The 2nd Presidential debate is tomorrow October 16, 2012, 9:00 PM, at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. The first debate was a huge game changer. The Obama campaign knows they can't withstand another debate like the first one. They've gotten some helpful feedback from fans in the mainstream media such as Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Bill Maher, Sherri Shepherd, Michael Tomasky, Al Sharpton, Ed Schultz, Chris Hayes et al. The consensus among these aghast commentators seemed clear: President Obama should have been watching more MSNBC if he wanted to learn the best way to counter the conservative viewpoint. Chris Matthews recited a litany of mainstream class warfare tropes helpfully conjured up for Obama by the MSNBC team during this campaign cycle that Obama would have known about had he watched more MSNBC:
After the vice-presidential debate, when the Obama campaign saw how successful Joe Biden appeared to be when he used openly disdainful body-language, incessant smirking and outright laughter, along with constant interruptions during Paul Ryan's speaking time, and—as luck would have it—an overtly helpful moderator—Martha Raddatz of ABC news—they vowed that this time Obama was going to go on the attack!
“I think [Obama] is going to be aggressive in making the case for his view of where we should go as a country,” senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod said on “Fox News Sunday.” Axelrod argued that Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan failed during a Sept. 30 appearance on Fox, then during his debate last week to detail how Romney would pay for his $5 trillion tax plan. “So, we're going to give Governor Romney another chance on Tuesday to try and square this impossible circle,” Axelrod said. He also said Obama plans to be more aggressive and is making “adjustments” before the debate.This is the 3rd of a four round battle and the scorecards look to be tied at one round for Romney and one for Obama. Both combatants are now warmed up and suddenly Obama at last realizes that he's got a real fight on his hands. I expect him to come out swinging this time.
This 3rd debate—the 2nd between Obama and Romney—is what's called a town-hall format. The moderator will not be asking her own questions nor will she be asking predetermined questions; she will instead merely be relaying questions from the audience. However, recently it was discovered that the moderator—Candy Crowley—plans on taking a more active role:
—Jack Mirkinson—Huffington Post: "Carole Simpson, the last woman to moderate a debate, said on CNN that she felt "women are being marginalized" because, like her, you were selected for a debate in which you don't come up with the questions."Both campaigns upon hearing about this immediately complained. Neither campaign seems happy with the idea that apparently Candy Crowley has—without either campaign's approval—decided to expand her own role in this town-hall debate. If the vice-presidential debate is anything to go by however, it seems likely that the Obama campaign complaint is merely proforma crocodile tears.
Candy Crowley—2nd Presidential Debate Moderator: "Carole and I are great friends. I don't know what the rules were for hers. I don't feel that way. I hope that I can add to this conversation. I hope that I can say, 'well, now that you've said that, though, doesn't that bring up this?' "
Romney is practicing his debate performance right now. I hope that he's also studying Candy Crowley. I did a little studying this morning myself. Check out this interview with Rick Santorum. Watch how Candy keeps trying to interrupt Rick. She plays him what she hopes to be a gotcha clip that proves how tough Obama is on terrorism in the Mid-East, but is in the end thoroughly schooled by a defiantly determined Santorum who refuses to be shut down. This is what we can expect tomorrow. She's an interrupter and she's evidently on Obama's side. You can't watch a video like this and not come away with that impression. Look at this:
Obama is going to interrupt repeatedly. He's going to laugh and use derisive body-language. He's going to do all the things that Biden did, and he certainly expects Candy Crowley to be in his corner. Romney had better expect the same thing. I hope Romney's been practicing his ability to talk right through attempted interruptions, because incessant interruptions are what he's going to be facing: interruption after interruption from the Obama-Candy tag team. Romney's message is the vastly better one. He must get that message out there, but Obama and Crowley will do everything that can to stop him. Romney, don't let them stop you. Just keep talking!