Milbank: Debate debacle the price for Obama’s refusal to engage press

posted at 2:51 pm on October 5, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier, I wrote that Ronald Brownstein had the best explanation for Barack Obama’s debate flop on Wednesday, but Dana Milbank has a pretty good analysis at the Washington Post, too.  Incumbents tend to live in White House bubbles, surrounded by people who tell them what they want to hear, as I noted before the debate.  However, this particular incumbent has spent the last three-plus years deliberately avoiding the press, which means he’s not at all used to having his wisdom challenged:

In the hours after the Republican challenger Mitt Romney embarrassed the incumbent in their first meeting, Obama loyalists expressed puzzlement that the incumbent had done badly. But Obama has only himself to blame, because he set himself up for Wednesday’s emperor-has-no-clothes moment. For the past four years, he has worked assiduously to avoid being questioned, maintaining a regal detachment from the media and other sources of dissent and skeptical inquiry.

Obama has set a modern record for refusal to be quizzed by the media, taking questions from reporters far less often than Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and even George W. Bush. Though his opponent in 2008 promised to take questions from lawmakers like the British prime minister does, Obama has shied from mixing it up with members of Congress, too. And, especially since Rahm Emanuel’s departure, Obama is surrounded by a large number of yes men who aren’t likely to get in his face.

This insularity led directly to the Denver debacle: Obama was out of practice and unprepared to be challenged. The White House had supposed that Obama’s forays into social media — town hall meetings with YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and the like — would replace traditional presidential communication. By relying on such venues, Obama’s argument skills atrophied, and he was ill-equipped to engage in old-fashioned give and take.

We’ve been talking about this for months.  Obama hasn’t had a full press conference in over six months.  He’s been focusing his individual attention on hard-hitting political news outlets like, er … Entertainment Tonight, People, and Glamour, a particularly apt outlet.  The White House press corps got so fed up in August that open rebellion broke out, with Jake Tapper taking the lead.  Obama briefly appeared without notice at a White House press briefing and took a few questions, only to return to the Tiger Beat circuit.

Milbank offers an optimistic assessment of Obama’s future debate performances:

Luckily for Obama, the debates are, as one adviser put it Thursday, “a three-game series.” Romney’s after-debate glow will likely fade as he attempts to explain his dubious assertions that he would not reduce taxes paid by the wealthy and that his tax cuts wouldn’t increase the deficit. But even if Obama ultimately prevails, he should remember Denver as a warning: He does himself no favors by hiding from tough questioning.

No doubt, Obama will prepare better for the next two debates. However, this isn’t something that can be fixed overnight, if Obama intends to fix it at all.  Has he held an open press conference in the last two days?  Will he do so before the next debate?  Obama is delivering the kinda-snappy comebacks literally a day late and figuratively a dollar short that he needed Wednesday night, but he’s putting them up on the Teleprompter to do so, too.

Obama has to be able to ad-lib those lines, not wait for them to scroll up.  He’s out of practice, and I doubt seriously that he’s going to subject himself to any tough questioning in the last four weeks of this election to bone up on how to do it.  And with the Obama administration finally getting around to admitting that terrorists successfully conducted an attack on our diplomatic mission in Benghazi, resulting in the first US Ambassador to be killed in the line of duty in 33 years, isn’t it very, very curious that our President has not appeared before the media and the American public to answer questions about that, at least?


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Romney scares the crap out of Obama; that’s why he failed so miserably. Romney knows that Obama is a half-stepper, and Obama knows that Romney knows.

claudius on October 5, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Shorter Obama: “Me love you long time”

BobMbx on October 5, 2012 at 3:37 PM

You owe me the beer I just spit.

Limerick on October 5, 2012 at 3:42 PM

OT: Romney closes gap with Obama to 2 points after debate: Reuters/Ipsos poll

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/05/us-usa-campaign-poll-idUSBRE8931E420121005

sentinelrules on October 5, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Sorry, but Rooters runs an online poll, so it’s worthless.

Del Dolemonte on October 5, 2012 at 3:42 PM

gee

almost makes Jay Carney and Robert Gibbs look credible

audiotom on October 5, 2012 at 3:43 PM

The picture in this article tells a million realities.

Schadenfreude on October 5, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Priceless!!!

JPeterman on October 5, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Lipstick on a pig . . .

One reason the president had a difficult debate, hardly mentioned, is that he’s trying to defend failed policies. Look at how Mitt Romney pounded the president over the IPAB. The president tried to clean it up, but the facts spoke for themselves.

Expect the president to have a rough foreign policy debate too, no matter how prepared he is. Egypt, Libya, Israel, Iran, Honduras, Russia (“Tell Vladimir . . .”) – the president has some major explaining to do.

The Bringer on October 5, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Obama: “I am above this. I am god. I don’t have to prepare for debates. I…”

Romney thrashes Obama: “Puny god.”

The Rogue Tomato on October 5, 2012 at 3:44 PM

That was my reaction when I saw that quote.

We’ve been negligible to him. He’s never really seen himself as President of the entire country—only there to help out himself and his cronies.

INC on October 5, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Somebody on that campaign must have woken up from their Nate Silver-induced coma and realized that he can’t win a liberal-base election. Romney just stole his lunch money with independents. Now he’s scrambing to pretend he wants to be everyone’s president, but all he wants is a few independent votes to drag him opver the finish line. Woe to us if people fall for that BS.

This is absolutely the first time EVER that he has mentioned the Tea Party in anything but totally derisive terms. Less than a month before the election.

Panic much?

rockmom on October 5, 2012 at 3:45 PM

“If only he watched more MSNBC!”, screams Chris Matthews. “If only he had let us ask him the tough questions,” pontificates Dana Milbank.

Like what?

“Yes, Mr. President, but you haven’t given us the details of how you keep your slacks pressed so sharply…are you covering up a scandal at a local dry cleaners?”

“Mr. President, can you explain your choice to through a looping curve ball on the first pitch? Everyone knows the first pitch is a down and in fastball…did you miss the sign?”

“Mr. President, we heard rumors from yesterday that you improved your lie in the fairway. Under the Rules of Golf, rule 13-2 a player is not allowed to improve the lie with a few exceptions. Did your lie meet one of those exceptions, or did you record the two stroke penalty?”

BobMbx on October 5, 2012 at 3:45 PM

For the past four years, he has worked assiduously to avoid being questioned, maintaining a regal detachment from the media and other sources of dissent and skeptical inquiry.

Yes because never in the history of a free press has relentless front-page, lead-the-broadcast demands by the media for answers ever led to any.

It’s not so much that Obama avoided questions as the questioners avoided questioning.

Robin Banks on October 5, 2012 at 3:47 PM

UltimateBob on October 5, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Obama is Costanza – heh!

22044 on October 5, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Why should bho meet with the press? You probably would ask him, does he have white or seiu purple undies? The press is useless, they do not want answers to important questions and if they asked one bho would on a ten minute speech that says nothing? About what carney, cutter, and the others out taking questions for bho does!
L

letget on October 5, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Expect the president to have a rough foreign policy debate too, no matter how prepared he is. Egypt, Libya, Israel, Iran, Honduras, Russia (“Tell Vladimir . . .”) – the president has some major explaining to do.

The Bringer on October 5, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Romney has always been the kind of guy BO despises. I was hoping and praying that Romney would get under Barry’s skin during the debate, and he did.

All Mitt has to do in the foreign policy debate is get BO to explain who he is and where his allegiances lie given the decisions he has made.

Should be a piece of cake. I think Mitt knows.

Cody1991 on October 5, 2012 at 3:49 PM

I’d pay cash money to sit down with Bill Clinton for five minutes to get his take on Barry’s performance at the debate.

Dack Thrombosis on October 5, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Calling it now:

Romney/Ryan will go 4-0 in the debates!

22044 on October 5, 2012 at 3:51 PM

More likely the press’ lips engaged to Oblamer’s posterior made him fully unprepared for a thrashing from real questions from a vastly smarter opponent.

viking01 on October 5, 2012 at 3:52 PM

“… he has worked assiduously to avoid being questioned, maintaining a regal detachment from the media and other sources of dissent and skeptical inquiry.”

Ahhh…

… the good ‘ol days.

Seven Percent Solution on October 5, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Calling it now:
Romney/Ryan will go 4-0 in the debates!

Good call! DITTO!
L

letget on October 5, 2012 at 3:54 PM

You owe me the beer I just spit.

Limerick on October 5, 2012 at 3:42 PM

If its a Miller or a Budweiser product, you’re on. If its one of those room temperature, aged, horse piss beers from Europe…thats your tough luck.

BobMbx on October 5, 2012 at 3:54 PM

I’d pay cash money to sit down with Bill Clinton for five minutes to get his take on Barry’s performance at the debate.

Dack Thrombosis on October 5, 2012 at 3:50 PM

I can’t stand Bill but he generally has good political acumen. I would very much like to hear him unload without him worrying about the conversation getting out.

arnold ziffel on October 5, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Oh, shoot, I forgot. On F & F this morning, they showed an NBC clip of The Won jauntily descending the steps of AFO while they said that Obama had prepared longer and harder for the debate than any other president. I actually found it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf9mbzuCHJw&feature=youtu.be

What a difference a failed debate can make!

Cindy Munford on October 5, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Guinness is excepted. Scots don’t consider themselves European. They consider themselves….Scots.

BobMbx on October 5, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Honestly, he’s got some serious mental issues. For instance, who goes around bowing to people. The guy needs a caseworker.

JellyToast on October 5, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Oh, shoot, I forgot. On F & F this morning, they showed an NBC clip of The Won jauntily descending the steps of AFO while they said that Obama had prepared longer and harder for the debate than any other president. I actually found it.

Actually, the quote is “Obama had prepared longer and harder for the debate than any other president in the modern era“, which is of course true. Now that we are being fundamentally changed, all presidencies prior are antiquated and pre-modern. But mostly just unenlightened.

BobMbx on October 5, 2012 at 3:59 PM

OMFG… Obama just said “if you are independent, Republican, Tea Partier, I want to be your President too.”

Think Romney’s leap to the center in the debate and those high voter responses to his bipartisan record had an impact?

Romney’s in his head now.

rockmom on October 5, 2012 at 3:17 PM

I will NEVER forget!

MontanaMmmm on October 5, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Sorry Milbank, This is due to the Messiah’s refusal to deal with an opinion that’s not his own or part of his Extreme Ideology! The Pseudo-intellectual, cannot and will not engage to defend his 100yrs of failure. The only thing the Ideology allows for is suppression of speech!
Final Update for following:How to take on the Obama Enemy media: http://paratisiusa.blogspot.com/2012/09/an-open-letter-to-those-who-should-know.html?spref=tw

God Bless America!

paratisi on October 5, 2012 at 4:01 PM

All Mitt has to do in the foreign policy debate is get BO to explain who he is and where his allegiances lie given the decisions he has made.

Cody1991 on October 5, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Spot on. That’s a pre-made poop cake ready to explode in Obama’s face.

It’s another aspect of the unchallenged, media-free-pass Obama that has never been questioned or tested.

Django on October 5, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Guinness is excepted. Scots don’t consider themselves European. They consider themselves….Scots.

BobMbx on October 5, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Guinness is Irish.

Joe Mama on October 5, 2012 at 4:02 PM

I will NEVER forget!

MontanaMmmm on October 5, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Mmm, well you forgot the http code.

Django on October 5, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Guinness is excepted. Scots don’t consider themselves European. They consider themselves….Scots.

BobMbx on October 5, 2012 at 3:55 PM

“The trouble with Scotland is that it’s full of Scots.”
/Edward “the Longshanks”

Bitter Clinger on October 5, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Obama is hiding in the open, it’s quite obvious, he’d rather party with the adoring elites.

mixplix on October 5, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Mmm, well you forgot the http code.

Django on October 5, 2012 at 4:03 PM

opp’s I’ll try again, my laptops been freezing on me, thanks.

http://www.thenextright.com/kmorrison/obama-on-people-who-wave-tea-bags-around

MontanaMmmm on October 5, 2012 at 4:10 PM

I find it amusing most on the Left are saying “wait til next time”. Seriously, they think he will do better? Here is a guy who can’t talk without a teleprompter, can’t standed being questioned, and ultimately is on the wrong side of all the issues.

Tater Salad on October 5, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Historically, town halls are rough on republicans, where the press can stack the audience with socialists.

Remember, 1992 and the pony tailed guy “treat us like your children?”

Oy vey.

lorien1973 on October 5, 2012 at 2:57 PM

I have very little expectation that the town hall format of the second debate will be of use in differentiating the contenders. The questions will be superfluous, as foolish as determining the winner of American Idol.

Obysmal craves audience feedback to build his ego and to give himself electability/likability momentum. One of the several reasons that he failed in the Wednesday first debate was that the spectators were not allowed to respond.

onlineanalyst on October 5, 2012 at 4:11 PM

I think that Romney has the psychological upper hand with Obama. Obama was cowed, looked cowed and showed that he isn’t up to the task at hand. He will be like the football player that has taken a couple of hard hits, he will be hearing those foot steps rather they are there or not. Obama, next time, will try to come out as top dog, Mr. Cool..you can’t touch me but it won’t last long he isn’t that strong.

Engrpat on October 5, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Guinness is Irish.

Joe Mama on October 5, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Ireland, a wholly owned subsidiary of Scotland.

BobMbx on October 5, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Milbank is a leftist hack and always has been. “Dubious” claims about not cutting taxes for the wealthy? Romney clearly explained that he will only support reform that does not lower the share of the tax burden borne by the top earners OR increase the net taxes to the middle.

The idea of simplification is to eliminate the economic distortion caused by the rent-seekers and special interests. Sure, breaks and deductions are popular with those who get them, but they are ALL subsidized by the taxpayers who don’t get them.

For instance, it’s a lovely thing that mortgage interest is deductible, but why should a young struggling family or singles who can only rent be asked to subsidize those better off who can buy?

It’s a simple concept, Milbanks knows fully well how it works. He chooses to lie and deceive to promote his leftist views.

Adjoran on October 5, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Romney is so good now at debating and unmatched at knowing everything about an issue, he will go directly to the people, whatever the question.

I expect the Dancing Vaginas in the audience demanding their condoms, though a man hasn’t chosen to be between their legs for decades.

Typicalwhitewoman on October 5, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Like what?

“Yes, Mr. President, but you haven’t given us the details of how you keep your slacks pressed so sharply…are you covering up a scandal at a local dry cleaners?”

“Mr. President, can you explain your choice to through a looping curve ball on the first pitch? Everyone knows the first pitch is a down and in fastball…did you miss the sign?”

“Mr. President, we heard rumors from yesterday that you improved your lie in the fairway. Under the Rules of Golf, rule 13-2 a player is not allowed to improve the lie with a few exceptions. Did your lie meet one of those exceptions, or did you record the two stroke penalty?”

BobMbx on October 5, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Hell, even those questions would be too tough as far as the media’s concerned, and thus out of bounds and racist.

Anything tougher than “Can I sit here and massage your thighs while you eat, Mr. President?” falls into that category.

Gator Country on October 5, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Prediction: Odumbo is not going to show up for the next two debates!

Wanna know why? Doesn’t want to face: 1)Better opponent 2) The truth 3)The consequences of his fantasy football league approach to foreign affairs/policy 4)The jacked up expectations of partners in the media

johnnybgood on October 5, 2012 at 4:44 PM

He is a president, not a king.

Ya think?

PattyJ on October 5, 2012 at 4:48 PM

These people have sold their souls and will not allow him to fail.

Cindy Munford on October 5, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Yup. That nails it.

Cleombrotus on October 5, 2012 at 5:10 PM

See the liberals have to make this fake admission, that little Bammie make a tiny little error by ‘refusing to engage the press’. They won’t face the truth, that little Bammie is just a dumbass promoted far, far beyond his extremely modest capabilities and intelligence.

slickwillie2001 on October 5, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Obama’s argument skills atrophied

What a load of BS! Idiots like Milbank still give this bozo credit for abilities he doesn’t have.

The only “ability” Barry has in that he can read a Teleprompter.

GarandFan on October 5, 2012 at 5:11 PM

So, the assessment by people in the media is, “it’s because he never talks to us in the media.”

Seems a bit of a self-serving explanation.

Yes, it’s true that Obama never really gets his beliefs challenged. But it’s laughable to claim that the media would be challenging his beliefs.

The last thing Obama really needs is people who reinforce the conventional wisdom. They think just like him, so I seriously doubt they would challenge him on much of anything.

tom on October 5, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Enough of the excuses. Obama wasn’t rusty or suffering from altitude sickness. Obama simply met with a force that illustrated to all but the willfully blind the vacuousness of his decisions and the results of his disastrous policies. The high school smile, the hip manner, the manufactured life story, an in the tank press and the preferred color of the decade may have got him to the Oval Office but it won’t keep him there. Face it, he’s a just celebrity, a one trick pony, not a serious results orientated doer. A year from now we’ll be saying, “Barack, who?”.

“Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” ~ George Washington

SpiderMike on October 5, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Cindy Munford on October 5, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Good catch. Everybody should watch the video you found.

Obama prepared hard for the debate but when he goofed it up the libs lie and say he wasn’t practiced enough.

Or that he didn’t take enough questions from the press.

When the press asks Barry a question it is never hard hitting anyway.

The press might even try to blame the press for Barry’s failures.

SparkPlug on October 5, 2012 at 5:21 PM

These MSM worms are trying to save their own skin. They know he’s toast and I would imagine they now realize that they have lost any shred of credibility they once had.

Time for New Media to overtake these butt kissing dinosaurs.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Key West Reader on October 5, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Dana, you’ve had his dick in your mouth for four years. Good to hear your voice, though…

Jaibones on October 5, 2012 at 5:37 PM

To think Obama will do better in the next two debates assumes that he will actually do more work to prepare.

rockmom on October 5, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Can he really do any worse?

His problem is, he can’t do well enough to make up for the last one. He has to try to make up ground and be aggressive, without looking angry or hostile. That requires both good humor and the ability to make a good case on the facts. I believe he can pull off the first, but the second is probably beyond him.

Making up that lost ground will require him to walk a tightrope, and it’s not like Romney is just going to stand by and let him.

But let’s not forget that the first debate focused on the economy, where he is abysmally ignorant. No wonder he bombed.

tom on October 5, 2012 at 5:38 PM

johnnybgood on October 5, 2012 at 4:44 PM

100%. There won’t be anymore debates. Teh Won knows he can’t stand up to Romney, and he is waaaaaay too proud to risk another public humiliation like that. Book it.

smellthecoffee on October 5, 2012 at 5:46 PM

I seriously doubt GaffeTastic Slow-Joe Biden, whose mouth has no connection to his brain, can rescue Obama in the VP debate. Paul Ryan will deliver him an azz-whuppin’ so bad he’ll wish he was back against Sarah Palin, when at least Biden could enjoy the view.

Hey Joe, how does the broken middle class like your trillion-dollar tax hike?

Steve Z on October 5, 2012 at 3:39 PM

I imagine they’ve already written their summaries for the VP debate: “Joe Biden held his own against a much younger and more aggressive challenger in the debate.”

They had to pretend that Biden won against Sarah Palin, because they spent so much time deriding her as a lightweight. So they didn’t have the “held his own” option last time.

But with Ryan, the expectation will be that Ryan has the edge, and Biden only has to show up and keep talking to “hold his own.”

tom on October 5, 2012 at 5:47 PM

A skill developed and successfully employed for decade can’t atrophy.

Ability to study does not wither away if one is working.

Capacity to discipline to practice does not dissipate or decreases if one is working sincerely.

Anyone working ethically — that is putting in the effort worth the pay and perks s/he receives from his/her employer and putting her employer’s best interest first, or at least on par with his/her own interest — would have been engaged enough to have his/her skill, ability and capacity sustained, if not sharpened.

Anyone caring about his/her job and respect his/her employers and colleagues would not show up unprepared at meeting which has tremendous potential in him/her losing the job and his/her employers and peers’ reputation tarnished.

Obama is not what he’s been sold. He is lazy and unethical, as well as arrogant. He is 14 years younger than Mr. Romney. Yet Mr. Romney came well prepared, evidently with intense practice, which in turn evidences the fantastic skill level, ability, capacity, ethic and care.

I am independent. The right is not doing itself big favor by compromising with the left where Obama is concerned. Obama has odiously treacherous a character. Do point it out, loudly and repeatedly.

vnohara on October 5, 2012 at 6:21 PM

The whole insulation thing was by design, not by accident.

Had he been subject to any sort of real scrutiny, this whole charade of a presidency would have crumbled much sooner rather than lasting this long.

Even the completely corrupt MSM can only defend or cover up so much, which is evident by how quickly they all threw Obama under the bus after the debate.

The indefensible level of failure has been there all along. But the media acts shocked and horrified when it’s actually displayed in a venue they can’t spin cover up, or otherwise control.

Oxymoron on October 5, 2012 at 6:29 PM

There won’t be anymore debates. Teh Won knows he can’t stand up to Romney, and he is waaaaaay too proud to risk another public humiliation like that.

I disagree. O cannot allow his performance in this week’s debate be the last and only impression of his debating skills leading up to the election. He MUST try to replace the conventional wisdom that has already set in, that Romney took him to the cleaners.

Mayday on October 5, 2012 at 8:24 PM

I have a much easier explanation for his massive shellacking in the debate: Progressive ideals and ideals suck, and any rational capitalist can let that light shine.

Freelancer on October 5, 2012 at 8:30 PM

…ideas and ideals…

PIMF

Freelancer on October 5, 2012 at 8:31 PM

OMFG… Obama just said “if you are independent, Republican, Tea Partier, I want to be your President too.”

The correct response, as an independent Republican Tea Partier, is:

You are my President, too. You have been my President for more than three years. You will continue to be my President for about three and a half more months.

ClintACK on October 6, 2012 at 1:18 AM

By relying on such venues, Obama’s argument skills atrophied, and he was ill-equipped to engage in old-fashioned give and take.

1. The man never had skills…you were blinded by personality.

2. “Give and Take” don’t exist for this petulant child-king, there’s only Him.

Now why don’t you leftist scum in the media go back to asking him “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?”, and slip quietly back into your delusions while the rest of us get to electing a new administration so we don’t all starve.

a5minmajor on October 6, 2012 at 8:59 AM

It goes deeper than atrophy of skills (which he never possessed): Romney is O’s worst nightmare. He is genuinely intelligent (which O isn’t), accomplished (ditto), principled (ditto), and truly loves the country (which O doesn’t).

Pest on October 6, 2012 at 9:16 AM

If Dana Milbank or anyone else thinks Obama will hold press conferences now or if he gets reelected, they’re dreaming. Obama has gotten away with being AWOL to the press. It would be nice if they’d finally realize that he used them as he has used so many others on his “free ride to the top” = they think they’re controlling O and he thinks he’s controlling them. Doesn’t matter – the nation is in dire straits; the world is on the verge of more problems (thanks to O’s desire to make us a 3rd class nation) and our press still covers for him.

It’s time the press took their jobs and First Amendment rights seriously If Obama gets reelected, they may very well wish they had taken their responsibilities seriously prior to this election. It is quite possible that if reelectied, it will only be a matter of time before the First Amendment rights are squelched.

MN J on October 6, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Romney/Ryan will go 4-0 in the debates!

i think the MSM will at best call a draw or win for Obama.

gerrym51 on October 6, 2012 at 9:54 AM

So Milbank thinks that after four years of verbal and mental sloth, and getting creamed in a debate that he was terrified of, Superman Obama is about to break out. Milbank refuted that assumption in his own text, but didn’t offer the reason, Obama is dumb, get it, Dumb !
A change in format may help the poor dope, may, but does anybody think Romney will be standing still ?

arand on October 6, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Guinness is Irish.

Joe Mama on October 5, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Ireland, a wholly owned subsidiary of Scotland.

BobMbx on October 5, 2012 at 4:23 PM

I’ll call your Guinness and raise you a Murphy’s.

I like my beer like I like my women . . . cold, dark, and bitter.

tpitman on October 6, 2012 at 10:18 AM

They create him as a messiah, pump up his narcissist ego beyond the stratosphere, protect and coddle him, do his fighting for him and then dare to blame him for not dialoguing with him?

That’s like the bank blaming a robber for taking the money after they left the doors and the vault open and put a “help-yourself” sign on the front lawn.

Don L on October 6, 2012 at 11:11 AM

I like my beer like I like my women . . . cold, dark, and bitter.

tpitman on October 6, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Some might add–”empty!”

Don L on October 6, 2012 at 11:13 AM

That’s not even half the story…If the media would cover the stories they should cover, and not try and sanitize and spin every news piece Obamao’s way, it’d bring the whole endeavor up possibly to passably ethical. Having corrupted the process of the real role of the press, it’s no wonder Obamao walked in with sky high hubris.

bill glass on October 6, 2012 at 11:21 AM

This all boils down to two words …

FOX News

Obama has bee a pussy for not appearing in the FOXNews debate in Las Vegas back in 2008 and has not appeared on FOXNews, except for one O’Reilly appearance, since.
He answers only questions metaphorically equivalent to the way he pitches a baseball .. JV girl’s softball.

J_Crater on October 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Will somebody please explain to me why the BO campaign wanted Romney to be the GOP nominee?

Because that is what happened, right?

The MFM went out of their way in the primaries to marginalize all of Romney’s opponents until Romney won.

Or would it have mattered? I’m thinking that any of them…yes, maybe even the goofy Herman Cain…could out debate this clown.

But they actually wanted it to be Romney. And now the MFM is pretty pissed off about it.

It’s hard out there for a pimp.

trapeze on October 6, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Is it really true that almost 50% of this country’s population could even consider voting for this incompetent socialist egomaniac?

Objective history will show that in 2008 the free market, home of the brave, United States White House was at the beginning of a socialist/extreme leftist occupation. This upcoming vote will either continue that reign to our extreme detriment or reflect the beginning of the day America was rescued from the stagnating hands of the socialist machine.

At least for the time being? God help us.

DWoDiego on October 6, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Obama has to be able to ad-lib those lines, not wait for them to scroll up. He’s out of practice, and I doubt seriously that he’s going to subject himself to any tough questioning in the last four weeks of this election to bone up on how to do it.

You’re barking up the wrong tree.

Obumbles can’t run on his failed record…..he’s got nothing.

It was always going to be a “deflect and blame” debate strategy from the Obama team.

Predictably…..when outmatched by an informed and prepared adversary…..his straw-men were quickly burned to the ground, and he was schooled.

Ad-libbed one-liners are the least of his worries.

Tim_CA on October 6, 2012 at 3:23 PM

I’ll say it again–

“If you don’t have any ammunition, you can’t shoot your gun”

Romney in a Landslide!

NOMOBO on October 6, 2012 at 5:56 PM

By relying on such venues, Obama’s argument skills atrophied

No, the deficiency wasn’t one of debating skills. The deficiency was one of knowledge of facts and understanding of how the economy works. The deficiency was not one of packaging. It was one of content.

…this isn’t something that can be fixed overnight, if Obama intends to fix it at all.

Ya got that right. Even after almost four years in the White House, the man is still an economics illiterate. That won’t be fixed overnight.

In the next debates, the best Øbama can expect to do is flabbergast Romney with the audacity of his lies. Alinsky 101.

petefrt on October 6, 2012 at 6:28 PM

“If you don’t have any ammunition, you can’t shoot your gun”

NOMOBO on October 6, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Well done. In the debate, it wasn’t that his aim was bad. It was that he had no bullets.

petefrt on October 6, 2012 at 6:30 PM

The left suddenly realizes, to their horror, that the incompetent they put in office is truly incompetent!!!

He really doesn’t understand what he’s doing and really doesn’t know what is going on in his own administration. Consequently, he’ll always be lost without someone feeding him lines via the TOTUS.

landlines on October 6, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Obama was voted in by a liberal press and white-guilt. He has few skills beyond the average TV anchor-man, so his debate performance was not surprising. But there’s more to it than ability.

He’s personally bored and doesn’t like the job, but he’s robotically committed to it. It would really look bad if he gave it all up and went on The View permanently, maybe touring with Jay-Z, or whoever is the thug-of-the-moment.

If he could make the presidency more like show-business – high-living, media attention, no criticism or accountability then he would be happy. He’s definitely tried to make that a feature of his tenure, but he will be secretly relieved to hand over all of these tough problems and move into a glittering retirement.

He could not talk about the economy because he’s bored by it. Campaigning is what interests him and specifically “does this or that group like me?” If Jim Lehrer had asked about basketball, Obama would have come to life, and the audience would have loved him. Too bad it’s not an election issue.

virgo on October 7, 2012 at 12:35 PM

If there is a chance that the leftist message is in danger of being rejected, the left will turn on the messenger rather than accept that their message is being rejected. Case in point, Obama couldn’t deliver the message because of the altitude, or he was rusty or he was tired, or he wasn’t trying etc., etc., etc. They will NEVER admit that what he had to say is just flat out wrong or unacceptable to the American people.

txmomof6 on October 7, 2012 at 12:51 PM

However, this particular incumbent has spent the last three-plus years deliberately avoiding the press, which means he’s not at all used to having his wisdom challenged:

This is true, except the assumption about having wisdom

Obama needs a script more than someone like a Palin, because he has woven a complicated web of fibs. Had Obama given himself permission to speak what he really thought, and what he really intended, he would not have stalled. He probably does well behind the curtain with his radical buddies

His problem is the complex facade he and his handlers created to promote the deconstruction of a nation by pretending to be working at a rescue. He needs to use lawyerly language to avoid tripping on his own statements and he is no F Lee Baily. He is well suited to orate a script, and knows when to pause for applause, but the web is too deep because he said too much, spent too much, and failed too often to perform the minimum expected, for instance in shows of compassion, to hold together the contradictions

Simple honesty, is the reason Palin is so articulate and can craft a speech on the fly, even on a bad day. Debate is a second art form, and a good speaker can be tricked into a weak showing, but a good speaker with a bogus history has got to spend the debate weaving and ducking while appearing to be making punches

Many a third rate pol has that particular skill, but Obama lacks the street smarts. You dont have to win the argument, you just have to please your audience, as Sharpton has understood for years

However, Sharpton plays to his audience only, while Obama set himself up as the man of all seasons

An honest man is worth a thousand pretenders

entagor on October 8, 2012 at 12:43 AM

It may be that President Obama’s limited experience with open debate goes back farther back than his presidency.

Reason TV interviewed Richard Epstein (Chicago where Obama lectured for awhile) about Obama in 2010 and one thing, before the midpoint in the interview, Epstein said was that Obama really didn’t engage in the intellectual discourse among the faculty as he was busy with his own agenda/things. Epstein said that if you don’t go around and discuss your views with knowledgeable colleagues you don’t get exposure to opposing views which can then, at least, force one to think things through.

Given his apparent drubbing in the first debate, we can be sure that Obama will try harder in the next debate.

Russ808 on October 8, 2012 at 2:41 AM

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