National View: President Obama Bounces Back

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What many people perhaps do not remember about the 1984 elections is that there was actually a very brief moment when Walter Mondale had a chance to get back into the race against President Ronald Reagan.  President Reagan looked like he was beginning a descent into Alzheimer’s, with poor memory and engagement in the first debate.

Rising was the concern about his age – 73 when he would have been re-elected.  But he flipped on his opponent as the age issue arose: “I want you to know also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

And that was it.  There was a brief moment of doubt and Reagan went onto an historic landslide victory.

In 2004, President George W. Bush had a poor debate performance.  He saw his lead evaporate basically overnight.  He then regained his footing in the second debate and eked out a very narrow win on Election Night.

There are a lot of questions as to why a President’s debate performance might be lackluster.  Some have speculated it is a matter that they are not challenged with as President.  Others suspect it was lack of taking the preparation seriously or the belief that the process was beneath them.

Regardless, there is no way to describe Barack Obama’s first debate performance but as poor.  He turned what could have been the end of the campaign into a Mitt Romney’s reemergence, if not lead.

Because of that, the second debate performance became critical.  From the start we saw a different President Obama.  Most commentators said if we had seen this performance in Debate 1, this race would have been over.  Now the only question is whether this performance was enough.

He spoke forcefully, he defended his record, he took Governor Romney on without getting into the mud.

One of the critical early comments, that set the tone, was flipping the economic attack by Mitt Romney and calling him out for his lack of specifics and his alleged dishonesty about his own plan.

“And Governor Romney says he’s got a five-point plan? Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan. He has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules. That’s been his philosophy in the private sector, that’s been his philosophy as governor, that’s been his philosophy as a presidential candidate,” President Obama stated.

“You can make a lot of money and pay lower tax rates than somebody who makes a lot less. You can ship jobs overseas and get tax breaks for it. You can invest in a company, bankrupt it, lay off the workers, strip away their pensions, and you still make money,” he continued.  “That’s exactly the philosophy that we’ve seen in place for the last decade. That’s what’s been squeezing middle class families.

“And we have fought back for four years to get out of that mess. The last thing we need to do is to go back to the very same policies that got us there.”

While some commentators marked him down for failing to get into the specifics of how his second term would be better than the first, this answer and response puts the onus of the problem back on the Bush administration and while so doing, lays out differing philosophy.

If this response was critical, the next two were devastating.

The issue of the attacks at Benghazi probably stood out for Governor Romney as an opportunity to make hay.  But Governor Romney didn’t have the facts on his side that he thought he did.

It started when President Obama, responding to an audience question, stated, “The day after the attack, Governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime.”

Governor Romney then interjected: “I think [it’s] interesting the president just said something which – which is that on the day after the attack he went into the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror.”

President Obama: “That’s what I said.”

Governor Romney: “You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror.  It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you’re saying?”

President Obama: “Please proceed governor.”

Governor Romney: “I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.”

President Obama: “Get the transcript.”

Moderator Candy Crowley: “It – it – it – he did in fact, sir. So let me – let me call it an act of terror…”

President Obama: “Can you say that a little louder, Candy?”

Moderator Candy Crowley: “He – he did call it an act of terror.”

Governor Romney looked like he was going in for the kill, having caught the President in a lie.  Pundits and critics will long debate whether Candy Crowley should have fact-checked at that point.  Some have called it inappropriate.

But the fact is that the President was right.  President Obama in the Rose Garden day after Benghazi attack said: “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”

Some commentators suggested that Governor Romney was never the same after that exchange – he lost his aggressiveness.  He thought he had the President but badly miscalculated.

Finally, another major misstep at the end gave President Obama a chance to pounce on Governor Romney’s most vulnerable point, the 47 percent.

Governor Romney thought he was inoculating himself by the being the first to bring up the 47%, but he erred in doing so, in an exchange in which President Obama would be sure to get the final word.

“I care about 100 percent of the American people. I want 100 percent of the American people to have a bright and prosperous future. I care about our kids. I understand what it takes to make a bright and prosperous future for America again. I spent my life in the private sector, not in government. I’m a guy who wants to help with the experience I have, the American people,” he said.

Few of the commentators noted this, but he looked flat when he delivered this line as though it lacked conviction or meaning for him.

Regardless, it was a mistake.

President Obama hit the hanging curve out of the park.

“I believe Governor Romney is a good man. Loves his family, cares about his faith. But I also believe that when he said behind closed doors that 47 percent of the country considered themselves victims who refuse personal responsibility, think about who he was talking about,” he said.

“Folks on Social Security who’ve worked all their lives. Veterans who’ve sacrificed for this country. Students who are out there trying to hopefully advance their own dreams, but also this country’s dreams. Soldiers who are overseas fighting for us right now. People who are working hard every day, paying payroll tax, gas taxes, but don’t make enough income,” the President Continued.

“And I want to fight for them. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last four years. Because if they succeed, I believe the country succeeds.

“When my grandfather fought in World War II and he came back and he got a G.I. Bill and that allowed him to go to college, that wasn’t a handout. That was something that advanced the entire country. And I want to make sure that the next generation has those same opportunities. That’s why I’m asking for your vote and that’s why I’m asking for another four years.”

I think the key point was made subtly here – Governor Romney said this behind closed doors when he believed only the audience in the room was watching.  It is an insight into his thoughts.

His effort to explain it away is hollow.

The polls show a modest victory for President Obama, though one had 73 percent indicating he was better than the first time – one has to wonder which debates the other 27 percent were watching.

The analysts figured that advantage would grow as the media undoubtedly will focus on the high points.  President Obama hit on critical issues such as equal pay, while Governor Romney talked about his binder of women.  And the issue of immigration also figures to be critical in a few swing states.

Global Analysis

I would like to make, quickly, two points in analysis.

The first is that the pundits and analysts believe there are relatively few persuadables at this point in the election.  I just do not buy that.  I think self-described leaners and self-described undecided are unreliable measures of voter intentions.

To illustrate this point, look at the relative volatility of the polls.  The race was essentially tied after the Republican convention.  President Obama got a modest bounce after the Democratic convention and the numbers slowly meandered back toward the mean.

He probably had a 3 to 4 point lead before the first debate.  Then the race was tied, if not a slight Romney lead.

You’re going to tell me that suddenly the people who have been in the middle, shifting around based on the climate, are solid?  I don’t buy that.

It looks like the race has swung between a -1 for Obama and a +6 over the last month and a half.  The question is whether President Obama hit the floor of his support right after the Republican convention and after the second debate.

But I see no indication that there has been a change in the fluidity.  For me, the concept of undecided is not that meaningful – what you really need to hit are those people in the middle that can lean either way.  I see no evidence that that number is smaller than it was.

Second, from the start, I saw this election as 2004 reversed.  President Obama, like President Bush, was seen as vulnerable.  He has been below 50 percent much of this year, just as President Bush was.  But the opposition nominated a flawed and relatively unappealing candidate.

2012 has been more compressed than 2004.  But the dynamics are similar.  President Bush emerged from a troubled period of time for Senator Kerry and his own convention, with about a four-point lead that dissipated on the first debate’s poor performance.

He regained his footing, but for the last weeks of the campaign, he never pulled away.  In fact, for much of Election Day 2004, the pundits believed that Senator Kerry would win.  It was only a strong get-out-the-vote effort by the GOP and a narrow victory in Ohio that provided the decisive votes.

The disconcerting fact of the matter that will keep Democrats up all night is that on Election Day 2004, it was a toss-up and I think that’s how 2012 comes down as well.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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33 thoughts on “National View: President Obama Bounces Back”

  1. medwoman

    “The polls show a modest victory for President Obama though one had 73 percent indicating he was better than the first time – one has to wonder which debates the other 27 percent were watching.”

    I suspect that that 27% may have been watching a debate in which, for them, the substance of what is being said matters more than the showmanship with which the words are spoken. In the first debate, Romney won hands down on presentation. However, if one values consistency , and has been at all politically aware enough to have followed Rombeys shape shifting contortions through the years to match whatever set of positions he believes will get him elected, then Romneys superior performance might be seen for exactly what it was, a
    Performance for a very different audience than that present when he made the ” 47% ” comment.

    Alternatively, the 27% may be those who think so little of the president that anything he says or does is disparaged. In this case, his actual achievement would always be judged negatively regardless of merit.

  2. Siegel

    Medwoman: “Alternatively, the 27% may be those who think so little of the president that anything he says or does is disparaged. In this case, his actual achievement would always be judged negatively regardless of merit.”

    Rusty: “ROMNEY 1……EMPTY CHAIR 0……CROWLEY 1”

    Rusty is apparently utterly incapable of introspection outside of his partisan leanings.

  3. rusty49

    Let’s see, Crowley let Obama have 9% more speaking time, interupted Romney 28 times and Obama only 9 times, let Obama have the last word most of the time and fact checked Romney but never fact checked Obama even though he lied many times. Most of the Crowley chosen questions were asked from the liberal point of view. Why the GOP agrees to let liberals moderate the debates I’ll never know.

  4. rusty49

    “Rusty is apparently utterly incapable of introspection outside of his partisan leanings.”

    Siegel…lol…look in the mirror O’Mr. Fairness himself

  5. rusty49

    “In this case, his actual achievement would always be judged negatively regardless of merit.”

    Oh, Obama’s achievements like 47 million on food stamps, 1 in 6 now in poverty, 23 million under or unemployed, national debt has gone up 50% since 2009…….I could go on a long,long time……

  6. rusty49

    Newsbusters:
    “After embarrassing herself with her incompetently biased attempt to “fact check” GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the second presidential debate, CNN correspondent Candy Crowley has already began trying to save her shattered credibility. In a panel discussion afterward, a fast-talking Crowley tried to spin away her offensive conduct by admitting that Romney was indeed correct in casting blame on the Obama Administration for falsely blaming an anti-Islamic video for attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

    “It was one of those moments, and I could even feel that here, you know, when you say something you’re not expecting,” Crowley insisted, admitting she simply couldn’t help herself from unprofessionally inserting herself into a heated dispute between presidential candidates.

    “He was right in the main, I just think he picked the wrong word,” Crowley said, echoing the extremely legalistic reading of the facts about what President Obama meant when he said “acts of terror” in reference to the Benghazi attack.

    Knowing that she is facing a tremendous amount of backlash for her outburst, Crowley tried to play down the Libya discussion in the debate, insisting it wasn’t really important:

    “They’re going to parse and we all know about what the definition of is is, but, I, uh, you know, in the end, I think John [King]’s probably right. I think this has a lot more to with jobs and the debt crisis and all of that kind of stuff.

    If her unprofessional conduct had not been so highly visible, Crowley’s sad attempts to excuse herself would be amusing since she’s almost literally admitted she has a knee-jerk liberal bias. Instead they are only ironic.”

  7. David M. Greenwald

    “Crowley let Obama have 9% more speaking time”

    I thought I saw somewhere where the difference in speaking time was four minutes over a 98 minute debate. Regardless, the moderator had little to do with Obama working Romney over on multiple issues and Romney’s fumble of Benghazi, though I do agree Crowley should have left the fact checking to the media afterwards – I hardly think it would have made much of a difference.

  8. Rifkin

    I love the picture you have at the top of this story, David. I love how each guy at the same time is pointing accusatorily in a different direction. It reminds me of one of the best novels I have ever read, “An Instance of the Fingerpost” by Iain Pears.

    In case you don’t know the word “fingerpost,” it is (largely a British term) one of those poles which has arrows (or a hand with the index finger extended) pointing in various directions all at once, each usually saying how many miles away a given location is.

    In the TV show M*A*S*H you may recall they depicted a fingerpost which showed the directions and distances to various cities, such as San Francisco and Toledo, Ohio.

    [img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/42/Mash_sign.jpg[/img]

    The title of Mr. Pears’s great historical novel uses the image of the fingerpost because at the end of book what the reader is left with is a mystery: Different characters are pointing in different directions suggesting who each of them believes is the guilty party.

    Note: If you love smart writing, I highly suggest Iain Pears. He is a prolific author, with most of his fiction having something to do with mysteries about art and history. (When he is not writing novels, he works as a professor of art history at Oxford University.) Yet his best two books, “An Instance of the Fingerpost” and “The Dream of Scipio” are not focused on the art world. They are works of historical fiction which, in an entertaining fashion, focus on much deeper questions of humanity.

  9. Frankly

    What did we learn.

    Obama and his handlers are slick in their efforts to ensure he is never held responsible for what he says, what he does, what he doesn’t say or what he does not do. I think most people that care about the events in Libya where four Americans were brutally murdered by terrorists, won’t be swayed by Obama’s creative wordsmithing. They know his administration jumped on a template of blaming America and Americans. They know that the Obama Administration took a very, very long time formally announcing it was terrorism. They know that the Obama Administration failed to provide security when embassy staff were pleading for it. The evidence is still coming in, but it is pretty darn clear that the policy and response was based in a large part on political motivations. America had another terrorist attack on American soverign land and more innocent Americans were murdered by terrorists… all on Obama’s watch.

    What we also learned, actually just got reinforced, is that the liberal media is anti-Romney and pro-Obama and their bias cannot be controlled.

    It appears that Biden’s behavior in the VP debate has pushed women over to the Romney camp. Women tend to have a stronger humanism filter; they respond more strongly against unfairness and aggressive behavior that is disrespectful. It will be interesting how the polls respond for the women vote after this debate. I did not get a chance to see the debate. It is recorded on my DVR so I can watch it when I have the time this weekend. However, from the news reports and clips it was clear that the moderator favored Obama, and his demeanor was a bit nasty and snarky. Obama was accusatory and attacking… he didn’t provide any details about his plan, but worked hard to tear down Romney’s plan while calling him a liar. I don’t thank that approach is appealing to women, moderates and swing voters.

    Obama might have won this debate by a bit, but with his approach, I think he only made his base happy while sending more moderates to Romney as the more likeable human.

  10. Frankly

    medwoman: The actual quote was [i]”No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”[/i]

    What was he talking about? It was a general statement. He did NOT in fact say that the Benghazi murders were the result of a terrorist attack. He and his administration went on the assert with great directness and conviction that the protests were spontaneous and a direct result of general Muslim outrage over a stupid, poorly done Youtube video. He and his administration blamed the maker of the video (and in the process, attacked our first amendment rights… something the media has not even talked about). It took 14 days for Obama to directly and definitively claim the murders were from a coordinated terrorist attack.

    Romney was correct. Obama lied. Crowley was complicit in this lie.

  11. Don Shor

    [i]They know his administration jumped on a template of blaming America and Americans.[/i]

    Conservative Republicans believe that.

    [i]They know that the Obama Administration took a very, very long time formally announcing it was terrorism. [/i]

    Described “acts of terror” the next morning. As to specifically identifying it as a terrorist attack, the perpetrators had not been identified. When we get acts of violence in the Middle East, it is common for terrorist groups to claim responsibility. Confirming those claims without sufficient intelligence plays into their propaganda aims.

    [i]They know that the Obama Administration failed to provide security when embassy staff were pleading for it.[/i]

    This is what Ambassador Pickering needs to review. At what level were the requests made, where did they bog down? The Secretary of State probably isn’t even aware of specific consular security requests. Benghazi is not an embassy. If Ambassador Stevens had hard intelligence that a threat was imminent, I believe he had authority to remove personnel to a safer location. But if an objective outside authority such as Ambassador Pickering identifies correctible shortcomings in the process of identifying and providing security needs, he will make that clear.

    [i]The evidence is still coming in, but it is pretty darn clear that the policy and response was based in a large part on political motivations. [/i]

    The policy and response appear to have been based on confused intelligence information from the ground. That isn’t surprising, given the state of affairs in Libya. Ambassador Rice was provided with poor intelligence information and used that in making public statements.

    [i]America had another terrorist attack on American soverign land and more innocent Americans were murdered by terrorists… all on Obama’s watch.[/i]

    Yes. We seem to have had an intelligence failure and the results were tragic. Now please explain to me exactly what you think the administration should have done differently? As much as possible, we rely on local officials to provide external security for embassies and consular offices. That is partly because US troops are attractive targets – note what happened when Ronald Reagan stationed troops in Lebanon. And it is because we respect the sovereignty of those countries where we have embassies and consular offices as much as possible.

    When there were riots in Egypt, Pakistan, etc., it was the local police who provided the first line of protection for our buildings. Obviously we should review the protection at less-fortified consular offices in unstable countries. But Libya is a country whose leadership and population are largely favorable toward the United States right now.

    Something that is getting lost in all this finger-pointing is the extent to which Libya is a policy success of our government and our allies. We succeeded in helping them drive a tyrant from power, they are gradually establishing a government, and overall we are considered allies. All without, until the death of the ambassador and three other Americans, without a single American death.

    The Republican Party’s record of intelligence failures is massive, leading to costly and tragic debacles. The Republican Party’s foreign policy in the Middle East has been built on hubris and delusions, squandering American lives, wasting trillions of our dollars. So the Republican and conservative high dudgeon over the Benghazi tragedy is hypocritical at best. I actually think it’s despicable.

  12. Don Shor

    [i]Romney was correct. Obama lied. Crowley was complicit in this lie.[/i

    Romney was wrong. Obama did not lie. Crowley correctly identified Obama’s statement.

  13. Don Shor

    ROMNEY: I — I think interesting the president just said something which — which is that on the day after the attack he went into the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror.
    OBAMA: That’s what I said.
    ROMNEY: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror.
    It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you’re saying?
    OBAMA: Please proceed governor.
    ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.
    OBAMA: Get the transcript.
    CROWLEY: It — it — it — he did in fact, sir. So let me — let me call it an act of terror…
    OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy?
    CROWLEY: He — he did call it an act of terror. It did as well take — it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.
    ROMNEY: This — the administration — the administration indicated this was a reaction to a video and was a spontaneous reaction.
    CROWLEY: It did.
    ROMNEY: It took them a long time to say this was a terrorist act by a terrorist group. And to suggest — am I incorrect in that regard, on Sunday, the — your secretary —
    OBAMA: Candy?
    ROMNEY: Excuse me. The ambassador of the United Nations went on the Sunday television shows and spoke about how —
    OBAMA: Candy, I’m —
    ROMNEY: — this was a spontaneous —
    CROWLEY: Mr. President, let me —
    OBAMA: I’m happy to have a longer conversation —
    CROWLEY: I know you —
    OBAMA: — about foreign policy.
    CROWLEY: Absolutely. But I want to — I want to move you on and also —
    OBAMA: OK. I’m happy to do that, too.

    [b]In the Rose Garden:
    [/b]No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.

  14. K.Smith

    “Since each moderator has been getting more and more pro Obama, is it true that the next moderator is going to be Hugo Chavez?”

    Yes…can’t sneak anything past you. You’ve uncovered their Super Secret Socialist Master Plan. Chavez is going go co-moderate with Castro, and for an encore they’re going to have a seance and channel Stalin for some follow-up questions.

  15. DT Businessman

    It is a national disgrace that these debates without substance are how we go about selecting our leaders. “It’s your fault!” “It is not, it’s your fault!”

    -Michael Bisch

  16. medwoman

    “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done. “

    ” No acts of terror…..”
    Very next sentence
    ” Today we mourn four more Americans”

    This is specific enough for me, Jeff. Was there really any doubt in your mind which four Americans he was referencing ?
    This was a cheap and deceptive shot when Romney took it, and to me it is a cheap and deceptive shot that you pretend not to understand the juxtaposition of those two sentences.

  17. wdf1

    [quote]Chris Hayes: How Romney broke the rules of the debate, and why it matters ([url]http://tv.msnbc.com/2012/10/17/chris-hayes-how-romney-broke-the-rules-of-the-debate-and-why-it-matters/[/url])
    ….
    As Chris Hayes noted after the debate, Romney blatantly flouted the rules both parties had agreed to beforehand. According to the memorandum of understanding signed by both campaigns, candidates are prohibited from posing direct questions to one another at any point during the debate. Under Section 5, titled “Rules Applicable To All Debates,” there is this provision: “The candidates may not ask each other direct questions during any of the four debates.”

    Romney’s breach of that contract, according to Hayes, reveals something deeper and more insidious about the ways in which privileged elites see rules in general:

    “Now, at a certain level, who cares, right? Who cares? Here’s why I care. The theme of the last ten years of this country is the people at the top have felt the rules don’t apply to them. And you send your people to sit down and negotiate a set of rules, and 20 minutes into it you throw it out the window. And everything we’ve seen, from the financial crisis to everything else that’s happened in this country, has been about the oligarchs and the ruling class and the people at the top feeling that they are not a party to the social contract. So some stupid little contract that was negotiated by your people, you don’t worry about.”[/quote]

  18. Frankly

    It is frankly disgusting that anyone wth half a brain is making a case that this single, nebulous utterance in the Rose Garden eliminates the fact that Obama and his administration clearly are on the side of Ward Churchill. This is the problem folks. Let’s be honest. The knee jerk reaction from Obama, Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice to focus on the video… that is the issue. Here is why:

    1. It is indicative that the Obama Administration has a Ward Churchill mindset about 9/11 and terrorism in general: that America and Americans are responsible for the anger against us in the Muslim world.
    2. Or, It is indicative of a weak Presidential foreign policy leadership since the messaging on the video being responsible clearly dominated.
    3. Or, it is indicative that the Obama Administration is putting politics ahead of our national security policy interests… to counter the GOP assertion that we are less safe today because of the Obama foreign policy of appeasement and apology.

    Any one of these things should be considered very troubling.

    However, like for everything else, the Teflon Messiah gets a pass. He is supported by a cocoon of intellectual dishosety and spin. That would not be so hard to tollerate if the stakes for his failures were not so high, and if it wasn’t provided for him by the media and the intellectual elite.

  19. David M. Greenwald

    “It is frankly disgusting that anyone wth half a brain is making a case that this single, nebulous utterance in the Rose Garden eliminates the fact that Obama and his administration clearly are on the side of Ward Churchill. This is the problem folks. Let’s be honest. The knee jerk reaction from Obama, Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice to focus on the video… that is the issue.”

    To be honest Boone, I don’t care about whether they misdiagnosed initially what happened or not. I spend a lot of time doing exactly what they did – gathering information. Sometimes that information gathered initially proves to be right, sometimes it’s wrong. Unless you have evidence that they weren’t based their statements on the best available intelligence at the moment, then all this looks like is the right wing trying to play gotcha politics on a national tragedy.

  20. Frankly

    It is not “gotcha politics”. You make the case that that they were gathering information, yet that did not stop them from doing several press and media events to explicity and directly claim that it was a spontaneous response to the video.

    Come on David, open your eyes and stop making excuses for your President.

    Don’t you care about the fact that our government attacked our individual First Amendment rights with their response?

    How about a President delivering this message:

    “Americans are free to express themselves in ways that others might find offensive. For example, many people criticize Christianity and religion in general, and they are protected by our Constitution for doing so. The rights of individual Americans provide them freedom to voice opinions that are not shared by the government of America, or the majoirty of Americans. We ask that our Muslim brothers and sisters show tollerance and respect for our laws and customs just as you desire the same.”

    Or something like that.

  21. Don Shor

    Jeff: this president’s anti-terrorist policies contradict everything you said in your 10:16 post. Your Ward Churchill references are beyond ridiculous.
    I’m sick of your insults. I think I’m through discussing presidential politics with you through Nov. 6 now.

  22. Frankly

    [i]MSNBC’s Undecided Voter Panel Swayed by Romney[/i]

    [url]http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/msnbcs-undecided-voter-panel-swayed-romney_654728.html[/url]

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