Presidential Debate LiveBlog

Why not? For those staying up real late or are in a more convenient timezone, I’m going to attempt to make some real-time comments on the most important debate in human history (unless the President loses, in which case debates don’t really matter). Regional ale will be involved. Then we can look at the BBC’s own live text coverage and compare.

(NB: Page is set to refresh automatically every two minutes. Apologies in advance if that screws up anyone in the middle of a comment.) (Yeah, like anyone’s even paying attention. Get over yourself. -ed)


I’m calling this one for the President. He didn’t say much that worked, or much that was even really true. But he made contact on pitches and Romney missed a lot.


Oh God, bad ending from Romney there. Too pleading.


Hmm, decent dig at the most partisan President in ages. We’ll see if that sticks with anyone.


Romney missed so many opportunities here. He’s like A-Rod sitting on fastballs and getting called out on strikes, waiting for something gift-wrapped that will never come.


Plus a class war meme. The rich must pay their fair share. Who defines that?


What spending don’t you think we need, Mr. President? How are you going to maintain the strongest military in the world when you just told us you were going to cut it way back?


Back to Bush again. Who buys this besides the Beltway dopes and the HuffPo?


Wow, no Benghazi. Right there it’s a big victory for the President.


Someday the Left will stop thinking they’re running against George Bush. Then again, Labour and the BBC still think they’re running against a return to the Thatcher era. If only, eh?


Romney = Bush! ZZZzzzzzzzzzz.


Where did trillion come from? He’s just making stuff up now. Nobody bought His trillion claim last time.


Mr. President: What you define as Government assistance isn’t the same thing as managing a bankruptcy.


Romney finally got around to mentioning Solyndra, but he didn’t do it right.


The President better not pin His hopes on people checking the record on this one. He thought GM didn’t go bankrupt.


Wait, we’re going to rehash the GM bankruptcy error and not Benghazi?


Interesting riposte from Romney there about how attacking him isn’t a real policy.


Lame attempt to connect Afghanistan/Iraq to trade focus on Asia-Pacific. That makes no sense.


Clean energy technology? The bankrupt ones?


I feel like I’m watching Question Time and waiting for someone to blame Thatcher. No mention of Benghazi? Moderator bias?


The only reason Romney just pulled that one out of the fire is because he’s finally citing real ugly details about China gets up to.


Romney’s right about China’s massive malware problem with the hardware they sell us.


Tariffs on steel, eh? China isn’t even buying right now. Their demand is dropping like a stone.


Yes we have seen jobs shipped to China. We’ve also seen China dumping cheap solar panels here. All thanks to you.


China? Running out of time for Benghazi. Is Romney seriously going to let this happen?


We stood on the side of Democracy? Hell no. You stood on the sidelines of Democracy.


Platitudes about treating women with respect from the Pres. Like He’s done anything of the sort.


Romney’s really not doing a great job of portraying the absolute mess in the world as it actually is. Who prepped him here?


Yes, we sure do know the President’s position on drones. He’s got the highest body count of any Nobel Laureate, probably including Begin and Arafat.


The President is winning so far mostly because Romney is letting Him.


We’re already an hour into this, and no mention of Benghazi. Romney’s running out of time.


Tenuous connection between draw-down in Afghanistan and hiring veterans back home, but I get what He means. I don’t know enough to say how right or wrong that is.



Building bridges and schools. FDR and Ron Paul fans take a drink.


The President is dodging the question about Afghans being clueless as well. Waffle, waffle, come on, man. Whoops, nation-building at home again. What was the question?


Um, no it wasn’t. The surge in Afghanistan was not that connected to a withdrawal from Iraq.


We’re still giving aid to Pakistan? Where’s it going?


Two gimmes for the President from Romney right there: The Surge, and he’s dodging the question about what if the Afghans are still useless. Can He make contact on either one?


Good moderation again. They can’t just keep rebutting endlessly every time.


When that woman’s husband was killed on 9/11, the President was still attending “God Damn America” Church. Just sayin’.


Oops, the President just pretty much said Pakistan was working against us. He’s right, of course. But they get upset when He says that.


The President going back to the flip-flopper changeup. Good idea.


What if Bibi made that 3am phone call? If Benghazi is anything to judge by, the President would call-forward it to Hillary.


Supporting Democracy? I don’t know which is worse: the President’s support for it overseas, or at home.


Missiles on Sderot from Hamas? BBC audiences will be shocked to learn that it’s a problem.


Meh, skipping Israel isn’t relevant when the President was trying to reach out to Muslims. Swing and a miss.


Uh, oh, the President just screwed up big time. When He came into office, Iran was resurgent but at its weakest point? Where’s that teleprompter?



Um, no. You did make a very apologetic speech. Why do you think they loved you in Cairo?


Good dig about the Green (almost) Revolution. Can Romney bring it home, though?


Here we go. Calling the President out on what He really said. He hates that.


President doing well so far, better than Romney, because He has the advantage of being in office and having specific incidents He can point to. Not, as Mardell said, because of experience vs. a neophyte. So far, anyway. Wait until we get to Benghazi.


Nice challenge to Romney about having the same ideas there.


Okay I guess they both have to do this “last resort” dance. Yawn.


Don’t either of these guys think it’s important to talk about how all the Sunni Arab countries don’t want the Shiite Persians to go nuclear? Is Israel the only reason to do anything?


Good moderation so far. Best of the lot.


So why does Iran think the President is going to let them slide?


Iran won’t get nukes, eh? Your mouth says “no”, but Iran says your eyes told them “yes”.


Dumb question, I think. Maybe it was just an excuse for both candidates to pander to the Jewish Lobby. This benefits nobody.


Really bad condescending attitude there from the President. “We have these things called aircraft carriers…” Doesn’t look good. I guess he forgot to mention that one newfangled technology He likes most: drones.


Heh, Romney’s obviously been reading the stuff on defense spending. He almost quoted this word for word.


Did Romney mention SeaQuest? I never liked that show.


The President doesn’t actually understand the math here on defense spending.


Medicaid is an open goal for the President there, if He’s on the ball.


Getting rid of ObamaCare? A cheer just went up across the land. Not at BBC HQ, though.


President jumped in too early there on Romney’s term and Mass. education. He should have waited.


The President has the gall to make fun of someone’s budget proposal? Rejecting His budget proposals is the most bi-partisan act Congress has made in the last four years.


When the President says “teachers”, read: “teachers’ union”. Hello, Wisconsin!


Education is worse.


Here come the President’s platitudes again. Take a drink if He says solar power. No wait, it would be more appropriate if you poured your drink down the drain.


How did a foreign policy question turn into domestic energy policy?


12 million jobs is fantasy. Don’t waste my time.


The President just made that up about Romney complimenting Cheney.


You’re going to raise spending and debt every year for the next four years. What responsible plan?


What plan? Manufacturing back to our shores? BS! GE is sending jobs over there left and right. Guess which company’s CEO is the President’s jobs czar.


What? How are we stronger? We’ve lost ground on nearly every single foreign policy goal.


Hey, Romney: deep military cuts are part of the silly debt agreement we made last year. It will happen because no other plans have been made.


It must be weird for the two candidates to sit there and feel like they’re talking to the moderator. It’s gotta be hard to feel like you’re connecting to anyone like that.


This debate thing works better when the President isn’t calling on teacher to shut Romney up.


Romney missed a chance there to remind everyone that Candidate Obamessiah said in 2008 that massive debt is unpatriotic.


Decent line from Romney about why the US leads. Not sure how it will sell with Mardell.


Ron Paul fans are loving the President right now.


The Egyptian youth want unicorns and rainbows. And He’s the President to give it to them!


No you haven’t. The Egyptian President is calling for Shariah.


Yeah, Syria works for the President, doesn’t work for Romney here.


What gall for Capt. Dithering to talk about why we shouldn’t have pulled out of Libya. He didn’t even want to go in. Steady thoughtful leadership, my arse!


Nice handover to the Pres. there by the moderator. Maybe it’s easier for him than it was for Jim Lehrer to quickly do it low key because he’s so close to them in this format.


If I take a drink every time somebody mentions Israel, this is going to be a really difficult evening.


Oh boy, both of them pandering on Israel now. Do they have to outdo each other on this?


Dude, we are arming the Syrian opposition already. You know that.


Good mention of Turkey by the Pres. there. Needs to expand from the “Israel is our friend” reasoning.



Um, Syria is far from isolated……


Nation-building here at home? What does that even mean? He stumbled over trying to say what it means, which means that was a phrase He memorized with no substance.


Jooooish Lobby alert.


Oops, stupid remark from the Pres. about why keeping troops in Iraq is a bad idea.


President is rebutting better now. So far this format is working okay.


Nice riposte from Romney about that open-mic remark to Medved. That’s preparation.


The Pres. has been reading the Left-wig blogs about how the best angle to attack Romney is the flip-flopper thing. Take a drink if He says “Romnesia”.


Um, we do have troops in Iraq to this day.


WTF? Russia is cool now? How’s the reset button workin’ out for ya now, Mr. President?


BBC audiences will be shocked to learn some of what Romney’s saying about Mali and those other countries.


Foreign aid? Translation: handing money to kleptocrats.


The President is showing some angry face. He needs to relax that, doesn’t look good.


Um, less and less countries are standing with us. Which is part of the problem.


Good opening from the President as well, esp. the bit about making us safer and getting rid of the AQ brass. Since it’s Him, the Beeboids won’t be complaining about exactly how He “went after” those trying to kill us.


Damn, Romney spiked the Bin Laden football already! Do I take a drink?


Decent opening by Romney on what many of us hoped to happen with the Arab Spring. Let’s see if he can make connections that will make any sense.


Take a drink every time the President spikes the Bin Laden football.


Two minutes, but how many words?????


Was Bob’s remark about not sharing the questions a little swipe at Madame Crowley?


Here we go. Ah, Bob Shieffer (sp?). He should be better than the last two, hopefully not quite as permissive as Lehrer.


I haven’t even noticed who the moderator will be tonight. Can’t be any worse than the last two.


Ah, that’s better. Back in ten.


Did I turn off the stupid social media stuff?


Seems to be working. Tune back in at 9:00pm EDT (-5hrs GMT) or 1:00am UK time. Anyone still up please feel free to contribute in the comments.




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28 Responses to Presidential Debate LiveBlog

  1. Alex says:

    Excellent, my new job doesn’t start for a couple of weeks, and I’ve half a bottle of wine left so game on!


    • Alex says:

      PS What’s this ‘regional ale’ you talk of? Sounds nice!


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        I’m warming up with a Dogfish Head 60-minute IPA, from Deleware. From then on it will be Six Point Bengali Tiger Ale from Brooklyn.


        • Blooop says:

          Lagunitas’ A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ here …


          • David Preiser (USA) says:

            One of my favorites. I assume you’ve also tried Little Sumpin’ Wild?


            • Blooop says:

              Yeah, but I’m not a big fan of the funky barnyard flavors produced by Belgian yeast.


        • Alex says:

          Hmm I’m beginning to get a thirst for these American IPAs. A new ale shop has opened up where I live and they have a whole wall dedicated to American beers… Liberty Anchor, Blue Moon, Brew Dog Tripe American IPA and so on. Very nice!


  2. David Brims says:

    It really is embarrassing when BBC ” journalists ” / fans cover Barak ” The Risen Christ ” Obama.

    They just can not hide their bias, a black muslim marxist president, it’s as if all their Christmases have come true.


    • Zemplar says:

      Not for much longer. It all ends on November 6, when the American people kick this bum out of The White House.


  3. DB says:

    I was going to try to stay up for this one but it’s not going to happen. Eyes closing.

    I’ll know immediately how it all went from the tone of the Today headlines in a few hours.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      DB, please feel free tomorrow to insert any amusing things you find elsewhere in between my comments. Oo er.


  4. ScottishCalvin says:

    We desperately need some good chat window action going on here. Question Time chat and this (if it were a chat window) were one of the real highlights of this site. Is it possible to introduce a ‘gold membership’ of £1/month or the like to pay for a chat facility if needbe?


  5. Will Jones says:

    David, I’ve been hitting the dogfish 90 minute IPA because of the great taste but my wife suspects it’s the 9% alcohol. Silly woman.


    • Span Ows says:

      Don’t want to scare you guys but 9% is way to high for a decent ale.


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        This is the US, man. Of course we’re going to ramp it up to 11. Er, 9.


        • Span Ows says:

          LOL! Great comments by the way, here in Mexico following them.


          • David Preiser (USA) says:

            Thanks. All done now. It’ll probably make no sense out of context tomorrow. The plugin seems to work nicely, though. Definitely need to use this in future, although I prefer the group format, once the PTB get stabilization (and, I think, cost) finally sorted.

            Time to finish my last SixPoint brewery Bengali Tiger IPA. 62 IBU, 6.4%. Is that acceptable?

            16oz cans, though. It’s the specially lined cans, poured into a proper glass, of course.


  6. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Fox News talking heads obviously trying to figure out how to spin this as a tie for Romney. Not working at all. Makes a couple of them look stupid (yeah, I know, you’re welcome for the straight line).

    This is the online people I’m talking about, by the way, not the shouting talking heads from the regular TV (excluding the torpid basset hound, Brit Hume). The hostess came out looking more straight-talking than the rest of them, too.

    Lovely, sharp African-American woman, Harris Faulkner, who has a regular daily hour on the live stream. She’s way better than most of the rest of them, and something you don’t see on the BBC with its vaunted advocacy for diversity (since ageism got to Moira Stuart, anyway). She’s better than any of the usual Radio 5 suspects, as well as at least half of the News Channel Beeboids.


    • Jim Dandy says:

      Mark Mardell just called it a draw on Radio 4.


      • Ken Hall says:

        So Romney won by a country mile then?


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        I thought the President would have come across as having laid out a bit more substance to uninformed, undecided voters (probably the same thing at this point in the game), which is how I was trying to look at it. Mardell was the faithful acolyte, waiting for inspiration, which wasn’t really there. The President calmed down quickly and played it more straight. No wonder he didn’t see that the President got more points across (wrong as may have been) while Romney was waffling more, and saw only a few clever lines.

        Amusingly, Mardell says he expected Romney to say silly things and make mistakes, and was surprised that he didn’t, yet doesn’t see the President’s condescending, ignorant mini-rant about how we don’t use horses or bayonets, and now have “these things called aircraft carriers where planes land” as silly and foolish. Of course, Mardell thought it was a brilliant line, that it “undermined” Romney. Obviously he didn’t notice the inherent contradiction in the President’s claim that he would both cut defense spending and make our military the strongest in the world. More college dorm argument than reality. Similarly, I assume Mardell agrees with the President’s ridiculous claim that a vote for Romeny is a vote for George Bush. Does that line ever get old for these people?

        Mardell didn’t seem to recognize that Romney’s quip about criticizing him not being a real plan was a very clever line indeed, and has become the take-away line for a lot of people.


  7. Ian Hills says:

    Still problems with Biased BBC server. Keep getting comments on US version of prime minister’s questions.
    Don’t think much of shadow front bench – being paid by Democrats to throw the election I reckon. Now what’s on BBC News 24…..


  8. Deborah says:

    thanks David – made interesting reading and a better flavour than I would get from the BBC


  9. hippiepooter says:

    Just caught it on C-Span.

    I thought Romney came back into it but overall I personally was left with the impression that Obama was cogent and authorative compared to Romney who was on the whole lacklustre. At times, especially at the beginning, it seemed like the first debate in reverse, but Romney came back into it and the margin in Obama’s favour was narrowed quite a bit.

    Obama had his glitches, and the worst I thought was towards the end of his closing remarks when I felt he sounded a bit desperate. Romney more or less excelled in his closing remarks.

    I guess Romney was really toting towards the wavering voters and determined to be moderate and avoid controversy, despite all the very legitimate attack material to come at the President on.

    Overall, I felt Obama came at the debate from the Right and Romney from the left. Let’s see election day how Romney’s debate triangulation strategy works. However America votes, I think Romney’s defintely done himself credit as a person. According to what I read in the Mail or Telegraph, he actually shades Obama in likeability ratings.

    It’s oft said that debates dont win elections, but if Romney wins that definitely wont be the case.

    He was trailing Obama by about 4-6 points prior to the first debate, after that, and inspite of him losing the next debate, he was edging Obama.

    I guess this was because given a chance to see and hear Romney directly away from the biased media filter, it made a decisive difference.

    I guess the axiom may be that if the media is impartial, debates dont make too much difference, if it isn’t, they can.

    That said, Obama’s going to win the election by 1-2points – the msm propaganda guns will tell, as much as one truly hopes to be wrong.

    Mardell’s fascinating take that it was a draw:-

    Mardell’s intriguing take:-


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      I actually thought Romney sounded more desperate in his closing remarks – “Please vote for me. Please? Please?” – than the President, but otherwise I pretty much agree with what you say.

      The Rightosphere is abuzz with people rationalizing it by trying to prove that a tie is a win for Romney. That’s pundit-world stuff to me. Those of us in the lower orders want to back a strong horse already.