Thu Oct 18, 2012, 10:07 PM
Bernardo de La Paz (9,703 posts)
The pieces were planned and rehearsed. Obama put them together.
It's like a chef competition. You've filleted a salmon for roasting with a raspberry sauce a dozen times in practice sessions. You show up and they put down in front of you a trout and ingredients for a lime sauce. You deal, even though you've never roasted trout with lime sauce. You beat the other chef, who is still rattling the lock on the fridge trying to get the salmon out.
They probably stopped Obama at several points in mock debates and said "Here's a great place to ease back and say 'Go right ahead'" or 'Carry on' or 'Feel free, governor'. About other issues and points.
They may have helped Obama recognize Mitt body language and mannerisms and tells.
Earlier in the exchange, Romney answering the question first, used the phrase "terrorist attack". Then when Obama responds directly to Romney, he uses the phrase "act of terror", which has a subtly different connotation, but is in fact the actual phrase Obama used in the Rose Garden press conference. Then Romney, incredulous, unconsciously and carelessly uses Obama's phrase, thinking the first phrase, and adding you said it was "not a spontaneous demonstration" (rhetorically with an implied question mark), to distinguish it from "terrorist attack", which is what he is thinking.
Obama, cool as a cucumber, remembers that he didn't deny it being a spontaneous demonstration because he didn't address the film or the demonstration in his statement that day. But more importantly, he also sees that Romney is using Obama's phrase.
So he instantly recognizes that Romney is getting caught up in half-remembered phrases and is like a quarterback with his shoe laces untied. Thus he has the presence of mind to say "Proceed".
That's what we want from a Commander-in-Chief: Presence of mind.
And then Obama stays cool and lands a precise jab to Romney with "Get the transcript". Followed by the knockout punch by joking after Crowley's fact check: "Can you say that a little louder, Candy?" This plays on the audio problems that started the debate and is evidence of extremely quick thinking by Obama.
MR. ROMNEY: Yeah, I — I certainly do. I certainly do. I — I think it's interesting the president just said something which is that on the day after the attack, he went in the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror. You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Please proceed.
MR. ROMNEY: Is that what you're saying?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Please proceed, Governor.
MR. ROMNEY: I — I — I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Get the transcript.
MS. CROWLEY: It — he did in fact, sir.
So let me — let me call it an act of terrorism — (inaudible) --
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy? (Laughter, applause.)
MS. CROWLEY: He did call it an act of terror. It did as well take — it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea of there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.
Crowley vindicates Obama, while giving Romney a point about the riot. But too late for Romney, the damage is done by Obama's three hammer blows one after the other: "Proceed", "Get the transcript", and "Can you say that a little louder, Candy?"
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