Thursday, October 4, 2012

What I would have said during the debate ... a series

Many of us who support Mr. Obama in the upcoming election may have been disappointed in his performance last night. While I'm unqualified professionally to offer debating advice, I'll offer some anyway. Feel free to add your own to the comments section on this series of posts.

Some possible retorts for the president to use in the remaining debates:

Number 1:
Mr. Romney, I have a great deal of respect for your accomplishments in business and in your personal life. In many ways, you're a great American. No debate there. As I've listened to you speak about tax policy and the role of government the past few minutes, I have to say that I'm struck by the degree to which you seem to be agreeing with many of the policies and much of the philosophy that I and the Democratic Party support. So, I have to ask you a question on behalf of all the American people. When exactly did you decide to reverse yourself on nearly every single issue that you argued for during 18+ debates in your party's primary season and reverse yourself on everything you've been campaigning on at your convention and on the road? You sound very much like a Democrat tonight and not terribly much like the "severe conservative" you claimed to be a few months ago. Which set of positions are we to conclude you believe in -- those you've promoted for the past year and a half or those very contrary ones you claim to support now? We all want to know.

Every single time that Romney then contradicts himself or reverses course, Mr. Obama then needs to, as his campaign surrogates did in the post-debate spin, draw attention to the utter disconnect between Mr. Romney's own statements before and during the debate. He can't have it both ways and the president needs to make pointed references to these reversals.

Either Mr. Romney doesn't believe what he said before or doesn't believe what he's saying now. He makes mutually exclusive statements. I won't exactly call him a liar (just yet). Perhaps he's actually changed his mind. For a human that's okay. But as a presidential candidate, if indeed he's changed his mind, he owes it to Republicans (who took a chance on him during their primaries based on what he told them) and Democrats and independents to come clean about what he really means. If, on the other hand, he hasn't changed his mind, then indeed, he must have either been lying to his own party or be lying to the rest of us now. Either the suspicions voiced by primary opponents such as Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich prove to be well-founded or Mr. Romney is trying to bamboozle the rest of us now.


If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner.
Henry Louis Mencken

A politician is an animal which can sit on a fence and yet keep both ears to the ground.
Henry Louis Mencken  

You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.
Abraham Lincoln

A politician should have three hats. One for throwing into the ring, one for talking through, and one for pulling rabbits out of if elected.
Carl Sandberg

Many a politician wishes there was a law to burn old records.
Will Rogers

A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man. In order to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker.
Henry Louis Mencken

He is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.
Adlai E. Stevenson

My choice early in life was either to be a piano-player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference.
Harry S. Truman

Crime does not pay ... as well as politics.
Alfred E. Newman  

Politics will eventually be replaced by imagery. The politician will be only too happy to abdicate in favor of his image, because the image will be much more powerful than he could ever be.
Marshall McLuhan

Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.
Ronald Reagan

The question is, why are politicians so eager to be president? What is it about the job that makes it worth revealing, on national television, that you have the ethical standards of a slime-coated piece of industrial waste?
Dave Barry

I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.
Adlai Stevenson

Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
George Orwell

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.
Nikita Krushchev

The magician and the politician have much in common: they both have to draw our attention away from what they are really doing.
Ben Okri

Get thee glass eyes;
And like a scurvy politician, seem
To see the things thou dost not.
William Shakespeare  

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