The Mitt Romney at the First Presidential Debate was the Mitt Romney I Met at Hamburg Inn No. 2 in 2008

Mitt Romney loves a good argument. Pres. Obama didn't look like he enjoyed debating Mitt Romney at all. He was embarrassed by Romney's lies, and he was awkward in defending himself.

Pres. Obama looked like a beaten man last night before he started the first presidential debate. I don't know why. He's ahead in the polls in virtually every swing state, including Iowa, and he's slightly ahead in national polls.

Was Obama embarrassed, as Eddie Murphy would say, that Mitt Romney was "lying his (expletive) off"? Pres. Obama didn't call Romney's allegations lies, but he strongly implied they were. Obama did mention that "five weeks before the election," Romney was putting forth a different platform that the one he's been running on since Romneycare became Obamacare and Romney repudiated his own health insurance plan and promised to repeal it on "Day One" of his putative presidency.

So now we're supposed to believe that a Pres. Mitt "Mittens" Romney would not cut taxes for the wealthy and would not raise taxes on the middle class? They don't call him "Mittens" because he doesn't have claws.

Rather than call Gov. Romney a bald-faced liar, Pres. Obama said over and over again that there is no way that Romney's math of "deficit reductions" could work without savaging education, infrastructure, Medicare, Social Security benefits, Medicaid, and food stamps. The "47%" tape makes it quite clear that Romney believes the elderly, the handicapped, veterans, and the working poor don't take personal responsibility and refuse to care for themselves.

Never mind the fact that 61% of that 47% who don't pay federal income taxes but do pay payroll taxes. So they're the working poor. Do the working poor refuse to take responsibility for themselves? Does the 85-year-old woman in a wheelchair refuse to take responsibility for herself?

So Pres. Obama, embarrassed and awkward, waited for Romney to stop lying to the American people. However, Romney is perfectly comfortable lying to the American people, and he never did stop. He expressed sympathy for the middle class. We were supposed to buy that, although he's never expressed sympathy for the thousands of people he fired after gutting their companies of resources, forced them into bankruptcy, and laughed all the way to the bank.

What's a guy to do? Romney refused to fess up. He refused to recant. He never did explain to us how his plan of beefing up the Pentagon and cutting taxes for the rich would work. In fact, he denied that he would cut the effective taxes paid by the rich.

Meanwhile, Pres. Obama looked tired and like he'd rather be anywhere than where he was. Michelle Obama, his wife, looked very nervous and apprehensive before the debate. Maybe the president was tired. Maybe he would have preferred to be at a table in a nice restaurant on his wedding anniversary, October 3rd.

Robert Frost once said, "a liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel." 

Pres. Obama needs us to believe in him, because he didn't look like he believed in himself. I don't know what would cheer him up if good poll numbers don't do it. Maybe he knew those poll numbers could change. He did much better when he debated Arizona Sen. John McCain in 2008. Back then Sen. McCain was the one who looked like a man at war with himself. 

Where was Pres. Obama's fight? Where was his passion? Chris Matthews on MSNBC went ballistic the minute the debate ended. He was furious that Pres. Obama didn't do a better job of defending himself. So it's unanimous. Obama lost; Romney won. You'd have to have been following the campaigns closely to know that Romney lied in order to win.

The Mitt Romney I saw in the first debate was the Mitt Romney I argued with about the Iraq War in 2008 at the Hamburg Inn 2 in Iowa City. Mitt loves a good argument and he showed his claws with me.

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Maria Houser Conzemius October 06, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Jeff, it is what it is. Pres. Obama screwed up in the debate. Read what Dana Milbank had to say about Pres. Obama's debate performance in the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-president-obama-doesnt-meet-the-press/2012/10/04/ac688c8a-0e78-11e2-bb5e-492c0d30bff6_story.html The world won't end in the next five minutes if Obama failed to deliver a commanding performance in the first debate. He will probably still be elected president in Nov. This is not the first time his performance has been disappointing. He has completely failed to rein in Wall Street corruption & greed, not to mention their gambling away our economy. In fact, our economy could collapse once again because Dodd-Frank is weak. Attorney General Eric Holder woke up long enough to try to protect voting rights, but otherwise he's been asleep at the switch. We are picking the lesser of two evils here: the Coddler-in-Chief of Wall Street & recipient of scads of Wall Street campaign donations & the would-be Corporate Predator-in-Chief. I'm holding my nose & voting for Obama, but let's not kid ourselves about who we're electing. He'd have to change radically in his second term to give us the "change" promised in the 2008 election. I know obstructionist Republicans sabotage the nation at every turn to deny Obama a second term, but that doesn't explain AG Eric Holder's failure to go after corporate crime & war crimes. He needs to go.
Maria Houser Conzemius October 08, 2012 at 03:09 PM
I like Todd Dorman's article in the Gazette on the first debate: http://thegazette.com/2012/10/04/first-debate-open-thread/
Keith Best October 09, 2012 at 02:02 PM
This first debate was a wipe-out for the unqualified Obama. He is lost without TOTUS (teleprompter of the United States.)
Maria Houser Conzemius October 09, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Keith Best, I think that Obama was thrown by Mitt Romney's mendacity. Romney suddenly denied that his previous platform on cutting taxes for the rich. He said he'd close unspecified tax deductions and loopholes so that the rich would pay the same taxes as before (they've already gotten tax cuts from George W. Bush, sustained by Pres. Obama). Some say the president has insulated himself with yes men and yes women and was not used to debating as an equal with a challenger. Pres. Obama was not my first choice as president in 2008. Hillary Clinton was my first choice, with Joe Biden second. Obama was one of my last choices, ahead of Sen. Chris Dodd and Gov. Bill Richardson (both corrupt, in my opinion). I couldn't vote for John McCain because he didn't show up for the equal pay for equal work vote and he said he would have voted against it if he had shown up. His arrogance and refusal to acknowledge sex discrimination against women totally turned me off. He also did poorly in the debates.
Todd Richissin October 09, 2012 at 06:28 PM
To All: I've deleted a number of comments that violate Patch's Term of Service. In a nutshell, those terms are: Be Civil. Period. We at Patch have received complaints from readers who are tired of the name-calling posts and general nastiness of a few of you. You likely know who you are. If one more post goes up from you that involves name calling or is otherwise violates our Terms of Service, we'll take the next steps to ensure that Patch remains a forum for CIVIL community interaction. That can include revoking Patch accounts and blocking IP addresses.


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