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Tue Oct 16, 2012, 04:54 PM

Gaming the town hall debate -- How Dems react to tonight's debate really matters [View all]

We all know that President Obama needs a better night than he had in the first debate. But the entire Democratic political apparatus and Obama’s own supporters also need a better night than they had last time. Who prevails this evening depends not only on how each candidate does but also on how their supporters react.

Mitt Romney cannot play it as if he has the election in hand. He doesn’t. He still needs to overcome that indelible moment when he consigned 47 percent of Americans to the hopelessly dependent category. And he can’t say anything goofy or unfeeling, his habit at so many points in the campaign — but something he avoided in Debate One. My hunch is that Romney will try to surprise Obama again, as he did in their first debate by throwing off his right-wing, GOP-primary self and playing at being more moderate. Obama needs to be ready for a second Romney surprise.

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Finally, watch what Obama’s supporters make of the debate. Keep an eye on the Twitter feeds and on what the more liberal commentators say in their post-debate commentaries. As the first presidential debate went on, the feeds of progressives went almost silent. After the debate, Obama-leaning commentators might have been even more critical of his performance than neutral analysts were. The negativity built and metastasized to the point where Obama’s “defeat” looked far worse 24 and 48 hours later than it did at the time. To invoke a football metaphor, it would be as if post-game commentary had the power to spin a 24-to-14 defeat into a 38-to-3 catastrophe. That can’t happen in sports, but it can happen in political debates.

My hunch is that this won’t be repeated this time — partly because Obama’s supporters have been put in a fighting mood by the possibility of a Romney victory, and partly because Obama rarely makes the same mistake twice.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/gaming-the-town-hall-debate/2012/10/16/6b3ed27c-179d-11e2-a55c-39408fbe6a4b_blog.html?hpid=z2

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Reply Gaming the town hall debate -- How Dems react to tonight's debate really matters [View all]
Jessy169 Oct 2012 OP
hrmjustin Oct 2012 #1
Jessy169 Oct 2012 #3
courseofhistory Oct 2012 #14
Mass Oct 2012 #2
Jessy169 Oct 2012 #5
Wednesdays Oct 2012 #13
AverageJoe90 Oct 2012 #20
progressivebydesign Oct 2012 #4
Jessy169 Oct 2012 #7
BainsBane Oct 2012 #16
TwilightGardener Oct 2012 #6
regnaD kciN Oct 2012 #8
PATRICK Oct 2012 #9
Jessy169 Oct 2012 #11
Cha Oct 2012 #18
Rosa Luxemburg Oct 2012 #10
Jessy169 Oct 2012 #12
BainsBane Oct 2012 #15
bushisanidiot Oct 2012 #17
Rosa Luxemburg Oct 2012 #19
NCLefty Oct 2012 #21
bushisanidiot Oct 2012 #22
NCLefty Oct 2012 #23