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Fri Sep 28, 2012, 11:59 PM

Romney Can “Win” The Debates On Points, But Lose the Election, by Embracing His D**kishness

I actually think Romney can win the debates on points, but lose the election badly, by embracing his inner d**kishness. This is why you hear the Romney campaign already priming the pump with Romney saying that President Obama will lie during the debate and that Romney will “fact check” President Obama. Why? Because the Romney campaign is familiar with their candidate and how Romney is most effective during a debate and it is NOT by connecting with the audience or articulating a broad vision. Romney is at his best when he acts like the dick he is.

Let me explain.

I think the people read too much into debate performance as though the recitation of one liners, put downs, and obscure facts actually will cause people to vote for you. Many folks believe that Mondale “won” the first debate against Ronald Reagan. Kerry outclassed Bush during his debates. Ross Perot won over Bush and Clinton according to flash polls immediately following the debate. Many folks thought that Dukakis won his first debate against Bush. Finally, Hillary was widely thought to have crisper and more substantive answers than President Obama during her latter debates where she aggressively attacked then candidate Obama. However, these debate “wins” never translated into political victories.

I think part of the reason is that scoring points during debates may win you kudos from the armchair debate coaches, but it does not necessarily make folks want to vote for you. The political pundits may love the clever putdowns, gotcha moments, and personal attacks. They may swoon when a candidate use an out of context quote that causes their opponent to waste time providing the context. A candidate may lie about their opponents record with a smile which causes their opponent to sputter in outrage. But, does that make the candidate look Presidential? No, that makes you look like a dick. And, Mitt Romney is a naturally arrogant, privileged, yet insecure dick who enjoys putting down people to make himself feel better. Witness the 47 percent video where Romney happily put down half of America.

Need more proof. Look at the Republican primaries and debates. Romney could not quickly put away the nomination despite having a huge advantage in money. Rick Perry and Rick Santorum gave Mitt trouble despite the fact that they where inarticulate (Perry) and extreme (Santorum), because they were more likable. In a notable debate, Romney destroyed Gingrich during a debate (see clip below) without a negative repercussions, because Gingrich happened to a be a bigger d**k than Romney. Yet, at the end of this long debate process, did the Republican base embrace Romney despite his "success" during the Republican debates? No. People don’t like rich, privileged politicians who act like dicks.

So, I can see Romney scoring a lot of “points” by being a complete dick during the debates. Romney’s campaign knows this, which is why they are setting up the expectation that acting like a dick is a good thing, because Romney is “fact checking” President Obama by attacking on obscure side issues (Rev. Wright?) or misrepresentations (the “apology” or the Medicare lie). In the end, the pundits may swoon, but Romney will look like a dick.

See for yourself in this clip of Romney versus Gingrich:

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply Romney Can “Win” The Debates On Points, But Lose the Election, by Embracing His D**kishness (Original post)
TomCADem Sep 2012 OP
DURHAM D Sep 2012 #1
Drunken Irishman Sep 2012 #2
brewens Sep 2012 #3
TomCADem Sep 2012 #5
SoapBox Sep 2012 #4
fun n serious Sep 2012 #7
fun n serious Sep 2012 #6
WI_DEM Sep 2012 #8
Wounded Bear Sep 2012 #9
TomCADem Sep 2012 #11
UCmeNdc Sep 2012 #10
-Steph- Sep 2012 #12
Hippo_Tron Sep 2012 #13
TomCADem Oct 2012 #14

Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 12:04 AM

1. I don't think the debates matter.

The voters have made their decision and have quit listening. At this point all they hear is blah, blah, blah.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 12:13 AM

2. I think it's also different debating in a primary compared to a general...

In the primary, you're mostly going after red meat and being aggressive almost always seems to work in your favor. Think of the debates in 2004 & 2008 for the Democrats - where they were ruthless at times in painting a picture of how incompetent Bush was. They were playing to a partisan crowd, though, individuals who all shared the exact same views on almost every issue ... they didn't like Bush, they didn't like the war, they didn't like Republicans and so on. It's easy to attack when you're doing so in front of a crowd that generally agrees with your attacks.

In the general, though, you're not debating for the base. Your message is solely for those voters who may be undecided or leaning to one candidate or the other. They're not convinced, either way, on who to vote for and are more moderate, or at least centrist, than the partisan members of each party. In that regard, when a candidate attacks, he comes off very poorly.

In 2008, McCain went very aggressive in the final debate and he was hurt for it. His attacks just didn't sit well with average Americans and while Obama took some hits, in the end, it wasn't the hits that mattered ... it was the nastiness of McCain's attacks. Romney can't deliver a criticism in a calm or humorous way like Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and even Barack Obama.

When Reagan said, "there you go again..." to Carter, it was devastating, but not just because of the words. It was devastating because of the tone. He did it in a very lighthearted, playful way that didn't come off as rude or mean-spirited. Had Reagan done it with a scowl and a very loud and mean tone, a "THERE YOU GO AGAIN!" followed with an angry sigh, it probably wouldn't have been nearly as big as the comment turned out to be and I just don't see Romney being able to get away with something like that.

I sense Obama will be relaxed, calm and not too serious. Romney will look stiff, too serious and, at times, agitated and angry. That won't play well to the American people.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 12:17 AM

3. Like the way he smacked down that teacher telling him the polls showed people

supported the unions over Blomberg. I would have probably gotten myself cuffed and stuffed if I was that guy! That prick interrupting me and talking down to me like that would have caused me to unload on him! I can put R. Lee to shame when I cut loose on someone!

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Response to brewens (Reply #3)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 12:54 AM

5. Or, When He Attacked and Shaved The Head of a Gay Student

Romney is in his element when he is making himself feel good by putting other people down. It invigorates him. This is why we should not expect any specifics from Romney or description of how he can possibly meet several mutually inconsistent policy goals during the debates. Also, we certainly won't see Romney bonding with the audience. Instead, Romney is going to be Romney, which means that he is going to be attacking President Obama, and smirking like he did when Americans died during an attack on the Libyan consulate.

Romney gets charged up off the negative energy. This is why he has a cat ate the canary grin if there is a bad economic report. So, I can see Romney happy as a flee going negative during the debates and thrilling the pundits with all of nasty little put downs delivered with his trade mark: "I just held down and shaved the gay kid's head" smirk of his.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 12:36 AM

4. I just hope Mittens is twitchy and shit...

And what happened to his request to have Queen Ann on stage with him?

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Response to SoapBox (Reply #4)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 01:00 AM

7. After today?

lol, I think we all know the answer to that question.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 12:59 AM

6. Listen to him carefully

He can attack well. But when it comes to answering questions om issues that matter he stutters followed by a lie.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 08:20 AM

8. Obama is not a door mat and will respond to Romney's 'points'

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 09:03 AM

9. What "points" could Romney possibly win on?

When we get elections about issues, Democrats win. Republicans usually win elections based on personality, but since Romney doesn't have one, he's toast.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #9)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 07:02 PM

11. NY Times Article Today Discusses Romney's Strategy - Double Down On D**kishness

This is the amazing thing. Romney has pretty much foregone meeting with actual voters at rallies by devoting a huge amount of time on the debates. Indeed, during the DNC convention, Romney sacrificed valualble post-convention exposure to prepare the debates. And, does Romney plan to use the debates to articulate and defend his policies or to build a connection with the American people? No! Romney spent all that time just so that he can memorize a whole bunch of snappy zingers to score political points with the pundits!

That is right! Please vote for Romney, because he has spent months working on that dickish little zinger that he could deliver during a debate! Because that is what we want in a President, a person who can act like a total dick. This is why his campaign has been workling the pundits ahead of time to convince them that Romney's expected behavior and zingers is winning.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/29/us/politics/cramming-and-pruning-for-first-presidential-debate.html?_r=0

Mr. Romney’s team has concluded that debates are about creating moments and has equipped him with a series of zingers that he has memorized and has been practicing on aides since August. His strategy includes luring the president into appearing smug or evasive about his responsibility for the economy.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 09:46 AM

10. Romney will come ready to lie

Romney will look straight into the camera and lie.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 12:11 AM

12. It's my personal opinion that..

Even if Romney does 100% of what he hopes to do in the debate, I do not feel it's likely to be a big game changer for him.

It's very unlikely that President Obama is going to perform extremely poor, regardless of how Romney performs. So in my own opinion at the very most, maybe Romney will come out of the debate with a slight edge (which I'm doubting), but I honestly don't think that alone would be enough to really change the game at this point.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 12:50 AM

13. His 1994 debate against Ted Kennedy has some very interesting insights

For the first part of it Romney actually does reasonably well. He's well prepared and gets the message across that he's a social liberal and an economic conservative. The only gaffe he really makes for a while is coming off like a pompous ass during the "greatest personal failure" question, by talking for 30 seconds about how he takes the time to volunteer once a week and then saying his greatest failure is that he doesn't volunteer more often.

It's only in the round where they get to ask each other questions that Kennedy absolutely rips him to shreds. Kennedy asks him what his health care plan is and how much it costs and Romney can't answer the question. For the rest of the debate he's clearly on the defensive.



Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it, because Romney needs a stellar performance more than Obama), there's no Lincoln-Douglas round in these debates. The format is much safer than that. Thus, Obama can't tear into Romney by asking him to give us specifics about his plans that he doesn't have.

What he can do, however, is put Romney on the defensive, by saying things that upset him. You can see throughout the entire 1994 debate and through the Republican primary debates that Romney is an incredibly defensive person and takes every attack on him, very personally. Ann Romney isn't lying when she says it's tough for her husband to deal with that stuff. If I were advising Obama, I'd tell him to give answers that will piss Romney off, so he spends all of his time on defense.

And if I were advising Romney I'd tell him to grow a thicker skin and do exactly what Reagan did in the 1980 debates. Laugh off the attacks and then turn the focus back on Obama.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 11:18 PM

14. Bumping Because Prediction Appears To Be Coming True...

...I didn't expect to be this right.

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