Presidential Debate #3 – Open Thread (Updated with live blog)

The floor is open, Agonistas. I’ll be popping in during the debate itself to give a couple of impressions on both style and substance.

And, if you want an even longer winded version, there’s always the DemocracyNow version:

On Monday, Oct. 22. 8:30 p.m. – midnight EDT we will continue our “Expanding the Debate”  series with a special live broadcast of the last presidential debate. We will pause the video after the 2 major party candidates answer each question to include real-time responses from the Green Party’s Jill Stein and the Justice Party’s Rocky Anderson. Libertarian Gary Johnson has declined to participate.

Oh wow, could I stand the excitement. Could my ulcer?


Update – Live Thoughts: Here we go, after the break.

First segment: Beghazi (Drink!) Romney bashes Egypt for Moslem Brotherhood, says Iran four years closer to a nuke, well done Obama for killing OBL (Drink!) but “we can’t kill our way out”. Obama talks about responsible transition in Afghanistan (LOL), will “go after” those who killed Americans in Libya (Drink!).

Romney: we must be able to get Muslim world to reject extremism on its own. Who is this guy and what did he do with Mitt?

Obama reminds Romney of his saying Russia is US major foe, quips “the 80’s called, it wants its foreign policy back’. Definitely on attack over Romney’s previous comments on Iraq, Russia etc – not letting Romney do his etch-a-sketch act tonight.

Romney doubles down: Russia is a geopolitical foe, Iran is the greatest national security threat”. Reminds Obama he tried to keep troops in Iraq, but failed.

Next question: Syria. Obama says we’re being harsh, in synch with allies – but Syrians must ultimately decide their own future. warns that a military entaglement would be a serious step. Romney says Syria is an opportunity to get at Iran, by identifying and arming proxies to take out Iran’s ally – but not by US boots on the ground. says Syria is Iran’s route to the sea (huh?).

Obama swings back to Libya, spotting Romney doesn’t want to talk about it after last debate. Tries to out-hawk Romney. Romney repeats – arm rebels in Syria but no US military involvement.

Egypt: Obama backs the revolution there, says people has same aspirations as people here. Romney wishes we’d had a “better vision”, behaved more aggresively on Arab Spring to guide it.

Next segment: America’s role in the world. Romney – “responsibility and privilege of defending freedom”. (Drink!) But America must be strong (Drink!), strengthen military. Segues to economy. Says he won’t cut military budget. Prez should have spoken out for Iran’s green movement (even though it asked US not to). Obama: “America remains the one indispensable nation.” (Drink!) Talks about education, energy independence, reducing deficit to keep US strong. Obama: Gov. Romney proposed “wrong and reckless” policies, praised Bush and Cheney……got us into this mess. Romney takes his cue from Obama – both now talking domestic economy instead of foreign policy.

Next: where will the money for a bigger military come from, Mr Romney? Romney: blah, blah, website, Obamacare, blah. Obama: “the math doesn’t work”. Obama proud of spending more on military than next 10 militaries combined, however.

Moderator asks if US should extend nuke umbrella to Israel – obama says “I will stand with Israel if it is attacked” – so, that umbrella is already in place. Hang on, doesn’t Israel have its own nukes? “iran will not get a nuclear weapon’ while he’s Prez. Says Romney wants war on Iran as the “first resort” not the last one. Romney says “nuclear capable” Iran is unacceptable – even one that just has nuclear material! then says war should be last resort…bit of a contradiction there.

Obama now hitting back on the “apology tour” meme – “that’s simply not true”. But Mitt did biz with a Chinese oil company doing business with Iran nyah, nyah, neener! romney responds by saying Obama apologised for America dictating to other nations..then says America has never done that. (Rest of world: finish the bottle!)

Romney’s stuttering again – not doing well here. Smirking when it’s Obama’s turn to speak too – clearly rattled as Obama hits him on etch-a-sketch policy statements.

Next up: Af/Pak. (as moderator shuts Romney interruption down, again). “What do you do if the deadline arrives and its obvious Afghans can’t stand up? Do we stay?” Romney: the surge has been successful, we leave in 2014. talks about Pakistan as a failed state with nukes being a reason to stay active in the region, talks about conditional aid to Pakistan. Obama: time to do some nation building here at home (Drink!)

Obama goes on to talk about putting veterans back to work.

Next: “is it time to divorce from Pakistan?” Romney – No. Says ISI is in charge in Pakistan, it has nukes, terrorists could get them ZOMG! On drones: Romney supports the President and will continue, expand, drone strikes.

Next segment: China and future challenges for US. Obama says future biggest threat to US natsec is terrorism (no mention of climate change), and that China can be an ally for trade.

Romney: Iran is greaest threat, China wants trade not war. They don’t have to be an adversary, if we’re “strong”.

Romney: there’s a trade war with China going on that we don’t know about, “it’s a silent one” and China is winning. Obama reminds Romney that Romney helped ship jobs overseas. Both then go into a long argument about the US auto-industry and whether Romney said he’d let it die. Foreign policy, what’s that?

Romney now: “I love teachers”, moderator: “we all love teachers.”

Closing statements. Obama first. Closing by saying Romney is Bush Redux, then moving to economy. Romney: I want to see peace, then onto economy.

And….we’re done. My verdict: Obama did a better job of being moderate-right than Romney did, but of course Obama’s had more practise at it.

The full transcript is here.

The states covered in that swing state poll were CO, FL, MI, IA, NH, NV, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI.

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Steve Hynd

Most recently I was Editor in Chief of The Agonist from Feb 2012 to Feb 2013. My blogging began at Newshoggers and I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with some great writers there and around the web ever since, including at Crooks & Liars. I'm a late 40′s, Scottish ex-pat, now married to a wonderful Texan, with Honours in Philosophy from Univ. of Stirling, UK 1986. I worked most of life in business insurance industry (fire, accident, liability) including 12 years as a broker/underwriter/correspondent at Lloyd’s of London. Being from the other side of the pond, my political interests tend to focus on how US foreign policy affects the rest of the planet. Other interests include early and dark-ages British history, literature and cognitive philosophy/science.

7 CommentsLeave a comment

    • Vintage Romney. Say and do anything to win the election. Flip flopping is no big deal. And Bibi is already smiling ’cause he knows how the game is played.

  • To: Michael Collins since, in addition to not allowing line breaks, the new platform won’t let me reply to specific comments.I liked the movie quite a lot because a) as you say, it is so bad it is good and b) the special effects are awesome.

    • try using IE if you are not currently- for better success on line breaks.
      Also for replying to specific comments
      (now let’s see if this actually works as hoped)

  • Weeping Obama Breaks Down, Admits Bin Laden Still Alive And Out There Somewhere

    The Onion, October 22

    Boca Raton, FL—In a stunning admission during tonight’s foreign policy debate, President Barack Obama broke down in tears and announced that Osama bin Laden was not killed by a U.S. special operations team last year, is in fact still on the loose, and remains a major threat to the safety of all Americans.

    While answering a question from moderator Bob Schieffer on the possibility of another act of terrorism on U.S. soil, Obama began by touting his order to take out the al-Qaeda founder, but then suddenly stopped talking and gazed down at the debate table for nearly 10 full seconds. When he raised his head, the president, now shaking and weeping, proceeded to deliver the shocking news.

    “I’d like to remind anyone who questions my commitment to national security that in the past four years, we’ve put al-Qaeda on its heels, we’ve brought Osama bin Laden to justice, and the country is now safer than…than…I’m sorry, I can’t do this anymore,” said Obama, his expression taking on a nervous, pained look that witnesses confirmed they had never before seen on the commander in chief’s face. “Listen, we never got him, okay? We never got bin Laden.”

    “We’ve never even came close to killing him,” Obama continued as his breathing grew more rapid and tears began streaming down his face. “And we’re no closer to getting him today than we were when I first took office. The man’s a lunatic, and he’s still out there. I’m sorry. I’m so very, very sorry.”

    Unrelated, The Onion: Study Finds Every Style Of Parenting Produces Disturbed, Miserable Adults, October 26, 2011

    Also, The Daily Beast: Fooled by ‘The Onion’: 8 Most Embarrassing Fails, September 29

    Not to mention, Huffington Post Comedy: 17 Times ‘The Onion’ Fooled People Who Should Know Better, September 25

    • Re The Onion article
      George Ade: Fables In Slang:THE FABLE OF THE PARENTS WHO TINKERED WITH THE OFFSPRINGA married Couple possessed two Boys named Joseph and Clarence. Joseph was much the older. His Parents brought him up on a Plan of their Own. They would not permit him to play with other Boys for fear that he would soil himself; and learn to be Rude and Boisterous.So they kept Him in the House, and: his Mother read to him about Little Rollo, who never lied or cheated, and who grew up to be a Bank President, She seemed to think that a Bank President was above Reproach.Little Joseph was kept away from the Public Schools, and had to Play Games in the Garret with two Spindly Little Girls. He learned Tatting and the Herring-Bone Stitch. When he was Ten Years of age he could play Chop-Sticks on the Piano; his Ears were Translucent, and his Front Teeth showed like those of a Gray Squirrel.The other Boys used to make Faces at him over the Back Fence and call him “Sis.”In Due Time he went to College, where he proved to be a Lobster. The Boys held him under the Pump the first Night. When he walked across the Campus, they would whistle, “I don’t Want to Play in Your Yard.” He began to drink Manhattan Cocktails, and he smoked Hemp Cigarettes until he was Dotty. One Day he ran away with a Girl who waited on the Table at his Boarding House, and his Parents Cast him Off. At Present he has charge of the Cloak Room at a Dairy Lunch.Seeing that the Home Training Experiment had been a Failure in the case of Joseph, the Parents decided to give Clarence a large Measure of Liberty, that he might become Acquainted with the Snares and Temptations of the World while he was Young, and thus be Prepared to side-step the Pitfalls when he was Older. They sent him to the Public Schools; they allowed him to roam at large with other Kids, and stay out at Nights; they kept Liquor on the Sideboard.Clarence stood in with the Toughest Push in Town, and thus became acquainted with the Snares and Temptations of the World. He learned to Chew Tobacco and Spit through his Teeth, shoot Craps and Rush the Can.When his Father suggested that he enter some Business House, and become a Credit to the Family, he growled like a Boston Terrier, and told his Father to go Chase Himself.At present, he is working the Shells with a Circus.Moral: It all depends.

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