"Here comes the orator! With his flood of words, and his drop of reason." --Benjamin Franklin
Memo From Mark Alexander on the Second Presidential Debate
Four things were apparent in the second presidential debate this week.
First, Barack Hussein Obama remains the undisputed champion of socialist rhetoric. The BO who showed up for this week's debate was the charismatic who, in '08, so effectively wove his deceitful web of populist propaganda into a mesmerizing mantra designed to appeal to those who vote according to their emotions. Obama can already count on the votes of ideological Leftists and the legions of disenfranchised Americans enslaved on the Democrat Plantation, but his deceptive oratory this week was targeted at those uncommitted voters whose allegiance can be co-opted by smooth emotive idioms.
Did it work? Yes, if this comment from a New Hampshire woman is typical of the emotive voters he targeted: "I am voting for Barack Obama and I'm voting for him because I feel that overall he best represents my feelings in terms of the economy, foreign relation and education."
Second, the fact is, moderators shape debates, and CNN's Candy Crowley is the third Leftmedia talking head in the lineup of moderators behind PBS's Jim Lehrer and ABC's Martha Raddatz. In case you missed the fine print, the moderator of this "townhall debate" chose the audience questions, so not only was Crowley a partisan referee, but she chose questions that would deliver Romney up for Obama sucker punches. As for the so-called "bipartisan" Commission on Presidential Debates, they shot down my "equally bipartisan" list of recommended moderators, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh.
Third, it was very apparent that in preparing for this debate, Mitt Romney's team did not review our "Memo to Mitt From Grassroots Americans," which we know his communications staff received. Romney's weakest campaign link is his disconnect with conservative grassroots Americans -- millions of Patriots who, if energized, will have enormous influence on the sea of undecided voters Romney needs to win this election. The fact is, Romney really does care about grassroots folks -- he genuinely cares about Americans from all walks of life. But his staff, many of whom are Beltway politicos and debutants, are clearly out of touch with grassroots Americans, and consequently, insulate Romney to good advice from the ground.
Last, will this debate derail Romney's momentum and re-invigorate Obama supporters? That depends on whether those emotive voters who Obama targeted last night can wake from their mesmerized state long enough to rise above the populist propaganda and see Obama's rhetoric in stark contrast against a backdrop of four years of failed socialist policies, rather than the '08 backdrop of "Blame Bush."
The last debate encounter will commence on Monday evening, October 22. It will be moderated by CBS's Bob Schieffer, who may be the most ideologically restrained of the referees. May we, once again, suggest Team Romney's managers take a moment to review the "Memo to Mitt From Grassroots Americans."
"President Obama bounced off the canvas with a more spirited debate at Hofstra University on Tuesday night, as everyone expected he would. He was animated and on the attack. The question we kept asking as the evening wore on, however, is what does he want to do for the next four years? ... Judging by Tuesday's debate, the President's argument for re-election is basically this: He's not as awful as Mitt Romney. Mr. Obama spent most of his time attacking either Mr. Romney himself (he invests in Chinese companies), his tax plan as a favor for the rich ('that's been his history') or this or that statement he has made over the last year ('the 47%,' which Mr. Obama saved for the closing word of the entire debate). The paucity of this promise, the difference between now and four years ago, was never clearer than in the President's response to the young man who said he'd voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 but is less optimistic now. Mr. Obama responded by reciting his achievements -- ending the Iraq war, 'health-care reform to make sure insurance companies can't jerk you around,' more Wall Street regulation, the auto bailout and more jobs. As for the next four years: He said he has a plan 'for manufacturing and education and reducing our deficit in a sensible way, using the savings from ending wars to rebuild America' and pursuing 'the energy of the future.' Then he attacked Mr. Romney again. The Republican followed by reciting the economic failings of the last four years, piling on fact after depressing fact. 'I can tell you that if you were to elect President Obama, you know what you're going to get. You're going to get a repeat of the last four years. We just can't afford four more years like the last four years,' Mr. Romney said. It was his most effective argument of a generally good but not great night. It is also the fundamental choice that Americans face in this campaign." --The Wall Street Journal
Upright -- Highlights from Mitt Romney
"The president's policies have been exercised over the last four years and they haven't put Americans back to work. We have fewer people working today than we had when the president took office. ... The unemployment rate was 7.8 percent when he took office, it's 7.8 percent now. But if you calculated that unemployment rate, taking back the people who dropped out of the workforce, it would be 10.7 percent [today]. ... [L]et's look at the president's policies, all right, as opposed to the rhetoric, because we've had four years of policies being played out."
"When we're talking about math that doesn't add up, how about $4 trillion of deficits over the last four years, $5 trillion? That's math that doesn't add up. ... [W]e have his own record, which is we have four consecutive years where he said when he was running for office, he would cut the deficit in half. Instead he's doubled it. We've gone from $10 trillion of national debt, to $16 trillion of national debt. If the president were re-elected, we'd go to almost $20 trillion of national debt. This puts us on a road to Greece. I know what it takes to balance budgets. I've done it my entire life."
"I can tell you that if you were to elect President Obama, you know what you're going to get. You're going to get a repeat of the last four years. We just can't afford four more years like the last four years. He said that by now we'd have unemployment at 5.4 percent. The difference between where it is and 5.4 percent is 9 million Americans without work. I wasn't the one that said 5.4 percent. This was the president's plan. Didn't get there."
"[T]he policies he's put in place from ObamaCare to Dodd-Frank to his tax policies to his regulatory policies, these policies combined have not let this economy take off and grow like it could have. You might say, 'Well, you got an example of one that worked better?' Yeah, in the Reagan recession where unemployment hit 10.8 percent, between ... the end of that recession and the equivalent of time to today, Ronald Reagan's recovery created twice as many jobs as this president's recovery. Five million jobs doesn't even keep up with our population growth. And the only reason the unemployment rate seems a little lower today is because of all the people that have dropped out of the workforce."
"[O]n the day following the assassination of the United States ambassador, the first time that's happened since 1979, when -- when we have four Americans killed there, when apparently we didn't know what happened, that the president, the day after that happened, flies to Las Vegas for a political fund-raiser, then the next day to Colorado for another event. ... The president's policies throughout the Middle East began with an apology tour and pursue a strategy of leading from behind, and this strategy is unraveling before our very eyes."
Demo-gogues -- Highlights from Barack Obama
"[Romney] said when I took office, the price of gasoline was $1.80, $1.86. Why is that? Because the economy was on the verge of collapse, because we were about to go through the worst recession since the Great Depression, as a consequence of some of the same policies that Governor Romney's now promoting. So, it's conceivable that Governor Romney could bring down gas prices because with his policies we might be back in that same mess."
"[I]f we're serious about reducing the deficit, if this is genuinely a moral obligation to the next generation, then in addition to some tough spending cuts, we've also got to make sure that the wealthy do a little bit more. ... [G]overnor Romney's allies in Congress have held the 98 percent hostage because they want tax breaks for the top 2 percent. ... [F]or [those earning] above $250,000, we can go back to the tax rates we had when Bill Clinton was president. We created 23 million new jobs. That's part of what took us from deficits to surplus."
"[I] think it's important to tell you that we did come in during some tough times. We were losing 800,000 jobs a month when I started. But we had been digging our way out of policies that were misplaced and focused on the top doing very well and middle class folks not doing well. Now, we've seen 30 consecutive -- 31 consecutive months of job growth; 5.2 million new jobs created. ... [T]he centerpiece of [Romney's] economic plan are tax cuts. That's what took us from surplus to deficit."
"[W]e have gone after al-Qa'ida's leadership like never before and Osama bin Laden is dead. ... While we were still dealing with our diplomats being threatened, Governor Romney put out a press release, trying to make political points, and that's not how a commander in chief operates. You don't turn national security into a political issue. ... Secretary [Hillary] Clinton has done an extraordinary job. But she works for me. I'm the president and I'm always responsible, and that's why nobody's more interested in finding out exactly what happened than I [am]. ... And the suggestion that anybody in my team ... would play politics or mislead when we've lost four of our own, governor, is offensive. That's not what we do. That's not what I do as president, that's not what I do as commander in chief."
"We're a nation that believes in the Second Amendment, and I believe in the Second Amendment. ... But there have been too many instances during the course of my presidency, where I've had to comfort families who have lost somebody. ... [W]eapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don't belong on our streets. And so what I'm trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault-weapons ban reintroduced."
"The last time Mitt Romney and Barack Obama debated, the press was itching to write the Romney Comeback story. Now they're itching to write the Obama Comeback story. This matters because people tend to see what they expect to see and have trouble seeing the unexpected even when it unfolds before their eyes." --columnist Peggy Noonan
"I found this debate deeply frustrating and unedifying. I thought the questions, prescreened by Candy Crowley, were for the most part indistinguishable from questions the Obama campaign might as well have drafted for her. Nearly every one was asked from a fundamentally liberal premise. Why on earth this debate was handed to undecided voters in a state where Obama is leading by nearly 30 points is beyond me. These weren't undecided voters; they were at best dyspeptic Democrats." --columnist Jonah Goldberg
"The biggest losers? The pathetic staged town-hall format: The questions are preselected and the questioners not spontaneous and often clumsy. They seemed unenthusiastic and their presence impeded a fuller exchange of views. Ms. Crowley was out of bounds by selectively attempting to offer real-time fact-checking -- endorsed by Obama ('Say that a little louder, Candy!') -- and fact-checking, no less, that was not quite factual. ... Final verdict: Again, I think polls and post-debate focus and reflection will suggest Romney did better than the immediate consensus of a draw." --historian Victor Davis Hanson
"Candy Crowley, the CNN moderator in charge of tonight's debate, covered for President Obama by endorsing his false narrative of the killings in Libya. She stepped out of the role of moderator to play an alleged 'fact-checker.' She corrected Mitt Romney's statement that Obama had referred to the Libyan attacks as a reaction to an anti-Muslim video, rather than a terrorist attack. Obama allowed his administration to claim that for days afterwards. He did refer obliquely to 'acts of terror' but also allowed the myth of the anti-video demonstrations to be perpetuated. Crowley's intervention will leave an incomplete and false impression with many debate viewers. The time for 'fact-checking' is after a debate, not during it. Previous debate moderators knew better." --columnist John Fund
"I mean, we are seeing right now that we are in the midst of a huge recovery. Right? Because of what this president has done -- pulled this economy from the brink of collapse when we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. Now we're gaining every -- throughout most of his presidency, we've been adding jobs to this economy because of what he's been doing." --Michelle Obama
Belly Laugh of the Week: "You know, Barack doesn't have a big ego. You see this in, you know, how he leads the country. I mean, he is very open to other people's opinions. And he's always willing to compromise and he's always, always listening. So that would kind of be the last thing that I would think of when I talk about my husband is big ego." --Michelle Obama
"President Obama vowed to work with Republicans to solve the country's problems if he's given a second term. It's not a reflexive action. He said compromise has become a dirty word in Washington and then he told the Republicans to go compromise themselves." --comedian Argus Hamilton
"Obama did fine, as long as people remember that Romney is the incumbent." --iowahawkblog
"Is Obama suggesting he'll revive the 'assault weapons' ban news? Didn't do wonders for Clinton, and we're even more pro-gun now." --humorist Frank J. Fleming
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team