Presidential debate

Debating Debates: A Modest Proposal

Featured image There’s been a lot of discussion the last several weeks about whether and how the GOP should reclaim control of the candidate debates in the next presidential election cycle to end the perverse situation of the last cycle in which the candidates were not just debating each other, but also in effect debating the Democratic party in the form of the biased media “moderators” who are anything but moderate.  But »

The Emperor’s rented clothes

Featured image The first debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney was probably the most stark “Emperor has no clothes” moment in our modern political history. And the problem for Obama did not end with that debate. In the second and third debates, Obama tried to substitute shots at his opponent (mostly cheap ones) for clothing. Meanwhile Romney, having turned the momentum in his favor, kept talking about his clothes — his »

Third presidential debate leaves candidates where they were

Featured image The third and final debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney occurred on Monday, October 22. Today, Rasmussen released the results of its latest three-day poll of the race. It was taken during the three days following the debate. According to the poll, Romney leads Obama by 3 points, 50-47. This result reflects essentially no change from the poll Rasmussen reported on the day of the debate. Romney led that »

More thoughts on debate moderators, gender, and age

Featured image Yesterday, I expressed the hope that the 2016 presidential and vice presidential debates will serve up better female moderators than Martha Raddatz and Candy Crowley. One reader-friend asked if I could suggest such a moderator. I can: Gwen Ifill. Here is what I wrote about Ifill after she presided over the vice presidential debate in 2004: Tonight’s vice presidential debate featured two superb performances. Unfortunately for John Edwards, they were »

Kind hearts and bayonets, cont’d

Featured image Yesterday I rounded up some pertinent commentary providing factual background belying Barack Obama’s patronizing gibe at Mitt Romney in Monday night’s foreign policy debate: I think Governor Romney maybe hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works. You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our »

Obama fails Bob Woodward’s fact check on sequestration

Featured image Bob Woodward, who wrote a book about the sequestration, blows the whistle on President Obama’s claim during last night’s debate that the idea of using deep, automatic, across-the-board domestic and defense spending cuts to force Congress to address the nation’s burgeoning federal deficit originated in Congress, not in the White House. “What the president said is not correct,” Woodward told Politico. In his book, The Price of Politics, Woodward reported »

Kind hearts and bayonets

Featured image I thought one statement by Barack Obama was the highlight of last night’s debate. Seeking to land a knockout blow against Mitt Romney’s advocacy of preserving our military spending in the face of the planned sequester, Obama asserted in his patented style: I think Governor Romney maybe hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works. You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than »

Debate indiscipline, an inherent problem for Democrats

Featured image If there’s a common takeaway from the four debates of this presidential cycle, it’s the indiscipline of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. The problem manifested itself in different ways in different debates. In the first debate, Obama apparently lacked the discipline to treat the event with the seriousness it required. He seemed comparatively unprepared, unwilling to treat Romney as a serious opponent until it was too late, and unable even »

Wanted: competent female debate moderators

Featured image We’ve commented on the performances of the moderators of the first three debates, so I’ll say a few words about last night’s moderator Bob Schieffer: Job well done. Schieffer stuck to his assignment, which was to ask topical questions that provoke discussion; to move on to other topics after both candidates had a roughly equal opportunity to address the pending one; and to ensure that, overall, the candidates received equal »

The knock-out punches

Featured image Mitt Romney gave a risk-avoiding performance last night, one rather obviously designed to maintain his current position in the race. His approach was extremely conservative in its restraint, as Paul notes (and I agree), but I thought Romney nevertheless landed the better punches. Indeed, I thought that Romney threw just about all of the knock-out punches in the debate (transcript here). All in all, an impressive performance. I thought Barack »

CNN poll tends to confirm that Romney “won” by drawing

Featured image A CNN/ORC International Poll following today’s presidential debate found, in CNN’s words, that those who watched the third and final head-to-head matchup of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney did not identify a clear winner.” Debate viewers split 48% for Obama and 40% for Romney in the poll, a margin within the sampling error, according to CNN. As Ed Morrissey points out, Obama “won” the insta-poll after the second debate »

Did Romney just move another small step toward the presidency?

Featured image This morning, I wrote a debate preview post called “Thoughts on Playing to Win Tonight’s Foreign Policy Debate.” I was tempted to call my debate recap post “Thoughts on Playing to Draw Tonight’s Foreign Policy Debate.” For Romney did not attempt to outdebate Obama point by point on foreign policy. And in most instances, he was content to agree with what Obama currently is doing on this or that foreign »

Final Debate Postscript

Featured image I tried something new this time: I watched sports on television while following the presidential debate on PL Live. It was fun, and much easier on my nerves. Plus, my wife watched the debate and kept me posted, and I caught a few minutes here and there. So what’s the bottom line? Our people were generally pleased; the ones who weren’t wanted Romney to be more aggressive. That’s a good »

RIGHT NOW: Join Us At Power Line Live!

Featured image What better way to follow the last presidential debate than with your friends and fellow conservatives at Power Line Live? We’ve had big crowds for all of the debates so far; tonight’s crowd may be down a little because of competing sports events. But, hey, look at it this way: if you have the baseball game or the football game on television, you can tune in to Power Line Live »

Thoughts on playing to win tonight’s foreign policy debate

Featured image I expect that tonight’s presidential debate will draw many fewer viewers than the first two. After all, it must compete with Monday Night Football and Game 7 of the National League Championship Series. On the other hand, the first two debates (for different reasons) served up compelling television experiences. Female viewers, at least, may by unwilling to resist the encore, sports viewing opportunities notwithstanding. Foreign policy, tonight’s topic, isn’t foremost »

Debate notes: The unreal Obama

Featured image In the presidential candidates debate at Hofstra this past Tuesday, Obama took advantage of his opportunity to get in the final words to unveil this whopper: I believe that the free enterprise system is the greatest engine of prosperity the world’s ever known. I believe in self-reliance and individual initiative and risk takers being rewarded. Cue the Danny Thomas double take and spew your coffee (or beer or vodka) all »

Debate notes: Obamacare must be destroyed

Featured image It is a very strange fact: the signal accomplishment of Barack Obama’s past four years in office is Obamacare, yet it remains unpopular and mostly out of sight in the campaign. Candy Crowley did not seen fit to call on any undecided Democratic voter at the Hofstra University debate who wanted to raise Obamacare as an issue. Nevertheless, President Obama injected it in response to the question posed by Katherine »