Incumbent President Totally Botches First Debate Against Challenger

Comments

1
No one thought Reagan was going to lose, the economy was sorta on a mend though and Mondale was...well Mondale.

That's why all this hype about Obama being in trouble is lots of bullshit. It won't mean much unless he blow the other debates then there could be problems for him. The hype is to keep people thinking there is a race when their really isn't. And a good excuse to throw money at millionaires who want to be the President.
2
Just because Reagan overcame a bad debate (or two, really, I remember watching them in high school and ticking off the lies and misrepresentations one by one--he only "won" the second debate because of his one-liner about Mondale's "youth and inexperience"), doesn't mean that Obama will.

I know all the reasons why we shouldn't panic, but frankly, I'm just this side of panic. This election means a lot to me, and Obama looked like he just didn't care. He better change that attitude quick or the whole country is fucked.
3
There was no bigger flop than GW Bush in the first debate with John Kerry in 2004. The awkward blinking, the utter inability to string two words together. It was a complete disaster, and I thought that was the end of Bush. I thought wrong, obviously.
4
@1 that's why I'm so grateful MLB post season happens during this time. I enjoy watching millionaires in pajamas running around playing a children's game much more than millionaires doing their little popularity contest.
That said, I'm still voting for Obama. A defeat for Romney would be a nice way to let the uber rich that can't have everything.
5
Also, Romney is way smoother than Mondale ever was. Mondale tried to tell the country the truth, in a passionless, bland, milquetoast manner. Romney lies like a used car salesman, and the sad thing is that for at least the last debate, it worked.
6
So which is it Paul? We need to panic and vote, or we can relax and stop worrying because Obama has it in the bag? Getting some mixed messages here, and to be honest I prefer the one that says "panic"!
7
Paul,
@1 is correct. Mondale never had a chance. I believe in a memoir, Mondale admitted he never had a chance to win the election as early April of that year. Reagan was enormously popular at this point in time (of the debates) and went on to win 49 states. In fact, I believe he lost MN by less than 3000 votes. Sure, Obama can come back and "win" the next debate. But, it is a very different scenario economically and in terms of popularity for Obama.
8
Really? I'm sorta surprised there isn't more hand wringing. I'd like to think that I am an even headed lib, but after reading Andrew Sullivan's piece yesterday I am sorta freaking the fuck out. We have the VP debate later this week. If Biden goes off script and/or has an experience like Obama, the wheels will definitely be coming off...
9
@2 "Obama looked like he just didn't care"

I strongly, strongly disagree with this statement. I thought he looked like he was trying extremely hard not to show how angry he was and how much he disliked Romney. Getting emotionally worked up doesn't tend to enhance your intellectual performance, you know. It just makes you want to punch somebody.

Anyway, it's exactly this kind of handwringing that has got to stop. You're impugning not Obama's lackluster performance -- and anybody can have an off night for whatever reason -- but his motives and character. The right wingers already do plenty of that, why on earth should we help them out?

10
Are you implying that Barack Obama has early onset alzheimer's?
11
Please stop with the hysteria. Everyone in the press is just trying to drum up drama where is none...NADA. If voters are so easily swayed by that lying Turd Romney than we deserve that Turd for President. This is nothing but a case of Chicken Little-itis--jezus christ people--calm fucking down. Stop with the hyperbolic reaction. All last weeks "debate" proved is Romney has a honeywagon for a mouth--pure 100% BULLSHIT. I have never seen so many ninnys reacting this way in my life. Take a fucking chill pill.
12
Frankly if the tightening in the polls helps motivate more of the left to turn out and vote, sounds great to me.
13
#9
O looked like he didn't care, needed a nap, or just wanted to go back to teaching. I think you were projecting your anger on him. He would have had a much more positive response if he had shown that he gave a shat; any emotion, even anger anything but boredom.
14
The Pew poll results are interesting. Post-debate, the women respondents have shifted support by a huge margin to Romney. In fact, that's the majority of the shift. I'm shocked. If true, it means that those lizard-brain primal mating instincts are active in these circumstances. Obama looked weak. Romney looked strong. Women picked the strong one.

It's that whole bad-boy romance thing, in the most inappropriate circumstance. The boastful, glib liar gets the girl, at least for a while. (And, unfortunately for us, that initial romance might last through election day unless someone breaks it up fast.)
15
Those were the days when the League of Women Voters and not the individual political parties sponsored and hosted the debates It's so much more open and honest.
16
Even talking about the candidates not agreeing to the panel and offering an editorial on that by Barbara Walters was amazing.
17
Whatever makes you feel better, Paul.
18
I have had to take a break from reading Sullivan after his latest meltdown. In short, he said since Obama had a mediocre debate, it was absolute proof that he doesn't really care whether or not he wins and has thrown in the towel. That's a crapload of suppositions there, packaged as absolute truth. Sully needs to chill the fuck out. I'll start reading him again after the election.
19
I miss Peter Jennings
20
@13 "I think you were projecting your anger on him"

Or maybe you were projecting your own boredom/drunkenness/bathroom needs onto him. Don't pretend you have some unique insight into how to interpret his body language/facial expressions/word choice that the rest of us don't have.
21
Rachel Maddow nailed this story the day after the debate. She broke down the 7 times incumbent president's have debated challengers on national TV. 6 of the 7 lost their first debate to their challenger. Only Clinton won his 1st debate. 3 went on to be re-elected, 3 lost their re-election bid.
22
@14: Finally, mathematic proof that women do go for the assholes!