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Will Obama attempt to use 2nd debate to make campaign referendum on Romney?

Contendinghe was just “too polite“, President Obama attempted to excuse his performance in his first debate with Mitt Romney:

But, you know, the good news is, is that’s just the first one. Gov. Romney put forward a whole bunch of stuff that either involved him running away from positions that he had taken, or doubling down on things like Medicare vouchers that are going to hurt him long term. …

And, you know, I think it’s fair to say that we will see a little more activity at the next one.

Interesting that Obama claims his politeness stems from his failure to attack Mitt Romney — and not from his failure to respond to Mitt Romney’s criticism of his record.  Or his failure to more aggressively defend his own record.  Or his failure to more aggressively outline his plans for his second term.

It’s all about his failure to attack the challenger.  Later, he echoed the notion of his failure to attack when he said he had been “too restrained when Mr. Romney was telling his tall tales.”  Obama believe that “when you read the transcript, everything I said was true and a lot of what he said was not.”  In short, his failure wasn’t related to what he failed to say about himself, but what he failed to say about Mitt.

Given this self-critique, we can thus expect him to put Romney on defense in their second face-off by attacking the Republican.  This seems to confirm what National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru observed about “Obama’s strategy, to the extent he had one“; he wants “to make the race a referendum on the challenger.”

That’s really not a good place for an incumbent to be.  And likely not what wavering voters want to hear from a president about whose record they have concerns and about his plans (for a second term) they have questions.

RELATED:  Take a gander at what Bill Kristol found missing from Biden’s performance last week in Kentucky:

What gets Biden excited aren’t any particular plans for the future. Biden spent almost no time in his debate explaining how things would get better in a second term of an Obama-Biden administration. Democratic spinners tried to explain Biden’s maniacal smiles and smirks as evidence he’s a happy warrior. But the spirit of Biden is altogether different from the truly happy warrior of the -liberalism of another era, Hubert Humphrey. Humphrey bubbled over with enthusiasm for the future. Biden was agitated rather than enthusiastic, and his energy was entirely channeled into demagoguing a Romney-Ryan future.



  1. Interesting. Obama says “Romney lied” and his glassy-eyed cultists dutifully chant that precise mantra.

    Comment by V the K — October 15, 2012 @ 6:00 am - October 15, 2012

  2. Biden knew that Ryan was no match for him,he too has nothing but contempt for Rryan; his antics and embarrassing behavior was to simply to distract, lie, laugh, obfuscate and, redirect to hide his hubris and incompetence.

    Comment by cali — October 15, 2012 @ 7:01 am - October 15, 2012

  3. Apparently, Romney will have to opponents in the next debate, since the moderator seems to feel that it will be her role to “say, ‘Hey, wait a second, what about X, Y, Z?’”

    We all know how this will play out.

    Comment by V the K — October 15, 2012 @ 7:46 am - October 15, 2012

  4. correction: “Romney will have two opponents in the next debate…”

    Comment by V the K — October 15, 2012 @ 7:47 am - October 15, 2012

  5. It is no shock that Obama’s campaign strategy has to be about attacking Romney-there isn’t any way possible for him to defend his record and make a case for his reelection on merit.

    Comment by Just Me — October 15, 2012 @ 8:11 am - October 15, 2012

  6. V nailed it in comment #3. Even Time Mag (no conservative rag here) has some suspicion about Candy’s impartiality:

    PS – Did you see Crowley’s pic on Drudge just now? That’s a face that could curdle milk.

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — October 15, 2012 @ 9:04 am - October 15, 2012

  7. Obama2012 & the MSM have been trying to make 2012 a referendum on RomneyRyan2012 for months; it hasn’t stuck because there’s no truth to it. But that won’t stop Obama foolishly trying to do it again & again.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — October 15, 2012 @ 9:19 am - October 15, 2012

  8. As someone on Ace observed, if your name is ‘Candy,’ you should keep an eye on your avoirdupois.

    Comment by V the K — October 15, 2012 @ 10:06 am - October 15, 2012

  9. Don’t be surprised if Romney pulls a Newt and goes after Crowley if she gets to obnoxious.

    Comment by Catseye — October 15, 2012 @ 4:44 pm - October 15, 2012

  10. If Obama comes across too different from last time he will actually lose MORE supporters.
    A too changed Obama will look scripted and acting-coached.
    Like an actor who is the sleepy country bumpkin one film and the action hero in the next.

    Comment by Nan G — October 15, 2012 @ 6:40 pm - October 15, 2012

  11. […] Will Obama attempt to use 2nd debate to make campaign referendum on Romney? […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Will Obama offer plans for second term in second debate? — October 16, 2012 @ 12:54 pm - October 16, 2012

  12. When is “polite” something he wants to try NOT to be? Are we going to see another condescending smirkfest like the VP debate?

    Comment by Tim in MT — October 16, 2012 @ 12:57 pm - October 16, 2012

  13. […] MIGHT TRY IT, IT WON’T WORK:  Will Obama attempt to use 2nd debate to make campaign referendum on Romney?As Glenn said, it’s a substance, not an image […]

    Pingback by Instapundit » Blog Archive » HE MIGHT TRY IT, IT WON’T WORK:  Will Obama attempt to use 2nd debate to make campaign referendum o… — October 16, 2012 @ 8:12 pm - October 16, 2012

  14. Nan G,

    “Like an actor who is the sleepy country bumpkin one film and the action hero in the next.”

    Only Johnny Depp can do this…and Obama is no Johnny Depp.

    Comment by MarkJ — October 16, 2012 @ 8:31 pm - October 16, 2012

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