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Presidential debate live blog: The Rules

This is the live blog of the second presidential debate.  Will Romney be able to score again while remaining a boorish Republican?  Will Obama actually show up this time? Which party will try to embrace Hillary first?  All good questions.

If you are a cord cutter like me, you can catch the debate on C-Span online here.  I don’t watch cable or network news because I just don’t think the commentary is helpful.  But if that’s what frosts your crockies, knock yourself  out.

It has been a tradition here at The Confluence to watch the debates with the sound off.  We like to watch body language.  But that’s gotten to be a bit trendy and we’re not joiners here, so pick your preferred method tonight but try to note whether Obama looks better prepared.

Now, I see that there are some newbies here.  I suspect you came here through the Fox video of my brother’s homecoming since many of you have a distinctly conservative aroma.  We here at The Confluence do not have a dog in this fight this year.  We don’t think Obama has done a very good job and we objected to the way he ran his campaign in 2008.  We’re also not Republicans.  Most of us here are liberals.  We LIKE to be liberal and we’re not afraid to shove our liberal policy favorites up your grill.  But just because many of us are planning to vote third party this year doesn’t mean we approve of character assassination of either candidate or conspiracy theories.  No racial comments will be tolerated.  Don’t pick on their families.  We don’t care what Michelle is wearing or what expression she has on her face.  Not important.

All that’s important is whether they sound convincing when they say things and whether they say the things we want to hear.

Have at it!

197 Responses

  1. Or weight remarks, we’re not much for those either.

    • I can’t believe that Obama couldn’t speak the words “I believe in God”. A Fundamental Flaw.
      I hope the country saw that Romney believes and Obama just couldn’t be bothered with God

      • Really?? I heard him mention praying at the hospital with the mother of a boy who was shot in the head. And then the boy showed up a couple of months later without a scratch on him.

        Who would do that if they didn’t believe in God? Or want us to know he believes in God?

      • Are you serious? There’s a religious belief test here?

      • It’s not considered ” A Fundamental Flaw” under the Constitution.

        • Oh, that old thing.

          • Also known as “that god-damned piece of paper” to President Shrubya Bush. And does Prexy Obama think any differently of it?

            Or Chief Justice Roberts for that matter? He did pretzel his logic into many moebius strips to justify
            finding the Forced Mandate to be constitutional. Just as I predicted he would in several places. Other people have tried calling it his elevendy-mensional chess to attach some kind of “taxtitutional” limpet mine onto the side of BORomneycare. But I think he did it out of pure sheer social class allegiance to the same upper class that Obama sought to serve with his BORomneycare to begin with.

  2. Oh, that’s great. The college student can take his degree into manufacturing and assemble widgets.

    • Except the widgets are manufactured and assembled overseas, for the most part. So the college student can’t even do that nowadays.

  3. Then again, not everyone needs to go to college.

  4. True, the employment picture still sucks in nj.

  5. I’m waiting for my iPad to fire up. I drained the battery. Commenting on this iPhone is suboptimal.

  6. Wait!!! The auto industry closed dealerships and laid off a slew of people at the advice of the Wall Street crowd who Obama appointed.
    Complete hypocrisy.

    • We have gigantic vacant lots on one of our most important streets where 3 dead dealerships used to be. Also makes getting car repairs more difficult for people.

      • Did you read Barofsky’s book? He’s scathing when it comes to Obama and Geithner’s auto industry policies. They cost so many people their jobs and they didn’t seem to think about it too hard.

      • What if they took all of those vacant lots, remediated them so that farms and produce could be on these vacant spaces, and feed people with non-GMO products. Produce local!

  7. Gas prices! They’re $4/gallon here. It’s insane. That’s going to push food prices up. He should have come down hard on the oil companies.

  8. OMG, he still doesn’t get it. The problem is NOW. The green energy program us great but he accomplished nothing in 4 years.
    Jeez. He’s clueless.

  9. I’m also watching Craig Crawford’s Chat Room. It’s a totally different group!

  10. We don’t need more coal plants. We need green energy, mitt.

  11. We are being GOUGED.

  12. How is this a “town hall” when the questioners are sequestered on stage?

  13. Pete and Repete going Mano a Mano. Get ready to rumble!

  14. So, essentially what I am hearing is that mitt wants to drill baby drill and Obama wants to drill baby drill after we renegotiate the contracts.

  15. The economy is still in bad shape. Higher gas prices is going to make it worse.

  16. Candy Crowley isn’t doing as good a job as Martha Radditz.

  17. Wind jobs. Are they like blow jobs?

  18. This debate is a mess

  19. Oooo, somebody made sure Obama took his adderall tonight

  20. Um, taxes are unimportant to those of us without jobs,

  21. My stream just froze. Dang.

  22. What savings??

  23. What about the excise tax on our 401ks?

  24. Sigh
    Comcast is delivering only audio.

  25. Rebooting my computer.

  26. Is anything important happening?

  27. I can’t understand what they’re saying.

  28. I think every human should have a (like Romney, I’ll make up a number) $50,000 exemption. After that tax then a flat tax of some huge number. Fire the IRS.

  29. Laptop up, cspan sllllllloooooowwwww..

  30. Not sure I want to fire the IRS. I’d rather hire more IRS agents and sic’em on a whole buncha rich people.

  31. We gave $4 trillion to the bankers and haven’t leaned on big companies to get off the stash their sitting on.

  32. Whatever happened to the league of women voters?

    • they voted to let men take over the organization. The men shut it down.

    • Can’t comment on all of them, but generally the league seems to be declining. Serious energy drain.

      • This is from the “old” CB–before this other “CB” started commenting. My mother’s passion was politics, and she was a serious League of Women’s Voter member–the state secretary of California when I was a child. The League suffered a loss of membership when women went to work en masse. Not an “energy drain,” just few women who don’t work all day.

  33. You know, I don’t give a flying fuck about your personal stories. What are you going to do about it now?

  34. {{facepalm}}
    Not Ledbetter again. It does virtually nothing. What about the paycheck fairness act? Whatever happened to that.

  35. Lily Ledbetter……ain’t he wonderful for signing that.

  36. That’s all he has? College loans???

  37. His female white house thought he ran a hostile workplace. True story.

    • In 2008, it was McCain who had more and higher ranking women on his staff. Look up Bob Dole’s Chief of Staff, Sheila Burke. Obama seems to be a “Sweetie” person. Can’t tell a chauvinist by his party.

      • (Not the same CB as the newer one above). Shrub had lots of women, too. Condi Rice could offer him “remediate” political lessons, and he wouldn’t cringe because she wasn’t exactly born into his status–white, male, rich.

        • I know he had some, Condi, of course, but who were the lots? Elizabeth Whatshername who vetted appointments for Christian correctness. Elizabeth Cheney, another of course. Who else?

          I don’t think any administration could fill all its jobs with men. The equally important point is where the women rank in the hierarchy. Elizabeth Whatshername actually served as a gatekeeper, which is hugely important.

        • Not Elizabeth Whatshername, Monica Goodling. How could I forget?

  38. Again personal stories. We need hard laws, enforcement and accountability. We can’t rely on Romneyesque nice bosses.

  39. True. Women are not getting their jobs back.

  40. Score one for Romney on flexible work places. But nothing is better than having enforceable laws on the books.

  41. RD, I’m just not having fun. This is a HORRIBLY dull debate.

  42. Paycheck fairness act, what happened to it?

  43. Hey, remember the bush conscience rule that Obama amended but didn’t eliminate?

  44. Remember the plan b his HHS secretary overruled his FDA advisory committee over?

  45. Yes, the Republicans screwed up.

    • I am not at all impressed with Romney. Neither of these guys is speaking to me.

      • I agree. They’re not speaking my language because they really aren’t that different. And Obama is no liberal.

    • you bet, Obama has taken the big one for Bush. Where the hell is Bush anyway? The Republicans don’t want him anywhere near this campaign.

  46. Um, mitt can speak in full sentences? That’t right off the bat.

  47. This is not the answer I would have given wit I were Romney. The only correct answer is “I’m going to throw some bankers in jail, how about that?!”

  48. I don’t want to start a small business. I’m being forced into it.

  49. The single best thing they could have done for SMALL business is to expand Medicare to Everyone and cut the Employer tie.

  50. Obama is awake but he’s not speaking particularly well and his voice is getting strangled and squeaky. I find that irritating.

  51. Hey, can we stop china from flooding the market with cheap scientists?

  52. Hey, NEITHER OF YOU are different from bush.

  53. Can we have Biden? I would vote for Biden. He’s no Hillary but I’m pretty sure he’s a Democrat.

  54. My impression is that each guy is winning their friends over. I can’t tell how the truly uncommitted voters are feeling. They both seem to be doing their best.

    But, again – these guys aren’t speaking to me. I’m bored.

  55. Wall street reform? Don’t make me laugh.

  56. He has no clue how to relate to this guy.

  57. I think you’re going to find that Romney won this debate. It’s not because his answers are better. It’s because mitt successfully made Obama defend his poor record over and over again,

    • They’re pretty impressed the Obama over at Trail Mix. (which I had to leave because it was a downer. They’re not really Obots but, it’s too close for comfort.)

  58. Obama can’t really point to any accomplishments. He can’t relate to the audience and his voice shows the stress he’s under.

  59. This is the debate titled, “The Referendum on Obama”.
    I think that’s what we have been saying all season.

  60. I am watching the scrolling lines of the undecided voters feedback. They have it on CNN. Women are in yellow and men in green. No matter which candidate does it, the approval drops the minute one of them starts attacking the other. I think it’s bullshit myself and that these idiot undecided voters don’t know enough to be able to distinguish the truth from a lie, so all they can do is act like a lot of Miss Manners and dumb down our elections even farther. What is most interesting though is that the women seem to like Obama less than the men do. Women have always liked the democrat better. What has turned this upside down this year? I know it’s not all about Hillary’s bitter knitters.

    • Do women still do most of the Grocery Shopping? Everytime I go to the grocery store I’m shocked at the total.

      • I’ve noticed for years now that my per bag price keeps rising. Pretty soon, it’ll float away without me.

        • Depends on what is inside the bag, doesn’t it? Here we have to pay per bag, too, unless we bring our own.

          • I don’t pay per bag, either. I reckon per bag by total divided by number of bags, which per bag keeps rising.

    • Civility is going to kill this country. It seems to be vitally important that citizens get the message that anger is unacceptable.

      • And public passion on issues is seen as anger and unseemly. That cold tone is the goal. So you can’t tell what REALLY matters to a candidate.

      • yes, it is much more important to be nice to someones face and hate them behind their back than to be outspoken to their face.

  61. This is not about mitt winning on policy. This is about wining by putting his opponent on the defensive. These facts can be checked and it doesn’t look good for Obama.

  62. I admire y’all’s stamina in being able to sit through that flapjaw. Just dropped in to get the sanitized version for those of us with delicate constitutions.

  63. No, no more Chinese scientists please.

  64. I mean, I love my former Chinese colleagues but really? Do we need more foreign scientists?

  65. Ok, he’s getting dweebish again.

  66. Oh, no, blaming the Republicans is not going to work.

  67. The message is, this president promised and he failed to deliver. That is getting hammered over and over again.

  68. I have a movie I need to finish. Can we wrap this up?

  69. How long is this supposed to go on? It’s like torture.

  70. Where would Obama have a pension? Just Federal Retirement from the Senate & Presidency … right?

  71. He’s losing me again.

  72. I have to take a break for a second.

  73. Oh wait. Here comes Libya.

  74. Ohhhh, Obama was concerned. So who does that leave?

  75. It sounds like his campaign had been reading our comment threads

  76. Here comes mitt. He made Obama take the responsibility.

  77. Ok, Obama praises Hillary first annnnnnd then turns around and loses all the women when he says “she works for me”. Not good. Not good at all.

  78. God this sounds like kerning

  79. Oooo, good question.

  80. The laws didn’t work too well.

  81. What? The Colorado shooter didn’t need a better education.

  82. Ok, so, there’s really no difference between mitt and Obama. They both think the gun laws are fine

  83. I don’t like the shift to the family values crap by either candidate. There are a lot of unmarked parents in less violent areas of the world. There’s no correlation between non marriage and violence.

  84. NOOOO!! We don’t want any more scientists. No, employers aren’t looking for skilled workers. They’re looking for CHEAP workers, skilled or unskilled.

  85. Well, there goes the biotech industry in america. There’s no way small business entrepreneurs can get that off the ground.

  86. Whose going to make AMERICAN countries play by the rules?

  87. Let’s all move to Canada!

  88. I don’t want to work in a factory. I want to work in a lab again

  89. This debate has made me more comfortable with Mu decision to vote for a third party.

  90. I love this tweet:
    @MaryPols: I’m a single mother and I just can’t stop my 8 year-old from running around with his AK-47. I really need a husband.


  92. God, Obama is so fucking out of touch it’s sickening.

  93. Romney isn’t much better. Without government involvement, the research industry is going to die.

  94. This summary is incredible. I mean I know we DO have to settle. But. The presentation is good.

  95. What?? Obama doesn’t. Believe that government can create jobs? Is Obama completely rejecting his own party’s legacy in the great depression?

      • He’s not a Democrat.
        I can’t believe the white male graduate students rejected the real Democrat for him.

        • He’s killing the party. With the party’s permission.

          • Really, as a practical matter, how much of the party is left? The New Deal Democrats began to decline as the liberal Republicans died or were killed off. It was the alliance between those politicians that drove the enlightened social agenda. Reactionary Republicans and Dixicrats manned the other pole.

          • The Dixiecrats are all Republicans now! One party Democratic South switches to one-party Republican South.

  96. I want to vote for Biden. Where is Biden? Can we get Biden?

  97. There’s another debate after this one?? Shoot me now.

    • but it won’t be a BS town hall debate. So that means split screens and Obama looking down his nose at everyone. That alone could be amusing. Also who knows when Mitt the space alien will show up again.

  98. Ann and Michele have the exact same color on. Do you think their maids in waiting called each other and decided to play a joke?

  99. It didn’t need to be a Town Hall thing. That was a waste of space and time.

  100. I’m listening to the comments on cspan. It sounds like Romney has an edge.

    • Checking out CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC–CNN poll 46% Obama won ‘by a lot.’ Regarding your empathy comment RD: I do wish someone would ask Romney about the dog. His response would speak volumes. I haven’t seen evidence that either are capable of genuine empathy, but I think Obama is a bit further along developmentally than is Romney. Small comfort, frankly.

      • I have to disagree with you there. Sorry, I don’t feel Obama has any empathy at all. I have no idea what was up with Mitt and the dog. I guess you would have to be a dog lover. I don’t see a big difference between the way Mitt transported the dog and the way we transport livestock. You probably shouldn’t differentiate between the two types of animals but for some reason, people get all bent out of shape when it’s a dog. It’s inconsistent. Your mileage may vary but the dog story doesn’t make me feel warmer and fuzzier about Obama.

        • ~:) About the dog…I ‘m a vegetarian. LOL. THere was an article about MR in Vanity Fair some time ago which quoted him regarding the dog. That’s what I meant–how he seemed to view the family dog and treated his children who were concerned about the dog. I don’t believe Obama has genuine (vs. postured) empathy, either.

  101. There is ONE big drawback to going 2 hours without a commercial break or ability to pause ……

  102. RD, I enjoyed reading all the comments here, especially yours.

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