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The Massachusetts Miracle?

In the debate tonight, while I was happy to hear Mitt Romney actually own up to Romneycare and how it improved things in Massachusetts, in order to do it he had to lie. Romney claimed that he never proposed Romneycare as a model for national health care reform, but only for states. He’s lying.

Secondly, if Romney did so many wonderful things in Massachusetts, why is it that 60% of voters in Massachusetts prefer Obama, while only 32% prefer Romney? What happened to the normal home state advantage?

I do wish Obama had been more willing to point things like this out during the debate.

UPDATE: Two interesting takes on last night’s debate:

Jonathan Chait in New York magazine:

Romney won the debate in no small part because he adopted a policy of simply lying about his policies. Probably the best way to understand Obama’s listless performance is that he was prepared to debate the claims Romney has been making for the entire campaign, and Romney switched up and started making different and utterly bogus ones. Obama, perhaps, was not prepared for that, and he certainly didn’t think quickly enough on his feet to adjust to it.

And my favorite,

Of course, winning the first debate is not the same as winning the election. John Kerry decisively won the first debate in 2004 but didn’t win the election. Also, the second debate is a town hall format, with questions from the audience, which has a completely different dynamic. Finally, a chastened Obama may hit back much harder next time.

Another loser last night was moderator Jim Lehrer. He completely lost control. Romney kept talking beyond his alloted time slots and when Lehrer tried to stop him, wouldn’t stop. He could have said: “Governor, we agreed to some rules in advance and I’d appreciate it if you would follow them.” Obama also spoke too long upon occasion but only once did Lehrer call him on it. Clearly Lehrer preferred being in the background. But as a consequence of his reticence, the sixth 15-minute segment (on governing) got only 3 minutes.

After the debate, Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, promised that Obama would get much tougher with Romney next time, now that he knows how inconsistent Romney is. Axelrod inferred that yesterday was the moment that Romney shook the Etch-A-Sketch and that in the future what he says at a debate will be compared to what he has campaigned on all year and inconsistencies highlighted.



  1. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    I found it a little strange during the Medicare voucher discussion that Romney, it seemed, basically said that he’s trying to turn Medicare into a public option program.

    I wish they would have asked if he supported the public option for general health insurance as well.

    Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 6:35 am | Permalink
  2. just me wrote:

    Let’s take a quick snapshot of the lives of these two guys for the two months prior to this debate…
    >practice, practice, practice (makes perfect, right?)
    >jet ski around the lake to relax after practice
    >fumble some comments & lies at a campaign stop or two
    >watch his family play Jenga immediately prior to the debate.
    >deal directly & first hand with a slowly improving US economy & a poorly functioning global economy
    >continue to work to resolve the middle east crisis
    >direct oversight of embassy attack
    >who knows what he was involved in from 8-9 pm EST last night. Remember what he was thinking about during that Correspondent’s Dinner?

    The President is CLEARLY exhausted. Who wouldn’t be?

    Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 7:29 am | Permalink
  3. Arthanyel wrote:

    I am disappointed that Obama did not repeatedly point out that Mitt Romney’s claims are mathematically impossible.

    Romney claims he will cut taxes and not raise one penny of new revenue, or raise one penny of middle class taxes. That he will increase defense spending. That he will not cut Medicare or Social Security. That he won’t cut education, and that he will balance the budget.


    Even if Romney eliminated ALL GOVERNMENT SPENDING other than these areas he STILL can’t come CLOSE to balancing the budget.

    So why do people believe this, and why did Obama not call him on it?

    Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink
  4. PatriotSGT wrote:

    The professor looked annoyed that some lowly student stood up in the back of the room and criticized his lesson plan and was clearly angry that anyone would interrupt his lecture.

    Thats what i saw and 67% of people polled apparantly thought similarly and thats the problem an incumbant faces when everyone who works for him must agree with him.

    I am still undecided and will wait until the next 3 debates are over. This one was just scratching the surface and there are still many layers to be peeled back. If Obama looked this bad in the first debate I think Biden should just go on the injured reserve for his debate and sub in Bill Clinton.

    Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink
  5. Dan wrote:

    I still didn’t hear how Romney plans to do all these wonderful things he says he’ll do. Sounds to me as if his tax plan is right out of Fox News’ “skin in the game” talking point. I wish Obama would have attacked more, pointed out Payroll taxes on people who work for a living, and why those making under $100k are the ones paying a higher % of taxes, the 47%, etc. Romney sounded like the kid that broke the lamp and blamed his brother who was caught trying to glue it back together.

    Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink
  6. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    I’ve read a lot of comments about how Romney looked and how Obama looked. That Romney looked Obama in the eye but Obama couldn’t look at him back. That Romney looked excited and Obama looked bored.

    Clearly these people have a strong grasp of the purpose of debates. Almost all of the comments I’ve read and heard on it so far sound like people were watching an audition for the role of President in some movie, rather than a debate for the election of the actual POTUS.

    Maybe the next debate can have some explosions and a guest appearance by Snooki.

    Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink
  7. TJ wrote:

    Romney is magic. He’s going to review every program and cut anything that doesn’t pass the magic test of being worth borrowing money from China to pay for. But at the same time he’s going to keep everything he’s asked about. Who gives a crap what they looked like, one of them is talking realistically and one of them is making up fairy tales that sound nice but could never possibly come true. I would argue that Obama looked great for someone who had to stand up there and debate with someone who lives in a fantasy world.

    Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink
  8. BigDaddyCool wrote:

    Here’s what I saw last night – in the span of an hour-and-a-half, Mitt Romney contradicted everything he has said in the last 18 months.

    All of a sudden after running away from Romneycare (which is the basis for Obamacare) he’s now going to embrace it?!?!? Michael Murphy has already said that “conservatives “have tasted losing for the last couple of weeks.” They’re not going to complain now after a night that “tastes like winning.”

    Really? Has anybody asked the Tea Party about that? Because the Tea Party absolutely hates Obamacare and think that it is born of the devil. How do you think they are going to react now that Romney is proud of a program that looks and sounds like Obamacare in every sense of the word?

    Romney has been saying that his tax cuts will total $5 trillion, and now he’s saying that it’s not the case? Now he’s saying that they will be revenue neutral and be across the board. Riiiiiiight. Everyone who believes that – stand on your head.

    Now he’s also softening his tone on regulations? The problem with Dodd-Frank isn’t that they were regulations but that the regulations are unclear?

    Is it me or did Mitt Romney do an imitation of a fish out of water as he flip-flopped his way through the evening?

    Bottom line is that after the afterglow has worn off for the GOP they are going to step out of the shower and realize that their guy was not acting like a Republican last night – he was talking about compromise at one point and that is a definite no-no among Conservatives.

    The entire evening was full of 527 ads for the Democrats. All they have to do insert some of what Romney was saying last night, pause on his face in black-and-white and the tag line will be “oh really? That’s not what you said before Governor” and then play back what he said before, and then the tag line is going to be “so will the real Mitt Romney please stand up?” Mitt Romney did a lot of work for Democratic 527’s last night, so let’s see if they take advantage in the way that they should.

    Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink
  9. TJ wrote:

    There is literally ZERO substance to back up any of Romney’s claims.

    Taxes? No detail showing how his mathematically impossible plan would work.
    Corporate tax rate and Loopholes? He won’t name a single loophole he will close.
    Austerity? He’ll look at everything when he gets in office, but he can’t name anything now. Maybe cutting PBS funding will balance the budget. Military cuts are off the table though.
    Health Care? He’ll repeal and replace, but no detail at all as to what “replace” involves, nor why he thinks that it will be so easy to pass a new law on such a heated issue, especially after pissing off all the Dems by repealing Obamacare.

    Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink
  10. This about sums up the entire debate for me:

    Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink
  11. Michael wrote:

    Oh, poor Big Bird. But such is life. I’m just so relieved that Romney has his priorities straight. If we want to eliminate that trillion dollar deficit, going after the CPB’s $445 million grant (spread over 2 years) is clearly the place to start.

    Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink
  12. ebdoug wrote:

    An e-mail from very red Kansas. Four people working at the John Brown commented after the Debate “I could not trust Romney.” And after reading Rise and Fall to see how the Republicans are doing things, it is lie, lie, lie and promise, promise promise. Hitler broke every promise he ever made except not to be captured.

    Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Permalink
  13. jonah wrote:

    Clearly a better theatrical performance by Romney. Some of the points that I think Obama should have done a better job addressing

    1) The economy is suffering from a lack of demand due to deleveraging by the middle/lower class consumer

    2) Reducing taxes for the ultra rich is not guaranteed going help with the us economy. The so called job creators could very well invest money overseas and not create a significant amount of jobs here in the us.

    3) According to this article fossil fuels get a lot more than 3 billion in subsidies.

    Obama also never attacked romneys job creating record when governor, 47th out of 50 states.

    Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink