Tonight was a complete, 100% redefinition of Mitt Romney. He came across as, well, human. Not a robot. I spent the first half of the debate really confused as to what was going on, because nothing Romney said made any sense as a Mitt Romney thing to say. He completely changed his positions on everything. Tonight was a huge shift to the center for him. This was a completely different Mitt Romney, both in style and substance, than we’ve seen on the campaign trail so far.
On substance, though, Obama was the clear winner. The actual policies promoted by Obama made sense and were fleshed out. Romney’s, to the extent they exist, had no detail at all. But he was able to wave them away. And he completely threw everything back in the President’s face. He came off as the defender of medicare, despite his massive, devastating changes to it. He came off as bipartisan, even though his party has agreed to nothing, been entirely unwilling to compromise. He came off as being anti-Wall Street and a challenger of the big banks, even though he proposes to let them do whatever the hell they want while cutting their taxes.
10:36PM “He looked like a credible alternative tonight”
10:33PM NBC’s closing coverage is that Romney was energetic and feisty and in control, versus Obama who seemed to be just coasting. I agree. Devastating.
10:30PM Now Romney is trying to say that less people would have health coverage under Obama.
10:27PM “Governor Romney has not been able to say no to some extreme elements of his own party”
10:25PM Romney is trying to be more bipartisany. For a Republican to say that today is fucking nuts. Just remember: $10 in spending cuts for $1 in tax hikes got a no.
10:24PM Reaction from Facebook:
Obama, all you needed to do from the very beginning was simply say "47%". Just once. Then go give Lehrer a hug, he really needs one. 😦
10:23PM “Where you put your money is where your heart is” – Mitt Romney. I shit you not.
10:22PM “Mr. President, you’re entitled to your own airplane and your own house, but not your own facts”. Oh come on, Mitt.
10:19PM Obama just hit Romney for having hazy, non-detailed proposals. It’s true.
10:15PM Obama is rambling. But “Governor Romney doesn’t think we need more teachers. I do.” Good line.
10:12PM Romney: “What we did in MA [Romneycare] is a model for the nation”. How the hell is Obama letting him get away with these things? Obama is doing terribly.
10:09PM So… how ‘bout them Nats?
10:08PM Death Panels? Really, Mitt?
10:06PM Obama’s right! I got my insurance premium rebate a month or two ago. $28.00! Almost a case of delicious Sly Fox Rt. 113 IPA. Drink.
10:05PM Now a defense of the cost control provisions of Obamacare. They won’t be enough, but they’re more than anyone has attempted thus far.
10:03PM Obama just made my point. Drink.
9:59PM A good defense of Obamacare. Where has it been these past 2 years? Romney is accusing him of pushing something “completely partisan” through in Obamacare, but it’s a Republican plan. ITS MITT ROMNEYS PLAN!
9:55PM This is bizzarro Mitt. Either he is lying through his teeth tonight, or has been doing so up until this point.
9:52PM Now Romney is arguing that Obama has been too nice to banks. He has spent the rest of this campaign saying that the only reason the economy is bad is because Big Bad Barack has been too mean to banks!
9:51PM Romney: “Every free economy has good regulation”. This is absolutely 100% a completely different Mitt Romney than we’ve seen in this campaign so far.
9:48PM The ability to choose your own insurance provider is in fact a feature of Obamacare.
9:43PM Romney just accused Obama of making the precise same medicare cuts he himself proposes.
9:42PM Obama sounds like a talking spreadsheet.
9:39PM Romney is on tonight. He’s doing quite well.
Reaction from Facebook:
“Governor Romney, you just threatened Big Bird. You Sir, have gone too far.”
9:33PM Romney, on the charge that he has ruled out new revenue: “Absolutely”
9:31PM Romney: The President should have supported Bowles Simpson. Never mind that his running mate Paul Ryan was instrumental in killing the proposal. Why doesn’t Obama point that out?
9:30PM They are both citing Bowles Simpson now
9:25PM Mitt Romney is a dick. He’s also lying about what his plan is. But he’s having the better debate, I think. Forcing Obama to try to explain the math is making him just go through numbers while Romney can try to make points that connect to people.
9:23PM “Math, common sense, and our history” show that Romney’s plan won’t work. “We’ve tried this". A good point.
9:17PM Romney: My tax plan adds up because I say so, and no economist can tell me otherwise.
9:15PM Obama: Your math doesn’t work, Mitt.
9:13PM Romney: "There’ll be no tax cut that adds to the deficit”. Still no word on how he plans to do that, but the give away was when he said it all adds up when you account for growth.
9:11PM Right off the bat, Obama points out that Romney’s math doesn’t add up. Romney says he won’t cut taxes, just provide tax relief. This is weird, Romney is nearly just repeating what Obama is saying.
9:10PM Biofuels! I’m a nerd.
9:08PM Holy shit, Mitt Romney accuses Barack Obama of believing in trickle down economics?
9:07PM Romney doesn’t like “top down economics” either. He does like small businesses.
9:04PM Straight to jobs. What are the major differences between the two candidates policies? Obama: “a new economic patriotism”, investments in the future, paid for by not fighting wars. Now that is change I can believe in.
9:03PM An emphasis on specifics. Ruh roh, Mitt!
9:01PM Hug time. Precious.
8:56PM Going to try live blogging this thing. Probably won’t work well. You’ll probably have to hit “refresh” a lot. Drink.