Live Blog: The Presidential Debate – 6:00pm – 7:30pm PST

We will be providing LIVE “up to the minute” updates on the Presidential debate tonight. Check the posts here.


Stylistically, Romney took the closing statement as well. His delivery was more fluid, clearer and pointed. Obama meandered through his list of achievements and future plans, while Romney delivered a compelling narrative for his vision for America. Look, Romney lied his way through the debate, mislead and misrepresented at every opportunity, but Obama refused to call him on it and he lost this badly. Obama needed to highlight Romney’s lies and attack him for his view that half of Americans are social parasites. Instead, he stood there smirking, writing notes to himself and wandering all over the place when he got a chance to speak.  Obama got a few counters in, but he simply wasn’t engaged in the event and it will cost him.

What does this mean? Hard to say, but Romney will get a significant lift from this. I don’t think this is a game changer as the Republicans will try to claim it is, but expect to see a shift in the polls. Perhaps Obama likes it this way – to make things difficult for himself up until the last minute where he has historically risen to the occasion. Given his standing in the polls so far, he can afford to do this in the short term. But another performance like this and the race will suddenly look a lot closer.


Andrew Sullivan really is laying into Obama here:

The idea that the candidate of the current Republican party is portraying himself as the most willing to reach across the aisle is staggering. That he is more persuasive on this than the president is a staggering personal failure on Obama’s part. And now Obama is saying he is the candidate of “saying no”. Just staggering incompetence on his part.

Can’t say I disagree…


America has the best health care system in the world? Did Romney just say that? Hold on, I paid 00 for one stitch and an xray. 47 million people don’t even have insurance. What??


This nonsense about the board of sinister government health care commissars really is disgusting. The private medical insurance industry has denied healthcare to millions of people over the years, so why this is inherently better than government telling them that they legally can’t do this defies logic. It is the free market system that has failed miserably, and Obamacare tries to rectify this by not allowing them to discriminate. Romney is just lying here.


Romney really took it to Obama on ‘Obamacare’ painting its implementation as an aggressive government takeover of the health industry. It looked good until Obama shot back with an equally scathing dismissal of all Romney’s points. Obama looks like he is waking up here. This is much better for the President.


Romney’s world view, in my opinion at least, is completely wrong, but he’s making his arguments succinctly and effectively. His attack on Dodd-Frank is complete nonsense (yes, we really need less regulation of the banks…), but he frames it well and he sounds like he knows what he is talking about.


Romney’s world view, in my opinion at least, is completely wrong, but he’s making his arguments succinctly and effectively. His attack on Dodd-Frank is complete nonsense (yes, we really need less regulation of the banks…), but he frames it well and he sounds like he knows what he is talking about.


Hmmm. This is not fitting in with my thesis that it would be impossible for Obama to lose this debate. Romney is, amazingly, not looking like a completely out of touch douchebag, whereas Obama is smirking, waffling and not really taking this too seriously. He’s had some good retorts, but Romney is looking very in command at the moment.


Blogosphere is not seeing this for Obama thus far. Writes Ta Nehisi Coates:

Interesting watching this. Romney is looking really passionate and emphatic. Obama looks like he’d rather be out with Michelle.


Obama is hitting Romney on his voucher program for Medicare – this is again, very effective given the terrible effect it will have on the system over time for the most vulnerable.



Social security – this is where Obama has a chance to really score some points. He used his Grandmother as an example of someone who relied on social security making an emotional argument as to why it is necessary.


Andrew Sullivan doesn’t think Obama is doing too well:

Romney is running on Bowles-Simpson! And he’s relating it to alleviating human suffering. A devastating round for the president. Romney has taken charge, even as Obama has spoken more. And Romney has now managed to make this into a status-quo versus change dynamic. Just terrible for Obama so far, in my opinion. And again, he keeps looking down to write. He should look him in the eye.


Obama counters swiftly here with his own statistics on the Republican management of the economy. He outlines the difference between them saying Romney has an unblalanced and extreme approach to economics and taxation citing Romney’s refusal to raise taxes under any circumstances.


Wow, Romney is really trying the ‘I’m a real human’ strategy. “I like Big Bird” – probably the line of the debate. He’s going after Obama on the deficit reeling off statistics about Obama track record on the economy and the debt. Does he really want to get into this given the enormous catastrophe left by the Republicans?


Obama is tying Clinton’s record on the economy and taxes to his plan – this is effective as voters tend to remember the Clinton years well. Romney is really battling Obama on the trillion tax cut. “That’s not my plan” he keeps saying. It’s clearly a sore point for Romney and Obama will probably keep targeting it.


Ok, Romney is doing better on the numbers here on small businesses – no way of verifying this live, but it sounds impressive as he cites statistics. He’s lacked this leading up to the debate so he’s clearly prepared.


This is good stuff from Obama – he’s hammering Romney on his very sketchy tax plans (ie. he hasn’t actually done the math). He also managed to get Donald Trump in there by saying that according to Romney’s tax plan, Trump is a small business owner. Good stuff. He’s tying Romney to Trump – more of this please.


Romney is saying ‘no tax cut that adds to the deficit’ – I’m not sure how he is going to manage this. If the government needs money to plug a hole in the deficit, it needs to raise taxes. If Romney is going to cut taxes, then how exactly does the government get its revenue? Anyone?


President Obama is smirking at Romney after he claimed he didn’t want to pass a giant tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. He’s got a ton of ammunition up his sleeve so he has a lot to smile about.


Welcome to The Daily Banter live blog of the 2012 Presidential election!

We’re testing this new live updating plugin on the site so please bear with us. Should be up and running right away.

Ok, looks like we’re set. Ben Cohen here. Strong opening set from Obama – he looks incredibly confident and poised. Romney did well here too, seemed reasonably human (he actually cracked a joke).