What to listen for tonight

Don't believe your eyes -- use your ears to search for substance in debate

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Who do you think would win in a debate between columnist George Will and comedian Jon Stewart?

It probably depends on whether you’re watching it or reading the transcript; whether you’re actually scoring the arguments or listening for the laugh lines.

That fact may also color how you view tonight’s ultra-important debate between presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Given the history of these two campaigners, it’s fair to expect that Mr. Romney will come off like your dad’s accountant – serious and knowledgeable, which hasn’t sold well in the television era – and for Mr. Obama to be light on substance and heavy on platitudes and whimsy, which plays well in front of live audiences.

This, in an election that will determine the future of this country.

Also, given presidential debate lore, what will be remembered likely won’t be either candidate’s command of the facts or their vision for the future, but their one-liners. And their comportment – did they sigh a lot? did they look at their watches? did they sweat? did they seem nice? – will determine the pundits’ decisions on who “won.”

This isn’t a game, though. It’s not a boxing match where the head and body blows are tabulated. This is an election to determine who will lead the most powerful nation on Earth. Should it be seen as a win or a loss for a man, based upon how good he looked or how bad he made the other guy look? Or should it be a way for Americans to determine which candidate’s vision has a better chance of lifting the nation out of its chronic doldrums?

There can be little doubt that George Will is the greater intellect. But could he “win” a debate against a snarky comedian in today’s America?

You can pretty much score the Romney-Obama debate beforehand: If we’re judging it by reason, fact and the record of the incumbent, Romney wins. If we’re judging it by charm, glibness and how he makes you feel, it’s Obama’s to lose.

Reason tells you that the current president is spending future generations to oblivion with nothing to show for it; that his health-care law is actually increasing premiums instead of reducing them; that all manner of taxes will strike a weakened America like a meteor next year; that this president’s anti-business, pro-government policies aren’t helping (and how could they?); and that his foreign policy initiatives are in flames.

Reason also makes you wonder: Would the country and its left-wing intelligentsia be so wholly silent about the continued carnage in Afghanistan were this a Republican president? Or would Cindy Sheehan be camped out as she was at Bush’s ranch?

It’s a good bet, though, that reason won’t decide either this debate outcome or the election’s. And that the Obama camp is banking on it.

Other media outlets may tell you what to watch for tonight. What you should be thinking about, in our view, is what to listen for.

Our hearty recommendation: substance.

Comments (26)

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allhans
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Points
allhans 10/03/12 - 02:58 am
5
4

Sorry, But Obama with his

Sorry, But Obama with his glibness makes me feel like an idiot. He talks down to people. His arrogance knows no bounds. And he has so many groups to pander to that he strays off subject and runs on forever. ..And calling himself eye-candy..I mean really, a man?
______________
(allhans #2 can't sleep and is taking over for now from allhans 1)

myfather15
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myfather15 10/03/12 - 04:33 am
3
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It's a long video but this is

It's a long video but this is what we should have been listening to in 2008 and certainly now. This is the man that sits in the White House. He hasn't changed a bit; The video is long, just read the transcripts.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/drudge-report-controversial-video-droppi...

soapy_725
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soapy_725 10/03/12 - 07:18 am
1
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Whose running the show?

Unpublished

A very interesting and enlightening program on Comcast Cable. President Eisenhower farewell speech in 1961. His repeated warning of what he called "The Military Industrial Complex". Is speaks of who is actually determining US Foreign Policy and it ain't the POTUS.

The fact that we had the atomic bomb and had vertually won WWII by ourselves and our industrial output set the stage for Global Control. We wee not in a "cold war" ( another political spin ), we were and are constantly in war for world dominance. Modern war and conquest needs petroleum. Hitler found this out. His obsession with Russia caused him to not secure oil fields. It is all about oil. It is about middle eastern oil.

Government contractors and their lobbyist tell the Pentagon what they need for WAR and the Pentagon gets Congress to give them the money.
The generals get their wars and the contractors become billionaires.

One of the highlights is Rumsfeld declaring that we know for a fact that Hussein had WMD's. How do we know this? How does even Congress know about the WMD's The kicker is that we gave them to him to keep Iran in check. There was no need for debate or question.

soapy_725
43306
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soapy_725 10/03/12 - 07:13 am
1
1

And back to Denver once more.

Unpublished

The site that gave us Barack Hussein Obama. The most visited site by our POTUS and first lady. The site of the largest underground Masonic complex in the world. Underneath the Denver International Airport. A white bread city. A white bread liberal state.

Obama is just the "current face" on the beast that is controlling the wealth of the world. The irony of it all is the "demonetization of the wealthy" by the wealthiest "think tank group" in the world.

The "think tank" that belittles those who look at this group of the wealthiest, most powerful men sitting at a table together and think they are in collusion. Ludicrous they say. Conspiracy they say. There is no conspiracy to dominate the world. Ignorant masses. Sheeple. Food for the slaughter machines (war) that feed their coffers. It is "the love of money". It is all about GREED. It is not about God Bless America. It is not a Holy Crusade. It is not about bringing Democracy to a world in slavery. It is not about America's brave men and women who die in battle. It is about Global Domination and Wealth.

soapy_725
43306
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soapy_725 10/03/12 - 07:21 am
1
1

Put a real face to American Foreign Policy

Unpublished

Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger. "If we supply them with weapons, they have to come to us for the bullets". His design for PEACE in the world.
Henry is a true believer.

TParty
6003
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TParty 10/03/12 - 07:51 am
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2

Should have started

Should have started with:

"Who do you think would win in a debate between syndicated columnist Bill O'Reilly and comedian Jon Stewart?" because that is actually happening on the 6th.

seenitB4
72742
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seenitB4 10/03/12 - 07:56 am
1
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hahha

Neither one of them are eye candy...:(

Now Perry would be candy...imo

TParty
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TParty 10/03/12 - 08:17 am
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Finished reading the entire

Finished reading the entire article now. So- you have already determined that Romney has won the debate, and given the reasons why, before the debated started. That is called counting your chickens before they hatch. A lot of reports are coming out that Romney has been working on his zingers for the debate. Not working on substance or anything, zingers. So- seems Romney is trying for the snarky one-liners.

The dig about the left being silent about Afghanistan... if you recall, the leader of the GOP did not mention Afghanistan, or the service members during his convention. Fox News and friends were loud about god not being in some platform, but there is only silence when the person wanting to be Commander-In-Chief doesn't mention our service members and Afghanistan?

Romney is not good at debates. He was terrible when he was running for Senate, and he sucked during GOP debates. His only saving grace was that worse candidates he was running against. Romney saying dumb things stand out more than any substance. "I can't have illegals doing my yard, I'm running for office for Pete's sake!" "$10,000 bet?" and other dumb things.

I can't wait for tonight though!!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/03/12 - 08:25 am
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5

This is Big

The biggest debate in our lifetime. We have clearly opposite philosophies being tested tonight. It IS a heavy weight championship fight with the world watching. I read where Ronald Reagan had a glass of wine before his debates where he smashed Carter like peanuts being ground into p-nut butter. Would it be out of line if Romney just walked over and smacked Obama to get things started tonight?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/03/12 - 08:29 am
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The funniest thing ever...

Remember when Al Gore left his podium and walked over next to Bush trying to intimidate him? That was one of the most bizarre moments in debate history. Bush gave him and the crowd an eyerolling look of "what's this idiot doing?" One thing about Bush, he was good at handling impromptu things like that.

TParty
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TParty 10/03/12 - 08:36 am
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3

"One thing about Bush, he was

"One thing about Bush, he was good at handling impromptu things like that"

He really was. The guy throwing shoes at him is another example.

Riverman1
70617
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Riverman1 10/03/12 - 08:40 am
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2

TParty, I almost said that.

TParty, I almost said that. The World Trade Center arm around the fireman. And not exactly impromptu, but throwing that perfect strike at Yankee Stadium right after 9-11. I know he grew up rich and all, but there was a street smartness about Bush whether you liked him or not.

Riverman1
70617
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Riverman1 10/03/12 - 08:41 am
8
1

"You're no Jack Kennedy," was

"You're no Jack Kennedy," was another classic debate event. I did see where Bensten had planned that line, though. But it was effective and memorable.

allhans
21955
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allhans 10/03/12 - 08:48 am
4
3

I thought, at the time, that

I thought, at the time, that the Kennedy remark was mean. I would never have voted for Bentsen after that remark.

rmwhitley
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rmwhitley 10/03/12 - 09:32 am
0
1

It's racism

Unpublished

on the left and pragmatism on the right. There are more race baiters on the left. The left wins the debate.

justthefacts
17993
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justthefacts 10/03/12 - 10:05 am
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2

Interesting

Probably go something like this:
Moderator: Oh President Obama, so nice to see you tonight. Now, who won the 1968 World Series?
President Obama: Detroit Tigers of course!
Moderator: Correct!! Now, Romney, name all the players....

OpenCurtain
10049
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OpenCurtain 10/03/12 - 10:39 am
4
0

What I am looking for?

if the candidate gives a long drawn out dance around no answer answer with unrelated bullet points? He either does not want to address the issue, was a deer in the headlights, clueless or unprepared. All of which are a warning sign on the topic regarding that candidate.

If he interrupts the other speaker, it is normally to quickly draw attention away from the other speakers damaging point being made against him/her. Another warning sign on the topic regarding that candidate.

I love the little give away details, it was part on my career job before retirement. So I video tape and play back the 1st 2 to 5 seconds of each question later to notice body language and see how the mental wheels and gears turned leading up to the PC answers.

There are so many neat unseen, to the audience, tricks. Like a stage spot light aimed just a little off from the side over the opposing speaker. Podium tricks are easy and can have a real impact, by sending out false body language signals to the audience/customers.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 10/03/12 - 11:10 am
3
4

If we could only

Swear them both in under penalty of perjury before the debate.
It would make it a lot short to watch.

My 1st Question :
Mr. President, Which name will you be using for the oath,
you latest birth certificate name, or your adopted name when you applied for college in the infidel country of USA?

My 2nd Question:
In 2008 you promised that your forced National Healthcare plan would save us money? So why did Open Curtains Company Retiree Health Insurance plan go from $1521.50 a month in 2012 to $1994.50 a month for 2013?

grinder48
1357
Points
grinder48 10/03/12 - 11:14 am
0
1

obama & the truth

Unpublished

obama will be extremely difficult to debate because he, without hesitation, lies and is a master orator with the skill to make the uninformed feel he's telling the truth.

grinder48
1357
Points
grinder48 10/03/12 - 11:17 am
1
0

The President we need

Unpublished

We need a President who is for all the people, not one like obama who tries to stir racial divisiveness.

ultrarnr
875
Points
ultrarnr 10/03/12 - 11:31 am
4
4

Which Romney will show up?

Unpublished

Wednesday’s presidential debate promises sharp contrasts. One candidate wants to repeal Obamacare, one candidate invented it. One opposed the auto industry bailout, one takes credit for it. One doubts the scientific consensus about climate change, one believes in it. One wants to “voucherize” Medicare, one wants to save it. One dismisses nearly half of Americans as a bunch of moochers, and one claims to champion the struggling middle class. It promises to be an epic clash: Mitt Romney vs. Mitt Romney. Oh, and President Obama will be there, too.

faithson
4601
Points
faithson 10/03/12 - 12:07 pm
3
2

ultrarnr hit the nail on the head !!!

Yep, it will be interesting to see who shows up and see if there is enough 'time' to explain how we are going to get THERE FROM HERE !

swcohen
483
Points
swcohen 10/03/12 - 12:09 pm
3
4

This will be the first

This will be the first presidential debate in US history where both participants know how to properly pronounce "nuclear." Also, since we'll have Hawaii/Illinois vs Michigan/Massachusetts, we won't be subjected to any wince-inducing hillbilly homilies. Now, let's see if
they can actually answer the questions without the artful-dodge-&-
segue that they teach at Politician Training Camp.

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 10/03/12 - 12:19 pm
2
2

"if the candidate gives a

"if the candidate gives a long drawn out dance around no answer answer with unrelated bullet points? He either does not want to address the issue, was a deer in the headlights, clueless or unprepared. All of which are a warning sign on the topic regarding that candidate."

Should you be looking forward to more "You get to ask the questions you want, I get to give the answers I want" dodges?

Bantana
2071
Points
Bantana 10/03/12 - 12:36 pm
3
2

River Please

River wrote:"Would it be out of line if Romney just walked over and smacked Obama to get things started tonight?"

My first reaction to your comment would be to remark, only if Romney wants a ruptured aorta from an Obama gut punch. But...

Seriously, the debate will be for entertainment purposes only. Only the most detached have not made up there minds and for sure, Georgia will go for Romney. It's a good thing I'm registered to vote in three states. So I've got a chance to make a difference in the other two.

InChristLove
21781
Points
InChristLove 10/03/12 - 01:24 pm
2
2

Just the fact we have to get

Just the fact we have to get THERE FROM HERE" explains a lot.

Tullie
2930
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Tullie 10/03/12 - 02:35 pm
2
0

Bantana said:

It's a good thing I'm registered to vote in three states. So I've got a chance to make a difference in the other two.

How can you legally vote in three states?

LillyfromtheMills
10866
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LillyfromtheMills 10/03/12 - 03:46 pm
4
2

Listen…I’m still stuck on the

Listen…I’m still stuck on the fact that Jeremiah Wright was Mr. Obama’s pastor.

faithson
4601
Points
faithson 10/03/12 - 06:17 pm
1
1

and

I'm still stuck on how good Catholics can give any credence to ole Rev. Hagee, a die in the wool, fundamentalist who considers OUR church the whore of Babylon. A revered supporter of all things republican.

KSL
105945
Points
KSL 10/03/12 - 07:18 pm
0
1

Dyed in the wool.

Dyed in the wool.

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