Six Quick Post-Debate Observations


Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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48 Responses

  1. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    finished by acomplete whopper by his campaign manager 

    That her son works for Politico?  Other than not working for Politico and not being her son, it’s completely true.Report

    • Avatar Mike says:

      Don’t worry. By 10 AM today this whopper will be an article of faith among the Retardican Right, because it allows them to discount the truth and remain safe in the echo chamber.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck says:

      Completely true just like the spitting Tea Partiers, the Texas ANG memo, and “I can see Russia from my house”.Report

  2. Avatar BSK says:

    I half-watched the first half, scrolling though League posts and eventually falling asleep.  The moment that stood out to me was when Romney was asked whether he would fire an executive of a newly acquired company who was accused of sexual harassment.  My gut reaction was that he handled the question admirably, not just in what he said but in what appeared to be a genuine response and refusal to take a cheap shot at Cain.  I wondered if it was purely strategic, since going up against Cain ultimately helps him, but he did seem to have a very human and honest reaction, something rare for him.  As I thought more about it, I wondered if he should have qualified his response with something along the lines of, “Without commenting directly on Mr. Cain’s situation, I will say that I would unequivocally not tolerate sexual harassment in the work place and would fire any executive or employee who created an unsafe or unhealthy workplace.”  It attempting to avoid wading into the Cain situation, he ultimately seemed to be saying not-offending-the-guy-is-preferable-to-not-allowing-sexual-harassment, a dicey position to take.  Thoughts?Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      That may be right.  My own thought was that right after the audience turned on the moderators and cheered Cain, I would have been afraid to say much.  So maybe he was being smart.Report

    • Avatar E.C. Gach says:

      Perhaps I’m in an overly righteous mood right now, but I’m tired of people not calling a spade a spade.  The candidates utter platitudes all night about fixing the economy, and yet the front-runner waffles one of the easiest questions regarding right and wrong.Report

      • Avatar BSK says:


        Well said.  I realize that there are issues with making outright attacks when there is still more to learn about the Cain situation, but it should be pretty easy to say, “Uh, yea, I’d fire someone who committed sexual harassment in my place of business in a heartbeat.”Report

        • Avatar E.C. Gach says:

          Definitely, it’s not savvy to pile on, but the moderators seemed to go out of there way to give him a question, the answer to which wouldn’t be a direct endorsement or rebuttal of Cain’s actions.

          But I wonder, while it’s safe to stay out of that fight, maybe that was one hypothetical that gave Romney an easy way to come down strongly on something.Report

          • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

            Judge not, lest you be judged, is the rule.  This is nonsense, from folks who won’t vote for him anyway.  It didn’t matter what he said.Report

            • Avatar E.C. Gach says:

              As far as character goes?  It mattered, and he demonstrated his usual spine-less-ness.

              As for whether it matters politically, you’re probably right.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

                Romney refused to take their bait, and Gingrich openly mocked those jackals.  It was a beautiful thing.

                Rick Perry, RIP.  As for the rest, they don’t matter any more than Al Sharpton did, when he got a seat at the Dem debates.  I’d at least put Michele Bachmann up against Sharpton anyway anyday.


            • Avatar BSK says:

              But Romney is being judged.  Thus far, he has presented himself as someone who would not sexually harass someone.  He has passed the sexual harassment test.  Cain isn’t faring so well.Report

            • Avatar James Hanley says:

              Judge not, lest you be judged, is the rule

              Makes it a bit hard to run a democratic election, eh? *grin*Report

            • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

              Judge not, lest you be judged, is the rule.

              Accordingly, Michell Malkin just retired from punditry to spend more time wity her family.

              Poor family.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

                Mike Schilling does a driveby on Michelle Malkin for no relevant or apparent reason.  Shoots, misses, vanishes back into the night. Puzzling but well done, sir. Your family must be proud.  I hope you show them all your posts.  She shows hers.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

                I am skeptical that you really miss the connection between judging not and Our Lady of Perpetual Outrage.Report

  3. Avatar E.C. Gach says:

    On number 5, nothing has been more despicable than to what length people will go to protect those in who they put their faith/trust.

    You have PSU fans bending over backward to defend the “dignity” and “respect” of people like Paterno, and Herman Cain supporters/sympathizers cheering the one person on the stage tonight who is accused by multiple women of the worst kind of sexual harassment.

    Ugh, it’s been a bad night.Report

  4. Avatar Meaghan says:

    I like observation #4 the best. “Huh, Obama’s still down in the polls? We need to find a way to make sure we can’t possibly beat him next November! Think, damn it! Think!” It does make you wonder sometimes.Report

  5. Avatar E.C. Gach says:

    Now, on the actual number 5, I was definitely taken aback by the inability of anyone on stage to articulate how they might deal with Italy’s financial collapse.

    Obviously, it’s a very difficult issue, and there’s not much a President can do to affect it.  But still, to not even offer a shallow equivocation?  For all their talk of free trade, no one on stage seems to understand the ramifications of 21st century globalization.

    And yet ask any of them, except perhaps Ron Paul, if the geopolitics of a region half-way across the globe matters enough to launch endless missile strikes and two land occupations, and you’d get a resounding yes.

    So foreign terrorists matter, but not foreign economies.  Something’s not consistent there.Report

    • Avatar bluntobject says:

      Megan McArdle has an apposite post up on the subject.  (Normally I’m conditioned to avoid bringing up Ms. McArdle in multipartisan settings, but in this case she enthusiastically endorses Brad DeLong, so I think there’s broad enough consensus across the econoblogosphere on this one that I can say the em-word and not get written off immediately as a corporate shill.)

      Briefly: any even remotely realistic attempt to mitigate financial crisis will look horrendously unfair.

      Trying to mitigate the effects the Eurozone’s collapse will have on the American economy will probably involve giving a lot more money to banks — quoting DeLong, “[t]he Federal Reserve needs to buy up every single European bond owned by every single American financial institution for cash” — and that’s a great way to piss off every single populist who’s eligible to vote.  To an economist — or someone who plays one on the internet, like me — this is a simple matter of counterparty risk.  Try explaining that to the voting public in a thirty-second sound bite.Report

  6. Avatar b-psycho says:

    I know if something pissed me off bad enough that I thought it should be ended, I’d have no problem whatsoever remembering its name.  Shit, I’d have trouble forgetting it even after I’ve gotten rid of it!Report

  7. Avatar Sam says:

    For the record, I had no problem rooting against Michelle Bachman six months ago, specifically because of the plucky charisma she brought to her attempts to reduce the aggregate amount of liberty in the world for millions of citizens that weren’t white, men, or straight.Report

  8. Avatar Michelle says:

    I’ve been on a 10-day hiatus from political news, so I didn’t realize that the Republicans were having yet another debate. Sounds like you got it right with #4–these candidates are so freaking awful that they up Obama’s chances for re-election every time they open their mouths. I guess I might not have to make those plans for moving to Canada after all.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      Ack!  Sorry, can you delete that ^   (thought it would auto resize)

      Just should’ve provide the link here

  9. Avatar Renee says:

    I don’t like Perry, never did, but I have to admit that I had to turn the debate off for a few minutes because I felt so bad for the guy.  Watching him search for the third department and panicking while trying not to look like he was panicking was more embarrassing than any scene from Meet the Parents.  I had to make it stop.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      I totally agree with you here.  Some things are just so cringeworthy you don’t wish them on anyone.  As bad as I think Perry is, he can’t be as bad as he looked in those 5 minutes and I felt real sympathy for the guy.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        If mentally misplacing something for a minute or two makes one unqualified to be president, 35 needs to become the maximum age.Report

  10. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    “going on just Presidential debate audiences, we can chalk the Republican base as cheering executions and sexual harassment, and booing soldiers who are gay.


  11. Avatar North says:

    Ultimately this seems pretty moot. Romney seems an effortless shoe in for the nomination and he’s clearly playing things safe in the debates (and who in his position wouldn’t?).Report