Presidential Debate Live blog 1: Pete and Repete

Good evening, Conflucians.  It’s that time of the year again when our quadrennial election cluster%^& shifts into high gear.  The operatives have scoured the blogs for all the right buzz words and have carefully crafted sound bites for tonight’s entertainment.

Ah, but we at the Confluence do things differently.  We like to watch the debates without the sound so we can pay close attention to body language.  However, if there are readers out there who want to keep us up to date on what each person said in the timeline, that’s cool too.  Very helpful, in fact, so we can roughly coordinate our impressions with the speaker.

This year’s debate features Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.  Party affiliation is not helpful this time since Mitt Romney is a relatively moderate Republican posing as a right wing nutcase and Barack Obama is a moderate Republican posing as a Democrat.  Since I don’t really have a dog in this fight (I don’t like either of them), that might be good for my objectivity.  If you feel likewise, join in!  Grab your beer, tune in to your favorite debate channel, set your DVR, or watch it online on C-Span, like I intend to do, and turn the sound off.  I guarantee you won’t miss a thing.  The media will be rerunning the highlights for days and C-Span usually runs the whole thing in its entirety.

Ready.  Set.  Go!

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114 Responses

  1. C-span must be overwhelmed with streamers. I’m watching on CNN.

  2. Comcast is hung.

  3. Ah, that’s better. I briefly caught mitt giving a relatively good response to tax cuts for middle income earners.

  4. mitt’s not exactly wooden but he doesn’t have a repertoire of movements.

  5. Obama is wearing a blue tie. That’s the trust me color.

  6. Eyebrows lifted, lots of blinking for obsma

  7. Mitt brings out the shaming finger.

  8. Mitt’s face is expressive.

  9. Obama looks small. He’s not trying to take over the stage like he did in 2008. His motions are small and close to the body. Something about that reminds me if Michael dikakis.

  10. Obama looks like a much smaller man. He does not project extroversion

  11. Romney making good use of facial expressions. Enumerating.

  12. Romney also keeping hand gestures close to the body. It seems to make the person look smaller.

  13. Again, Obama has a dweebish dukakis thing going tonight

  14. Much blinking, raised eyebrows, small gestures.

  15. Romney appears to be more dynamic to Obama’s pulling in and control of smallness.

  16. Romney looks like he is talking to specific people in the audience not just the moderator.

  17. Many expressive gestures. Gestures are opening up. It looks like he is becoming more comfortable.

  18. It is obvious when Obama pauses to say the word “and”. Must be torture to listen to.,

  19. Once again, Obama’s gestures are small and close to the body. It doesn’t look expansive and confident.

    • I can’t hear what they’re saying but the sound is on low. Obama is sounding and looking irritated about something. Someone on Vast Lefts’ twitter says they’ve been talking about the deficit for a half an hour.

      • The deficit was supposed to be the only issue until occupy monkey wrenched that.

  20. Mitt shifts his stance as if to plant himself better. Reminds me of a batter.

  21. Romney looks like a guy pitching a deal at a cocktail party.

  22. Obama keeps doing that dukakis thing. He doesn’t plant his swing, he pivots slightly. He looks like he’s giving a practice talk at toastmasters

  23. This is not the same Obama as in 2008. He’s not the cock of the walk anymore. He was probably coached ti be all macho withh Hillary.He’s just a little skinny guy with little skinny talking points tonight.

  24. Mitt looks comfortable. I don’t think he’s faking it. Obama is nodding to what Romney says. They seem to be having a conversation where thee agree.
    Um, that’s not good if you can’t differentiate.

  25. Obama is always irritated when someone doesn’t swoon when looking at him. Obama is boring and defensive.

  26. Romney continues to attempt to engage the whole audience.

  27. The Grand Bargain will affect anyone younger than 60?

    • Thanks for the warning.

    • last week they were saying if you are 55 or older you were not going to be effected. Don’t they know that people in this age group who have lost their jobs are in effect retired?
      Well fine, let’s get rid of government employee pensions while we are at it. Let’s start with both houses of congress.

  28. Obama FINALLY looks directly at the camera, attempting sincerity, eyes open wide, chin slightly down, but blinking like crazy. Continues to look and project smallness. Why is he doing that?? Did he not have time for debate prep? OT did he just skip it altogether?

    • Didn’t Obama practice with Kerry? He certainly isn’t giving a Kerry performance. After Shrub got Ohio (missing tabulators, secret counting, Green Party post-election review that showed fraud), I remember one comment, “We will always have the debates.” Kerry was inspirational.

      I have never seen Mitt on TV before (rarely watch it), but he did overshadow Obama, who seemed to shrink during the 90 minutes. His face looked sallow and those bags under his eyes signaled Nixon.

      • I thought that Kerry sucked in the debates. I remember him talking about jobs but seeming to completely miss the point that there’s a huge difference between a job that pays $7.00 and hour and job that pays $14.00 an hour.

  29. Romey still doing the cocktail party thing, which I think will go over well with the business community but I’m not sure how it will play with average Americans. It might come off as too country club.

  30. Well, there goes my stream. Obama keeps getting frozen in one pose.

  31. Again, Obama addresses the moderator and Romney but rarely engages the audience with eye contact.

  32. You know, without the sound on, Romney does not come across as wooden at all.

  33. His facial expressions look natural, not rehearsed.

  34. Obama confines himself to his tiny piece of land. He looks a lot more introverted than I’ve seen him. I try to avoid his speeches so I’m comparing him to 2008. He doesn’t reveal much in his face. It doesn’t look like he experiences passion.

  35. Romney looks like he’s moving faster.

  36. He looks more dynamic.

  37. Holy snot! The site statistics just took a giant leap. Who the hell is following this?

  38. My stomach hurts. These guys don’t want anything good for any of us.

  39. I don’t think Obama should have skipped the debate prep. JMHO

  40. Obama making micro movements. His spontaneous smiles look involuntary.

  41. Obama closed, withdrawn, looking down. Does not engage opponent with much eye contact.

  42. Obama reminds me of a geeky guy who went to prep school

  43. Why do I keep turning off my Georgette Heyer audiobook?

  44. I don’t thing either one of these guys is leadership material but if I were stuck on a desert island, it think mitt would be more entertaining. Might not get off the island but at least he’s energetic enough to come up with some dumb ideas.

  45. Is it over yet?

  46. Overall impression: Obama did not have a primary so we are seeing him in his natural state. He’s not dynamic, he’s not big, he’s just a skinny guys who feels uncomfortable in front of crowds.

  47. Sound popped in momentarily. Did I just hear Obama refer to his own health care plan as “Obamacare”??
    That strike me as a major mistake.

    • He did it all night. It was embracing the name and taking the sting out of it. I thought it was one of the few effective things he did all night.

      • I don’t think so. He just accepted the Republican frame. Obamacare will always be a bad thing to them.

  48. I still like what my friend last night said, “I believe in big government”

    Why do we keep electing these guys who barely believe in government at all?

    • I don’t believe we’ve actually elected a president since 1996. I think it’s been rigged every election since then. They threw everything and the kitchen sink at Clinton and it didn’t work so they got more sophisticated after that. We haven’t really had a cchoice since 1996.

  49. Momentary absence while I go check out twitter and plug in the iPad.

  50. I’m gonna ask Romeny out for a Ginger Beer!

  51. Ok, twitter pretty much confirms what I suspected, Obama lost this one even with the sound on. Maybe it’s part of a strategy to look like the underdog and pull it out in the last two weeks.
    Or not.

  52. Obama says that repealing “ObamaCare” won’t be popular w Democrats … how popular will raising SS age and lowering benefits be?

    • Well, as someone still well under 60 but too old to be employable, not very popular.

    • It seems like he WANTS to piss off Democrats because he truly believes they won’t have the nerve to desert him.
      I’m not sure that’s true anymore but sr shall see if they don’t have the balls to punish the party.

  53. Bam prepared for this debate like Romo prepared for the Bears.

  54. Post debate sentiment appears to be that mitt held his own and that Obama was pathetic.

    Why aren’t we more popular?

  55. Romney talking about raising SS retirement age and lowering benefits for anyone under 60 should have been a show stopper. It wasn’t.

  56. New post up.

  57. What we saw here tonight was how healthcare was probably brokered (in a fetishly ‘bipartisan’ fashion according to WH fanboyz) to NEVER coming to pass.
    Please never forget that it really was Pelosi who made ‘obamacare’ happen, prez came close to giving up on it altogether a week after the house vote.

    • Not surprised. He never struck me as a strong leaderly type.
      Unfortunately, a leaderly type was what was called for in 2008.

  58. Michelle looked peeved when she jumped onto the stage. Bet O is going to get a piece of her mind.

  59. Those of us who are closing in on retirement but consider ourselves employable nevertheless, understand how the young-uns wish to shove us aside, just as the whizboyz disposed of Hillary. But it makes no sense to sidetrack your most knowledgable wedge of economic pi to inefficient trial-and-error approaches to work. For all their techno-savvy, the electronic warriors need the guidance of experience. Believe it or not, the elders who grew up on b&w tv, party line phones and Sputnik can “evolve” their stereotypes. We labored over our racism for four years and now, as Gladwell offers in “Blink – The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” we can thin-slice both “products” of the media on a limited but solid sense of each man’s essence. When Romney touts leadership in the same sentence with the creative drive of everyday Americans, he’s saying that WE, THE PEOPLE can get out of our leaders what we invest in them IF they have the right stuff to process OUR will. Bill Clinton was the ultimate multi-level processing unit who took what the people said, processed it through his unique servant-mechanism and gave it back to us in a way that we could recognize OUR OWN input. Obama ignores our will and forces his own.

    • Then too, if our SS-eligible retirement-age is forcibly raised, we will be effectively FORCED to hang onto our jobs for EVen LONGer to survive until we can go onto SS. That seems designed to create yet another battlefield between olders who need to keep their jobs or die and youngers who want the olders out of those jobs so that they (the youngers) can finally get a job to begin their lives with.

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