Political Animal


October 22, 2012 10:01 PM Boca Debate Live-Blog II

By Ed Kilgore

* Supposedly new segment, but Mitt goes right back into Economy plus Defense Spending rap.

* Mitt now building pretty big time-of-possession gap.

* Obama says “we’re still strongest country;” might mention our share of global defense spending. Makes me crazy.

* Now Obama pivots into his own economic rap, tosses out attack on Romney’s tax plan. Gets the Bush parallel out late, with barbed references to W. and to (this is new!) Cheney.

* Mitt ignores Bush barb, goes right into five-point plan. Oh, brother. Guess “road to Greece” is return to foreign policy topic. No: back to small business promotion.

* Poor Obama explanation of standards, Race to the Top. Mitt chomping at bit to brag about Massachusetts schools.

* Yep. Obama actually interrupting on this one. No mention by either candidate of vouchers.

* Schieffer interrupts to ask about how to pay for larger defense budget. Romney does usual budget rap. Offers chin on Medicaid block grant. Will Obama pounce?

* Ah! Obama does mention comparative military spending. Looks like he’s going to let Romney off hook on domestic spending cuts, including Medicaid.

* Mitt works on pretense he can magically balance budget, because he did so in Massachusetts.

* Hilarious Obama rap on changing military needs. Mitt does not get to explain difference between redundant Navy ships and horses.

* On to Iran red lines.

* Obama very lucky to get first shot on Iran. Mitt is bound to look like “me, too, just more!” And then Obama gets to accuse Mitt of war-mongering.

* Now Romney has to back-track to echo Obama on Iran.

* Don’t recall St. Ronald Reagan treating South Africa as diplomatic pariah, but whatever.

* Obama a little shaky on current negotiations with Iran. “You’d say it a little louder” a good zinger at Mitt, since it pretty much defines his foreign policy.

* Obama rattles the saber a little at Iran. I don’t much like it, but it certainly does box in Mitt. Now Mitt just goes back to “apology tour” rap.

* Obama pounces on “apology tour.” Wooo. Out-of-nowhere attack on Romney investing in Chinese company operating in Iran. Will Mitt freak?

* No, Mitt ignores is, and goes to the Cairo speech. Neocons will love it, but overreach gives Obama another chance. Nasty shot at Mitt on Israel fundraising trip.

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.


  • Joe Friday on October 22, 2012 10:12 PM:

    Did Schieffer actually say "Obama bin Laden" ???

  • Anonymous on October 22, 2012 10:18 PM:

    I keep waiting for the president to say to Romney, "Thank you for agreeing with me" ala Colbert.

    I love that the president is staring at Romney, but seriously, not that stupid smirk of Mitt's.

  • Anonymous on October 22, 2012 10:31 PM:

    Romney is an IDIOT. Government shouldn't invest in business for R&D, etc.???? Listen, there are some government employees doing research, my dad was one, but in the larger picture, it's private businesses. Besides the fact that the Republicans would be happy to fire all government employees other than themselves and their staffs. ::tearing out my hair::

  • Varecia on October 23, 2012 12:15 AM:

    Joe Friday on October 22, 2012 10:12 PM:

    Did Schieffer actually say "Obama bin Laden" ???

    I thought he said something like "Obama's bin Laden."

  • Hue and Cry on October 23, 2012 1:18 AM:

    Senator John Kerry, having served in the Navy, noted tonight he was actually *scared* by Mitt Romney, saying Romney will outsource foreign policy to those Bushies who failed, that Romney is so wrong on the Navy's strength today.
    Romney: "Confusion, helter-skelter etch a sketch foreign policy"~~~~was Kerry's comment to Lawrence O'Donnell--great interview with the senator-- who has the type of foreign policy expertise that Mitt clearly lacks.
    He calls Romney/Ryan the least experienced candidates ever--right as the cable connection with Kerry is cut out.
    I'm thinking Nixonian/Rovian politics at play as that happens also to spokesperson Stephanie Cutter of the Obama campaign during her post-debate interview.