Schultz literally flipped out last night. I feel their pain. I stuck my neck out for President Obama and I got kicked in the gut last night. If Mitt Romney and his running mate were so full of sh*t, I would seriously give their campaign a second look, but the climate that surrounds the Republican Party isn’t one I find palatable, at this juncture. Kinda makes me think that Hillary Clinton would not have allowed Mitt Romney to go unchallenged during any debate if she were president. That 3 a.m. phone call thingy is coming back.

One final thought — Jim Lehrer shouldn’t show his face in public for a long time. His moderation of the debate was a disgrace.

To echo Samuel L. Jackson — President Obama, wake the f*ck up!

Here are reactions from Politicalwire:

Andrew Sullivan: “Look: you know how much I love the guy, and you know how much of a high information viewer I am, and I can see the logic of some of Obama’s meandering, weak, professorial arguments. But this was a disaster for the president for the key people he needs to reach, and his effete, wonkish lectures may have jolted a lot of independents into giving Romney a second look.”

Glenn Reynolds: “Romney was channeling Reagan. Obama was channeling Biden.”

James Fallows: “If you had the sound turned off, Romney looked calm and affable through more of the debate than Obama did, and the incumbent president more often looked peeved. Romney’s default expression, whether genuine or forced, was a kind of smile; Obama’s, a kind of scowl. I can understand why Obama would feel exasperated by these claims and arguments. Every president is exasperated by what he considers facile claims about what he knows to be impossibly knotty problems. But he let it show.”

Brad Phillips: “This debate is an easy one to call: Romney won in a landslide, while Obama appeared flatfooted, tired, and somewhat detached.”

Nate Silver: “My own instant reaction is that Mr. Romney may have done the equivalent of kick a field goal, perhaps not bringing the race to draw, but setting himself up in such a way that his comeback chances have improved by a material amount.”

Greg Sargent: “Romney took steps towards reversing his image as an out of touch plutocrat. During the extended jousts of numbers crunching, he humanized himself in an unexpected way — by converting his boardroom aura from something cold and aloof into an aura of earnestness. He skillfully played the part of the technocratic centrist he used to be and whose balanced approach to policy and government he has completely abandoned.”

Marc Ambinder: “This first debate shows why it’s so tough to be an incumbent in an economy that, frankly, is anemic and barely growing.  It didn’t really matter that Romney didn’t present a plan; it did matter that he presented a vision that cohered.  A lot of people watching the debate will see Romney’s energetic performance, remember his theme, look at a halting Obama, and say, OK, well, there ARE two people running.”

Ezra Klein: “Mitt Romney won the debate tonight. He was more focused, specific, energetic and prepared than President Obama. The Obama campaign’s silver lining was in what he Romney specific about. Expect, for instance, that Romney’s admission that he will voucherize Medicare to make its way to ads in some swing states near you.”

Joe Klein: “Did the President send out his body double tonight? Because if that was the actual Barack Obama out there, I’m not sure he can communicate well enough to be an effective President in a time of trouble, to say nothing of winning a second term.”

Chris Cillizza: “There’s a fine line between sober/serious and grim/uninterested when it comes to the optics of these debates, and the incumbent was on the wrong side of it Wednesday night. Whether it was his habit of looking down for the majority of Romney’s answers or the pique he displayed when debate moderator Jim Lehrer interrupted him, Obama looked like he’d prefer to be somewhere else.”

Early Voting for the 2012 Presidential Election Has Begun in Key States Ahead of Debates (CHART)

Early voting has started in several states, including North Carolina, Wisconsin and Virginia.  Open absentee voting will begin in Iowa and North Dakota on Thursday. Next Tuesday, voting begins in Florida and Ohio. Here’s a chart from Talking Points Memo on the early and absentee voting schedule:

early voting begins for 2012 presidential election

Early Voting for the 2012 Presidential Election Has Begun in Key States Ahead of Debates (Chart credit: Talking Points Memo)

US Consumer Confidence Jumps to Highest Level Since February, Wonder What Romney Thinks?

The Associated Press reports US consumer confidence is at its highest level since February:

The Conference Board said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 70.3. That’s up from 61.3 in August, which was revised higher. And it’s the highest reading since February, when the economy added 259,000 jobs.

Mitt Romney to Release 2011 Tax Returns Friday, What About More Years?

Mitt Romney to release his 2011 income tax returns at 3p.m. Thursday, but what about the years prior to 2010?  Paul Ryan and other potential vice presidential picks had to supply 10 years. We don’t want to see summaries, but the actual copies. Seems to me that they have something to hide.  Mitt and Ann Romney paid $1,935,708 in taxes on $13,696,951 in mostly investment income, an effective tax rate of 14.1%.

Mitt Romney’s trustee said in a campaign press release that Romney artificially inflated his own effective tax rate so it would remain above 13 percent by deferring $1.75 million in charitable deductions. Romney had previously said that none of his last decade of tax returns dipped below that 13 percent threshold. Source

I am sure this admission by his trustee will spark some controversy, since he dodged behind loopholes and hung out in the gray area. After having a bad week, the last thing Mitt Romney should have sought solace in was the whole tax return problem. Why did he give such a big chunk of his donations to the church? At least I think that’s what they did. Are there no other charities they could have supported, since he claims to be for the 100 percent? Don’t be fooled. Mitt Romney had five months to have his accountants come up with a creative way to make him seem to be overly generous with his taxes. I would love to see the 2009 tax return to see if he got an amnesty for that Swiss bank account.

Flashback: “Mitt Romney says that if he paid more taxes than were required, he wouldn’t be qualified to be president,” the AP reported on July 29, 2012, according to Political wire.

Obama Continues to Widen Lead Over GOP Rival Mitt Romney Still Stung from 47 Percent Insult

Obama continues to widen lead:  Here are the latest polls for today, with President Obama widening his lead in battleground states as Mitt Romney continues to face skepticism over his 47 percent insult, even though he’s singing another tune, that he’s for the 100 percent. Right. When donkeys fly. It should be noted that Ohio Gov. John Kasich is critical of Mitt Romney’s comment saying,

Here are the today’s swing state polls (will be updated as needed throughout the day):

Florida: Romney 48%, Obama 44% (Caddell/McLaughlin)

Florida: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (We Ask America)

Michigan: Obama 52%, Romney 38% (Detroit News)

New Hampshire: Obama 47%, Romney 40% (YouGov)

North Carolina: Obama 46%, Romney 46% (YouGov)

Ohio: Obama 47%, Romney 44% (Caddell/McLaughlin)

Pennsylvania: Obama 48%, Romney 42% (We Ask America)

Wisconsin:  Obama 52% to 45% in a new poll from (Public Policy Polling)

Obama Campaign New Video Highlights Reactions to Mitt Romney Insult that 47% of Americans Want Government Handout

I knew the Obama campaign would release an ad highlighting Mitt Romney insult saying 47 percent of Americans are lazy and depend on the government. David Corn from Mother Jones and James Carter IV (former president Jimmy Carter’s grandson) gave the Obama campaign a “heckuva gift.” The closed-door event was held in May 2012, at the home of hedge fund manager Marc Leder, who loves to host sex parties.

“I actually felt sick to my stomach,” one woman says in the video. “I don’t think anybody’s ever looking for a handout. I think that we all want chances and opportunities.” “That isn’t someone who I’m thinking, ‘Oh I want him as my president,” another woman says. Source

Fox News announces Mitt Romney will respond to the leaked video of comments he made at a fundraiser on Neil Cavuto’s  show at 4 p.m. EDT Tuesday. Like Neil Cavuto will ask him the tough questions. I don’t even want to watch that crap.  He dared Mother Jones to release the entire video and they called his bluff. What else is there to say to us? So much for the “kind, gentle and funny” Mitt that Ann Romney tried to pass him off as during the Republican convention.

Watch the Obama campaign’s latest video:

Mitt Romney Dismisses Hidden Video in Which He Said 47 Percent of Obama Voters Depend on Government

Romney Ryan 2012

Mitt Romney Dismisses Hidden Video in Which He Said 47 Percent of Obama Voters Depend on Government (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Can you imagine if President Obama had been caught on video at an event for wealthy donors thrashing the Jewish community? His campaign would be over. The same should hold true for Mitt Romney who thrashed 47 percent of Americans as lazy people who depend on the government for a handout. In other words, those people who support President Obama are the dregs of the U.S. Among the 47 percent are the elderly, those with special needs, working class families who by virtue of a tax break [child tax credit] from Republicans pay no taxes on their income, those who are poor, and those serving their country. Who’s the elitist? President Obama or Mitt Romney? Well, today Mitt Romney just hammered the final nail in his coffin. His presidential aspirations have been torpedoed and it’s all his doing.

So, he hastily called a press conference and answered three questions. LOL. I guess all that talk about caring for the middle class from both Mitt Romney and his sidekick was just pure bullshit. He doesn’t give a shit about the anyone who isn’t fabulously wealthy. Too bad he forgot that he father, George Romney, received welfare benefits when he returned to the U.S. with family, after they ran to Mexico so they could continue their polygamous lifestyle.

“It’s not elegantly stated…I’m speaking off the cuff in response to a question,” Romney told reporters Monday night in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Asked what assurances he could give to voters that he doesn’t say different things behind closed doors to his donors than he does at his public rallies, Romney said he gives “the same message” to all audiences.

“We have a very different approach, the president and I, between a government dominated society and a society driven by free people pursuing their dreams,” Romney said. Source

So, how much taxes has Mitt Romney paid in the last few years? Since he has money hidden in the Cayman Islands and had a Swiss bank account? Why should we trust him either?

The Republicans have had a field day attacking former president Jimmy Carter. Well, he may have gotten the last laugh:

Credited as a “research assistant” on the story is James Carter IV, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, who has been toiling online as an opposition researcher and is “currently looking for work,” according to his Twitter bio. Source

Here’s a simple breakdown from the Tax Policy Center of what households paid in taxes in 2011:

(Tax Policy Center)

— 53.6 percent of households pay the federal income tax. Presumably Romney is okay with these folks.

— 28.3 percent of households pay no federal income tax, but they do pay the payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare. That means they don’t need Mitt Romney to convince them to “take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” They already have jobs.

Most of the households in this group don’t pay any federal income tax because they qualify for enough deductions that their income tax liability has shrunk to zero. See this Tax Policy Center report for more, which gives an example of “a couple with two children earning less than $26,400. They get an $11,600 standard deduction and four exemptions of $3,700, and that takes their liability to zero.” Indeed, it’s worth noting that many of these deductions and credits were part of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, which Romney wants to extend.

— 10.3 percent of households pay no federal income tax because they’re retired and elderly. Many retirees aren’t taxed on their Social Security benefits, which they earned by paying into the system over many years. If Mitt Romney secretly thinks that these households are all irresponsible freeloaders, he has a weird way of showing it, as he keeps insisting that he doesn’t want to cut Medicare or Social Security benefits for those over the age of 65.

— That leaves 6.9 percent of households which are non-elderly and have incomes less than $20,000 per year and aren’t paying the payroll tax. These poorer households pay neither income taxes nor payroll taxes. Perhaps Romney thinks that they should all pay more in federal taxes. It’s hard to say. But this is also a much smaller fraction of Americans. Source: Washington Post

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Poll: Obama Leads in Virginia by 5 Points, 48% Disapprove of Romney’s Reaction to Libyan Situation

Public Policy Polling: “PPP’s newest Virginia poll finds Barack Obama leads in Virginia by 5 points, 51-46. Obama’s lead is unchanged from a month ago when we found him leading 50-45 in the state. He may not be seeing a bump from the convention in the state at this point, but he was in a pretty good position to begin with.”

“Obama has a slight advantage over Romney (49-47) in terms of who voters trust more on the economy and a wider (51-45) edge over Romney on foreign policy. Only 41% of voters say they approve of how Romney reacted to the situation in Libya this week while 48% express disapproval.”

Obama’s leading 56-42 with women, 91-7 with African Americans, 63-30 with other non-white voters, and 56-37 with young voters. Romney has a 51-45 advantage with men, a 57-40 with whites, and a 54-43 lead with seniors. Romney is slightly ahead with independents, 47-45, but Obama’s party is more unified with Democrats supporting him 95-4 while Republicans go for Romney by a slightly weaker 92-7 margin.”

President Obama Leads Mitt Romney 50 to 39 Percent in Latest Pennsylvania Poll

Philadelphia Inquirer poll finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney by 11 points among likely voters, 50% to 39% in Pennsylvania.

“The president’s current standing is largely built on his overwhelming backing in the Philadelphia television market, home to more than 40 percent of the state’s voters. That offsets support for Romney in the more conservative Pittsburgh market and some other areas.”

Right Wing Evangelical Bryan Fischer: “If Barack Obama Wins the Election, Republican Party Finished”

Right wing evangelical wingnut Bryan Fischer is sounding an alarm of sorts that laughable — the GOP will implode if Mitt Romney loses the general election.  Talking Points Memo reports Fischer said, “If Barack Obama wins this election the Republican Party as we know it is finished, it is dead, it is toast — you can stick a fork in it.” He also has a problem with Mitt Romney and how he is running his campaign. When the crazy guy has a problem with the candidate he supports, you know that candidate is in bad shape.

…“And conservatives, grassroots conservatives, are either going to start a third party or they are going to launch a hostile takeover of the Republican Party.”

Fischer said he believed Romney would be leading national polls by double digits at this point if he had followed Paul Ryan’s lead and offered more detailed conservative positions on the budget and social issues. “The biggest mistake is they put a bag over Paul Ryan’s head,” he said. Fischer said he was “deeply disturbed” that Ryan didn’t mention the campaign’s opposition to gay marriage in his speech to the summit on Friday.

“I got to believe that there was some kind of directive from the top of the campaign: We don’t want you to deal with this issue,” he said.  Source: Talking Points Memo

Here’s what’s disturbing — a wingnut like Bryan Fischer wants to take over the Republican Party and force their narrow views on everyone else. You see, Paul Ryan was the perfect candidate for the right wing evangelicals. One thing I will say, he is more of a conservative than Mitt Romney ever will be. On that point I will concede that Bryan Fischer might be right. But, most Americans, like myself, are moderates and a moderate presidential candidate should be attractive. Nobody knows what the heck Mitt Romney is. He’s whatever is politically correct at that given time. He’s like a chameleon, changing his positions constantly. Mr. Multiple Choice indeed. Well, if the poll numbers continue on the current trend,  I guess we’ll see the end of the Republican Party because Obama will be reelected.