Why Obama is likely to blow the second debate too

posted at 9:21 pm on October 15, 2012 by J.E. Dyer

The short answer is: because he’s got nothing.  There is no record to run on, no argument to make for four more years.  The ideology that drives him is outdated and bankrupt.  He has, in fact, implemented his policies – Republicans have had little means of stopping him – and those policies are the problem.

But there’s a slightly longer answer too.  Obama’s advisors will read the mainstream media assessment of the vice-presidential debate – they actually think a debate that turned women across America off of Biden was a draw, or a Biden win – and conclude that what the president needs to do is find his inner Joe Biden.  Appeal to his base by going on the attack, perhaps interrupting, being visibly annoyed at the trend of Romney’s statements, and vigorously asserting untruths in the interest of racking up effective soundbites.

Petulant attack-doggery isn’t Obama’s style, so I don’t predict that he will simply adopt the Biden posture for this week’s debate.  What I do think is that Obama and his handlers will be looking to enhance the president’s trademark pace and balance in public speaking (which does descend rather often into a sonorous drone) with more Biden-like spice.  This won’t come naturally to Obama, any more than his occasionally put-on “black accent” sounds natural.  It’s not who he is, and he won’t be good at it.

Of course, the townhall format this week can be worked to Obama’s advantage, and no doubt will be.   Obama need not be thrown softballs, but he will get questions framed to suit the answers he is likely to have – and he probably won’t be troubled much with questions framed in a confrontational manner.

Romney probably will be.  He will have to think more quickly on his feet, turning hostile questions into jumping-off points for getting his message across, while conveying a sense of goodwill and avoiding red herrings.  If there is a “silly question” for the debaters – say, “If you were an Oscar-winning movie, which one would you be?” – it may well be barbed with false implications about conservatism, Republicans, or even Romney himself.

Romney will have more choices to make in his approach and substance.  There are a lot of things he could say; what will be the most effective?  We can reasonably suppose he will perform again as well as he did in Debate 1.

Obama doesn’t have those choices, because he’s trying to stay in office – to tend cronies and inflict ideological constraints on the people – using arguments that don’t accurately represent what he’s been doing for nearly four years.  He has no intention of changing course, regardless of what the current course is inflicting on the American people.  Yet he can’t argue in the campaign for his current course – at least not to anyone but his base – because it is so ridden with failure and the scent of corruption.  Americans continue to turn against his signature legislation, ObamaCare, and even the New York Times is beginning to doubt the effectiveness of his foreign policy.

So we can expect to hear more about Romney giving a “$5 trillion tax break” to the richest Americans, along with the other canards about Romney-Ryan policy (e.g., tossing Grandma off the cliff) being trotted out over and over by the Obama campaign.  These mendacious soundbites have lost their impact, but what else does Obama have?  Personal attacks on Romney?

If the president makes a decision on retaliating in Libya before Tuesday night, he may be able to speak at the debate from a perspective of putative decisiveness, the commander-in-chief moving forces around.  A new line of tactical operations would blunt Romney’s justifiable criticism of how the White House has handled the whole matter.  I don’t foresee this dynamic winning the debate for Obama – a belated military response has little hope of trumping the public’s nearer-to-home concern about the US economy, the national debt, and constitutional freedoms – but if it comes off, it will probably be gratifying for his Amen corner in the MSM.

Gratifying them is not enough, however.  Whether he plays to his base or the MSM, Obama will not be playing to the constituency that matters: the majority of likely voters.  His appeal to that constituency in 2008 depended on his being an unknown quantity, and that’s what he no longer is.  Obama doesn’t have any more tricks in his bag.  This is it.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at The Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Weekly Standard online, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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Obama will desperately spend the next 24 hours searching Google Earth for some terrorists to take out, hoping to “wag the dog”.

He’ll mistakenly “drone” a truck stop on Interstate 10.

Benghazi?! I thought you said Benson, Az…

…Then he’ll blame some obscure video (something about nukes):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbbYn7d_W8s

MichaelGabriel on October 15, 2012 at 10:41 PM

Remind me Kool, how did that work out for Daniel?

Bmore on October 15, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Pretty bad. Just like Shadrack, Meshak and Abidnigo didn’t want to be in the hot pot.
Like my fractured bible stories?

arnold ziffel on October 15, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Remind me Kool, how did that work out for Daniel?

Bmore on October 15, 2012 at 10:36 PM

…but we got that result straight from the Bible! …um..er…the networks and other news media doesn’t spell…B i b l e !

KOOLAID2 on October 15, 2012 at 10:43 PM

All I know is that I will be nervous until this ‘debate’ is done.

mathgal60 on October 15, 2012 at 10:49 PM

Why is John Kerry playing Obama’s debate opponent?

Mr. Ed isn’t challenging Baracky.

fogw on October 15, 2012 at 10:49 PM

It’s not a caricature. I freely admit it. I don’t care if you starve, it you are able bodied and just a liberal commie. No more head games will work. You USE the downtrodden to steal with the force of a totalitarian gubmint. The poor stay poor. You never actually help them. You just enslave them more and more.

We are not all in this together. Some of us get history very well and understand completely your game. It’s not new.

wolly4321 on October 15, 2012 at 10:49 PM

arnold ziffel on October 15, 2012 at 10:42 PM

I remember growing up, my Mothers bible had a beautiful color plate of this. Daniel. I would stare at it, amazed by the look of the lions.

Bmore on October 15, 2012 at 10:50 PM

Bmore on October 15, 2012 at 10:50 PM

Very nice. Saved it in my favs.

arnold ziffel on October 15, 2012 at 10:52 PM

Or maybe an audience full of this type of character.
Anyone remember young Einstein here?

justltl on October 15, 2012 at 10:53 PM

Thanks J.E., always a nice read. ; )

Bmore on October 15, 2012 at 10:54 PM

There is no record to run on

http://whattheheckhasobamadonesofar.com/

triple on October 15, 2012 at 10:56 PM

Nope, nope and nope.

Super Mitt is NOT a politician in the career sense of the word. His confidence comes from his life’s experience success – not a fawning media and voter adoration. In the one on one (or the 4 on 1)debate format, he has to hold his ground – get a little tough and pushback– and thats what he did.

But given the town hall format- he will use the opportunity to talk directly to the American people, and not waste that time figthing the media generated reality they try to push. He will spin out of the 47% web just fine. He will not go negative tomorrow night – Hopey will want a turdfest – but Mitt will not have any of it in front of an interactive audience. That Shiite slinging is reserved for those who wallow in thug politics.

Mitt will show the American people what their future can be- and let Olinsky find his inner Joe Biden and desperately toss his turds.

FlaMurph on October 15, 2012 at 10:57 PM

Julio, still a foolio? Probably.

Bmore on October 15, 2012 at 11:00 PM

I remember growing up, my Mothers bible had a beautiful color plate of this. Daniel. I would stare at it, amazed by the look of the lions.

Bmore on October 15, 2012 at 10:50 PM

.
I was always told that Daniel was a dentist……and he pulled the lions teeth !

FlaMurph on October 15, 2012 at 11:00 PM

Resist We Much

What?? That’s all you’ve got?!?!

/

I hope you feel better after that vent! Awesome!

Jackalope on October 15, 2012 at 11:02 PM

you’reI’m suffering from a severe anal/cranial inversion. The ideology that drives him is we’re all in this together,I’m TEH WON and I’m too good for all you bitter clingers! he’s tried to work with trample Republicans with his radical Marxist agenda and just keeps coming up against a big wall of He!!No.
The RepublicanObammunist party has nothing. It has become simply an instrument the wealthy Marxists try to wield to lower their raise everyone else’s tax bill, and buy the moocher vote Romney is the blunt business end (pun intended) of that instrument America’s only hope for survival. The Romney/Ryan ticket can’t even make their basic math work, or even explain their math creams the Obama/Biden ticket on every issue!

You’d better hope Obama has another uncharacteristically typically off day or America is in for a real wicked hangover.

Constantine on October 15, 2012 at 10:22 PM

FIFY Copronymous! That was fun!

Benedict Nelson on October 15, 2012 at 11:04 PM

What?? That’s all you’ve got?!?!

/

I hope you feel better after that vent! Awesome!

Jackalope on October 15, 2012 at 11:02 PM

lol

Resist We Much on October 15, 2012 at 11:05 PM

Obama likely to blow some cocaine and dine on dog too.

tom daschle concerned on October 15, 2012 at 11:20 PM

Constantine on October 15, 2012 at 10:22 PM

…Hey LOOK!…^^^…a new dumbazz!
Someone forget to flush the toilet?

KOOLAID2 on October 15, 2012 at 10:38 PM

Copronymus has been trolling the site for a long time. It just doesn’t show its ugly mug as often as some of the other trolls.

Benedict Nelson on October 15, 2012 at 11:23 PM

I wouldn’t count Obama out. Biden played a strong hand when he questioned Ryan with, “What would you have done differently?” Especially when discussing foreign relations. Ryan had few specifics to offer. If Obama plays that line, and Romney doesn’t have pitch-perfect answers, it spells trouble.

The Resolute Desk on October 15, 2012 at 11:29 PM

I think Obama will go on the Biden attack style. Look, he plays golf and he’s not worth a turd at that either.

rik on October 15, 2012 at 11:32 PM

Obama has the kind of voice that does not raise well. Raising his voice just adds to its douchiness.

Sharke on October 15, 2012 at 11:38 PM

I expect Obama to try and once again attach some blame to Romney; this time for Hillary having to be tossed under the bus for the Libya fiasco. “You know…..aaaaaahhhhh…..If Governor Romney..hadn’t spoken up about Benghazi….then Secretary Clinton wouldn’t have to have been tossed under the bus……this is just..ahhh…another example of how Governor Romney…ahhhh…hates women.”

The_Basseteer on October 15, 2012 at 11:41 PM

Don’t count 0bama out. I expect him to look into the camera and say something like ‘I’ve spent my whole career in public service trying to help people. Romney has spent almost his entire career trying to make money – not that there’s anything wrong with that – but who do you trust to look out for people like you?’

His constant failures have worn on his image, but 0bama has more visceral appeal than Romney.

Lou Budvis on October 16, 2012 at 12:13 AM

Obama’s whole schtick:

47%!

Banning abortion!

5 trillion in tax hikes!

Forbidding birth control!

Ending social security and medicare!

Only taking care of the filthy, rotten rich!

profitsbeard on October 16, 2012 at 12:22 AM

I already voted in Santa Clara County, CA via absentee ballot. The registrar of voters shows they have received my ballot and counted it. I ended up not voting for anybody in the presidential section. Sorry pals, I cannot vote for RINOs; the picking of Ted Olson to coach Paul Ryan was the last straw. If Romney felt it was OK to pick this guy, who has spent the last 3 years working to nullify the will of the people of California on traditional marriage, I think he cannot be trusted once he reaches the top office of the land. I despise Obama from the deepest of my heart as well but I cannot vote for such a traitor in good conscience. God bless the USA!

p_incorrect on October 16, 2012 at 1:02 AM

Man I’m nervous! I’m thinking that the next debate will be rigged and Obama will come out looking like the winner. Let’s hope the “undecideds” don’t decide from this debate or that the capricious independents don’t go back to Obama in the swing states.

Decoski on October 16, 2012 at 1:14 AM

If I were Mitt, I would have rejoinders to all of the Obama campaign’s attacks locked and loaded, and then have a nice little bag of new tricks that they haven’t seen before. Romney is simply and plainly quicker on his feet than Obama, and he needs to use that to his advantage. Get Obama off of his prepared script, and then just keep hitting him from different angles. Obama won’t be able to adapt and adjust quicky enough and before he knows what’s happening, the debate is over. Romney can definitely do it, we saw from the first debate that he’s fast and nimble with his thoughts and words.

Progressive Heretic on October 16, 2012 at 1:15 AM

That Constenteen sure is a sweetie.

Bmore on October 16, 2012 at 1:22 AM

Very well put. All Obama has is attacking Romney falsely. He cannot run on his record. How can a President not campaign on his most significant legislative achievements, ObamaCare and sequestration?

You are also correct that Obama doesn’t do well as aggressor. He is better at snide comments and portraying the Eternal Victim, but he’s not so good at that either.

Adjoran on October 16, 2012 at 1:23 AM

p_incorrect on October 16, 2012 at 1:02 AM

Jeepers, not me.
I’d walk two miles naked through a blizzard to vote against Obama.
I suspect that most everybody here would too.

Previously I noted that I would crawl on my hands and knees over broken glass for a mile to vote. Someone kindly pointed out that I would bleed to death doing that, so I changed it to two miles naked in a blizzard (I think that that is a fair metaphorical swap.)- I wouldn’t want to be dead and miss seeing Obama lose his opportunity to finish off the country.

justltl on October 16, 2012 at 2:13 AM

I believe Constinteen to be trolling.

Bmore

And drinking.

xblade on October 16, 2012 at 2:18 AM

It won’t matter how Zero does this time, it will be framed as a win.

This.

I think we all need to be prepared for it. It’s guaranteed that even if Obama loses again, the media narrative will be “at least he did better this time”. “he stopped the bleeding” etc.

tkyang99 on October 16, 2012 at 2:25 AM

It won’t matter how Zero does this time, it will be framed as a win.

goflyers on October 15, 2012 at 10:34 PM

That’s what I thought was going to happen with the first debate. Obama’s not a skilled debater and never will be. Give him a speech and a teleprompter and he’ll have them fainting in the aisles. But one-on-one against a guy like Romney and he’s toast. Betting tonight will be worse.

Tomolena1 on October 16, 2012 at 3:15 AM

If you really believe this, you’re suffering from a severe anal/cranial inversion. The ideology that drives him is we’re all in this together, he’s tried to work with Republicans and just keeps coming up against a big wall of No. We can’t even get benefits for the veterans the GOP loves to pander to.

The Republican party has nothing. It has become simply an instrument the wealthy try to wield to lower their tax bill, and Romney is the blunt business end (pun intended) of that instrument. However, the weapon is hollow. The Romney/Ryan ticket can’t even make their basic math work, or even explain their math.

You’d better hope Obama has another uncharacteristically off day, or the high you’ve been on since the last debate is going to turn into a real wicked hangover.

Constantine on October 15, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Oh, puh-leeeze.

I did need a chuckle, though reading off of page 2 of the trolling textbook is a little amateurish don’t you think? This board chews up veteran trolls for snacktime, newb.

98ZJUSMC on October 16, 2012 at 4:35 AM

Duh?… Stupid?…

Pest on October 16, 2012 at 6:00 AM

the townhall format this week can be worked to Obama’s advantage,

Yes, the mas bogus of the bogus debate formats will provide a theater-in-the-round for some specially-prepared Obama legerdemain. Keep an eye out for mucho crowd-directed pander schtick. Could backfire if lame. Romney can neutralize this by coming in carrying and empty chair and asking the dolt if he wants to sit. Such gamesmanship is not yet in the GOP range. They still believe they’re dealing with opponents who act in good faith. Yuh.

And again the gravitas deficit provided by a moderator named “Candy” will only accrue to Barry Lightweight’s benefit.

Facts will prevail, though, and Romney has a handle on them.

curved space on October 16, 2012 at 6:20 AM

Wait, what about the story that when Obama finished the first debate, “he thought he had beaten Romney”? The guy who said, “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And . . . I’m a better political director than my political director,” is now “his own harshest critic”?

Of course they can’t stop attempting to spin the press . . . because they can’t stop spinning themselves.

Jim Geraghty, National Review

And there it is.

Jaibones on October 16, 2012 at 6:45 AM

I am waiting for him to do the inconspicuous, conspicuous, flip Romney off when he realizes he is losing like he did in 2008. Why did we elect this guy? Flipping a bird? That was actually pretty childish. And he still got elected. Wow. What are we doing?

rockerpeople on October 16, 2012 at 6:57 AM

Obama won’t answer one question, he will simply attack Romney’s plan and spew more lies and Romney will be on the defensive. I doubt there is anything Obama can say he hasn’t said before, so Romney should simply say that it isn’t true and move on to solutions.

lea on October 16, 2012 at 7:17 AM

If you really believe this, you’re suffering from a severe anal/cranial inversion. The ideology that drives him is we’re all in this together, he’s tried to work with Republicans and just keeps coming up against a big wall of No. We can’t even get benefits for the veterans the GOP loves to pander to.

The Republican party has nothing. It has become simply an instrument the wealthy try to wield to lower their tax bill, and Romney is the blunt business end (pun intended) of that instrument. However, the weapon is hollow. The Romney/Ryan ticket can’t even make their basic math work, or even explain their math.

You’d better hope Obama has another uncharacteristically off day, or the high you’ve been on since the last debate is going to turn into a real wicked hangover.

Constantine on October 15, 2012 at 10:22 PM

This is literally, not figuratively, delusional. Talk about living in a world where you create your own facts.

Monkeytoe on October 16, 2012 at 7:39 AM

coming up against a big wall of No

Got brainwashing?

curved space on October 16, 2012 at 8:19 AM

My fear:

The moderator, either directly or just through her choice of questions, will spend the night attacking Mitt Romney.

Romney will be squeezed between the bad options of appearing to fight with a woman and appearing weak for not defending himself more assertively. (This was the dilemma Paul Ryan found himself in debating crazy Joe. This time, the Dems just have to put Romney in that spot without bringing Obama down to Biden’s level.)

Obama will simply have to manage to stay out of the fight and spew vague, positive sound bites to appear more “Presidential” to the superficial viewer. The base will be satisfied as long as he gets a few zingers in.

My hope:

Obama’s arrogance won’t let him stay out of it.

Romney’s team already expects what I fear, and has a better plan than I can think of.

ClintACK on October 16, 2012 at 8:28 AM

You’re saying this about a Congress that has used the filibuster to block every major piece of legislation?

Rainsford on October 15, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Can’t filibuster budgets, yet somehow the only budget the Senate has voted on in 3 years is Obama’s, which went down 99-0 every time. Harry Reid won’t let a budget come to the floor because he likes the stimulus in the baseline and the continuing resolutions, without really having to take a stand on the spending.

Thank goodness Republicans have filibustered the DREAM Act (did it anyways by EO), and all the other destructive things this president and his marxist allies have put forth.

PastorJon on October 16, 2012 at 8:55 AM

p_incorrect on October 16, 2012 at 1:02 AM

All that we ask is that you, too, stay put in California.

Carnac on October 16, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Remind me Kool, how did that work out for Daniel?

Bmore on October 15, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Pretty bad. Just like Shadrack, Meshak and Abidnigo didn’t want to be in the hot pot.
Like my fractured bible stories?

arnold ziffel on October 15, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Actually, Daniel came out of that just fine, unharmed, and receiving respect bordering on worship from the Babylonian monarch. Oh, and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego weren’t singed in the least, not an odor of smoke on their clothing, but the men who threw them into the furnace were burnt to cinders instantly.

It all depends upon Whom you have given your trust. I’ll trust Him before any government, anywhere, any time.

Freelancer on October 16, 2012 at 9:42 AM

If you really believe this, you’re suffering from a severe anal/cranial inversion. The ideology that drives him is we’re all in this together, he’s tried to work with Republicans and just keeps coming up against a big wall of No. We can’t even get benefits for the veterans the GOP loves to pander to.

The Republican party has nothing. It has become simply an instrument the wealthy try to wield to lower their tax bill, and Romney is the blunt business end (pun intended) of that instrument. However, the weapon is hollow. The Romney/Ryan ticket can’t even make their basic math work, or even explain their math.

You’d better hope Obama has another uncharacteristically off day, or the high you’ve been on since the last debate is going to turn into a real wicked hangover.

Constantine on October 15, 2012 at 10:22 PM

“You can’t fix stupid”

–Ron White

search4truth on October 16, 2012 at 9:51 AM

You’re saying this about a Congress that has used the filibuster to block every major piece of legislation?

Rainsford on October 15, 2012 at 9:50 PM

You mean the same Congress that has watched the House pass NUMEROUS bills to stimulate job creation only to never even be granted a vote in the Democratically controlled Senate? But who really needs a Congress when you have an Emperor who will just rule by decree.

search4truth on October 16, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Funny. When I lived in Portland, the mayor was J.E. ‘Bud’ Clark.

Fast forward 20 something years and the mayor of Whorelando is Buddy Dyer.

Lanceman on October 15, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Now, that is funny. My dad went by the nickname Buddy Dyer his entire life. But he was never mayor of Orlando.

Yes, I’m in the XX contingent. I don’t consider it snark to be mistaken for an XY in print. More of a don’t worry, be happy thing. XYs are some of my favorite people.

J.E. Dyer on October 16, 2012 at 2:08 PM

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