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Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:28 PM

Obama Often Struggled In Debate Prep, Had To Cancel Sessions

President Obama alternately performed well and poorly in his debate prep sessions leading up to Wednesday night's debate and had to cancel or cut short prep sessions due to his busy schedule, reports the New York Times.

Like other presidents, Mr. Obama’s debate preparations were hindered by his day job, his practice sessions often canceled or truncated because of events, advisers said. One session took place just after he addressed a service for the four Americans slain in Libya, leaving him distracted…

Advisers had seen two presidents during practice debates, one who had been listless and passive two nights before and another energetic and aggressive the next night. It turned out the former was the one who showed up in Denver…

Mr. Obama’s alternating performances left aides walking off Air Force One in Denver looking worried.


Link to NYT article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/08/us/politics/biden-up-next-obamas-aides-plot-comeback.html?ref=politics

24 replies, 2524 views

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Reply Obama Often Struggled In Debate Prep, Had To Cancel Sessions (Original post)
DonViejo Oct 2012 OP
hrmjustin Oct 2012 #1
TroyD Oct 2012 #2
andym Oct 2012 #3
sharkman25 Oct 2012 #7
andym Oct 2012 #11
VWolf Oct 2012 #10
andym Oct 2012 #12
VirginiaTarheel Oct 2012 #4
TroyD Oct 2012 #6
LiberalFighter Oct 2012 #21
karynnj Oct 2012 #8
MADem Oct 2012 #5
JNelson6563 Oct 2012 #19
nc4bo Oct 2012 #9
scheming daemons Oct 2012 #13
progressivebydesign Oct 2012 #14
scheming daemons Oct 2012 #15
Bake Oct 2012 #23
Tarheel_Dem Oct 2012 #16
Sunlei Oct 2012 #17
TexasCPA Oct 2012 #18
fugop Oct 2012 #20
magical thyme Oct 2012 #22
Paladin Oct 2012 #24

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:33 PM

1. Ye s Obama does have a day job. Obama needs to keep his head up, take on Romney's...

... lies and be confident of his record.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:34 PM

2. And he needs to start with an aggressive counter-attack to Romney's foreign speech today

Expose the lies and lay out what Obama has done well and why Romney would be a disaster.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:35 PM

3. I hope we get the energetic and aggressive Obama next time. nt.

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Response to andym (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:46 PM

7. Energetic yes, but not sure "agressive" is the best approach for the next debate.

 

The next presidential debate is a town hall style. The responses from both candidates will be primarily directed to the audience; not each other.

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Response to sharkman25 (Reply #7)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 01:06 PM

11. You're right. nt.

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Response to andym (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:49 PM

10. Assertiveness, not aggressiveness. n/t

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Response to VWolf (Reply #10)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 01:06 PM

12. I agree. nt.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:36 PM

4. What is being done differently this time? Bring in Bill Clinton for debate prep

I don't expect Team Obama to tell us everything they are doing to prepare for the debates, but for weeks before the first debates, the media reported that Romney was clearing his schedule for debate prep and bringing in heavyhitters to assist him. After Wednesday night's disaster, I am looking for signs that Obama has made debating this number one priority and brought in people who really Alpha Debaters (sorry, Kerry you are not one). Is Bill Clinton helping Obama? Who is actually helping him and are they spending enough time in preparation? I am sort of shocked that Democrats aren't clamoring and demanding evidence that Obama is not going to make the same costly mistake twice.

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Response to VirginiaTarheel (Reply #4)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:42 PM

6. I was concerned as well

I remember reading that Obama had canceled debate sessions with Sen. Kerry and it concerned me. People said everything would be fine.

Btw, I have to agree with the critics about one thing - I think Obama spent too much time on t.v. shows like The View. Forget that stuff. It's not important. Make the debates the priority.

And yes, get tips from Bill Clinton. I think they are together at a fundraiser in California today, so I hope Bill will give some advice.

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Response to TroyD (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 02:59 PM

21. Those shows like the View might be what gets the numbers he needs out of women and other groups.

Those shows also show more of the warmth and personality that appeals to those groups.

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Response to VirginiaTarheel (Reply #4)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:47 PM

8. Kerry won his own debates easily - he is an alpha debater - even in Yale years he was the

star of the undefeated Yale debate team.

Clinton was a good debater, though somewhat inconsistent. The one constant is that he won them partically on his exuberant personality - something Obama does not share. I assume that Clinton will give him whatever tips he can.

It is clear from the article that the problem was Obama - more than it was Kerry or his team. The comment that he was aggressive the night before - and passive the night before that suggests that no one - not even Bill Clinton could have made a difference.

It is clear that Obama dislikes both debating and Romney and that he cancelled many debate sessions. This makes sense when there are crises, but there was also a lot of time spent on fund raising, tv, and campaigning. Clearly, Obama thought he could coast and pass "the exam". I seriously doubt that anyone on his team - and even less Senator Kerry - could have really pushed him on spending more time on this.

Not to mention, had Obama excelled in the debates, you would not be here praising Senator Kerry. The fact is that there is no debate that has ever been won by the coach - and here the coachs were really Axelrod, Pouffle and others. From what is said Kerry did play various possible Romneys and no one there is saying he was not good.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:39 PM

5. Eye roll...Mondale was the better debater...just saying.

I remember the Mondale Presidency fondly....oh wait, no I don't. I labored under the leadership of an addled B Actor with an avuncular style who decimated our nation--not "President Mondale, The Better Debater."

I will say, the MSM is really working hard to spin this shit -- and they've got plenty of water carriers as well!

Big Bird won that debate--and he's still surging in the polls as a consequence.

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Response to MADem (Reply #5)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 02:37 PM

19. Brilliantly put!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:48 PM

9. Perhaps we should Tweet bomb some confidence vibes to our President?!

Massive scale - You can do it Prez! Stand tall, we've got your back Prez!!

That type of stuff.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 01:13 PM

13. We need to quit making excuses



Even drunk, I could have come back with some facts against Romney when he lied his ass off on that stage.

Obama was given a TON of hanging curve ball to knock out of the park last Wednesday and he didn't take his bat off of his shoulder.



He has said all the right things SINCE the debate... which proves to me he knows he fucked up. But he can't freeze up on the big stage again.

He has to be strong in the final two debates.


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Response to scheming daemons (Reply #13)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 01:19 PM

14. then please, get your drunk ass out there on Nat'l TV and take on crackhead Romney... nt

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Response to progressivebydesign (Reply #14)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 01:25 PM

15. Surely, I wasn't the only one screaming the correct responses at the TV Wednesday night....

.... I wanted to be up there, dammit.


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Response to scheming daemons (Reply #15)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 03:53 PM

23. I do that when I watch Jeopardy, too!





Bake

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Response to scheming daemons (Reply #13)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 01:46 PM

16. As much as it pains me, I can only agree. I hope the president has cleared his schedule. Yes.....

he has a day job, but he also has an amazing Cabinet who can keep the lid on while he preps for these very important debates. His political career, and our very lives may depend on his performance in these next two debates. This is too important. Rmoney is already making farts & noises about nation building & using our vast military might, and we all know what that means. The president has to lay that out in these next debates, because I don't think the American people are ready to bring back the Neocons. Some may call it fearmongering, but sobeit.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 02:07 PM

17. The Presidents anti-zinger shields were flawless

Must have frustrated Romney to $pend hundreds of hours to memorize his lines and not once could deliver the punchline.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 02:18 PM

18. It is always hard the sitting president

Obama has a job. Romney hasn't worked since 2006.
Romney has several practice debates (primary debates). Obama hasn't done a real debate since 2008.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 02:47 PM

20. No idea what happened

But for all the slamming of the president for ineptitude in the debate, there was nothing that the GOP was able to pull from it and point to as lies or twisting of truths or flat-out screwups. All they had was President Obama's style (or lack thereof).

We can piss and moan all we want about how he wasn't all there, but I"m not seeing commercials left and right of Obama's debate screwups. How do you pull a clip of him being quiet? You CAN'T!

On the other hand, for all of Mitt's bluster and talking over everyone, the Dems have been able to pull a number of ads to show what a liar and screwup Mitt actually is, debate performance aside.

So while only time will tell, I still say I'm happier that Obama stayed on point with WHAT he said and fell down on HOW he said it, rather than putting on a Mitt-style performance that can easily be ripped up and shown over and over and over and over again from now until the election.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm grateful for that.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 03:07 PM

22. That description suggests to me what I've believed all along....

He needs to be sure to get enough rest the night before. Extra sleep, sleep aids as necessary. Good, deep, restful sleep.

Dollars to donuts the listless practices followed restless nights. I could feel the insomnia brain-fog right through the teevee.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 04:14 PM

24. A Little Too Much Drama, Here.


I mean, is Aaron Sorkin writing the script for all this? I've stopped worrying, because it's now the inevitable story arc that Obama will kick severe ass at the next debate and win a second term. Which suits me fine.

On the other hand, perhaps I've just grown old and cynical........

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