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Second Presidential Debate: Obama Needs Some Drama

Oct 15, 2012, 7:27 pm EDT
Second Presidential Debate: Obama Needs Some Drama

Mitt Romney’s powerful debate performance on October 3rd re-set the presidential race just one month before the election. Before the first debate, President Barack Obama had a comfortable lead in the swing states and a narrow lead nationally. As of today, the race is tied nationally and Obama has lost support in the battleground states.

Advisors to the Obama campaign have vowed that the president will not make the same mistakes again. They are planning for Obama to be more clearly on offense, attacking Romney’s litany of flip-flops on display at the Denver debate (For an excellent summary of these ‘etch-a-sketch’ moments, see this Andrew Sullivan article).

Much of what Obama needs to accomplish is theatrical. He needs to convince voters that he has some fire in his belly and really cares about winning re-election. But we can also hope for substantive conversation tomorrow night about some issues raised in the first debate and some that were conspicuous by their absence. The debate will be a town-hall type format, with independent voters posing questions. Here are just a few of the issues we can hope to see addressed at the second presidential debate. Read 

Lively VP Debate Ends in a Draw

Oct 12, 2012, 7:15 am EDT
Lively VP Debate Ends in a Draw

Unlike the first presidential debate last week, where Mitt Romney walked away the clear winner, Thursday night’s one and only conversation between the two vice-presidential candidates produced three victors: Joe Biden, Paul Ryan and Martha Raddatz. And while both candidates did well, the bottom line is that Joe Biden effectively stopped the free-fall of the Obama campaign.

Joe Biden brought his “A” game. After the dismal performance of President Barack Obama last week, the stakes were high for the vice president. He needed to attack the Romney/Ryan ticket on the lack of specifics and defend the record of the Obama administration. He did both masterfully.

Biden wasted no time asking Ryan to supply some specific ways that he and Romney plan to pay for their 20% across-the-board tax cut. Biden is in some ways far more qualified to talk about this issue than Obama, due to his long tenure in Congress. Ryan and his GOP colleagues like to point to the Reagan tax cuts as evidence of cuts leading to growth, and therefore paying for themselves. Biden was quick to point out, however, that Reagan was very specific about the loopholes he wanted to close. Since Biden was actually serving in the Senate when those big tax negotiations took place, his claim that Romney and Ryan are not actually following the Reagan model holds considerable credibility. Read 

Paul Ryan’s Fitness Photo Shoot Has Some Snarking

Oct 11, 2012, 7:20 pm EDT
Paul Ryan’s Fitness Photo Shoot Has Some Snarking

Paul Ryan’s love for P90X is well known among those on Capitol Hill. The results of his grueling fitness routine, however, have usually been hidden under suits and ties — until now.

In a recently released photo series that was taken last December for Time magazine, Ryan is shown in a workout setting, both in a suit and in workout clothes. In a couple of shots, this includes a backwards red baseball cap and ear bud headphones.

His choice of attire and facial expressions led many bloggers to immediately poke fun at him. Among those mocking Romney’s running mate are Gawker, who preemptively declared him the loser of tonight’s vice-presidential debate, and New York Magazine. A writer for Philadelphia Magazine said he looked like “a mix of Screech and A.C. Slater.” Even Glenn Beck had to concede the photos were “unflattering”, though he criticized Time for publishing them just hours before the debate. Read 

Romney Gains in Key Swing States

Oct 11, 2012, 2:57 pm EDT

Last week’s presidential debate may not have been a game changer, but it was a momentum shifter — toward Mitt Romney.

That’s the message in polls of five swing states released Thursday.

The polls — one by CBS News, The New York Times and Quinnipiac University, the other by NBC News, The Wall Street Journal and Marist College — show the race tightening in the states that will determine the election, and the Republican presidential candidate is the beneficiary. Read 

VP Debate: What the Candidates Must Do to Win

Oct 10, 2012, 7:03 pm EDT
VP Debate: What the Candidates Must Do to Win

By all accounts, President Barack Obama bombed in the first presidential debate with his GOP challenger last week. The effect on the campaign has been palpable. Obama’s poll numbers have plummeted, his lead has evaporated and media outlets across the board have excoriated him.

Tomorrow night, Vice President Joe Biden and his possible successor, Representative Paul Ryan, will take the stage for the one and only vice-presidential debate. While these debates have historically been inconsequential, this time it’s different. Obama’s supporters are anxious to see if Biden can deliver the scathing attacks on the Romney/Ryan campaign that they believe should have come from the president last week.

As you are watching the VP debate, keep in mind what each man needs to accomplish on the stage in Danville, Kentucky. Read 

Why Disney’s All About the GOP

Oct 10, 2012, 12:16 pm EDT
Why Disney’s All About the GOP

Imagine Mickey Mouse with sunglasses and a visor at the World Series of Poker. Maybe you can see Goofy in your mind’s eye at the roulette table shouting, “Mommy wants a new pair of really big shoes, ah-haw-haw!”

Dare I suggest Daisy Duck smoking a stogie and hitting on 17 in blackjack?

If these thoughts seem out of place, then imagine how Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) would feel at the juxtaposition of these images. Yet despite the oddities involved in these scenarios, they are not the reasons why Disney is donating 90 cents of every dollar to Republican candidates in the state of Florida. Disney wants Republicans in the state legislature because they’ll oppose plans to permit casino gaming in the state of Florida. Read 

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