Political Animal


September 14, 2012 11:53 AM More Symbolic Fisticuffs

By Ed Kilgore

This item is equally frivolous, though it casts a new light on the Romney campaign’s sudden effort to suggest that the mere appearance of their candidate’s lantern-jawed, steely-eyed visage on the world stage would cow America’s enemies into respectful submission.

In a poll done by Langer Research Associates for Esquire and Yahoo that was pre-released yesterday, when asked which presidential candidate “would win in a fistfight,” 58% chose Obama and only 22% picked Romney.

Maybe all the conservative yammering about “Chicago politics” and the victimization of Mitt Romney has backfired.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • RepublicanPointOfView on September 14, 2012 12:03 PM:

    I have been watching our next Vice President, Paul Ryan, addressing the Value Voters Summit and I have never been prouder to be an American.

    Congressman Ryan has proudly proclaimed his belief in traditional Christian American values!!!
    - Every man, woman and child are on their own
    - More is never enough
    - I've got mine, f*ck you

  • mudwall jackson on September 14, 2012 12:08 PM:

    i'd take obama in a game of horse. no contest.

  • freudian slip on September 14, 2012 12:09 PM:

    I watched Ryan as well....

    Here's a tell-all about Paul Ryan:


    And here's the crap he's been doing to women:

    Since the beginning of the 112th Congress in January 2011, the Republican-controlled House has cast 55 votes for anti-women policies that undermine women’s health, roll back women’s rights, and defund programs and institutions that provide support for women:


  • Obama is right/Mitt is wrong on September 14, 2012 12:23 PM:

    Professor Juan Cole said "...So Obama was technically correct that Egypt is not an ally in the sense that Britain or even Turkey is. But unlike what some media outlets wrote, this statement was no gaffe. Rather, Obama was playing hardball with Morsi, trying to impress upon him that the status of ‘major non-NATO ally’ is not automatic now that the Muslim Brotherhood is in control. It will have to be re-earned, at least from Obama’s point of view. And the lack of response on the embassy attack is not consistent with ally status. Non-NATO ally status is bestowed by a stroke of the presidential pen, so Obama could take it away."


  • Biz5th on September 14, 2012 12:26 PM:

    One of the undertones of the Obama campaign from the beginning has been the wimpiness of Romney.

    Look back at the original entry of Osama bin Laden into the campaign, when Obama's surrogates hammered the point that Romney just wouldn't have been tough enough to make the call to attack bin Laden's compound.

  • c u n d gulag on September 14, 2012 12:29 PM:

    The second Obama made a fist, Mitt Romney would cry like a little girl and scream "UNCLE!"

    Mitt's a rich pussy, who's never been in a fight in his life.

    Also too - Obama would win the other idiotic question, "Who would you rather have a beer with." Hell, the racists would have on with him, just so they can throw it in his face.

  • Mudge on September 14, 2012 12:29 PM:

    22%, not 27%? Kung Fu Monkey must be consulted.

  • Josef K on September 14, 2012 12:31 PM:

    Maybe all the conservative yammering about “Chicago politics” and the victimization of Mitt Romney has backfired.

    I know there's no precedent for it, but has anyone given any thought to what happens if (amazingly) Romney actually has to drop out of the race sometime between now and November?

    Consider how many possible landmines there are for him to belly-crawl over: his taxes, his Church, his doners, this week's gaffes, his finances, his advisors, whatever details he might elect to give out concerning his agenda. The list just goes on and on.

    I personally think the taxes issue will be a big one, especially if it turns out Reid's informant is on the money about Romney paying zero taxes for the last 10 years. Its not likely to be pretty.

  • boatboy_srq on September 14, 2012 12:44 PM:

    Romney certainly conveys the image that there's no issue or incident where he hasn't fled to his support group to prop him up. It's like he needs the GOTea and LDS to implant a spine.

    I'm sure we'll hear about this when it comes time to discuss his support for the Vietnam war: he was so behind the war effort he couldn't wait to enlist - as a Mormon missionary in France.

    More recently, he's been behind the Wingnut curve on almost every issue. It's arguable that he we trying to get ahead of it with the embassy attack statements kerfluffle: by saying something first, he got out in front of what his campaign thought the wingnuts would say - and wound up too far ahead, without a brace and pounded by anyone with a gram of foreign policy clout.

    If Norquist, Cantor, DeMint et al want a cold fish they can manipulate, they couldn't have found a better candidate for pResident. Even Quayle had more integrity. No telling who would be the puppeteer if he were [s]elected.

  • Bo on September 14, 2012 12:48 PM:

    Generally speaking, presidential debates don't move the needle much. In The MittWit's case, I really don't think that he and his surrogates could possibly set the bar low enough for him to exceed it so I don't expect them to be very enlightening as far as he's concerned.
    On the other hand, I will very much enjoy tuning in and watching President Obama take him down and field-dress him in front of a live audience.
    Willard may be DOA when he arrives on stage, though, if he doesn't quit shooting himself in the foot sometime between now and then.

  • Rip on September 14, 2012 1:30 PM:

    As a regular reader of Wonkette, I'm all for juvenile humor when it comes to politics, but for an otherwise serious poll to ask this sort of question lessens it's credibility.

    What's next? Who has the bigger penis? I'm sure the answer would be the same.

    I suppose this result could be read as a rhetorical substitute for opinions as to who is going to get his ass metaphorically kicked in November, and a confirmation that fewer voters think Romney can win than plan to vote for him, but I'd prefer a more thoughtful way of asking.

  • Ray Waldren on September 14, 2012 1:31 PM:

    "casts a new light on the Romney campaign’s sudden effort to suggest that the mere appearance of their candidate’s lantern-jawed, steely-eyed visage on the world stage would cow America’s enemies into respectful submission"

    Is Mitt is resurrecting those heady days of the "Great Helmsman"? Nearly 60 years ago he used the phrase "paper tiger" to describe the US.

  • freudian slip on September 14, 2012 1:44 PM:

    On Andrea Mitchell's program on MSNBC, the more reasonable Republican John Huntsman made supporting statements as to it NOT being a gaffe or a problem when President Obama was talking whether the Middle Eastern country was an ally or not, how that kind of thing can change, etc. Huntsman, of course, served as an ambassador for the Obama Administration.

    And reporter Mike Taibbi said as to the anti-Muslim film, sources say two people are involved, one having a film room in California, and other being on a hate group watch list.

    And me, Freudian Slip, after watching smirkin' lyin' ryan and smirkin' myth romney, know that we need to get out the vote also for democrats in the house and senate, keeping this in mind:

    “... when you look at the sequence from Bush v. Gore, through Citizens United, to what seems to be coming on the health-care front; and you combine it with ongoing efforts in Florida and elsewhere to prevent voting from presumably Democratic blocs; and add that to the simply unprecedented abuse of the filibuster in the years since the Democrats won control of the Senate and then took the White House, you have what we'd identify as a kind of long-term coup if we saw it happening anywhere else."

    ~~~~~James Fallows, SCOTUS Update: La Loi, C'est Moi, The Atlantic, 2012-Jun-24,

  • TCinLA on September 14, 2012 1:49 PM:

    Hopefully it would be "Chicago style": a punch in the face along with simultaneous kick in the groin, as he goes down, grab the back of his head and knee him in the nose, then when he's down, kick him in the face and the gut repeatedly till he stops moving. Then dump the body in the Chicago River.

  • Quaker in a Basement on September 14, 2012 3:50 PM:

    @TCinLA: I find your description senselessly cruel. I mean, have you SEEN the Chicago River?