I’m not going to “analyze” the debate, who won, who didn’t, what the instant polls said, what later polls said, what this or that focus or impression group thought, how much of a “bump” who will get, and blah, blah. Plenty of other people have done that and are continuing to do it. I’m just going to share with you some factoids and related discussion about the debate.
According to CNN’s own timekeeping (and remember the debate moderator Candy Crowley is from CNN), Obama got 44:04 minutes of speaking time, while Romney got 40:50. That’s a difference of three minutes, fifty-four seconds, or almost four minutes. Considering the debate format severely restricted each candidate to only two minutes of unfettered speaking time per question asked, that’s an advantage of about two, entire speaking periods which the moderator allowed Obama.
The “unbiased” Candy Crowley is CNN’s chief political correspondent and anchor who said Romney must have had a “death wish” when he picked Paul Ryan as his running mate. ‘Nuff said.
Candy Crowley, “the moderator,” interrupted Romney 28 times and Obama 9 times, a ratio of more than 3-to-1. No further discussion necessary.
The “moderator” did an on air, instant, “fact-check” supporting Obama calling the Benghazi attack an act of terror in his 9/12 Rose Garden remarks, when in fact he did not. Both Romney and Obama may have law degrees (and Romney has an MBA as well) but so do I, as well as a minor in English, and I can parse words with the best of them.
Obama’s comments about ACTS of terror (like 9/11), not AN ACT of terror, and his comments about the Benghazi attack are separated by EIGHT PARAGRAPHS in his Rose Garden remarks and are not connected. Crowley was even corrected by her own CNN fact-checkers right after the debate. Since then, she has tried to walk back her comments but is still receiving harsh (and justified) criticism from both sides of the political spectrum for injecting herself into the debate, and for being wrong on the facts when she did.
Many contend Romney missed an opportunity by not immediately drawing the contrast between Obama’s Rose Garden comments (even if we admit just for the sake of argument that he did call Benghazi an act of terror) and subsequent, repeated comments over a TWO WEEK period thereafter by his UN ambassador, his press secretary, his secretary of state, his various other spokespersons and surrogates, as well as himself in his UN comments, that it was all about the video and a larger demonstration which had “spun out of control.”
No one on Team Obama called Benghazi what it was, a terrorist attack, in all that time. Yet, we now know (because of Congressional hearings, not anything admitted by Team Obama) that State Department officials watched the attack in real time via uplinked, satellite video and knew there was no larger demonstration which “spun out of control.” That’s not 24 hours later or 48 hours later. That’s at the time it was happening.
Of course, those who blame Romney for that missed opportunity may not have noticed that right after Crowley’s erroneous “correction,” then Obama asking her to repeat it, and the smattering of supposedly disallowed applause for them both, Obama, seeing that Romney was going to persist in commenting on it, quickly asked Crowley to move things along, so as to get more questions in (yeah, uh-huh), and Crowley then cut Romney off about Benghazi.
Oh, and here’s another little known factoid: when Crowley “corrected” Romney and Obama asked her to “Say that a little louder, Candy,” despite the previously announced debate rules that both the on- and off-stage audiences would remain quiet throughout the debate, there was a smattering of applause for Crowley’s so-called “correction” and Obama’s encouraging comment. But, do you know who started that applause? Why, none other than Michelle Obama, sitting off-camera in the larger audience, that’s who. Guess she just couldn’t contain herself over Crowley’s “help.”
However, Romney had already made sure to say during the debate, on national TV, that he was glad to get Obama “on the record” with his claim that he called the Benghazi attack an act of terror on 9/12, and not only that, but also now has a “bonus” of Obama on video demonstrating some of his fake indignation that any suggestion that he or any of his people would misrepresent things to the American people was offensive and then peevishly added, “That’s not what we do.”
Also there’s also the bonus debate video of Obama claiming that he evidently did answer that 3AM phone call, much touted by Hillary’s campaign when she was running against him, and immediately called his national security team and directed them to do three things: beef up security all across the region (kind of like after the horses already left the barn), find out who committed the attack (maybe State should have shown him their real-time video), and bring them to justice (the alleged mastermind of the attack has now supposedly been identified but they can’t find him anywhere). Of course, I guess there’s no way to prove if Obama actually answered that 3AM phone call or not, or what, if anything, he directed his national security team to do, or not do, so he’s probably safe with that claim. But then, he also evidently went back to sleep until the next day.
It’s now thirty-eight days since the attack and, although Obama has had time to campaign, fundraise and appear on Univision, ABC’s The View, CBS’ David Letterman’s Late Show, some obscure radio show where he weighed in on some feud between Mariah Carey and Nicky Minaj, and most recently on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, and he’s been repeatedly asked about Benghazi even in those “soft” venues, he has yet to find the time to sit behind his desk in the Oval Office and, as president and commander-in-chief (both of which he so often likes to remind us that he is), look directly into the TV camera and explain to the American people what happened and why, when he knew what, what he’s done about it and what we should be doing about it going FORWARD, to quote his own campaign slogan.
If Romney doesn’t come loaded for bear on Benghazi-gate in the next, last debate, which is totally focused on foreign policy and hopefully has a more moderate moderator, shame on him. Then, he really will have missed an opportunity. But he doesn’t have to actually call the president a liar about Benghazi-gate on national TV. All he has to do is show that he is. Then, merely insinuate that if Team Obama have lied to us about this, what else have they lied to us about?
Obama’s “reset relations” policy with Russia not working, his open mic comment that the Russians give him more time until after the election, his “America apology and appeasement” tour with Muslims not working, his so-called “soft power” and sanctions with Iran not working, his distancing of himself from Israel, what arms we are finally sending into Syria going to al-Qaeda groups (Middle East Fast and Furious anyone?), instead of the real rebel, Syrian freedom fighters, and the resurgence of al-Qaeda all across Northern Africa and into Indonesia, as well as his foreign policy unraveling all across the Muslim world, with our embassies being demonstrated against, our flag being desecrated and him being burned in effigy — all these things, and more, show Obama’s foreign policy is a failure……and why, in this election season full of so many inconvenient truths for this president, he has to lie about it in order to try and salvage it. But a pretty bow and fancy wrapping paper on a package of monkey dung do not change what it is, or make it smell any better, either.
Romney should methodically and persistently tick off such a foreign policy failure list in the next debate, just as he has on Obama’s failed domestic policies in the past debates. If Romney does that and no more, he wins — Obama’s own failed record will sink him for all who have eyes to see and ears to hear.
However, that latter category evidently does not include college students at a recent Obama event who had not even heard of Benghazi and probably couldn’t find even Libya, much less Benghazi, on a map if their lives depended on it, or recent on-the-street interviewees who were interviewed the day of but before the night of the second debate, yet still said Obama had won. Unfortunately, some of the voting public are beyond hope — and maybe even change. That’s the reason all the rest of us must vote on November 6. We not only can’t let Obama win. We also can’t let the ignorant and the uninformed win.