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Saturday, October 06, 2012

Quotes from Presidential Debate October 3, 2012 - Both Sides Now

We've had a few days to clear the event clouds of the 2012 presidential debate. Let's take a retrospective look at who said what during the highly anticipated, never to be duplicated, Presidential debate forum. 

Like Joni Mitchell crunes in "Both Sides Now": 

"So many things I would have done, But clouds got in my way.
But now it's just another show;

You leave 'em laughing when you go; and if you care, don't let them know; don't give yourself away

I've looked at clouds from both sides now; from up and down, and still somehow, it's cloud illusions I recall; I really don't know clouds at all."

Okay.  So, the illusion analogy goes like this.  Mitt Romney put on a good theatrical debate performance. But, it was an illusion.

The Republican man on the stage in Denver CO wasn't the real Romney. Rather, he was an illusionist,  propped up and rehearsed to create confidence in independent voters, who don't know if he can be trusted.  Well, Romney's debate act was an illusion, because we still don't know if the man who showed up was real, or rehearsed.  He certainly wasn't the man who's been trying to win right wing radical voters for the past 18 months.

This is what Romney said:
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/presidential-debate-transcript-denver-colo-oct/story?id=17390260&page=6#.UHBlK5jR4g0
" The presidents would -- president would prefer raising taxes. I understand. The problem with raising taxes is that it slows down the rate of growth. And you could never quite get the job done. I want to lower spending and encourage economic growth at the same time.  What things would I cut from spending? Well, first of all, I will eliminate all programs by this test, if they don't pass it: Is the program so critical it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? And if not, I'll get rid of it. Obamacare's on my (Romney) list."

Julie's comment:  At this point, I'd have said to Governor Romney, "What would you replace Obamacare with?" Moreover, borrowing money from China is an oxymoron, because we already owe them more money than we can ever repay! The interest alone is staggering.

How did Romney get away with saying the above quote without receiving a rebuttal from President Obama?  

Lyrics, "Oh, but now old friends are acting strange; They shake their heads, they say I've changed; Well something's lost but something's gained, In living every day."

Here's what President Obama said:

"When I walked into the Oval Office, I had more than a trillion-dollar deficit greeting me. And we know where it came from: two wars that were paid for on a credit card; two tax cuts that were not paid for; and a whole bunch of programs that were not paid for; and then a massive economic crisis.  And despite that, what we've said is, yes, we had to take some initial emergency measures to make sure we didn't slip into a Great Depression, but what we've also said is, let's make sure that we are cutting out those things that are not helping us grow.  So 77 government programs, everything from aircrafts that the Air Force had ordered but weren't working very well, 18 government -- 18 government programs for education that were well-intentioned, not weren't helping kids learn, we went after medical fraud in Medicare and Medicaid very aggressively, more aggressively than ever before, and have saved tens of billions of dollars, $50 billion of waste taken out of the system."

Julie's comment:   Republicans should stand up and cheer for how President Obama has gone after fraud in Medicare and Medicaid, but his debate quote evaporated in clouds of criticism.  Why?  I think, frankly, it's because Republicans are often the people who make money on fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid - many of them own companies that engage in fraudulent practices including over utilization of medical supplies, and procedures and billing for services not provided.

People who want to understand what happened in the first 2012 Presidential debate must read the transcripts. Who said what?  

Theatrics award goes to Governor Mitt Romney.

Thoughtful, sensitive and constructive responses were largely lacking by Governor Romney.

President Obama clearly won the debate based upon content.

But, pundits quickly cut the President no slack. President Obama's performance appeared to be unengaged, regardless of how his debate responses were articulated.  

This song lyric sums it all up:

"I've looked at life from both sides now;  from WIN and LOSE and still somehow; it's life's illusions I recall, I really don't know life at all"

From my perspective, the winner of the first 2012 debate was the candidate who told the truth.

But, the theatrical perspective may be all there is to recall, so I don't really know who won or who lost, at all.

Nonetheless, I know this.  President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden can't let another theatrical performance get the best of them, in their future debates.  They must tell the American people the truth, using convincing prose, without appearing to over-react to the passive tone President Obama adopted with Governor Romney during their series opener.  

We don't want "dreams and schemes" from Romney. In fact, it's possible President Obama could win the second debate by simply challenging Romney on every one of his concocted schemes.  

Of course, it's difficult to prepare for a debate when nobody knows which Governor Romney will show up.  Will it be the right wing extremist war mongering hawk? Or, will he be a centrist, who says we should build up our military, just so his rich friends can glean defense contracts, to get richer?

Whatever Romney shows up at podium, the real President Obama must match the theatrics of the man who opposes him.

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