September 19, 2012

Letterman says to Obama "You haven’t seen me naked," and Obama responds "We’re going to keep it that way."

They also talked about how "great" Obama looks, how "good" he feels, how much he weighs, and how "sharp" he looks. The 2 guys had to talk a lot to fill up the entire show. They talked about the 47% thing of Mitt's...
“If you want to be President, you have to work for everyone,” Obama said. “This is a big country. And people disagree a lot. But one thing I’ve never tried to do and I think none of us can do in public office is suggest that because someone doesn’t agree with me that they’re victims or they’re unpatriotic.”
Did Mitt say anybody's unpatriotic? No. Here's the full transcript of the "secret" Romney speech to donors. The word "unpatriotic" (or "patriotism" or "-patriot-" anything doesn't appear.) Did Romney call people "victims" because they "don't agree" with him? No. The word "victim" appears like this:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. 
He doesn't call them victims. He calls them "dependent" and says they "believe that they are victims." Obviously, Romney thinks they are wrong about that. And Romney's not calling them dependent because they don't agree with him. He's saying because they are dependent, they take the political position that says they are entitled to what they've become dependent on, and therefore they'll vote for Obama. I'm not saying Romney's right about all those things. Surely, some people accept government benefits that they qualify for — like unemployment compensation — but would prefer a government that doesn't provide such lavish benefits and might give conservatism a chance if they heard it explained well. I'm just saying Obama distorted what Romney said in the "secret" video. 

But as long as I'm being technical about rhetoric: Obama's distortion appeared in a statement about what he himself has "never tried to do" and that no one in public office should do. He doesn't say and this is what Romney did. So he has deniability. That was elegantly done, because you don't realize that he didn't directly say what it feels like he said. And yet he got the distorted accusation into your head. He made you feel that Romney said something he didn't say: Romney cruelly and falsely called the people who don't agree with him unpatriotic and victims.

After the Letterman taping:
Obama attended a cash grab at the Waldorf-Astoria, where about 200 deep-pocketed Dems paid at least $12,500 per family. Last stop was Jay-Z’s Chelsea hotspot, the 40/40 club, for a $40,000-per-plate affair that was expected to net $4 mil.
The President took the stage with “Jay-Z and Beyoncé, who wore a red dress....
He compared his upbringing to that of Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s.

“We remember what it was like not having anything,” he said. “We know people just as talented as us who didn’t get that same break.”
If you're successful, you got a "break." Plenty of people are "just as talented" — do they work hard? — but unlike Jay-Z and Beyoncé and Obama, they just didn't get lucky. That sounds a lot more like calling them victims than what Romney said.

If anybody's really listening.

98 comments:

Mark O said...

I'm not listening to Letterman. He has not been funny in a very long time. But, I am reading Althouse.

Synova said...

Who really listens?

Also, I wonder, is Obama's "deniability" manner of speech elegant, or is it a habit?

LilyBart said...


Is this America? We have a tape where a sitting president has said (ini 1998) that he belives in redistribution, and the nation shrugs. And we have a candidate who thinks people who don't pay fed income taxes likely won't vote for a guy who belives in less government, and its a scandal.

Wow, we've come very far in my life.

Tank said...

But as long as I'm being technical about rhetoric: Obama's distortion appeared in a statement about what he himself has "never tried to do" and that no one in public office should do. He doesn't say, and this is what Romney did. So he has deniability. That was elegantly done, because you don't realize that he didn't directly say what it feels like he said. And yet he go the distorted accusation into your head. He made you feel that Romney said something he didn't say: Romney cruelly and falsely called the people who don't agree with him unpatriotic and victims.


Con man.

Yay, he deftly lies, distorts and misleads.

Yay.

If only he knew how to be a good American President.

Tank said...

Lily,

When half the country is collecting gov't money, they're not getting all upset about redistribution.

VFR has a good point today about how most Repubs believe in it too. It's not whether, it's how much.

Dante said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dante said...

Here's the full transcript of the "secret" Romney speech to donors.

Mother Jones Admits tape Incomplete.

I was impressed with Andy R's point yesterday, and meant to tell him "thanks," at least Mother Jones is being honest. Now, I'm not so sure.

Quayle said...

who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it

These are not necessarily overlapping terms, so this doesn't mean he believes that the entire group all share all of these characteritics.

This is an enumeration of the segments of the group.

“We remember what it was like not having anything,” he said. “We know people just as talented as us who didn’t get that same break.”

[Continuing the implications of hte statement] "Therefore, our conspicuous consumption ($220,000 champagne tower) - therefore our conspicuous consumption isn't insensitive of the poor or out of touch and extravigent."

This I'm pretty sure I can say: Romney has never thrown a party with a $220,000 champagne tower, but he's the one that is supposed to be an out of touch millionare and insentitive.



LilyBart said...


We are $16 trillon in debt - and growing, with no real plan to address the problem. (The rich aren't making enough money to cover this off - the spending is just too great. And the "47%" refuse to give up any of their 'benefits' and are even demanding more government programs and benefits)

Its like watching a slow-motion, possibly fatal car crash, and its too late to do anything to stop it. So sad.

LilyBart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LilyBart said...


"If you want to be President, you have to work for everyone"

So says President "I Won"

Paul said...

Ann, you got a "break!" You didn't earn your law degree!

So give us all your money!

Hope and Change!

gloogle said...

The idiots hear what they are told to hear.

FALL IN LINE, MAGGOTS!!!

Dante said...

If you're successful, you got a "break." Plenty of people are "just as talented" — do they work hard? — but unlike Jay-Z and Beyoncé and Obama, they just didn't get lucky. That sounds a lot more like calling them victims than what Romney said.

I think this is why many Hollywood types are liberal. Perhaps there are a lot of talented actors out there. Maybe even more talented than they are. Maybe doors were open because of your mother, your father, or even your uncle, and you know it's not fair.

So in the end, you project your corrupted life onto the whole world, and find salvation in liberalism.

creeley23 said...

But as long as I'm being technical about rhetoric: Obama's distortion appeared in a statement about what he himself has "never tried to do" and that no one in public office should do. He doesn't say and this is what Romney did. So he has deniability. That was elegantly done, because you don't realize that he didn't directly say what it feels like he said. And yet he got the distorted accusation into your head.

I can't remember a president, not even Nixon, who was so unrelenting in his use of tricky language and fallacies.

wyo sis said...

This constant parsing and distorting eventually gets to me. I think I'm not the only one. By the time spin doctors are finished you wonder why anyone would play the political game.

Eye on the prize. Do I want 4 more years of the same direction the country has been going for the past 4 years?
Answer? NO

Matthew Sablan said...

Well, since paying your taxes is patriotic, if you don't pay taxes, then you are not, I guess?

AJ Lynch said...

Let's see Obama's grandfather never seemed to have a job and Obama's mother was off saving who knows what while his grandmother was the breadwinner. Obama almost never seems to talk about jobs he had as a teen so I think he takes after his grandfather and his mother.

And btw Jay-Z and Beyonce - "You did not build that!".

Hagar said...

And why is the President of the United States on Letterman to start with?

Democrats keep harping on it that we need to show respect for the dignity of the office, but how can you respect a person who does low comedy on the late night burlesque shows?
This guy has no sense of the dignity of the office himself.

clint said...

Didn't Obama call Bush unpatriotic?

Steve Austin said...

I'd like Obama to define "talented" for us in a meaningful way. Disclose the college and law school grades and SAT/LSAT scores.

We've been told for years he's brilliant. If he had the grades, don't you think they would have released them by now?

Unfortunately the transcript probably has pedestrian marks and a designation at the top of "International Student"

Larry J said...

He who robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

Obama knows that and so does Romney. Why is the truth so hard?

Birkel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dante said...

My kid this week was assigned a debate set up by his teacher, which went something like "More government necessary, or less government desirable." He ended up being assigned to the "More Government" camp.

He described his welfare Aunt. She is obese, like orca fat, 300 plus pounds and small. She was recently rushed to the emergency room with severe heart disease, including every major artery occluded, and the doctors had no idea why she was even alive.

The government response was to give her the lap band -- she has not lost weight -- and a scooter so she can go to the back porch to smoke a cigarette. In addition, she lives with her mother, who is on section 8 housing, and took the large room with the bathroom, leaving her mother, whom she is living off of, with the smaller room.

Her brother, an alcoholic, is on SSDI. SSDI did him no favors, as it allowed him to buy alcohol. He nearly killed himself one day, and so trashed where he was living they kicked him out. He then ended up living on the streets, panhandling for Meth. He too had a lapband, but the Meth did the trick, causing him to loose weight.

What saved him was ending up in jail, and now he is in a halfway house. He was really angry when he found out that his SSDI did not accumulate while he was in jail.

Note, there is nothing wrong with these two people. In fact, I think they were enabled by the state. While I'm certain there are those who really need welfare in the genuine sense, in my view here is how welfare contributed to the destruction of two lives.

hawkeyedjb said...

People who work hard end up with most of the luck. Huh. Is that fair?

Quayle said...

This constant parsing and distorting eventually gets to me. I think I'm not the only one. By the time spin doctors are finished you wonder why anyone would play the political game.

It is just as Socrates understood and said: a pastry cook prescribing only dessert to his foolish patients can always put an honest doctor out of business.

The Drill SGT said...

[Recording stops.]

Perhaps an "accurate transcript" of a "partial recording"

but that is what Rosemary Woods said...

shiloh said...

Althouse seriously, you must enjoy ad nauseam whining from your con flock. ok, ok, you just look at it as another blog hit! Your bottom line ...

LilyBart said...

"If you want to be President, you have to work for everyone"

Good Point!

Signed,
A 'bitter clinger'

jim murray said...

How he attained his wealth and how he will turn government around is apparent in his speech referencing the 47% and the Palestinians. Triage! Concentrate on what can be done in order of importance.

machine said...

Maybe Mitt will get lucky and there will be another American tragedy he can try and score cheap political points with...

AllenS said...

No, you haven't seen or heard the full transcript. The tape was stopped after the 47% comment and then started up again with Romney talking about China. I demand an investigation of Carter's grandson.

Sloanasaurus said...

Obama is great at lying and the use of the straw man. "Some people say...."

What people?

But the liberal press lets him get away with it.

But one thing is true. The press loses more power every election. THus, it makes sense that they have to make up for that by being more partisan.

Patrick said...

I'm so glad that the President has not allowed the facts that the Middle East is in flames, and that the economy is in the dump distract him from what is truly important to him.

Synova said...

"Maybe Mitt will get lucky and there will be another American tragedy he can try and score cheap political points with..."

Maybe Obama will get lucky and there won't be another American tragedy he needs to deflect attention from since he already shot his October surprise wad.

AprilApple said...

Obama and his ilk are working hard to destroy our economy.

Scott said...

Obama only chooses interviewers who are guaranteed to lob softball questions at him.

What a wuss. The President should man up and have a real press conference with real reporters.

exhelodrvr1 said...

When did he ever "not have anything"?

Sloanasaurus said...

The debate over the entitlement society is a great one to have. Liberals like to point out the criticism of Romney's remark that he is disparaging the 47% of people who pay don't pay taxes because they are collecting SSI or work for the military etc..

But, these people know what Romney is talking about. They know Romney is not talking about people collecting SSI. Romney is talking about the welfare state.

When I was more independent as a young person, it was exactly this kind of thing that turned me off from liberals - the welfare, the entitlements, the political correctness. THis is why Romney's statements will benefit him more than hurt him.

AprilApple said...

Obama is really good at distorted accusations.

AprilApple said...

While the nation is out of work, Obama parties with the 1%.

Synova said...

"And btw Jay-Z and Beyonce - "You did not build that!"."

Heh.

This has nothing at all to do with do I like them or not, but I bet that they *also* know people who were every bit as talented and got every break they got and more, and failed because they felt entitled and didn't work, or partied too hard and self-destructed.

Christopher in MA said...

Maybe Mitt will get lucky and there will be another American tragedy he can try and score cheap political points with...

Says the creature whose party began screaming "BUSH KNEW!" before the last body had hit the ground from the Twin Towers.

Hack.

Sloanasaurus said...

Too bad Leno didn't ask Obama about why so many people are on food stamps now.

The Washington Examiner reports today that food stamps have exploded partly do to the waiver of the work requirements.

Pogo said...

Man, that Letterman dude is one hellacious interviewer.

I didn't watch, so was there a Happy Ending after the massage?

The Drill SGT said...

“We remember what it was like not having anything,” he said. “We know people just as talented as us who didn’t get that same break.”

Obama, son of a PhD, raised by an evil bank VP, educated in the best schools this nation has to offer.

Beyonce, daughter of a recording executive, two parent family, ballet and jazz lessons, High School for the Performing Arts...

Jay-Z, a gansta with a net worth of $450 million :)

Jay said...

And of course 1-2 minutes of the "secret Romney video" are missing.

Nothing to see here, move along...

machine said...

yeah, that's the same thing...

Jay said...

machine said...

Maybe Mitt will get lucky and there will be another American tragedy he can try and score cheap political points with...


Hey, remember how outraged you were when a bunch of leftists perpetrated the meme that Bush/Cheney launched 9-11 in order to get a war?

Me too!

Jay Retread said...

Ann Althouse takes over $160,000.00 from the taxpayers of Wisconsin and barely works. She is engaged in tenure abuse.

Romney is surely talking about Ann and Meade being in the "47%"!

machine said...

yeah, that's the same thing...

Synova said...

Seriously... they've been sitting on this video for a month or more.

Shot it off in September because?

Jay said...

machine said...

yeah, that's the same thing...


Hysterical.

You really are just a bot.

Lem said...

That naked stuff is a reference to Ann Romney walking in on George W getting a massage at the White House when Bush was president.

Another sign Obama is not focusing on the job?

David said...

Poor Choom. His childhood was so deprived. Punaho, Occidental, Columbia, Harvard. What a brutal struggle.

machine said...

Are you really equating a "bunch of leftists" with the Republican nominee for President of the US?

Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?

Unknown said...

I'm not specifically familiar with either J or B's life story. That said, I've always been under the impression that they were 2 of the hardest working people to show up in the industry since James Brown.

David said...

Did Letterman ask him about Israel? Any jokes on that subject?

MayBee said...

Does Obama really think of himself as acting like the "president of all Americans"?

I'd like an example of this generous attitude.
I remember him telling Hispanics that Republicans were their enemies, saying Paul Ryan's ideas were changing the compact with Americans, saying a large debt was unpatriotic. Remember when he said at the beginning of his term that Republicans had talked enough? That Republicans were hostage takers in the tax negotiations? Ignored the teachings of the Catholic Church to make them have birth control coverage for their charity employees. Did he once say Tea Partiers are partly motivated by race?

Now, he might think he is talking about politicians or a political party. But there are huge swaths of people who agree with Republican principles. Voters who voted these people in to represent them.

Obama is not the 2004 convention speaker anymore, and I would really like to know if he *thinks* he governs and talks like that guy.

Nathan Alexander said...

"If you want to be President, you have to work for everyone"

Says the President who:
- Demonizes the Tea Party
- Embraces the Occupy protests
- Messes up an accomplished agreement on the debt limit by tacking on more requirements because he "doesn't trust those guys" (republicans)
- Insults conservative Justices in the SOTU address
- Insults Paul Ryan in a venue that disallows Ryan from responding
- rejects any compromise with the GOP because, as he says, "I Won"
- blames the GOP for obstructionism when his own party hasn't passed a budget in more than 3 years in either house (the Democrats could conceivably come up with a plan in the House that gets bipartisan support)
- blames the GOP for obstructionism when his own party unanimously rejects his budget proposal
- demogogues Paul Ryan's budget
- pushes the meme that Romney is a felon whose company kills people
- whose Justice Dept says Voter Protection Laws don't apply to white people
- whose Chief of Staff advocated using crises to push policy he couldn't get passed through Congress in normal times
- who pushes policy through unelected bureaucrats that he can't get passed in Congress (like carbon dioxide regulation)
- whose EPA likes to figuratively crucify the first 5 people they meet to cow others from insisting on their rights as citizens
- who refused to defend the democratically established law of the land in court
- whose party locked the GOP completely out of discussions for PPACA (Obamacare), much less going back on a promise to televise the negotiations on C-Span

I could go on, but the only way President Obama is telling the truth is if he doesn't consider conservatives to be citizens or even human at all.

Balfegor said...

But one thing I’ve never tried to do and I think none of us can do in public office is suggest that because someone doesn’t agree with me that they’re victims or they’re unpatriotic.

What!? Obama claiming he's never called his opponents unpatriotic?

Bruce Hayden said...

Ann Althouse takes over $160,000.00 from the taxpayers of Wisconsin and barely works. She is engaged in tenure abuse.

Go away. You post this almost every thread now, almost verbatim. Most of the rest of us appreciate the effort that Ann puts into this blog. You don't, so go away.

Titus said...

How many outrages/dramas/ "game changers" "secret videos" etc before November 6?

My guess is approximately 7 new explosive political events which will be one per week before the election. And each explosive, outrageous, game changing event will move the polls one point either way. And then maybe back 1 point the other way.

It's September 19 which will mean some "shoe will drop" then the media will wank over it for 2 maybe 3 days, then there will be some shooting or weather event which will consume a day or two and then back to some political outrageous event that has put someone's campaign in a "free fall".

The only thing that would change this is a big terrorist attack on U.S. Soil or a new Monica Lewinsky with a blue dress and some black nappy pubes (Obamas) held up during a press conference. DNA testing will be done but the tests are inconclusive and it is he said/she said.

Synova said...

Balfegor, I don't know why anyone on the Republican side bothers to make campaign videos. They should just play that clip.

Over.

And Over.

Jay Retread said...

Ann is spunging off the taxpayers for a free ride. I am sorry some of you don't like hearing that the queen has no clothes. (Okay, that's an ugly mental picture that I just created.)

AprilApple said...

David Letterman doesn't give a shit that 23 million Americans are out of work.

Letterman is a uselful part of the leftwing progaganda machine, and he has got hi$.

AndyN said...

But one thing I’ve never tried to do and I think none of us can do in public office is suggest that because someone doesn’t agree with me that they’re victims or they’re unpatriotic.

When will they learn, the internet never forgets...

The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents – #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.

I defy any of the Obamabots to produce a single unedited recording of an Obama speech or interview in which he doesn't tell at least one blatant lie.

edutcher said...

"Letterman says to Obama "You haven’t seen me naked," and Obama responds "We’re going to keep it that way.""

Is Letterman taunting him about being a regular in Chi-town's gay bars and baths when he was a state senator?

Zero does Letterman because he hasn't got time to worry about all the embassies under siege.

Or the ones flying the Al Qaeda flag.

Or the credit downgrade.

Or the fact job losses are spiking.

shiloh said...

Althouse seriously, you must enjoy ad nauseam whining from your con flock. ok, ok, you just look at it as another blog hit! Your bottom line ...

Always remember, whining = telling the truth.

PS The trolls are quite stale today. Maybe the real polls are in.

MayBee said...

I defy any of the Obamabots to produce a single unedited recording of an Obama speech or interview in which he doesn't tell at least one blatant lie.

How about a recording of Obama saying something magnanimous about someone who disagrees with him. And not, "He seems like a good dad" filler.

Christopher in MA said...

Are you really equating a "bunch of leftists" with the Republican nominee for President of the US?

So Howard Dean, chairman of the DNC, is just one of a "bunch of leftists," now?

Peter said...

'Sloanasaurus' said, "Romney is not talking about people collecting SSI"

Well if he's not, he should be. The number of people on SSI has exploded, and it's very hard indeed to believe they're all truly disabled.

SSI has become a game, like so many other entitlement programs. The way it's played is:

1. Apply for SSI.
2. Get denied. (Practically everyone who applies is denied).
3. Appeal. Be sure to retain a lawyer with experience in this area.
4. SSI is granted.

It seems that practically everyone who appeals an SSI denial eventually wins.
Although it's also true that most deserving applicants are forced to appeal. And appeals can take years.

In short, SSI is badly broken, as the process has become difficult and costly for deserving applicants even as it is seemingly unable to deny anyone who's willing to perservere.

It's understandable that someone who's been unemployed for a year or more might find the security of SSI a far better deal than this miserable job market. BUT that's not what SSI is for.

bagoh20 said...

"If anybody's really listening"

I think listening is the problem. It would be better to ignore the noise which is 90% unimportant. These men have records now, one long and substantial and the other now 4 years of precise experience. The world is reacting, the economy is reacting. To see facts and ignore the chattering would be a wonderful way to assure a Romney victory.

The Obama campaign has become 100% deflection, distraction, distortion and mostly dilution by just filling up the chatter box with superfluous filler until election day. He's hoping to water down your analysis, because he knows it's bad for him full strength. Ignore the noise.

bagoh20 said...

Disability is such a scam. I know a lot of people on it. Nothing kills a person's drive and value like the prospect of that reliable check. And why not? Getting money automatically while you go about your life is everyone's goal. It pretty irresistible, once you see how it can be yours. Most of the people on it that I know, would vote for Pol Pot if it meant keeping it. They couldn't care less who pays or it.

Balfegor said...

Re: Synova:

Romney had a good ad running on Youtube, just running that audio of Obama calling it unpatriotic. Haven't seen it recently, but maybe they'll cycle it back.

Re: Obama again:

We remember what it was like not having anything,” he said. “We know people just as talented as us who didn’t get that same break.”

I'm sure he's right, as a factual matter, but viewed from his perspective, this is just a bit of simpering false modesty. Remember, this is man so delusional as to believe:

“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”

The only one of these boasts that might be true is speechwriter.

Michael in ArchDen said...

Someone should ask Jay-Z and Beyonce if they agree that there are lots of other people out there with their level of talent and work ethic who are just not as lucky.

Rusty said...

Jay Retread said...
Ann is spunging off the taxpayers for a free ride. I am sorry some of you don't like hearing that the queen has no clothes. (Okay, that's an ugly mental picture that I just created.)



What happened? Flunk out of one of her courses.
It's a blog, dumbass. On the internet.
If you want to be a prick about conservatives go to DU. They eat that shit up.

MayBee said...

Someone should ask Bey and J how lucky they felt when Obama let them sit in the Situation room.

Richard Dolan said...

"But as long as I'm being technical about rhetoric: Obama's distortion appeared in a statement about what he himself has 'never tried to do' and that no one in public office should do. He doesn't say and this is what Romney did. So he has deniability. That was elegantly done ..."

In a political campaign, it doesn't matter what a candidate says; it matters what the audience hears. There is often a disconnect. Deniability gets you nowhere once the audience concludes that a candidate was saying something it didn't like.

I've been trying to imagine the audience for this year's campaign (we don't see any of it in NY and so it is entirelh an exercise in imagination.) It's a truism today that both the Dem and Rep candidate have a lock on 45-47% of the electorate. So who are those 6-10% that matter?

They aren't evenly distributed across the country, and presumably there are more of them in the 'swing' states than in, say, NY or TX. SO perhaps the audience for the campaign where it is really playing out -- Ohio and, it seems, we're looking at you, Wisconsin -- is closer to the 10-15% mark. My guess is that very few are like Ann -- assuming her fierce neutrality isn't mostly a pose -- and instead are only loosely connected to or interested in the political conversation.

How to reach and persuade them? Romney's comments on the tape were that they aren't even slightly interested in wonky arguments, detailed policy positions and the like. His take was that the pitch is mostly one that takes into account the voter's emotional need not to think that their vote for Obama last time was a mistake reflecting badly on them, while at the same time not something they want to repeat ('disappointed' rather than 'failure' being the operative concept). Obama is taking a similar approach -- he embraces the 'disappointed' idea, saying we're all unhappy the recovery is taking so long. But you don't want to go back to the rich plutocrat approach -- those evil bankers and Wall Street rip off artists -- that got us in this mess, now do you? So far both campaigns are relatively low on policy content, as they try to sell image (mostly a bad image of the other guy).

My guess is that you will see a shift in Romney's approach in the debates. I think he'll take more of the Paul Ryan tack, and get a bit more wonky than he's been -- trying to make more of a policy argument that 'disappointment' stems from O's bad policies, and then try to show the how and why. My guess is that O's obvious preference for golf and glitz over, you know, actually governing (Letterman and Beyonce/JZ yesterday are just the latest) will help Romney marginally in selling that message. I think Obama will stick to his 'Romney the uncaring plutocrat' stuff, along with the usual 'blame Bush' meme. What Romney wants the audience to hear is that O is not up to the job; what O wants the audience to hear is that Romney wants to rig the game even more in favor of the haves. The assault on Romney you're seeing in the NYTimes, New Republic and other usual sources -- everything Romney says is a stupid gaffe! the election is alrady over! -- is really just the preemptive artillery barrage trying to get the target audience to tune out Romeny's message. Even the 10-15% who are only loosely connected to the conversion understand that reality at some level.

Romney ought to win that contest. We'll know in a few weeks.

PatCA said...

I want a singing career like Beyonce's!

After all, she is successful because of a break, and I want that break too.

creeley23 said...

I'm not getting it...

The economy is still languishing and may get worse. Another bad jobs report after the DNC. Gas at the pumps is at record high prices. Black al-Qaeda flags are flying over American embassies in Muslm countries. A professional hit squad, likely al-Qaeda, captured and murdered an American ambassador.

Yet Obama is trading japes with David Letterman on late TV and the media is all agog with a secret videotape of Romney speaking inelegantly, having pronounced the Romney campaign dead last week.

Obama isn't the teflon president; he is the kevlar bulletproof vest president.

furious_a said...

Letterman: You haven't seen me naked.

Pres. Obama: You haven't seen me attend a daily Intell brief.

Amartel said...

AprilApple "Obama is really good at distorted accusations."

Gotta disagree. President Strawman gets away with distorted accusations because he rarely if ever gets called out. When he does it's always someone else's fault.

Obama and rich Hollywood libs have in common that they are vastly overcompensated and overempowered. They feel defensive about this.

Balfegor said...

Obama and rich Hollywood libs have in common that they are vastly overcompensated and overempowered.

I don't know that rich Hollywood types are that overcompensated. They get a bit of kick from generous movie-industry tax breaks, but order of magnitude, I assume they're compensated roughly in line with what their employers/investors expect they can pull in. And their product is generally pretty popular.

Real American said...

Witchery, weakening
sees the sheep are gathering
set the trap, hypnotize
now you follow

deborah said...

“We remember what it was like not having anything,” he said."

What an out-and-out liar. He had plenty living with his grand-parents, and even before when he lived with his mom in Washington state, where the grand-parents surely sent money. He might not have had all the coolest toys, but he had plenty. Plus, attending the Punahou(sp) School. What a sleeze.

Ralph L said...

He might not have had all the coolest toys, but he had plenty.
A little blow, when he could afford it, but plenty of choom.

Rabel said...

The President told Letterman, “What also happened is extremists and terrorists used this as an excuse to attack a variety of our embassies, including one in Libya.”

This puts him at odds with his administration's position on the Libyan attack.

Gene said...

If 47% of the people are currently on the government dole and thus disposed to vote for Obama, how can Romney possibly win? When you also add in academia, government employees, organized labor, students and all blacks, Obama would easily have 60% of the vote.

Pragmatist said...

When Obama made the comment that some people hide behind their guns and bibles because they are, presumably, confused and frightened by a world they do not understand, he was rideculed by the right from coast to coast. If he was caught saying that 47% of Reps are bible thumping, gun toting bigots there would have been a shitstorm of epic proportions. And rightly so. The fact that Mitt called everyone who is a Obama supporter a government dependent that thinks the government owes them a living deserves centure. Many of us who support O pay a boat load of taxes and want what we pay for....good roads, clean water, safe streets and a social safety net. Does not make us any more "dependent" on the government than the conservatives who want the same thing. Never met a Republican who sent back his SS check, declined medicare, refused UI or did not take every break they could get. But they DESERVE it, while the Dems do not. Mitt and his minions have benefited from the government for years, directly or indirectly. But he seems to think that is his and their Right.

Balfegor said...

Re: Gene:

If 47% of the people are currently on the government dole and thus disposed to vote for Obama, how can Romney possibly win? When you also add in academia, government employees, organized labor, students and all blacks, Obama would easily have 60% of the vote.

Because he's wrong. About 46% pay no income taxes or negative income taxes (b/c of EITC, etc.) and so contribute nothing to the main budget (if we preserve the "lockbox" fiction that SS, Medicare, etc. are somehow separate). But of that 46%, a significant proportion are retirees and working poor who are either at a 0 tax income level or qualify for EITC. Romney has a chance a winning retirees and should get some working poor votes. Of the remainder, some are unemployed and actively looking for work (not just collecting 99 weeks of unemployment). People seeking and not finding work should be fertile ground for him. It's the remainder -- the idle poor -- that he has no chance with. And that's probably less than 10% of the population. It was a mistake for him -- even in casual, off-the-cuff conversation -- to conflate all of these groups.

Balfegor said...

Re: Pragmatist:

Never met a Republican who sent back his SS check, declined medicare, refused UI or did not take every break they could get.

One can simultaneously think

A. The government should collect less in taxes and spend less on kooky redistribution policies,

AND

B. If the government is taking my money, I'm going to get as much of it back as I possibly can.

There's not really any contradiction here.

Amartel said...

"I don't know that rich Hollywood types are that overcompensated. They get a bit of kick from generous movie-industry tax breaks, but order of magnitude, I assume they're compensated roughly in line with what their employers/investors expect they can pull in. And their product is generally pretty popular."

Yes, acting, directing, producing, being the voice of an animated penguin, these are valuable commodities, 'tis true. But that's thinking like a conservative, not like a progressive. My point is that from the progressive perspective, they are vastly overcompensated because basically earning anything over a living wage is being vastly overcompensated to a progressive. They keep it, they ferociously protect their ability to keep it, they get tax breaks and in exchange they feel guilty. Feelings are everything.

In other annals of bullshit, notice how Letterman lies about the debt figure (something around $10 trillion) and Obama can't seem to remember the correct number.

AndyN said...

Pragmatist said...

Never met a Republican who A) sent back his SS check, B) declined medicare, C) refused UI or did not take every break they could get.

A) SS is supposed to be money we're putting in that we'll get back out directly. Of course it's a fraud, but that's the government's story and they're going to stick with it til it's completely broke. If we're being forced to put the money in, why shouldn't we take it back out when we can?

B) There was an administrative ruling that if you want to draw SS, you have to sign up for Medicare. The law didn't change, some bureaucrat just decided that they should be able to force more people into the system. I personally know people who tried to decline Medicare because they already had better retirement medical benefits, and they couldn't if unless they gave up all the money they'd involuntarily put into SS throughout their lives. Now, why would they have made that ruling if nobody was declining Medicare?

C) I can only assume you just don't talk to very many Republicans about political issues.

sleepless nights said...

Just as long as he talks about the government benefits to dependent corporations who think they are victims - and with the same tone of dismayed rectitude and dismissal - along with the individual people, I'm fine with it.

Balfegor said...

Re: sleepless nights:

Just as long as he talks about the government benefits to dependent corporations who think they are victims

It's not really dependent corporations there, though. It's their dependent stockholders (pensioners, etc.), their dependent employees, and their dependent officers.

But yes, crony capitalism has to go. Like getting trains to run on time, it's just something Americans are crap at. No more Solyndras.

gk1 said...

When I see these apperances on late night t.v. you would never know our country's economy is in the toilet, our embassys are under attack and we are headed for a massive tax hike with this entertainment blitz. I want to see this lazy asshole fired. If he can't be bothered to even show up for intel breifings, quit already. There is someone willing and able in the lobby ready to step in and take the job.

tacotaco said...

nice try, ann althouse. your quest to rationalize your image of mitt romney as a great man and candidate is starting to get pathetic

amba said...

This whole debate is too unsubtle. It isn't only that there are no "breaks," some people work hard and some don't. And it isn't only that everyone works hard and only some get "breaks." We all know people who are talented AND work hard, but because they are outside or behind or ahead of their time, because their work doesn't grab the broad popular imagination, they are never successful. We all know people who are talented and DON'T work hard, or are addicted to something (as are many of the successful as well), and who fail because they are lazy or lack determination or focus. We all hear of people who become famous and were able to exploit their 15 minutes after their YouTube video went viral or they had sex or non-sex with a famous person. We hear of people who win the lottery and it ruins their lives. We know good people who may not have (or have developed) any special talent who work brutally hard all their lives, take care of their aged parents and send their kids to college, on a near-minimum wage, and die young. We know able-bodied people who stand out on the street panhandling on the excuse that their ancestors were victimized. We know people who are doing well in life because their parents sent them to college and then they went to professional school and stayed on track and didn't screw up. Etc. etc. etc. The interplay of character and talent and fate and luck is incredibly complex. There are makers and takers, but there are also opportunists and schlimazels and hapless heirs and starving artists and Kardashians and financiers . . .