One of my students told the class that his grandmother's best friend is going to be one of the people invited to the townhall debate tonight. He said that she is really, truly undecided. We'll check back next week (we have Fall break the rest of this week) for what her impressions were from being there. That's my brush with history indirectly through my student's grandmother's best friend.
Will someone tell Fox that no one cares about their tweet-o-meter. Who cares how many people are tweeting about the debate? If they want a gimmick, they'd do better to have the meter of how uncommitted voters are reacting to the debate as CNN does.
9:04 As a teacher seeing my students heading off to college and then seeing them graduating and having so much trouble finding a job, this question hits home for me.
I wish Romney wouldn't keep saying "I know how to do such and such...." He's said that thousands of times.
9:06 When Obama talks about what he plans to do - the simple comeback is, what has been doing for the past four years. Telling the college kid about auto industry jobs isn't a big help.
Oh, green jobs. Such a bust - does he really think that sells anymore? I guess it works with CNN's dial-turners. Geez.
I see that Obama is imitating Romney's numbered lists.
If Candy is going to ask follow-ups, she provides opportunities for the candidates to go more aggressive when they want to avoid doing that for the people in the audience.
9:12 Obama lies about his support for coal industry. Romney should be able to knock this out of the park. If he doesn't, it's going to be a long night.
Obama's answer doesn't give much comfort to the guy worried about high oil prices.
9:14 Policies over rhetoric - the story of Obama's presidency.
You can follow the independent's tracking line. They don't like attacks and prefer anything else.
Romney should be attacking on Obama's failed support of green energy.
9:16 Our production is going up - no thanks to Obama. Where are all the green jobs Obama has been promising us four years. The drilling that Obama is bragging about are because the Bush administration approved it.
Ooh, now they're getting in each other's faces. Food fight!
9:19 I think we need a fact-checker on all this.
Ooh, Romney just told Obama to hold off. Alpha male.
Good point - the proof if Obama's policies are working is the price at the pump. Good point.
Good follow up from Candy. Oh, please
What is Obama's point about pipeline wrapping around the earth? What does that have to do with the XL pipeline?
How are windmills going to lower the price of gas at the pump?
Romney dominates both Obama and Candy.
Good opportunity for Romney to clarify his tax plan and address deductions that people care about. I rather like the idea of having a bucket for deductions with a ceiling.
Now we're going to have dueling references to studies.
9:27 How can Obama talk about his tax policy? He doesn't have a plan. He had the Congress in the palm of his hand when he came in for two years. He didn't care about a tax plan then.
9:29 Oh, please - how can Obama brag about some tax break for small businesses for hiring vets when Obama also wants to raise taxes on small business owners.
Obama seems to think that the way to grow the economy is to have government do more. We've seen that failure for the past four years.
Oh, Big Bird. Drink.
9:34 Obama suddenly cares about the deficit. Please.
9:35 Good of Romney to switch from Candy's request for more taxes to Obama's trillion dollar deficits.
9:37 Oh, what BS to have a question about women earning less than men. Come on, Candy, did you have to select a question right up Obama's wheelhouse. I hate that phony statistic that ignores that women choose different career paths because of their choices to be more with their families. And the Lily Ledbetter Act is also such a phony - she delayed bringing her case. What a set-up question and Romney can't use this opportunity to explain why the premise of the question is such nonsense. Blech!
9:39 If someone is really concerned about women in the workplace, do they really care about Romney's cabinet in Massachusetts six years ago?
Now Romney is getting to the real women's issue - how this economy is hurting women.
9:43 Is Obama really bringing up free contraception for women. And that helps women to get jobs how?
The gadget twirlers love to hear about getting free contraception.
9:45 This is an undecided voter - to ask about differences with George W. Bush? Of course, it provides Romney with an opportunity separate himself from Bush. That's actually a great chance for him. And Romney gets to stick in a hit at Obama and deficits one more time.
9:49 Ah, the phony attack on Romney investing in companies that were pioneers in outsourcing.
Who knew Obama would suddenly say good things about Bush now?
9:51 Nice to pair the Bush question with the disappointed Obama voter. Candy has redeemed herself.
9:54 Romney tries the empathy approach. "I think you know better." Now Romney can remind us of all the broken promises that Obama made. Romney is good at the sad, disappointed in Obama voice.
Once again Obama's record is one of rhetoric over results.
Oh, good to contrast Obama's weak recovery with Reagan's recovery.
Strong answer from Romney. I don't see how disappointed voters will be convinced by that exchange. And it worked well that Obama didn't get a chance to respond.
With the gotcha question on immigration, it's good for Romney to stress his support for legal immigration and pathway for citizenship for children of illegal immigration.
Good to remind them that Obama had Democratic supermajorities in Congress and didn't put forth any proposal.
Ooh, Romney scores by name-checking Univision's question to Obama why he didn't fulfill his promise.
Obama says he can deliver Democrats for comprehensive immigration reform. Bush tried to do that and got zero support from Democrats.
10:09 Finally! Someone asks this president why security was denied to our diplomats.
Obama pays the concern card. Obama tells us what he did when he heard. He got on the phone and then went to Las Vegas.
He doesn't answer the question about why his administration didn't respond to previous attacks on the consulate.
He doesn't believe in turning security into a political issue? How did that work when Bush was president.
Obama says he takes responsibility. He's behind Hillary took responsibility before he did. And it's almost five weeks after it happened.
If no one is more interested than Obama in finding out what happened, why didn't he hold a national security briefing to pin down what happened.
Why is Candy Crowley stepping in to defend the President? He went on The View and Letterman to talk about the video. He went before the UN to talk about the video.
Oh, geez! An assault weapon question? Is this really an important issue today?
I don't know that someone asking about assault weapons is looking for an answer about American values.
Romney brings up Fast and Furious and why we have so many questions and Obama uses executive privilege to keep us from answering.
If Obama want's high-wage, high-skill jobs, why haven't we seen that in the past four years?
Government does not create jobs! Excellent. I wish he'd had more time to talk about that.
10:35 I like the question about biggest misconception - it is an opportunity for each candidate.
10:36 Who would have thought that Romney would have been the first person to make an allusion to the 47%?
10:37 Does anyone believe that Obama really doesn't believe that government creates jobs.
10:38 Finally, Obama gets the chance to bring up the 47%. I guess the plan was to save it for when there was no time for Mitt to respond. At least Romney got in his pre-rebuttal of that question.
It's anyone guess on what the impact of the debate was. Obama was definitely more on his game tonight. If he'd done this last debate, he'd probably still be ahead.
Now we know why so many political observers hate townhall debates. It is all about the choices that the moderator makes of the questions so why not let the moderator ask the questions anyway.
Now with all the media having to factcheck the debate, they will have to discuss Libya for a few more days. I don't see how that helps Obama. He just said that he called it an act of terror and then went off to Las Vegas. And his non-answer is clear that he didn't have a national security briefing. And he didn't explain why he then spent almost two weeks on The View, Letterman, Univision, and at the UN talking about the video. Romney missed his opportunity to make that point.
If the debate gets judged a draw, that doesn't seem to help Obama who needed a clear win to reverse his performance in the first debate. It wasn't a game-changer for him an that is what he needed.