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Sat Sep 29, 2012, 10:58 AM

Before Debate, Tough Crowds at the Practice

Source: NY Times

With more than 50 million people watching and the presidency at stake, the candidates will meet for their first debate on Wednesday at the University of Denver, and both are cramming like college students before an exam. But it is not enough to pore through the voluminous briefing books. Victory may come down to a single exchange, or a single impression, an answer that comes off as too edgy or, conversely, as too long-winded.

-snip-

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.

-snip-

During rehearsals, Mr. Romney has tried lines of attack suggesting that Mr. Obama distorts the facts and sloughs off responsibility on others. Mr. Romney’s aides recall Mr. Obama’s tart “you’re likable enough” line to Mrs. Clinton in 2008 and hope to goad him into a similarly churlish moment. Mr. Romney will win, the advisers said, if he can force Mr. Obama to come across as condescending or smug.

To prepare Mr. Romney, Mr. Portman has played Mr. Obama combatively, attacking Mr. Romney as a rich man who does not care about average Americans. Evidently, he has gotten under the candidate’s skin. “We get the chance to debate one another, and after the hour and a half or so is over, I want to kick him out of the room,” Mr. Romney said recently.

-snip-

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/29/us/politics/cramming-and-pruning-for-first-presidential-debate.html



Emphasis added.

53 replies, 7844 views

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Arrow 53 replies Author Time Post
Reply Before Debate, Tough Crowds at the Practice (Original post)
highplainsdem Sep 2012 OP
Robb Sep 2012 #1
graegoyle Sep 2012 #2
Lisa D Sep 2012 #5
femmocrat Sep 2012 #8
beac Sep 2012 #17
elzenmahn Sep 2012 #27
Tarheel_Dem Sep 2012 #44
Hutzpa Sep 2012 #16
SunSeeker Sep 2012 #21
Iliyah Sep 2012 #37
elzenmahn Sep 2012 #25
begin_within Sep 2012 #32
high density Sep 2012 #3
pscot Sep 2012 #4
Andy Stanton Sep 2012 #6
Ecumenist Sep 2012 #41
bucolic_frolic Sep 2012 #7
jtuck004 Sep 2012 #9
Brickbat Sep 2012 #10
SoapBox Sep 2012 #11
msanthrope Oct 2012 #52
Rozlee Sep 2012 #12
dixiegrrrrl Sep 2012 #13
Ztolkins Sep 2012 #14
Amonester Sep 2012 #29
barnabas63 Sep 2012 #15
mountain grammy Sep 2012 #18
Ecumenist Sep 2012 #42
mountain grammy Sep 2012 #47
Ecumenist Oct 2012 #48
BlueMTexpat Sep 2012 #19
truthisfreedom Sep 2012 #20
goclark Sep 2012 #39
thelarge Sep 2012 #22
-Steph- Sep 2012 #23
oberliner Sep 2012 #24
joycejnr Sep 2012 #26
patrice Sep 2012 #28
Ash_F Sep 2012 #30
Saviolo Sep 2012 #31
Andy Stanton Sep 2012 #33
Saviolo Sep 2012 #35
nichomachus Sep 2012 #36
nichomachus Sep 2012 #34
wordpix Sep 2012 #46
LibGranny Sep 2012 #38
TomCADem Sep 2012 #40
NYC Liberal Sep 2012 #43
wordpix Sep 2012 #45
Tom Ripley Oct 2012 #49
kiranon Oct 2012 #50
msanthrope Oct 2012 #51
fingrinn Oct 2012 #53

Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 11:07 AM

1. Zingers are not leadership, Mr. Romney.

The electorate are not idiots.

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Response to Robb (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 11:10 AM

2. You are too charitable.

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Response to Robb (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 11:39 AM

5. That line would actually be a great comeback for Obama

"That was a nice zinger, Gov. Romney, but zingers are not leadership."

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Response to Lisa D (Reply #5)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 11:55 AM

8. +1

Hope the Obama team is reading DU today! LOL

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Response to Lisa D (Reply #5)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 12:44 PM

17. Indeed. And he could contine with

"And I hear you've rehearsed some more, so this should be a fun evening, but memorized answers won't do when dealing with national and international issues."

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Response to Lisa D (Reply #5)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 01:56 PM

27. You can bet that Obama will be ready for them...

...because quite frankly, well-rehearsed zingers are all Mittwitt has left.

Once Mittwitt gets in the ring with the Master of Rhetorical Rope-A-Dope, I think it'll be curtains in rather short order.

I'm looking forward to the debates. A drinking game to a nice bottle of hooch should make for an even more interesting evening.

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Response to Lisa D (Reply #5)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 05:44 AM

44. Let's hope someone from the Obama camp reads DU. Effective neutralizer.

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Response to Robb (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 12:43 PM

16. Only a mental pup like Rmoney will think that.

nt

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Response to Robb (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 01:14 PM

21. LOL. Reminds me of when Palin set up her, "Say it ain't so, Joe" zinger.

You just KNEW something was coming when she asked Biden if she could call him Joe. Then she triumphantly sprung it on him, impressing only herself. I bet Romney will also resort to the other Palin debate tactic: ignore the question and just blurt out talking points, and when called on it say something to the moderator along the lines of "you get to decide what I ask and I get to decide what to answer." But if he hits the trifecta with the third of Palin's three debate tactics, the sexy wink, I will throw up a kidney.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #21)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 03:14 PM

37. I think what effected a lot of Americans was when

Palin had no empathy for Biden when he told the audience about his wife and daughter's death.

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Response to Robb (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 01:51 PM

25. I hope there aren't as many idiots in the electorate as there were in '00 and '04...

...but remember, it was the electorate that ultimately brought us Bushiebaby, not to mention 30+ years of Ronniebaby and the trickle-down economic theories they subscribed to. The right wing knows that the less-educated voters are affected more by emotional appeals, and Romney is going to try to make a play for these voters - my fear is that there just might be enough of them to sucker the country down the rabbit-hole one more time. Let's hope not.

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Response to Robb (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 02:47 PM

32. Zingers were all Reagan had.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 11:10 AM

3. If they're so practiced I'm sure Romney will deliver them

as good as his "joke" about airplane windows.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 11:20 AM

4. Mr. Spontaneity has a new program installed

Complete with zingers. I hope he doesn't hurt himself.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 11:42 AM

6. This will be interesting

I've seen portions of several of Romney's debates. Don't kid yourselves - he's an excellent debater. Obama can be very good too though he sometimes comes across as cold. I don't expect Obama to walk all over him, as he did to McCain, who took Obama way too lightly. My hope is that Romney acts snarky, as he sometimes does. People don't like to see the President treated with a lack of respect.

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Response to Andy Stanton (Reply #6)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 03:37 AM

41. I really think you're giving Rmoney WA-A-A-A-A-A-A-Y too much credit. lol! I'm not worried

AT ALL! Trust me, if Obama was able to attain the status of the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, trust me, rmoney is the one who need depends...lol. I'm making popcorn and lots of snacks for the debate. It's going to be a H.A.M. for rmoney! Romney can't even speak well in a roomful of his closest friends and psychopaths.

Not worried at all. LOL!!

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 11:44 AM

7. Mitt can only deliver them if his Etch-A-Sketch

hasn't given him too much Romnesia.

And this is like coaches prepping for a sports championship:
"Delivering zingers" is as much about creating fear in the
opposition than about any real ability to strike a serious blow
because Mitt is a loser on the ISSUES and IDEOLOGY.

Prepare for a roasting, Mitt. Obama is an experienced debater.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 12:03 PM

9. The suspense is killing me. Which Romney will show up? Or will he trot out multiple


personalities during the show?

It's like trying to guess which facet of a disco ball is going to be shining a light at you next.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 12:12 PM

10. That pretty much sums Romney up as a person and as a candidate. It takes a special kind of person to

so despise and fear the political process that he thinks memorizing a bunch of zingers -- instead of thoroughly learning the issues and standing confidently on his positions -- is what being a strong candidate is all about.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 12:14 PM

11. Obama as "smug"?

Helll, Mittens IS the picture of smug.

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Response to SoapBox (Reply #11)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 07:44 PM

52. They can't say 'uppity' which is what they'd like to say. nt

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 12:18 PM

12. If Romney's main point is to emphasize the economy is bad

and that Obama hasn't made it better, he'll be in for an unpleasant retort. Obama can tell the audience how much better it is since he took it over from the previous administration and keep hammering how disastrous a Romney-Ryan budget would be, plus that we'd like details-details-details on how exactly Romney would create those 12 million jobs he keeps saying he will. The devil is in those details Romney keeps avoiding. In fact, Obama can center two thirds of the debate on "Let's hear some deets." Specifically on which programs his budget will cut, how his tax cuts will be paid for, who they'll benefit and which tax loopholes exactly will he cut. He hasn't given a single detail and he can't keep dodging forever. So far, all he's given us is a magic budget plan built on fairy dust.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 12:22 PM

13. "luring the president into appearing smug or evasive"

So, Romney will be playing "fish" while the President will be playing chess.
This oughta be good.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 12:27 PM

14. This is weird, I've never read so many articles

Before a debate about one side laying out exactly what their strategy is.

Either they're lying, have staffers who want Mitt at a disadvantage, don't think the Obama team can/does read the papers, or a combination of all three.

It's odd, no?

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Response to Ztolkins (Reply #14)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 02:27 PM

29. Good catch (I was thinking the same while reading the OP).

Like the Obama/Biden campaign would ignore the New York Times...

That rmoney/lyan campaign thinks we're all idiots. There's no other conclusion.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 12:33 PM

15. I'm sure this will go very well for Mitt and his zingers!

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 12:55 PM

18. My Broncos are doing their best playing in the fourth quarter, but still losing.

Hopefully Mittens will do the same.
Funny that a rich snob wants to trap the President into "coming across as condescending or smug," or, as they say among themselves, "an uppity n*@#er." I can only surmise that this will play well with the GOP's racist base. In my opinion, they must show the good Christians that, while Rmoney may not be a "real Christian," Obama is still black and thinks he's better than you. Good luck with those zingers, you racist bastards, I hope they blow up in Rmoney's face.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #18)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 03:41 AM

42. You go, Granny, I agree with you 2000%! That's what it's all about, putting the President in his

place. Been black most of my life and we know it when we hear and read it. A belated and hearty welcome to Ya! Right glad tameetcha!!

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Response to Ecumenist (Reply #42)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 12:00 PM

47. Thank you!

And you don't have to be black to know racism when you see it. My "good Christian" in-laws are mortified to vote for a Mormon, but the black man scares them the most, and I don't mean Jesus!

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #47)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 06:41 PM

48. LOL!! You're hilarious and ABSOLUTELY correct. Alot of "Good Christians" I know

cherry pick what they want to follow in the word of God. I'm a Christian and I know that you cannot act the way these people are, all the while claiming to be christian. I guess they only for about an hour on sunday morning and it depends on the skin color of the person they're supposed to be Christian about.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 01:00 PM

19. Zingers just won't do it, Mr. Romney.

And if you're cluttering your mind up with zingers, there is less room for facts.

Of course, facts have never mattered to you anyway. So why begin now?

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 01:12 PM

20. Obama is going to grind rMoney down to a nub.

rMoney couldn't cram his way into a paper bag.

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Response to truthisfreedom (Reply #20)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 03:51 PM

39. QueenAnn was right ~ she is worried

about his mental health -- that is a biggy.

We can help her on that one -- he is a sociopath.

If he has been in therapy, it doesn't show.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 01:19 PM

22. The WINNAH!

 

I will be looking for Rmoney's red nose triangle to appear when he gets challenged. Then, I know Obama's got the snarky empty suit!
No way this guy can go for an hour without a blow up!

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 01:36 PM

23. Just further proves that he can't stand on the issues...

I'm not surprised that this is their strategy, what other chance would he have? If he took the time to tell the American people what he really stands for, and the details of what he really wants to do, I don't think that would go over very well. So he's going to do what he's been doing this whole campaign.. spew talking points and zingers, avoid giving specifics about how he plans to carry things out, and deflect by going on the attack. It hasn't worked for him this far, and I don't think it's going to work any differently in the debates.

I've watched him debate, and they would love to lower peoples expectations so when he does alright it seems like a win for him. However, our President is a smart man and has the issues and truth on his side so I am confident that he'll do great despite all the rehearsed zingers in the world.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 01:38 PM

24. Someone needs to leak those debate rehearsals to YouTube

Wishful thinking, I guess.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 01:54 PM

26. After watching Mitt on tv or just a minute...

...I want to kick the tv out of the room.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 02:07 PM

28. Zingers mean they can't do substance. Obama's only problem with zingers is that he'll be so

much more than a match for Mitt in that genre that he'll have to discipline his responses strongly to stay on issue focus.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 02:34 PM

30. "condescending or smug" ?

"Mr. Romney will win, the advisers said, if he can force Mr. Obama to come across as condescending or smug. "

Didn't know the debates would be held on opposite day. Can't wait for Romney's zingers.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 02:41 PM

31. This is telling:

Mr. Romney will win, the advisers said, if he can force Mr. Obama to come across as condescending or smug.


What they mean is that Mr. Romney will win in the court of public opinion. They didn't say anything about actually providing any platforms, except as a little afterthought at the end, where an aide is saying "(Romney)’s got to do a better job of making the case that President Obama’s directly responsible for that. That’s got to be his focus. If it becomes about anything else, then I think the governor’s at a disadvantage." So, never mind that it's not even entirely correct, or not exactly factual, it's just all about who comes off as the -nicer- person.

What? Really?

This kills me:
In a conference room at the Democratic headquarters, President Obama has been preparing for the debate next week, but the reviews of his staff are already in. Too long, they tell him. Cut that answer. Give crisper explanations. No one wants a professor; they want a president.


I want a professor. I want the person leading the country to be the smartest damn person I've ever met! There's such a concern that they won't sound "too smart?" I'm reminded of one line of Will McAvoy's rant at the beginning of The Newsroom,
We aspired to intelligence, we didn't belittle it, it didn't make us feel inferior.

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Response to Saviolo (Reply #31)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 02:54 PM

33. Debates aren't necessarily won by the most intelligent person

If they were, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II would never have been elected President. The person judged the winner is usually the one who comes across as someone people like better. Obama can pull it off if he's not condescending, which incumbents sometimes are in debates. If Romney can curb his obnoxious tendencies he may be able to convince viewers he's a good guy, but I doubt it.

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Response to Andy Stanton (Reply #33)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 02:59 PM

35. What that says to me

Is that people are watching the debates for the wrong reason. People are winning based on their likability, as opposed to their platform, or even their ability to debate. I feel like I've been teleported back into high school! It's literally a popularity contest.

Ah well, as I read on another post here on DU (by n2doc), the debates don't really affect the final outcome as much as the strategists would have you believe.

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Response to Saviolo (Reply #31)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 03:05 PM

36. No, you don't want the smartest person in the world

That's the last thing you want. Very smart people tend to be overly analytical and are always looking for more data before they decide. You want someone who is smart enough to know when he or she has enough data -- and then decides. You want someone who can quickly analyze the data and come up with the best solution.

The smartest person I've ever met was a philosophy professor from Oxford. I took a course with him and came out of every class with a headache. I admired him beyond belief, but I wouldn't want him to be president.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 02:55 PM

34. Zingers only work if you have a sense of humor -- And a good sense of timing

Mitt has neither. Ne's going to come across like one of those spectacularly non-funny speakers at a low-rent "roast." Especially if, as James Wolcott predicts, " grins after each one like a little boy who just did his first poopie."

All Obama has to do is look at Romney after the first zinger and say "Bazinga." The reference will completely elude Romney and throw him off track.

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Response to nichomachus (Reply #34)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 11:34 AM

46. not to mention, Mitt is stoopid & no amount of cramming & zingers will help that

"Why don't they allow windows to open on airplanes?"

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 03:32 PM

38. That line to Hillary worked out really well for her didn't it? LOL

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 09:06 PM

40. LOL! So, Romney Is Working On Being A Complete Prick! He Is Already A Savant...

As discussed in this thread, it is amazing that Romney has invested months of time on delivering snappy comebacks instead of going out and actually interacting with people! I guess he would rather hole up in some cave, rather than interact with the 47%.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1251111366

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 04:25 AM

43. The media will be looking for anything they can to spin it against Obama.

A sigh, a look, the wrong color tie...you can be sure they will put Obama under a microscope, yet give Romney free reign to lie and not actually answer questions or give any real details about his plans.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 11:32 AM

45. we're taking bets on how many goofs Rmoney has. Fool me twice....don't get fooled again?

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 07:02 PM

49. What if Obama addresses him as Bishop Romney, rather than Governor Romney?

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 07:36 PM

50. Romney will zing himself right out of the room. This is going to

be funny watching Romney wait for the "ideal" moment to zing Obama. It would be much better if Romney chose a position he could stay with longer than a day and explain how it would help the economy. The zings are going to backfire.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 07:43 PM

51. Holy crap--these assholes think "Angry, Uppity Black Man" is showing up. nt

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 08:43 PM

53. Hell

 

All Obama has to do is mention the over 1000 new taxes and fees Romney initiated when he was governor, especially the new ones for a blind permit.

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