Debate preview: How Romney can win

posted at 12:41 pm on October 3, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Tonight, Mitt Romney has the opportunity to change the trajectory of this race against Barack Obama in the first of three presidential debates.  This is arguably the most important of the three, as low-information voters may be getting their first close look at Mitt Romney since the primary debates ended months ago — or perhaps ever.  In my column for The Week, I game out the stakes in this Denver debate, and offer three keys to Romney’s strategy:

1. Romney has to transcend the debate agenda. Successful candidates use questions as mere suggestions, while answering their own questions to drive a debate narrative. Both Obama and Romney will do this, but Republicans assume that media moderators will drive the debate into territory friendlier for Obama than Romney. Romney has to take control and drive the debate, not let the moderator keep him pinned on defense — and that’s an entirely legitimate strategy for voters, too. As Romney is running against an incumbent president, the focus should be on Obama’s performance and his plans for a second-term agenda.

2. Romney has to assert himself without looking overly aggressive. That’s no easy feat. Al Gore lost the debate battle against George W. Bush by alternately looking too aggressive and then too impatient. Obama ended up prevailing over John McCain by projecting a collegial-if-not-friendly mien while dispensing with McCain’s arguments. Lower-information voters have to see Romney as something other than the Thurston Howell caricature that Team Obama has painted, while still pressing Obama on his economic failures and lack of any clear second-term agenda.  The tone used in his ad last week, in which he spoke directly into the camera for 60 seconds about the economy, would work well in this setting to reassure undecided voters that Romney will be a safe alternative to Obama.

3. Romney has to construct an overarching narrative of executive incompetence in the Obama White House. This first debate will focus on the economy, but Romney needs to draw on more issues than that to make his case. Obama will respond on the economic issues by claiming that the grave nature of the recession handicapped the recovery, and that his policies will eventually work to create jobs faster than population growth, a pace with which the Obama recovery has failed to keep up. Romney needs to use the economy to discuss the inept handling of consular security in Benghazi and the Arab Spring in general, as well as Operation Fast and Furious, to show that the entire administration has run off the rails. That will negate Obama’s blame-Bush-and-Republicans defense for the economy, and strengthen Romney’s case that Obama simply doesn’t have the executive talent for his current position.

Actually, it will be interesting to see whether Romney has to force the issue of Benghazi into the debate.  The announced topic is domestic policy, but BuzzFeed’s Michael Hastings reported yesterday that the moderator, PBS’ Jim Lehrer, has all the leeway he needs to go beyond the announced agenda:

According to the Commission on Presidential Debates, tomorrow’s moderator, PBS anchor Jim Lehrer, has the leeway to ask any questions he wants — including topics dominating the headlines, as Libya is now.

“We don’t have any say in what the moderator asks whatsoever,” the spokesperson for the Presidential Debate Commission Bob Roy told BuzzFeed. “The only rule for the debates is that the moderator decides what is asked.”

A spokeswoman for Lehrer, Anne Bell, told BuzzFeed in an email that “the overall debate topic is domestic policy” but that “when Jim Lehrer announced the general topics for the debate he did indicate that is was subject to change in the event news warranted.”

I’d expect that to come early in the debate, either through Lehrer or through Romney.  Will Barack Obama be prepared for that?  Supposedly he’s shirking his debate prep in Nevada, and that’s not uncommon, according to the man who prepped Jimmy Carter for his disastrous debate performance against Ronald Reagan in 1980.  Samuel Popkin has written a book about incumbents and debates, and argues that incumbents get too wrapped up in sycophantic bubbles to prepare properly for debates — and have little stomach for practice, too:

Samuel Popkin, a political-science professor at the University of California (San Diego), advised three Democratic nominees before their debates. He was brought to Camp David in 1980 to play the role of Reagan in debate prep for Carter. Like Stockman four years later, Popkin incurred the wrath of his president, as he disclosed for the first time in his new book, The Candidate: What It Takes to Win—and Hold—the White House. Aides knew that Carter was unprepared for Reagan and ordered Popkin to “hold nothing back.” So in his very first answer, he used Reagan’s own words to pummel the president. “I could see that Carter was bewildered. When I spoke he would alternately feign a smile or wrinkle his nose in disgust; look away from me in embarrassment or glare at me in anger,” he wrote.

Popkin told National Journal, “I really thought the Secret Service was going to kneecap me. Carter turned red in the face and got flustered, and, after only 11 minutes he said, ‘That is enough’ and tried to call it off.”

Popkin said he had always believed that reaction was unique to Carter until he started researching his book and discovered that every incumbent resists the prep work and reacts badly to being challenged. “Nobody on staff ever questions a president’s motives and nobody around him ever challenges him,” he said, contending there is very much an “emperor-has-no-clothes” aspect for leaders who have spent four years sheltered in the protective presidential bubble and surrounded by sycophantic aides.

Then add to that resistance the fact that incumbents are almost always rusty when it comes to debating. Romney this year has spent 43 hours in 23 separate debates. Never flashy, he was solid and disciplined, clearly losing only one debate when he impulsively challenged Texas Gov. Rick Perry to make a $10,000 bet. In contrast, Obama has not debated in four years. And while he improved as a debater over the course of 2008, he stumbled far more often than Romney did this year. Obama was too often professorial and discursive and found it difficult to be concise. He promised in one debate to meet with America’s enemies with no preconditions, and in another he was seen as cruel to Hillary Rodham Clinton when he coldly assessed her likability. In his general-election debates, he was blessed with low expectations against the much more experienced John McCain.

National Journal also games out the potential domestic-policy topics that will arise, and provides a good (if necessarily brief) analysis of how each topic may play for Romney and Obama.  Andrew Malcolm analyzes the stakes, and the way candidates react to the “high wire” act:

But these debates are rarely important as individual events. Instead, taken together they provide an impressionistic narrative arc for viewers to soak up what these men are about, how they carry themselves, listen, speak under pressure.

From a living room couch, voters may ponder the unimaginable pressures at play. It’s true. They’re intense. It’s bad for staffers, worse for spouses.

But at this level of politics, the candidates I’ve seen up close actually relish the moment. They enjoy walking the high-wire. They’ve campaigned typically for years, sometimes with an audience of but one or two. Now, their every word will reach scores of millions.

And whoever said seeking the pressurized presidency should be easy? ….

The Republican needs to be aggressive without stridency, to look like he’s willing to fight for the job, which he did at times during the 220 Republican primary debates. (OK, it just seemed that way; there were ‘only’ 22).

Romney needs to confront Obama over the weeks of false ads that have given the Democrat poll leads in crucial swing states. With no economic record to run on and no second-term agenda beyond the slogan “Forward,” Obama is likely to play considerable defense. He wants to avoid any mistakes that would elevate Romney’s stature by comparison.

History shows that the debates usually result in elevated status for the challenger no matter what, thanks to the difficulty of playing defense in debates.  That’s probably going to be the case tonight as well, if Romney remains as focused and disciplined as he was in the primary debates.

Note: We’ll be covering tonight’s debate, of course, but I won’t be available to watch it live, thanks to a commitment at school this evening.  Be sure to follow Mary Katharine Ham and Erika Johnsen on Twitter for their analysis.


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Obama: I inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression.

Romney: Your successor will inherit an economy even worst than that.

Gunlock Bill on October 3, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Well, with the MU Law poll showing Romney still getting destroyed in WI, the debate will have to be a game-changer.

And it sure looks like Rubio would have been the much better pick than Ryan.

gumbyandpokey on October 3, 2012 at 6:06 PM

So, tonight I’ might be going to a town hall meeting with some of my states Republican representatives. In honor of the questions I wish to ask them, allow me to offer questions I think should be in this debate.

Let’s kick off 2nd Amendments questions:

@Romney: Governor, you have claimed repeatedly that you will defend the 2nd amendment rights of U.S. Citizens. However, as Governor, you passed a Gun Control law that was reminiscent of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which did not ban weapons on function, but rather form and the “Scary factor” of guns. And in both 2006, and in 2007, during the ’08 Republican Primary, you again made statements that ” that assault weapons are not needed in the public population.”. You also said that “…We also should keep weapons of unusual lethality from being on the street…” and that if you were President, and the renewal of the Federal Assault Weapons ban was in front of you, that you’d sign for it’s renewel. Please tell me Governor, what has convinced you change your position? Was it out of logical reasoning that the bans were useless? Or was it out of a desire to hide your Liberal past from Conservatives?

@Obama: Mr. President, several U.S. Law enforcement Agents, and hundreds of innocent Mexican civilians… oh wait, sorry… how dare I imply they were people who’s lives were tragically cut short by this… *Ahem* The DOJ actions and cover up for reasons ranging from an attempt to arming weaker Drug cartels to take on stronger, more well established cartels, to an attempt to cook the books on the number of “American guns being illegally traded to Mexico” has created a couple hundred bumps in the Road. Further more, you were about to hand over the Sovereign Rights of U.S. Citizens to some of the worlds worst Dictators with a U.N. Global Gun Ban. Care to explain?

Health Care @Both:
You both support an unconstitutional mandate to buy Insurance. Also Mitt Romney, What exactly do you plan to “Repeal and Replace” of Obamney Care? Or is that simply code for you to “Repeal ObamneyCare” and “Replace” with ObamneyCare under a different name?

Security: @both: I’m a strong proponent of Benjamin Franklin’s wisdom that those who trade liberty for security shall receive neither, nor deserve neither. Yet, while bills and acts designed to improve our security has brought some needed changes to our national security, it has also has brought about corruption and abuse of power within our Government that has taken our liberties. where Homeland Security now treats a Citizen whose only crime is advocating limited Government by use of our voting rights as potential terror threats. TSA Agents routinely now sexually harass travelers, steal personal belongings and or damage/destroy them. And when Travelers seek punishment or compensation for these acts, it is blown off and protected by the Government. What will you do to reform these security measures to keep us safe, but ensure our civil liberties?.

And as a bonus, in honor of tonights town hall meeting:

To my State’s local and federal Republican “Conservative” representatives: You say that you are all conservatives, yet in your pamphlets for various fundraisers, and meetings, you advocate an Republican Ex-Governor who when he attempted to to regain Governorship from the currently sitting Democrat Governor 2 years ago, was more willing to attack his primary challenger who was arguably more conservative than he was, than his Democrat Opponent, spending more time at book signings. How can you claim you advocate Conservatism, when you welcome in an ex-Candidate that was too lazy to push the Conservative message, and who’s entire 2010 campaign, was summed up as “I’ve got an R by my name, vote for me!”

Razgriez on October 3, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Since you asked, I file from my recently paid off house. I just paid off the $180,000 mortgage and now am continuing to pay off the $150,000 HELOC that is currently at about a 2.25% interest rate.

I just wish tax dodgers like Romney would be more patriotic and pay their taxes like I do. They could lower everyone’s taxes if there were less of these tax cheats around.

ZippyZ on October 3, 2012 at 4:08 PM

LOL

Note to trolls: If you are going to make up stuff, try to present something that is at least half-way believable.

Norwegian on October 3, 2012 at 6:08 PM

From prior post.

Mitt

” I will stipulate that I made a mistake and tried to get along with Democrats like you in Mass. and passed the heath care deal you copied, I have learned better than to try that now.
As I have stipulated that, lets now turn to the 30 or 40 huge errors and misjudgements you have made like the death of Abb. Stephens,, if the moderator thinks we have the time tonight to cover them all.”

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 3, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Gunlock Bill on October 3, 2012 at 6:04 PM

zing!

me likey

cmsinaz on October 3, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Now, THIS could make things interesting !!

All any libs will read is that it’s produced by a right-leaning organization and dismiss it entirely.
But it’s been used legitimately in court, so, hey !!

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 6:10 PM

May I suggest that you read this article? It is pretty straight forward and explains capital gains rather well.

uncommon sense on October 3, 2012 at 5:52 PM

You are missing the point….”carried interest” and Romney. Google it.

ZippyZ on October 3, 2012 at 6:10 PM

beer in fridge….getting ready

cmsinaz on October 3, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Mitt:

“Now Comrade Obama there you go again.”

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 3, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Well, with the MU Law poll showing Romney still getting destroyed in WI, the debate will have to be a game-changer.

And it sure looks like Rubio would have been the much better pick than Ryan.

gumbyandpokey on October 3, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Cool story, bro.

squint on October 3, 2012 at 6:12 PM

I’d love to see Romney address POTUS as “Barack” a few times. Talk about rattling a cage.

Deep Timber on October 3, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Since you asked, I file from my recently paid off house. I just paid off the $180,000 mortgage and now am continuing to pay off the $150,000 HELOC that is currently at about a 2.25% interest rate.

I just wish tax dodgers like Romney would be more patriotic and pay their taxes like I do. They could lower everyone’s taxes if there were less of these tax cheats around.

ZippyZ on October 3, 2012 at 4:08 PM

One more time, try reading this, and then maybe, just maybe, we can have a logical discussion. Thomas Sowell is a reasonable guy.

On a side note, I see that Zippy has clocked out of the axelturd clock, and we now have gubmintandplutocracy.

uncommon sense on October 3, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Does anyone know if they will be standing at lecterns or sitting at a table?

DoubleClutchin on October 3, 2012 at 6:14 PM

beer in fridge….getting ready

cmsinaz on October 3, 2012 at 6:10 PM

I’ve started a beer, but basically to calm my tummy.
Surprised how it’s been upset over this, today.
Yet-untapped box’o’wine chilling as I type. ;-)

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 6:15 PM

DoubleClutchin on October 3, 2012 at 6:14 PM

standing…

cmsinaz on October 3, 2012 at 6:16 PM

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 6:15 PM

a little on the nervous side myself…
mitt needs to pounce with style
who cares what the media says, they are going to call the debate for obama no matter what he does

cmsinaz on October 3, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Does anyone know if they will be standing at lecterns or sitting at a table?

DoubleClutchin on October 3, 2012 at 6:14 PM

I’d heard they’ll be sitting around a table, and have time to ‘discuss’ their prior answers.
I only half-heard that, so not certain.

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 6:17 PM

You are missing the point….”carried interest” and Romney. Google it.

ZippyZ on October 3, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Then if it really bothers you, may I suggest writing to theat stalwart take payer, who used to be on the committee, and have him suggest a change to the tax code. I believe that Charles Rangel is easily found on the congrestional website.

uncommon sense on October 3, 2012 at 6:18 PM

If you have friends or can use social media to affect Oregon think about it.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/is-the-obama-campaign-running-ads-in-oregon/article/2509663?utm_source=Washington%20Examiner:%20Opinion%20Digest%20-%2010/03/2012&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Washington%20Examiner:%20Opinion%20Digest#.UGy49ZG9KK1

Tumblr Facebook Twitter Instagram emails Oregon news sites (TV stations and Newspapers, radio stations, etc…)

Work it Hot Airians!!!

PappyD61 on October 3, 2012 at 6:18 PM

LOL

Note to trolls: If you are going to make up stuff, try to present something that is at least half-way believable.

Norwegian on October 3, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Since it is true…what is unbelievable about it? I just double-checked the interest rate and it is 2.24%.

ZippyZ on October 3, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Mitt has stated that his goal in debates is to present the clear choice.
So, the spin-meisters can ‘do their thangs’, but if he accomplishes his goal, I’ll be happy, too.

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Actually there’s no need to “change the trajectory.” I think Mitt has the momentum at this point.

writeblock on October 3, 2012 at 6:24 PM

standing…

cmsinaz on October 3, 2012 at 6:16 PM

I’d heard they’ll be sitting around a table, and have time to ‘discuss’ their prior answers.
I only half-heard that, so not certain.

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 6:17 PM

I hope it’s standing. The energy is higher, although Mitt did well in the primary debate where they were all sitting around the table.

DoubleClutchin on October 3, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Mitt has stated that his goal in debates is to present the clear choice.
So, the spin-meisters can ‘do their thangs’, but if he accomplishes his goal, I’ll be happy, too.

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 6:21 PM

The trolls tonight will be here en masse to fawn over Obama’s every, “Uhh…” as winning counter.

Tomorrow, among the MSM, will be worse.

If liberals didn’t have their gibbering self-delusional textbook lies to espouse, they would have nothing to say.

Liam on October 3, 2012 at 6:28 PM

So what time is the debate? And are there any live streams? I’m guessing CSPAN should have it, no?

MrX on October 3, 2012 at 6:29 PM

If you’re an incumbent President who can’t get above 50% just weeks before the election…….

It’s up to Mitt to lose it……..as it was up to McCain

PappyD61 on October 3, 2012 at 6:29 PM

go to drudge, it shows the stage….podiums for the guys while jim will sit….

cmsinaz on October 3, 2012 at 6:30 PM

MrX on October 3, 2012 at 6:29 PM

for sure c-span

canopfor will have all the linkies ready to go :)

cmsinaz on October 3, 2012 at 6:31 PM

i’m sorry 9pn ET….

cmsinaz on October 3, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Then if it really bothers you, may I suggest writing to theat stalwart take payer, who used to be on the committee, and have him suggest a change to the tax code. I believe that Charles Rangel is easily found on the congrestional website.

uncommon sense on October 3, 2012 at 6:18 PM

The Dems have been trying to pass the legislation, but guess who filibusters.

http://articles.businessinsider.com/2010-06-25/wall_street/29969284_1_vc-financial-reform-bill-major-loophole

The lower capital gains tax rate is more excusable. The carried interest tax break needs to go.

ZippyZ on October 3, 2012 at 6:34 PM

go to drudge, it shows the stage….podiums for the guys while jim will sit….

cmsinaz on October 3, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Well, DOH on me !!
I’ve only looked at that pic about 20 times … LOL.

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 6:35 PM

http://www.c-span.org/Debates/

They say they’ll start broadcasting @ 7ET … Debate to start @ 9ET

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Since you asked, I file from my recently paid off house. I just paid off the $180,000 mortgage and now am continuing to pay off the $150,000 HELOC that is currently at about a 2.25% interest rate.

ZippyZ on October 3, 2012 at 4:08 PM

LOL

Note to trolls: If you are going to make up stuff, try to present something that is at least half-way believable.

Norwegian on October 3, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Since it is true…what is unbelievable about it? I just double-checked the interest rate and it is 2.24%.

ZippyZ on October 3, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Ignoring the amateur mistakes you make (You house is not “paid off” if it still carries a $180k HELOC, for instance); you obviously have very little knowledge of banking or mortgages in general. Only a complete idiot (like an Obama Voter) would pay off a term mortgage BEFORE they pay off a HELOC.

My guess is that you just Googled “low HELOC rate”, saw some banner ad and thought 2.25% would fit you Obama trolling post. Here’s a newsflash: Noone is getting 2.25% on any HELOC over $150k, regardless of income, LTV or Credit Score. Period.

Disclosure; Been in banking for 20+ years.

Norwegian on October 3, 2012 at 6:38 PM

go to drudge, it shows the stage….podiums for the guys while jim will sit….

cmsinaz on October 3, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Thanks! Awesome :-)

Doh on me too pambi ;-)

Nervous, and I never get nervous…

DoubleClutchin on October 3, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Levin just confirmed that Zero voted to NOT waive the Stafford Act for Katrina !!
Lord, I hope Mitt knows this !!!

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Levin just confirmed that Zero voted to NOT waive the Stafford Act for Katrina !!
Lord, I hope Mitt knows this !!!

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Old news and not important!

But what about Mitt’s 1969 tax returns?

Love,
The MSM

Liam on October 3, 2012 at 6:42 PM

The Dems have been trying to pass the legislation, but guess who filibusters.

http://articles.businessinsider.com/2010-06-25/wall_street/29969284_1_vc-financial-reform-bill-major-loophole

The lower capital gains tax rate is more excusable. The carried interest tax break needs to go.

ZippyZ on October 3, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Yesterday began with the Senate version of the bill failing a procedural vote (45-52)”

Yeah, damn republicans… those 4 democrats/independents had nothing to do with it. LOL!

uncommon sense on October 3, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Liam on October 3, 2012 at 6:42 PM

this sad to say

cmsinaz on October 3, 2012 at 6:43 PM

this sad to say

cmsinaz on October 3, 2012 at 6:43 PM

I wouldn’t be surprised if the idiots in the MSM demanded Mitt’s 1946 tax returns.

Liam on October 3, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Liam on October 3, 2012 at 6:46 PM

heh

cmsinaz on October 3, 2012 at 6:48 PM

that the entire administration has run off the rails

Another cost overrun high-speed train to nowhere.

OTTO on October 3, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Now, THIS could make things interesting !!

All any libs will read is that it’s produced by a right-leaning organization and dismiss it entirely.
But it’s been used legitimately in court, so, hey !!

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 6:10 PM

It’ll only go off it Oliar is telling the truth.

OTTO on October 3, 2012 at 6:56 PM

So is Zippy a new troll, or one of those “classic” trolls that only activate during political events?

wargamer6 on October 3, 2012 at 6:58 PM

So is Zippy a new troll, or one of those “classic” trolls that only activate during political events?

wargamer6 on October 3, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Good question

uncommon sense on October 3, 2012 at 6:59 PM

All any libs will read is that it’s produced by a right-leaning organization and dismiss it entirely.

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Liberals won’t tolerate even a neutral news source from anywhere on the globe.

Liam on October 3, 2012 at 6:59 PM

“Government is not the solution to the problem; government IS the problem.”

.
.
That’s what ALL Republicans who are running for any office on the National level need to be saying.

listens2glenn on October 3, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Another cost overrun high-speed train to nowhere.

OTTO on October 3, 2012 at 6:50 PM

GOOD’N !!

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Liberals won’t tolerate even a neutral news source from anywhere on the globe.

Liam on October 3, 2012 at 6:59 PM

FIFY

OTTO on October 3, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Well, poop.
The CSPAN link isn’t working on iPad, atm.
Sure hope the debate part will.
I dunno.

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 7:08 PM

wargamer6 on October 3, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Noticed that Zippy ran off, must be the Axelturd\union mandated 15 minute smoke break :)

uncommon sense on October 3, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Noticed that Zippy ran off, must be the Axelturd\union mandated 15 minute smoke break :)

uncommon sense on October 3, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Smoking is illegal to liberals and should be banned. Unless it’s pot, of course. /snark

Liam on October 3, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Hey Mitt. If you can somehow get this nugget in, you will definitely get under his skin!.

DrStock on October 3, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Smoking is illegal to liberals and should be banned. Unless it’s pot, of course. /snark

Liam on October 3, 2012 at 7:25 PM

True, but the do get the required USDA regulated school lunch provided for free /s

uncommon sense on October 3, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Obama: I inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression.

Romney: Your successor will inherit an economy even worst than that.

Gunlock Bill on October 3, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Winner. I hope Mitt uses that.

faraway on October 3, 2012 at 7:28 PM

True, but the do get the required USDA regulated school lunch provided for free /s

uncommon sense on October 3, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Yes! And all those teens who say, “I’m hungry” after their starvation-ration 800 calorie lunches.

As a matter of fact, I saw there is an idea to put cameras on the wastebins at schools to see which kids are throwing away government-mandated food.

Liam on October 3, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Ignoring the amateur mistakes you make (You house is not “paid off” if it still carries a $180k HELOC, for instance); you obviously have very little knowledge of banking or mortgages in general. Only a complete idiot (like an Obama Voter) would pay off a term mortgage BEFORE they pay off a HELOC.

My guess is that you just Googled “low HELOC rate”, saw some banner ad and thought 2.25% would fit you Obama trolling post. Here’s a newsflash: Noone is getting 2.25% on any HELOC over $150k, regardless of income, LTV or Credit Score. Period.

Disclosure; Been in banking for 20+ years.

Norwegian on October 3, 2012 at 6:38 PM

I got my HELOC on 07/11/2008 from Fifth Third Bank Equity Flexline. It is currently 2.24% interest. I am sure my timing was lucky as the economy starting tanking soon after. Why wouldn’t I pay off my main loan if it has a higher rate that my HELOC? You have to be the dumbest banker in the world if you advise someone to pay off the lower interest loan off first. True…the house is not paid off until the HELOC is paid off. With guys like you involved in banking, no wonder the industry had to be bailed out.

ZippyZ on October 3, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Yes! And all those teens who say, “I’m hungry” after their starvation-ration 800 calorie lunches.

Liam on October 3, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Most of the athletes at nearby high school stopped eating the ObamaLunch this year.

faraway on October 3, 2012 at 7:31 PM

ZippyZ on October 3, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Ever notice that when a new username pops up, even though there hasn’t been an open registration in months, it’s almost always a troll?

Gee, it’s like…I dunno. It’s like it’s almost planned that way, you know? Like there’s almost some sort of coordination behind it. Eh, but what do I know? They were probably just waiting months for that right moment to speak out. And the careful construction of their arguments always reflects this. Truth out!

Dirt McGirt on October 3, 2012 at 7:32 PM

ZippyZ on October 3, 2012 at 7:29 PM

How dare you… the interest is tax deductible… you aren’t paying your fair share, report yourself right now to the Obumbles re-education camps!

uncommon sense on October 3, 2012 at 7:32 PM

faraway on October 3, 2012 at 7:31 PM

I heard of such things. But, in one case, a little girl had her mom-prepared lunch stolen from her by some government inspector (whose name is protected from disclosure).

I expect that will one day be the norm nationwide.

Liam on October 3, 2012 at 7:34 PM

ZippyZ on October 3, 2012 at 7:29 PM

by the way, still waiting for a response to the earlier post about the 45-52 vote.

uncommon sense on October 3, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Iran is in serious trouble right now. Their currency’s value has dropped by 50% and we are seeing major unrest. I will be seriously PO’d if the moderator does not ask about what the candidates will do. PBHO turned a blind eye to the green revolution and passed up a golden opportunity for the sake of appeasing the despots in charge. This should be a great time for Romney to bring that up and discuss how he would work to support the Iranian people and topple that regime.

MJBrutus on October 3, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Drudge is predicting Obama will give shout out to Michelle on their 20th anniversary.

heh, maybe Mitt should say it in his opening remarks.

faraway on October 3, 2012 at 7:36 PM

…HELOC… no wonder the industry had to be bailed out.
 
ZippyZ on October 3, 2012 at 7:29 PM

 
Well played.

rogerb on October 3, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Bacon cheddar ranch dip…..check

Parmesan Crisps…..check

Corn Chips & Salsa…..Check

Adult Beverage prep….check

Reagan Library shirt….Check

Glaucoma Medicine…Check (dude)

Let’s light this candle

Tim_CA on October 3, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Just got a text on my ObamaPhone “Obama wins debate. Romney wants to take away your free phone.”

faraway on October 3, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Personal note : RATS !!!!!!! ;-)
Self-employed hubby says he still has maybe 2 more hour’s work on his super-duper fast computer !!
(thank You, Lord)
and yet, I’m stuck with trying to follow y’all via wireless !!
Guess I’ll just be a few pages behind, each refresh !!
;-)
LOLOL.

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Tim_CA on October 3, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Hey, where’s the popcorn ??

;-)

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 7:43 PM

If the MSM declares this a draw, then Mitt won.

matthew8787 on October 3, 2012 at 7:44 PM

We are almost at HA Animal House Hour! Rejoice! I sure hope you have laid in supplies of Tums and Popcorn. It is gonna be a balloon buster. Red shreds or Blue shreds on the floor. Who could ask for more?

Limerick on October 3, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Tums? Heck I’m mainlining meth until 10:30. Just to be safe.

faraway on October 3, 2012 at 7:47 PM

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Wellz, if you be votin’ fer Obama, yous can gets an Obamaphone and sum o’ dat Obamamoney!

An’ some o’ dat contra-concept stuff, too!

Liam on October 3, 2012 at 7:48 PM

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Too hot to pop today…..lol.

Tim_CA on October 3, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Tums? Heck I’m mainlining meth until 10:30. Just to be safe.

faraway on October 3, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.

Liam on October 3, 2012 at 7:49 PM

How Romney can win

AIR SOME D*MN COMMERCIALS!!! I’m in Ohio, and I STILL haven’t seen any real Romney commercials in over 4 weeks! What the H*LL is he doing? I’ve seen a handful from conservative PACs, but nothing endorsed by Romney. I see an Obama commercial once or twice a night! Maybe I’m not on his targeted channels (History Channel, Discovery, Fox Family, etc), but COME ON!

dominigan on October 3, 2012 at 7:50 PM

I don’t care how many debates Romney wins. I only care that he win on November 6, 2012.

lonestar1 on October 3, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Tums? Heck I’m mainlining meth until 10:30. Just to be safe.

faraway on October 3, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.

Liam on October 3, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Me, I’m doing Choom and some good blow! /s :)

uncommon sense on October 3, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Limerick on October 3, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Just be ready for the trolls we’ll be up against, praising Obama’s every, “Uhh…,” as a ‘game-changer’ and definitive rebuttal.

Liam on October 3, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Bacon cheddar ranch dip…..check

Parmesan Crisps…..check

Corn Chips & Salsa…..Check

Adult Beverage prep….check

Reagan Library shirt….Check

Glaucoma Medicine…Check (dude)

Let’s light this candle

Tim_CA on October 3, 2012 at 7:39 PM

…heavy duty wire screen to protect TV from thrown objects… Check

dominigan on October 3, 2012 at 7:52 PM

IMPORTANT: what are the drinking words for tonight?

It it’s inherited, we are all dead drunk 5 minutes in.
Can’t wait for the shout out to the Ms. regarding fake anniversary.

katablog.com on October 3, 2012 at 7:53 PM

…heavy duty wire screen to protect TV from thrown objects… Check

LOL told hubby we needed the same.

katablog.com on October 3, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Me, I’m doing Choom and some good blow! /s :)

uncommon sense on October 3, 2012 at 7:51 PM

What–you gonna Bogart here? Make me jealous, why don’t you?

You can’t have any of your stash if you didn’t bring enough for the rest of the class.

Liam on October 3, 2012 at 7:54 PM

If the MSM declares this a draw, then Mitt won.

matthew8787 on October 3, 2012 at 7:44 PM

THIS.
and …

I don’t care how many debates Romney wins. I only care that he win on November 6, 2012.

lonestar1 on October 3, 2012 at 7:51 PM

THIS !!

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 7:54 PM

…heavy duty wire screen to protect TV from thrown objects… Check

dominigan on October 3, 2012 at 7:52 PM

.
Don’t you have a 1/4″ sheet of Lexan across the front of your screen?

I thought that was a requisite for us “political junkies”.

listens2glenn on October 3, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Let’s get ready to rumble! T minus 63 mins.

hillsoftx on October 3, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Is it even possible for us, as a group, to resist ANY responses to trolls, tonight ??
Is it ??
Takes up so darn much time during the actual debate, and SOO much time to reload, for ‘nothing’ !!
We can slaughter them afterward, no ??
Pretty please ?????????

pambi on October 3, 2012 at 7:58 PM

i’m really nervous…cripe….

time to break out the beer….

*clink* everyone

cmsinaz on October 3, 2012 at 7:59 PM

What–you gonna Bogart here? Make me jealous, why don’t you?

You can’t have any of your stash if you didn’t bring enough for the rest of the class.

Liam on October 3, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Well if you roll up the windows, you can inhale all the smoke! :)

uncommon sense on October 3, 2012 at 7:59 PM

i’m really nervous…cripe….

time to break out the beer….

*clink* everyone

cmsinaz on October 3, 2012 at 7:59 PM

I find that Glenlivet helps calm the nerves :)

*clink*

uncommon sense on October 3, 2012 at 8:00 PM

and an aphrodisiac, Romney up 4 in battleground states per Politico–wowzer..

hillsoftx on October 3, 2012 at 8:00 PM

New poll..Romney up by 4 in toss up states.

Terrye on October 3, 2012 at 8:02 PM

uncommon sense on October 3, 2012 at 8:00 PM

hmmmmmm

maybe mr cmsinaz can make a quick trip to the store

cmsinaz on October 3, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Iran is in serious trouble right now. Their currency’s value has dropped by 50% and we are seeing major unrest. I will be seriously PO’d if the moderator does not ask about what the candidates will do. PBHO turned a blind eye to the green revolution and passed up a golden opportunity for the sake of appeasing the despots in charge. This should be a great time for Romney to bring that up and discuss how he would work to support the Iranian people and topple that regime.

MJBrutus on October 3, 2012 at 7:35 PM

.
If their currency has devalued that much, then it sounds like George Soros is already “on-the-job”.
And I’m not sure that’s necessarily a good thing, either.

listens2glenn on October 3, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Rush said he would be counting Obama’s lies and evaluating Mitt’s answers to them. He should have a full show tomorrow!

KCsecurity1976 on October 3, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Well if you roll up the windows, you can inhale all the smoke! :)

uncommon sense on October 3, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Touche!

+100

Liam on October 3, 2012 at 8:02 PM

and an aphrodisiac, Romney up 4 in battleground states per Politico–wowzer..

hillsoftx on October 3, 2012 at 8:00 PM

I did not see your post when I put mine up. Great minds think alike. I sure hope that poll is right.

Terrye on October 3, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Don’t you have a 1/4″ sheet of Lexan across the front of your screen?

I thought that was a requisite for us “political junkies”.

listens2glenn on October 3, 2012 at 7:56 PM

lol…learn to throw straight down in anger….makes clean-up easier and less expensive.

Tim_CA on October 3, 2012 at 8:03 PM

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