LIVE BLOGGING HERE! SCROLL DOWN
I will be live-blogging tonight's Presidential Debate at Chris Jeub's debate website with several others, including Andrew Pudewa.
The address is http://www.chrisjeub.com/presidential-debates. I notice that there is a 404 error at that site right now, but I assume that will change closer to debate time. If there is a better address, I will post it here for those interested.
UPDATE: The link above still does not work. If it is not working by debate time, I will be live-blogging on this page.
9:10: OBAMA: We've heard the "luckiest guy" in the world thing before. Auto industry again (we heard a lot about this at the convention). "Question is not where we've been but where we're going." ROMNEY: Great response by Romney on Obama's anniversary. Romney scores on the personal story he told. Five points is still too many points (he needs three), but it's better than the 50 something he had in the primary. Solid beginning for Romney.
9:15: Emphasizing middle income Americans a great point for Romney. It addresses his weakness, and he doesn't sound defensive in making the point. He needs to avoid sounding defensive after his "47%" debacle and so far he's doing it. Good score for Romney on Obama's oil policies. He's on the offensive--great for Romney.
9:20: Obama charging Romney with too many tax cuts? This is supposed to be damaging to Romney? Obama making telling technical points (and not illegitimate ones), but they're going to be a little too technical. Romney's corrections (whether they're accurate or not) at least sound good. He sounds good correcting Obama. Romney again goes personal, talking about how he's used . I will not under any circumstances raise taxes on middle income Americans." Good for Romney, again.
9:25: Romney again gets concrete: talks about a small business guy he knows and what high tax rates do to him. So far, Obama hasn't talked about a real person yet. Romney successfully turns Obama's point around appealing to jobs. Obama answers in technical terms again. He's using abstractions: Romney's using stories. Stories beat statistics every time.
9:27: All the discussion is on Romney's plan and Romney is convincingly defending it. What is Obama offering? He hasn't made a case for the future he said at the debate's beginning that was so important.
9:32: The deficit a "moral problem." Another point to Romney. "Is the program so critical that it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it." Great line! He's not going to pay for PBS, but likes Big Bird. President promised to cut budget in half, but doubled it. Good point by Obama on the deficit he faced when coming in from the Bush administration.
9:35: Romney looking authoritative in calling Obama on the carpet on saying he would cut the deficit but raising it instead. "You raise taxes, you kill jobs." I get more money by more people paying jobs. Romney making the case for his plan and sounding optimistic in a Reagan sort of way in doing it.
9:40: "I've been in business for ... years, and I don't know what you're talking about" on tax credits for moving jobs overseas. Romney sounding like he knows what he's talking about and the President doesn't. "Let states do this."
9:47: Obama finally refers to a real person (Grandma). Great defense by Obama of Social Security (because it puts a face on the issue), but it doesn't necessarily tell against Romney. Romney calls Obama on Medicare cutting funding for current retirees. Putting back $716 billion in Medicare. Romney sounds more pro Medicare than Obama. Good move. Obama attacks Romney on voucher idea on Medicare. Costing $6,000/year per retiree. Obama defending Grandma again. Romney needs an old person to match Grandma, but he hasn't introduced one yet. Romney needs a Grandma, quick.
9:50: Romney's response good because it sounds simpler than Obama's point, but this issue is not a good one to stay long on for those viewers from Florida. There's just no way to phrase it from Romney's perspective, no matter how good the plan is for Grandma. Grandma just wants her Medicare. Romney wants to stay on Medicare. Noooooo! This is not Romney's strong suit, even though I agree with him.
9:55: "I wouldn't designate five banks as too big to fail." "Try to get a mortgage these days." "I want to bring back housing and good jobs." The memorable lines are coming from Romney.
9:58: "Expensive things hurt families." "An economic crisis at the dinner table." "It (Obamacare) has killed jobs." Romney keeps saying thinks simply and memorably. Obama using subordinate clauses. BAD MOVE.
10:02: Obama defending Obamacare. Obama: "Gov. Romney did a good thing..." Great criticism by Romney on Obama not being bipartisan. Romney sounding convincing on favorably comparing his Massachusett's health care plan to Obamacare.
10:10: The government is not effective in bring down costs on almost anything." Romney scoring points on board of bureaucrats making medical decisions for people. Obama denies they can do this. Charges Romney's plan doesn't take account of pre-existing conditions. "Is Romney keeping secret his plan to replace Obamacare because it's so good?" Good line.
10:13: So far nothing about the 47%. Is Romney not going to bring it up? So far, none of the gotcha stuff. This may be the most substantive presidential debates ever.
10: 17: Romney uses taking care of those who cannot care for themselves into the religious liberty point. Romney talking about happiness, dreams, making the case for freedom, putting Obama on the wrong side of the issue. College graduates can't find work, more food stamps. Good points.
10:20: Obama goes after Ryan budget. Doesn't answer Romney's list of Obama's economic sins. Obama's been allowed to talk for three more minutes total than Romney.
10:28: $90 billion would hire ... teachers. Good point. Romney winning on government control issue. Making education more effective and efficient. Massachusett's schools among most successful in the nation. Good points. Romney will be bipartisan. We need leadership. Romney arguing obvious, irrefutable points. Repealing Obamacare won't be popular with Democrats Romney wants to be bipartisan with. Good points on both sides.
10:30: This has been a wonkish, but substantive debate and Obama gives wonkish conclusion. Obama admits being imperfect, but has good intentions. Weak appeal: "If you re-elect me, I'll be just as sincere and well-intentioned as I was during the first term." [my words] Is this the best he can do? Romney points to specific be effects of Obama first term, talks specifically about what he will do. Romney has made clear points throughout the debate, saying "First, ... Second, ... Third." He does it here. Still wonkish, but clearer points.
Final Comments: Romney clearly won this debate. He was more energetic, more confident, clearer and simpler in his points, was on the offensive the whole time (in stark contrast to the media coverage of the campaign), used more personification. I don't think there was a single area in which Obama did better than Romney. Romney didn't even need to win to win. He just had to hold his own and look equally good as the President. That's all. He did more than that. He needed to exceed expectations, he did more than that. This was Romney's finest hour.