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Did Obama deliberately throw the debate?

(28 Posts)
APMF Thu 04-Oct-12 22:12:04

In the lead up to the US presidential debate the pundits (NY Times and friends) told us that debates rarely influence voters to a significant degree. Certainly not enough to overcome the lead Obama had in the polls. Same pundits then told us that if Romney's backers think he is going to lose then they will shift the money to the Senate and House races.

Fast forward to the morning debate. Commentators were questioning why Obama failed to wheel out his powerful campaign talking points like the 47% video among others. Others went on about Obama's lackluster performance. Not surprisingly, Romney was widely touted as the debate winner.

I'm guessing that the re-energised Team Romney will be keeping their donors. I can't help but think that this what Obama intended. Am I giving Obama too much credit?

Reallynotsureaboutthis Thu 04-Oct-12 22:21:03

I stayed up to watch it <saddo alert> and I was wincing listening to Obama. Ended up going to bed after 20 mins, couldn't listen anymore. It was an awful performance by him, and I couldn't understand the shift. Can't really see how he'll gain from it though. All that 'double bluff' stuff doesn't make any sense if he's managed to give his opponent the boost he needed to get back in the race. confused

APMF Thu 04-Oct-12 22:31:32

Obama is ahead by 5 to 10 points in some of the swing states. He wins one and he is home and dry. Maybe he agrees with the pundits who say that unless a candidate falls off the stage drunk or curses Jesus on air then the debate with have little impact on the poll numbers. If I was in his position I could lose a debate, keep the GOP money from being diverted to the toss up House and Senate races, crush Romney in debates 2 and 3 and then gently jog past the finish line in November.

All I know is that if this was the boxing heavy weight championship of the world and the 'champ' gave such a pitiful effort I would suspect a fix was in place.

he debate will mean that Romney gains by 2 0

TheCrackFox Thu 04-Oct-12 22:35:19

Dunno, but Obama really didn't seem his usual smooth self, all very odd.

APMF Thu 04-Oct-12 22:38:41

... (pressed enter too soon) Romney may get a poll bounce of 2% but I think that Obama has factored this in.

claig Thu 04-Oct-12 23:02:39

No, I don't believe the pundits that teh debates have no effect. I was amazed at how poorly Obama did. There will be absolutely no advantage in him doing this, unless he wants to lose the race. People, even in swing states, are influenced by teh media and headlines and if they all say Romney won, then that will change their perception of the skill and ability of the candidates to lead the country and fix the economy.

Romney is a clever man, contrary to how our media here had been portraying him, and there is a good chance that he will perform well in the next two debates. Kennedy won the election on the strength of one debate, so debates make a real difference.

It is possible that there is a fix, but that would mean that Romney will win.

OhMyGolly Thu 04-Oct-12 23:15:24

Maybe it is, as a few places I have read say it, he is just not a very good debater without a teleprompter?

I have no idea if the "swing" states are influenced by these debates, but they must be a little.

I have to say whenever I have seen Obama, he doesn't come across as very commanding or authoritative, a bit weedy really.

APMF Fri 05-Oct-12 00:06:06

Recent polls show that, if the election was held last week, Obama would win over Romney.

Does anyone seriously believe that the Obama leaning voters are going to say 'hmmm. Romney thinks that 47% of Americans including veterans and the working poor are parasites and billionaires should get tax cuts but hey, he looked presidential last night. I'm switching to Romney'.

Even if Obama doesn't have a cunning plan that would impress even Edmund Blackadder smile and that poor performance was real, the reasons why voters don't like Romney before the debate are still there after the debate.

Reallynotsureaboutthis Fri 05-Oct-12 00:26:17

APMF I didn't know that stuff about the funding, trying to stop that money flowing to the House and Senate races, so that makes sense I guess. It's still a massive risk to take, being so far ahead, with so many punches he could have landed on Romney and floored him. All the tactical stuff melts my brain grin Maybe it was a risk worth taking, if he's thinking long term, beyond the election. It just makes me nervous!

APMF Fri 05-Oct-12 08:28:47

The polls show that the Democrats might just hold onto their slender majority in the Senate. So the last thing the Democrats want is for the Romney super PACs to consider the White House a lost cause and to switch their millions to these competitive Senate races.

Going into the debate Obama had a significant lead in the key swing states that will give him the WH for another 4 years. He can afford to lose a few points if it means keeping control of the Senate.

Am I nervous? Well, if Obama does not convincingly beat Romney in the second debate then I will know that I gave Obama too much credit for being a strategic thinker.

niceguy2 Fri 05-Oct-12 10:42:46

I haven't watched the entire debate. Just the odd snippet here & there.

I think part of the problem is that Obama is known for being calm, collected and measured in his approach. It was this which was so attractive after years of Gung-ho George Dubya Bush. Compared to Bush, Obama appeared to be just the ticket and the US (and the world) needed someone calm and intelligent.

But the other night that calmness possibly came across as lack of confidence.

Just my two cents.

APMF Fri 05-Oct-12 14:09:01

US job figures out today. The rate dropped below 8% for the first time in this presidency. Big news for Obama. If he could lead the polls with 8.2% then this positive jobs report is what takes him over the finishing line.

I can't help but think that Obama knew this was coming. Let Romney win the debate. Let the bounce make his campaign suck in the donations that would have gone towards the GOP House/Senate candidates then Wham! Obama spins the new job figures and he regains any points that he might have lost. Mission accomplished as Dubaya Bush would say.

sayanything Fri 05-Oct-12 14:21:09

To me Obama looked distracted, as though he wished he were anywhere else but Denver in the middle of a debate. My sleeplessness-induced conspiracy theory is that he is in the middle of trying to avert all-out war between Turkey and Syria or planning military intervention in Syria and he was preoccupied with that. But maybe I've been watching too many West Wing reruns.

I still think (and hope) he'll win though.

somebloke123 Fri 05-Oct-12 16:06:22

Maybe he hasn't been tested much before in debate. He is often regarded as a good speaker but this tends to be in front of the autocue.

Before the last Presidential Election he was an unknown and had no record/ failures to defend.

He was up against a poorish debated in McCain and followed GWB who was perceived as not very articulate.

He was also given a fairly easy ride by much of the media. He made a number of gaffes which were not widely reported which GWB would have been panned for.

Maybe this was a true reflection of his debating skills.

APMF Sat 06-Oct-12 22:13:16

I've only recently saw a 2010 YouTube video of Obama doing a Q&A with a room full of GOP House/Senate pols (this was during the time when Obama thought he could constructively work with the GOP). In it he appeared cool and 'presidential'. The pols failed to tag him at all. Not a mean feat when you are in the lion's den.

If Obama could best a room full of those right wing nutters then, based on that form, a flip flopper like Romney shouldn't have had such a decisive victory.

May be Obama wasn't feeling well that night. May be he has a strategy (keep GOP money with Romney and not the toss up Senate/House races). Either way, I have watched Obama debate Clinton and McCain. I didn't recognise that Obama on Wednesday.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmm Sat 06-Oct-12 22:21:08

My very simplistic view.

Twas like the tortoise and the hare.
He thinks he's won it, so he didn't bother to prepare.
Hence epic fail debate wise.

Helpyourself Sat 06-Oct-12 22:43:56

It was very strange. I wondered if he was reigning himself in- not coming across as too 'oratory' because he's got a reputation for talking the talk, not walking the walk. And if he'd outsmarted Romney, R could then have pulled the 'shirtsleeves hokey' I'm a man of action.
The Turkey/ Syria idea is chilling.

APMF Mon 15-Oct-12 21:51:23

If Obama crushes Romney tomorrow then I'll have my answer.

claig Wed 17-Oct-12 08:49:12

This debate was totally different. I thought Obama was excellent. Very good points and excellent delivery. It was very close, because Romney was also good, but from what I saw (not all of it), it seemed to me that Obama won.

amillionyears Wed 17-Oct-12 08:59:31

Only saw snippets,but from what I saw, -- from DH watching biased Fox News-- Obama lost quite badly.

APMF Wed 17-Oct-12 11:40:06

Most professional pundits (and me) agree that Obama won Debate 2. Next up is a debate about foreign policy, something an incumbent always has the advantage.

APMF Sun 04-Nov-12 02:03:12

Obama crushed Romney in third debate. Obama is ahead in the polls for the swing states. Senate Democrats, not only appear to be safe but may knock off some Republicans.

If it was indeed Obama's plan get the GOP to focus resources on the Presidential and not the Senate/House races then mission accomplished. Four more years. Four more years smile

ellargh Sun 04-Nov-12 02:09:45

What percentage of voters have voted early? Has Sandy jeaprodised NY?

APMF Sun 04-Nov-12 02:43:03

I don't have the figures for early voting but the media is saying that a significant number of voters have voted early and that Obama is ahead. I yet to read an explanation as to why but apparently Democrats tend to vote early while Republicans tend to vote late. So Sandy may serve to dissuade Romney supporters from voting.

Not that it really matters. None of the swing states are affected by Sandy. NY is solidly for Obama so he is going to win there regardless.

ellargh Sun 04-Nov-12 02:59:30

I am just hoping and praying there will be no President Romney.

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