Halperin: So where was the second-term agenda?

posted at 10:01 am on October 17, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Call this a buzz-kill moment for the Left, especially as it comes on MSNBC, where most of them will flock to bask in the glow of a candidate who bothered to show up for a debate.  Time’s Mark Halperin notes what I pointed out on NRA News and the Hugh Hewitt Show last night — that the agenda debate took place entirely in terms of Mitt Romney.  Barack Obama never mentioned anything about a second-term agenda, and its MIA status is a big, big problem for an incumbent arguing for a second term:

At least in the first polls taken after the debate, voters weren’t fooled.  Obama won a narrow edge on overall performance of two points across these polls, National Journal reports, but Romney won large margins on the issues:

Despite Obama’s slight edge overall, Romney was seen as better able to handle most issues.

The trend was most notable in the CNN poll: he had an 18-point edge among registered voters on the economy (58 percent to Obama’s  40 percent ); a 3-point edge on health care (49 percent to 46 percent); a 7-point edge on taxes (51 percent to 44 percent); and, largest of all, a 23-point edge on the deficit (59 percent to 36 percent).

Obama’s only lead in the CNN poll was a slim one on foreign policy: 2 percent more of the registered voters who watched the debate said he would handle the issue better (49 percent to 47 percent for Romney).

In the CBS poll, 65 percent of respondents also said Romney would handle the economy better after the debate (though that decreased from 71 percent before the debate). Only 34 percent said Obama would handle the economy better, but that was a jump of 7 percentage points.

As I wrote earlier, Obama and his team still believe they can win the election by simply being the anti-Romney — without putting an agenda on the table for voters to see and support.  That strategy was doomed to failure in the first debate anyway, but the stark contrast two weeks ago between a very presidential Romney and a disengaged and apathetic Obama magnified that effect and impact.  Obama seemed to pretend last night like that never happened, which as Halperin notes could be a fatal flaw in their final three weeks.

Most voters aren’t going to go into voting booths to choose the best debater.  They’re going to choose the candidate that they trust more on the issues.  Obama lost the first debate by virtual default, and he’s going to lose the election the same way unless he can launch a second-term agenda in less than three weeks.


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Wide expectation of voter fraud in Presidential race
http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/10/wide-expectation-of-voter-fraud-in-presidential-race.html

The election may be three weeks away but voters on both sides of the partisan divide are already prepared to blame voter fraud if their candidate loses.

If it’s a close election it’s safe to say it’s going to get ugly.

Galt2009 on October 17, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Posted elsewhere:

What are the president’s plans to protect US from Iranian Nukes?

What are the president’s plans to protect US from Islamic radicals?

What are the president’s plans to protect US from al qaeda terrorists?

What are the president’s plans to keep US from an economic collapse?

What are the president’s plans to keep Medicare from going Bankrupt?

What are the president’s plans to keep Social Security from going Bankrupt?

What are his plans, period?

Why can’t any of the Leftists answer these questions?

Galt2009 on October 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Why can’t any of the Leftists answer these questions?

Galt2009 on October 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM

These important issues are simply being politicized by Romney. That’s the answer.

However it works out, Romney can survive last night being basically a draw. Obama can’t.

Liam on October 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Bad news: Romney walked into a pre-set trap by Obama and Crowley. How the Hell could any debate moderator remember one word in a Rose Garden Statement of 30+ days ago. It was a fix.

Good news: Obama was flat much of the night, couldn’t defend his record, horrible answer on gasoline prices, and the 47 percent attack wasn’t nearly the grenade the MSM wanted.

Anybody also notice that Obama failed to even acknowledge Romney, or the Town Hall participants, or Hofstra University at the beginning? Instead, this petulant narcissist just started with the attacks on Romney.

matthew8787 on October 17, 2012 at 10:06 AM

matt – I made a similar point in a previous thread….

Maybe someone else brought this up earlier (haven’t had a chance to go through all of the comments). Has anyone questioned how convenient it was that Crowley knew that Obama mentioned “terror” in the Rose Garden statement? What about Obama hastily throwing out that Romney check the transcript? Seems as though someone knew this line of questioning was coming up. Otherwise, I am to believe that Crowley just happened to memorize Obama’s Rose Garden speech which is why she could jump on it and confirm with so much certainty. Something just stinks about that whole exchange.

texasmagnolia on October 17, 2012 at 9:13 AM

I agree with you completely. No way this wasn’t planned. It has setup written all over it.

texasmagnolia on October 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Why can’t any of the Leftists answer these questions?

Galt2009 on October 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM

These important issues are simply being politicized by Romney. That’s the answer.

However it works out, Romney can survive last night being basically a draw. Obama can’t.

Liam on October 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Yup – that would be their non-answer.

People are noticing that the dear leader is a dear liar.

Why would anyone want to support a liar like that?

Galt2009 on October 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM

One flesh one bone
One true religion
One voice one hope
One real decision

Gimme one light, yeah
Gimme one hope, hey
Just gimme, ah
One man one man
One bar one night
One day hey hey
Just gimme gimme gimme gimme
Fried chicken

J_Crater on October 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Well, it’s not like we don’t know what his agenda is. More of the same except without having his hands tied by having to run for office again. The economy will be in the tank, due to the over regulation of industries like energy & medicine. Get more people on the Govt. dole. Over Tax companies, so they won’t hire or invest in America. Why would anyone think he would do anything different?
Update on:How to take on the Enemy media & Win: http://paratisiusa.blogspot.com/2012/09/an-open-letter-to-those-who-should-know.html?spref=tw

God Bless America!

paratisi on October 17, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Obama lost the first debate by virtual default, and he’s going to lose the election the same way unless he can launch a second-term agenda in less than three weeks.

Well said. Except how is he going to do that? Who is going to buy this new agenda, cooked up in the final weeks of a campaign? The ship has sailed on that. He couldn’t possibly reinvent his campaign at this point. He’s down to “Mitt is evil.” Good luck with that.

MJBrutus on October 17, 2012 at 2:39 PM

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