Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Deflating post-debate analysis

I agree with these post-debate takes by David Frum and Josh Barro, to wit: Obama edged Romney; and both candidates revealed a dispiriting staleness of ideas about the economy. I'd add that the handlers' advice to be aggressive made them both seem more like irate motorists on the Long Island Expressway than candidates who have something positive to offer.

UPDATE, 10:22 AM: I should add that it wasn't just on the economy that this debate was lacking. I agree with this re Benghazi from Jeffrey Goldberg:
What we've got now is a discussion about who needs to be fired, and which candidate is in a better position to score cheap points. Does Mitt Romney actually think that Barack Obama doesn't believe that what happened in Benghazi was an act of terror? A larger question: Does anyone seriously believe that Barack Obama, a president who is at war in more Muslim countries than any president in American history, is soft on al Qaeda? And one other question: Does Barack Obama believe that Republicans somehow aren't allowed to raise serious questions about the Administration's response to the attack? Again, I wish the Republicans would frame these questions not to raise doubts about the commander-in-chief's innermost feelings about terrorism, but to ask what specific actions do we need to take, quickly, to try to prevent follow-on attacks? Whatever happened to that whole notion of politics stopping at the water's edge?

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