We’ll be commenting and having fun tonight in the comments section. Many website will have an open thread: The second debate. Join in. Watch. Comment. The debate is at 9:00 ET. Put your vintage WWII helmet on or one of those ornate Prussian Army helmets with the gold spike on top of the head and join us as we cavort and cavil.
It’s debate night #2 after Mitt Romney beat the Chicago stuffing out of Obama in debate #1. So what is going to happen? Logically most everyone should think that Barack Obama will do “well” tonight – although it might require grading on a curve for him to cross over the debate finish line as something more than a bleeding lump of flesh. Obama should do better. He should. He really really should.
Obama’s rested at the taxpayer dime for several days so he should be rested sufficiently to be awake tonight. His writers will have thought of clever things for him to say. Obama will consume B-12 vitamins, pills of some sort, like Neely O’Hara in the Valley Of The Dolls (“sparkle, sparkle!”), to get him to perform well. Obama will be in his element in front of an audience – ready for adulation and if there is no applause or fainting observers his advisers will assure him that it is because the spectators/participants don’t want the world to know that Obama is the man they love, so pep up Barack.
Yes, tonight should be a 50-50 split decision. Obama will do well. Romney will do well. But that would be a loss. Barack Obama needs a super undisputed massive victory over Romney if Obama is to change the political death trajectory he is on.
Obama is expected to do “well”. But already the obituaries are written. Today’s laments come from Arianna’s Huff n’ Puff website and conventional wisdom dispenser Howard Fineman:
“Last spring a leading Democrat in the Hispanic community begged top officials in President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign to find at least one new, inspiring idea for the 2012 campaign. [snip]
Obama officials hinted — but didn’t quite promise — that they would unveil a new proposal at the Democratic convention in Charlotte.
The convention came and went. Nothing.”
The show “Obama” like “Seinfeld” is a show about “nothing.” That’s the joke. The joke is no longer funny. Howard Fineman is aleady writing about who is to blame when Obama loses. Fineman is not talking about the debate. Fineman is talking about who is to blame when Obama loses the election:
“If the president ends up losing the race to Romney, here are some of the reasons — in addition to the lack of a fresh second-term agenda — that Democrats will eventually, but certainly, cite in public:
THE AXEMAN COMETH — Obama campaign mastermind David Axelrod is a romantic about the possibilities of government and politics, and seven years ago he began touting Obama as a purifying revelation to both. [snip]
NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS — The Obama campaign, and the Obama presidency, haven’t done a consistent or convincing job of touting whatever good news there is — and there are increasing amounts of it — about the economy. [snip]
FAILURE TO PACKAGE A LEGISLATIVE ATTACK — [snip]
CALLING IT “OBAMACARE” — In private polls for members of Congress, majorities of voters support the individual measures that comprise the landmark Affordable Care Act. But in most polls, the percentages drop when votes are asked if they support “Obamacare” — in one poll in a swing district, support dropped by 15 percentage points.
FAILURE TO PHONE, PRETEND TO FRIENDS –“
Fineman still thinks the failure is a failure to communicate. It’s sad.
More astute observers know it is about a missing core:
“In a stark warning on the eve of the second presidential debate, veteran Democratic strategists Stanley B. Greenberg and James Carville write in a newly released memo that the campaign “has reached a tipping point” that could cost President Obama reelection if he does not present a more compelling vision for the next four years.
“The first debate really did disrupt the race and presents a painful real-time test of what happens when the president tries to convince people of progress and offer[s] a very modest vision of future change,” the two say in a Democracy Corps memo cowritten with Erica Seifert, a senior associate at Greenberg’s polling firm. “Voters are not looking for continuity, but changes that help the average Joe.”
In an interview, Greenberg said that at the first debate, Mitt Romney caused many voters who are worried about the nation’s direction to view him in a new light, mostly by convincing them he had aggressive plans to improve the economy — even as Obama conveyed little about goals of his own.”
It’s a show about nothing. The empty suit with Obama in it.
Americans want change not forward into the abyss:
“That backward-looking focus, centered on defending his first term, they write, gave Romney “the opportunity to be heard as the voice of change.” And that, they insist, is dangerous for Obama because “it is clear … that voters do not want a continuation, they want change.” Moreover, they write, for many voters “conservatives have plausible things to say about the future, particularly on spending and debt.”
Tonight Barack Obama will shout “forward”. Mitt Romney will take out the map and show the car is in the ditch and might roll over and fall over the cliff. That’s what tonight is about.
We hope Romney does some of what we want him to do about Hillary and Benghazi. But in the end what matter is getting Obama out.