Under the Fedora Debates Debates and oh Debates

I’d like to say I delayed Under the Fedora so I could comment on the Presidential debate, but that would be a lie, I’m a tad sick and when I’m sick I’m totally Rubbish as the British would say so I’m a bit behind.

 

2 min before the debate I’m wondering which candidate will congratulate Miguel Cabrera on his triple crown.  I really didn’t think I’d see another one in my lifetime.

One of the worst things about this political season is I’ve had no time to follow the most amazing baseball season in years,  Not only the triple crown consider:

  •  The Oakland A’s have made one of the most fantastic comebacks in history made even more incredible by their tiny payroll.
  • We have seen the AL playoff spots not decided until the final day of the season
  • We have seen the Washington Nationals finish with the best record in baseball

And instead I’m chasing candidates

On the bright side I missed a lot of what was a disastrous season for the Red Sox.

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Didn’t realize his was President Obama’s Anniversary spending it with  Mitt Romney was not much fun.

He should have listened to Michelle and just taken in a show or something.

 

Mitt Romney mentioned his 5 point plan, I’ve heard him speak of it on the trail as has Stacy McCain

UPDATE 9:09 p.m. ET: Mitt opens with humorous anniversary congratulations, then goes into his 5-Point Plan for economic recovery. Having followed Mitt on the trail, I’ve heard this a zillion times, but for many of the 50 million people watching, it’s new.

but it never got covered by the MSM now the people will hear it for the first time.   In fact on Morning Joe the next day Mika asked if the same Mitt Romney who turned up tonight will be on the campaign trail.

Earth to Mika, That Mitt has been there all along, you just haven’t reported on him or your stringers haven’t bothered, but I’m jumping ahead.

 

Barack Obama was talking tax cuts rather amazing, I don’t think the listeners are going to buy it.

Mitt Romney coins a phrase “Trickle down government”, good line.  Strangely enough I didn’t hear it quoted the next day on CNN or MSNBC, I’m sure I just missed it, there is after all no chance they would ignore such a perfect quip just because a republican said it.

It’s interesting to consider the scale involved here.  On Sunday I covered a congressional debate on Sunday between Jon Golnik & Niki Tsongas for the 3rd Massachusetts district at Concord Carlisle high school in Concord Ma.  The pre debate buzz was an interview with Jon Golnik the day before at a Scott Brown event

 

The crowd was tiny maybe 160 people,  the press consisted of me, a guy from Patch.com and one other person.  It was easy to follow the tweets because I was pretty much the only one tweeting.

Fast forward 24 hours.  I’m covering Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren squaring off at the Tsongas Center in Lowell for the Senate Seat that Brown won in a special election 2010.  There was no shortage of buzz in the papers and on local TV.  Howie Carr author and longtime NE Radio host broadcast live from arena (and gave me an interview.

 

 

Union activists showed up pre-debate en masse and appeared very loudly for Elizabeth Warren and the large crowd filled the thousands of seats very easily.

The press had our own room and a nice spread, there were more press present at the Brown / Warren debate than attendees at the Golnik Warren one.  David Gregory of Meet the Press was the moderator and the tweet stream was a constant flow but manageable

 

Two days later the Brown Debate was forgotten as the Presidential debate was a media event all over the nation.  All day the cable news networks talked of nothing else dwarfing the heavy coverage of the previous debates.  Show after show took place in Denver in anticipation of the nights events.  In addition to the number of people at the debate itself tens of thousands all over the country watch the debate with friends and political supporters while Millions of Americans who hitherto had paid little heed to politics turned their sets to the debate (and I suspect those sets that started on the Yankess RedSox game for the AL East Division didn’t want long to change to trade the one sided slaughter in NY for the one in Denver) and the debate generated over 11 million tweets.  The steam was so fast one didn’t so much follow the streams as much as tweet yourself and wait.

Quite a difference but it should be pointed out the 33 senate races and 435 house races in the fall will have the same huge impact on the direction of the country as the presidential race

 

But back to the debate itself Romney seemed in Command of his facts and totally in control, he also never took his eyes off President Obama, meanwhile the leader of the free world kept looking down or away like a teenage son caught in a fib, an allusion that Romney used.

 

More importantly was the lack of the MSM support, during the Scott Brown/Elizabeth Warren debate Brown totally dominated Warren with a performance before the break so powerful that if it was a boxing match it would have been stopped before the 30 minute mark.  After the commercial break David Gregory did his best to hold Professor Warren up throwing softball after softball in her direction while hitting Brown with questions designed to split off either the GOP base or the Democrats he needs to get over the finish line on election day.

Jim Lehrer did nothing of the sort, allowing the debaters to go after each other without much separation.  He was roundly critiqued online over this, after all it is understood the job of the MSM and the moderators to help the democrat candidate in any way possible, even at the small congressional debate the League of Women Voters the audience questions were asked by the moderator after league screening and seemed to be decidedly to the left.

I suspect the MSM will be less hesitant to do tag team against Romney over during the debates to follow.

One oft heard MSM complaint the next morning was no mention of the “47% meme the media has pushed for weeks, IowaHawk’s David Burge explained:

There is a running joke that the worst job you can imagine is the guy who has to clean the Starship  Enterprise’s holodeck but for my money the worst job I can think of was being a democrat in the spin room in Denver yesterday, as Byron York Explains:

After a few minutes of interviews, and the arrival of still more Romney surrogates, some reporters looked around and asked: Are there any Democrats here?  Where are the Obama advisers and surrogates eager to speak for the president?

It took a while for them to show up.  And when they arrived, they were on the defensive from the get-go about the president’s performance.

It’s one thing to spin away a 5 year old speech that the public has not seen in its entirety as the press did on Tuesday, It’s quite another to declare the president the winner of a debate to an audience of millions who just saw the entire thing.  It just doesn’t work.

Sort of like the Avengers Movie, it was spectacular in the Theatre on the big screen but I think it will really lose something on the small screen.

Speaking of the small screen am I the only person totally disappointed with the Doctor Who fall season finale.  Not only do we get to play the “Let’s fix everything with a giant paradox” game for the umpteenth time from Moffatt, but the Amy Rory resolution was so weak as to be unbelievable.

Moffatt is not a bad writer and has written some of the best individual Dr. Who episodes but will someone PLEASE tell him that same plot resolution every time just gets old.

Sort of like Barack Obama, that’s the real story of the debate as I put it that night:

In every poll even the ones so skewed that it you would guess they were taken at the SEIU vs NAACP charity softball game the Right Track/Wrong Track Numbers are upside down for the President.

The American People want an excuse to replace this president, Mitt Romney needed do to one basic thing, show the American People that he is an acceptable and competent alternative.

That’s a very low threshold and he didn’t just clear it, he pole vaulted

The MSM will spend the next few day trying to spin this debate but the people they need to spin likely aren’t watching or reading.

Take care and  if you live anywhere near Worcester Mass, you might want to keep Oct 20th open,  more details next week.