October 19, 2012

Obama and Romney tell jokes on themselves...

... because — exactly why? — there's this Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner to which solemn obeisance must be paid. Hilarious, no? Who is better at being self-deprecating without actually hurting his cause... and don't you need to know in order to determine who would make the better President?

134 comments:

vet66 said...

Romney was hilarious and and pointed in his remarks. Obama seemed flat and resigned. Also, where was Michelle? Is she not "proud" of her country anymore?

Curious George said...

What's clear is Romney is a confident man who is comfortable in his own skin. It's a real confidence based on a life of success and achievements.

Obama is a brittle man child who deep down knows he is a fraud.

Bob Ellison said...

I enjoyed both men's speeches. Excellent joke-writing, expertly delivered by both. Romney was funnier overall, but the best line of the night was Obama's opener (which apparently isn't in the video): "Thank you, thank you, thank you so much, thank you. Thank you. Everyone please take your seats otherwise Clint Eastwood will yell at them."

rhhardin said...

It tests character. Mostly they fail.

Bush in 2000 passed

''Let me tell you a few things that I've learned about my opponent in this campaign,'' Mr. Bush said. "He's a man who clearly loves and respect his wife and family. Like me, he married up. I also learned that he is a person of energy, skill and determination. This year, Mr. Vice President, I can't wish you success, but I do wish you well.''



Jay said...

The Obama bots have been reduced to shouting He's ahead in Iowa and Wisconsin"

Funny people, those Obama bots.

wyo sis said...

It's a nice little interlude of moments when the candidates say laughable things on purpose. I like it.

Carnifex said...

Self-deprecating? Self-deprecating!? You do realize that these guys have professional speech writers, right? They were no more self-deprecating than a ventriloquists dummy. You'll know self-deprecating when you see it. This was election schtick. Don't fall for it.

Roger J. said...

I thought both candidates did well--Romeny did, I think, better in his presentation, but Mr Obama did as well but should not go into standup.

I thought both guys did well in acknowledging each other.

I think Romney's closing remarks were better--but all in all both candidates deserve kudps.

Priscilla said...

They were both good, but Romney was better... it was striking that Obama really joked very little about Romney in his routine.

Romney's delivery and timing were outstanding.

MayBee said...

I like the tradition.

It has held up in a way the WH Correspondents' Dinner has not.

Roger J. said...

Sorry for consecutive posts but I did have brain fart. (what else is new). This was a welcome relief from the campaign season and both candidates came across as human beings.

Carnifex said...

I did like Zero's "spoiler alert" line. I thought that was pretty funny.

I thought both men read their lines well.

creeley23 said...

Somehow I never noticed this tradition.

Does Alfred E. Smith have any relation to Alfred E. Neuman?

LilyBart said...

Bush in 2000 passed

Bush was always a much finer man than the left would ever give him credit for.

And he really was a moderate-right president in domestic policy. Which is why I never understood why the left hated him so violently.

Carnifex said...

I did like Zero's "spoiler alert" line. I thought that was pretty funny.

I thought both men read their lines well.

Roger J. said...

Carnifex--lighten up--of course they both had speechwriters--but both candidates did OK. Of course its election year schtick--but some times a bit of levity is a good thing.

bearing said...

We all know they don't write their own speeches, but there are two things that the speechwriters can't provide.

(1) the speakers have to supply their own comic timing and delivery.

(2) the buck stops with the speaker: speakers have the option of NOT uttering a joke that is mean, inappropriate, or unfunny.

You absolutely can judge the candidates on delivery and on whether they consented to attempt a bad joke.

Bob Ellison said...

LilyBart said "Bush was always a much finer man than the left would ever give him credit for."

That's true of most presidents, with a few notable exceptions (cough, Carter, cough, Nixon).

I wonder whether even the losing candidates are better than we remember, better than the mainstream history suggests. Maybe John Kerry is really a smart, self-effacing guy. Maybe Michael Dukakis is tough as nails and knows how to balance a budget.

Nah.

AJ Lynch said...

Best part of the night was when Romney zinged the press. Anyone else notice Katie Couric right behind the dais?

"I've already seen reports from tonight's dinner. Headline: Obama embraced by Catholics, Romney dines with rich people."

Roger J. said...

Romney, I thought, did well on timing and delivery--Mr Obama clearly does not have future in standup but he did OK. No one, as far as timing goes, can surpass the master: Jack Benny. I still love to listen to his shows. A truly great comedian, and managed his laughs without ever using the F word.

sane_voter said...

My favorite part was Romney bringing up Big bird and Sesame street.

sane_voter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carnifex said...

@Lilybart

It was because Bush did things for the reasons of humanitarianism. The left only truly appreciates the accumulation and usage of power to further their agenda.

I disliked Bush because he thought solving the problems of humanity involved the government. He didn't ascribe to the belief that Government is also a part of humanities problem.

Anytime you have 1 man setting rules for others, that is a problem. It is slavery of the lowest denominator. If "we the people" acted more along the lines of our ideal, there would be no need of government.

But as always, humanity takes the easier path that will always lead downwards, in it's morality, civility, and it's responsaability.

sane_voter said...

Also, at the 2008 dinner, I thought McCain was much funnier than Obama.

Shouting Thomas said...

They needed a break after the near fist fight at the debate.

Ralph L said...

Bush in 2000 passed
He also said something about dining with the Haves--and the Have Mores.

Mike Smith said...

My favorite joke of Romney's went something like this, "Pope Benedict consulted with President Obama as to how to handle some difficulties. President Obama said to blame everything on Pope John Paul II."

MadisonMan said...

There are better things to do in life than to listen to politicians try to be funny.

garage mahal said...

I wish you would have live blogged the Tammy Baldwin / Tommy Thompson debate last night.

Just WOW. I can't imagine too many people wanting to vote for Thompson after that debacle.

ricpic said...

The Alfred E. Smith dinner is actually a very healthy tradition in which the pomposity balloon is popped, if only for a moment. But I guess all traditions have to be viewed askance in Althouseland.

Shouting Thomas said...

garage, give it a break with the campaigning for one thread!

Roger J. said...

dont be a curmudgeon Madison Man--sometimes a little levity is a good thing :)

EDH said...

Dennis Miller was travelling with Romney over the last several days.

He gave his endorsement and introduced him at events.

Miller might have contributed to the Romney's remarks.

Mark O said...

It would be refreshing to have a President who didn't think he was a god.

Jeffrey said...

By the way, this mixing of humor and seriousness is very American. I never really thought about it until I lived in other countries where, for example, a local newscast would never jump from reporting a tragic accident that ends in death to a funny one about an animal rescue. In the US, newscasters jump effortlessly from delivering the sad story with a serious face to, the next second, a smile and a chuckle about that animal rescue.

You also find it in certain types of sitcoms (like "M.A.S.H.," for example) that juxtapose serious and comic scenes.
In politics, too, both humorous and serious discussions have their roles. For Americans, being able to laugh at oneself is an important guide to one's character. In other countries, whether one can laugh at oneself is considered irrelevant as a measure of political acceptability.

Why do Americans blend these two? I have a few theories, one of them being its centrality to our democratic, multi-ethnic society. I'm sure someone here can explain why, for example, German politicians would never participate in something like the dinner that Obama and Romney did last night.

AllenS said...

creeley23 said...
Does Alfred E. Smith have any relation to Alfred E. Neuman?

I've never watched one, but think the same thing every time they have an Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner.

bearing said...

Jeffrey: The Brits manage it to some extent don't they, with their tradition of dark humor? I think it's the fundamental Englishness of American government that makes the difference.

Bob Ellison said...

This is my favorite joke delivered by a POTUS (ex-, in this case).

Cedarford said...

I would give the edge to Romney.

Just for the reason we have all seen Obama basking in many of these dinners and doing a fairly charismatic turn.
But like the debates, the sound bites and clips run of Romney doing a fine job..though ultimately a smaller audience than the debates open more eyes to Romney.
That he is not a souless cardboard cutout of a man that lies and enjoys firing people and hates ladyparts.
Dude is actually quite warm and funny when he wants to be, and he held his own with Obama in the opinon of the audience there and reporters covering the event.
Romney brought his A-game. He did his lines well, had a routine assembled by his writers that was edgy, but funny. And his deivery and timing was spot-on and not socially awkward, "out -of-touch", "hateful and bullying" or clumsy.

While both were good - in terms of the election, I'd say Romney gained votes, while Obama held ground.

Bill said...

They both did very well. I think most presidents and their challengers do very well. They usually have top drawer material to work with and even the awkward ones still come off seeming decent and likeable. If I have to give one of them the edge I'll give it to Romney. Even though Obama's material may have been marginally better, seeing them together in that format he (Obama) seems pettier and less presidential. Romney looks like he already has the job. But that's splitting hairs, they both were very good.

On the format itself, I'm of two minds. I like that we can all come together despite our differences and it's nice when they say nice things about each other. But dammit these are divisive issues for a reason. They can argue vigorously about what the tax rate should be and then share a happy meal. But when they and their campaigns have fought this hard about abortion, and absolutely ruinous, country-collapsing debt, and violations of our most sacred freedoms, and painted their opponent as all manner of terrible things and then say "Hey, just kidding! We're all good." I get whiplash and I want to question their sincerity the next time they speak so forcefully.

Jeffrey said...

Bearing: Yes, the British, I believe, are the originators of this blending. We inherited it from them and continue the tradition. Their humor is even more biting than American humor, in my opinion.

Roger J. said...

Jeffrey--great comment--and appreciate your thoughts. I think the british system as embodied by question hour in the parliament somehow has something to do with it. It is biting political commentary from both sides by accompanying "hear hears" from the back benchers.

Colonel Angus said...

And he really was a moderate-right president in domestic policy. Which is why I never understood why the left hated him so violently.

Iraq.

bearing said...

"But when they and their campaigns have fought this hard about abortion, and absolutely ruinous, country-collapsing debt, and violations of our most sacred freedoms, and painted their opponent as all manner of terrible things and then say "Hey, just kidding! We're all good." I get whiplash and I want to question their sincerity the next time they speak so forcefully."

On the contrary, I think we could all do with a lot more of "I disagree strongly with you and I think you're wrong, but I assume you are a man of good will and reason, and perhaps if I can discuss matters with you I'll be able to convince you of my position."

There's far too much assuming that one's opponent is stupid and/or malicious.

Cedarford said...

Al Smith IV also shined.
He ripped both Romney and Obama.
First he went at Mitt Romney:

You have a father that was born in Mexico and you have 5 kids.

Are you really sure you are not Catholic?


Then:

I wouldn't laugh too much, Mr President. Mitt has created more sons than you have created jobs.

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...
I wish you would have live blogged the Tammy Baldwin / Tommy Thompson debate last night.

Just WOW. I can't imagine too many people wanting to vote for Thompson after that debacle."

That's because you can't imagine too many people voting for Thompson period.

"Ralph L said...
Bush in 2000 passed
He also said something about dining with the Haves--and the Have Mores."

I had a friend with the last names Haave (rhymes with rave) who won the PTA raffle for a new TV year after year. Hw used to joke that there were Haaves, and Haave nots.

Mitchell said...

The President is like a stream of bat's piss.

paminwi said...

EDH: Some of the things aid by Romney sounded like they could have come from Dennis Miller. Saw him live and he was great!

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

And he really was a moderate-right president in domestic policy. Which is why I never understood why the left hated him so violently.

Iraq.

Florida.

whoresoftheinternet said...

Too bad Inga the Lying Obama Whore wasn't there to "sweeten" the audience with her peals of laughter at every joke Mein Obama made, and to throw tomatoes at Romney, no matter what.

She would probably offer her daughter up to Mein Obama at the end of the show, claiming that any sacrifice of her life for Mein Obama is for "the greater good."

Seig Heil, Mein Obama!

bearing said...

By the way, Ann -- shouldn't you link to the videos of their speeches? They are available.

Obama - http://now.msn.com/al-smith-dinner-obama-speech-2012

Romney - http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/330936/romney-turns-out-be-funny-kevin-d-williamson

Well worth watching both.

Curious George said...

"Colonel Angus said...
And he really was a moderate-right president in domestic policy. Which is why I never understood why the left hated him so violently.

Iraq."

Earlier. "Selected not elected." Stolen election. Blah blah blah.

whoresoftheinternet said...

@Garbage Pail:

Hey garage...

How's your daughter?

I'm sure Mein Obamacare will save her!

lol.

garage mahal said...

That's because you can't imagine too many people voting for Thompson period.

I can't imagine Republicans wanting to vote for Thompson after watching that debate.

Bill said...

bearing, if these issues are not worth the rhetoric of the campaign then they shouldn't use the rhetoric of the campaign and should strive to behave more like they did last night. If these issues are as serious as they say they are then they send a mixed message when they turn around and pretend all's well during the very struggle they're having. It's their call, I just want them to pick one.

Jeffrey said...

Roger J.: Agree. I would also say that this blending (or juxtaposition) of the comic and tragic visions of life is central to the Anglosphere.

virgil xenophon said...

@Jeffery/

I would beg to differ. My experience both from experience in the armed services and in corporate AND academic life is that it is just the reverse. In the US if one is to be viewed as being serious about something one must also be seen to be solemn about it as well. In Europe (and in GB especially) lighthearted commentary about the most serious of matters is routine--commentary that in the American setting would be regarded as highly inappropriate to the seriousness of the situation--at least that's my experience, tho YMMV..

Roger J. said...

Whore of the internet (rightly named)

When you go after family members of posters you have crossed the line.

Garage and I do not agree on politics, but I can assure you that we are friends, do communicate on the important stuff like fishing.

Your comments are repulsive. But then again I suspect your comments reflect on you as a less than human being

Ann Althouse said...

"What's clear is Romney is a confident man who is comfortable in his own skin."

In his own skin, which we know he uses in lieu of pajamas, and in a tuxedo.

yashu said...

Jeffrey and bearing, I agree-- the very American 'juxtaposition of serious and comic' has something to do with our British heritage.

In literature, the paragon of that juxtaposition is Shakespeare.

Bill said...

Also, every time I looked at Katie Couric during Romney's speech she had that huge toothy smile like she always has and yet she looked like she absolutely loathed him. I'm not sure how she pulled that off. Probably because her eyes were less squinted, making her smile seem unnatural.

Also, also, count me among those who think "Neuman" in the split second between "Alfred E." and "Smith".

Ann Althouse said...

"The Alfred E. Smith dinner is actually a very healthy tradition in which the pomposity balloon is popped, if only for a moment. But I guess all traditions have to be viewed askance in Althouseland."

The event itself is also, paradoxically, a balloon of pomposity that can be popped. I look askance at everything. It's a point of view.

Patrick said...

whores, you're an unbelievable ass. Not my blog, but if it were, I'd be rid of you.

Ann Althouse said...

"I can't imagine Republicans wanting to vote for Thompson after watching that debate."

Why the verbosity? You can't imagine Republicans — period.

yashu said...

'whores' = troll.

Shanna said...

Like me, he married up.

That was cute, I had forgotten that.

I thought Mitt did great, funny and confident, with decent timing, and his closing was gracious. I didn't watch Obama yet so I can't comment on his.

virgil xenophon said...

BTW, I am basically in agreement with Ann's take on these affairs. They are highly dubious at best--artificially forced/strained comity on the part of people that hate each others guts--AT BEST.

Patrick said...

I look askance at everything. It's a point of view.

Good way of looking at the world. That's how I approached undergrad at the UW. The profs were all "you're supposed to question authority...question what your parents have been telling you.." and I was like "How 'bout I question what you're telling me."

They didn't seem to think that was how it was done.

Patrick said...

Bob Ellison, that was a great link. Ah, memories.

Dark Eden said...

I thought Romney came off better simply because its so rare to see anyone joking about Obama, the material seemed much fresher. See comedians, this is how you do it.

garage mahal said...

Why the verbosity? You can't imagine Republicans — period.

Sure I can. I always try to watch and listen as a voter that doesn't consume mass amounts of news and politics like we do.

whoresoftheinternet said...

@Roger J:

When you go after family members of posters you have crossed the line.

---When you are in favor of murdering children so women won't have to give them up for adoption; when you support the suppression of free speech; when you seek dictatorship; when you seek the economic ruin of the country; when you call Bush and Cheney "Hitler" and "war criminal"; THEN you have crossed the line.

Like Garbage Pail.

Garage and I do not agree on politics, but I can assure you that we are friends, do communicate on the important stuff like fishing.

---Yes, politics ain't important. What's a few million dead babies, the destruction of the first amendment, totalitarianism, and national poverty? You've got fishin' to do, boy!

Your comments are repulsive.
---Your cowardice and quisling nature is repulsive.

But then again I suspect your comments reflect on you as a less than human being.

---Lefites are sub-human pieces of cow dung. And they all deserve the same: to see each of their loved ones suffer and die, and to then die long, slow painful deaths. I would not advocate causing it nor cause it myself. But Garbage Pail's fate-induced misery is sweetness to my tongue, and a deserved fate.

Remember, Roger J.: collaborators and obsequious cowards aren't looked on too kindly in the pages of history.

Roger J. said...

Shanna--re marrying up--IIRC President Reagan and Prime Minister were talking on the tarmac awaiting their wives. Reagan said something to the effect, that you know Dennis, for a couple of Micks we sure married up.

whoresoftheinternet said...

@garbage:

Please tell us all how Obamacare will save your precious, precious daughter.

Seig Heil, Mein Obama! The State must not be stopped!

Patrick said...

I always try to watch and listen as a voter that doesn't consume mass amounts of news and politics like we do.

How do you do that? And why would you forget what you know/think about the pols and their policies and history? Most of what politicians say during those things is BS anyway. If you had no or very little prior knowledge, you might fall for the claptrap.

Lem said...

You haven't been to class lately garage ;)

Jeffrey said...

Virgil Xenophon,

Germans do not mix humor and seriousness as the British and the Americans do. It's not part of their cultural tradition. They keep the two realms separate. Germans always complain that they can't tell when Americans are being serious or joking because they mix them so often.

I'm not saying one way is better than the other. I'm just saying mixing or not mixing are different traditions and ways of functioning in those societies.

I should note that I never watch Stewart and Colbert because their I don't like their style of mixing the two. To my mind, it's a deep-con kind of political humor for so-called liberal people.

Nathan Alexander said...

And he really was a moderate-right president in domestic policy. Which is why I never understood why the left hated him so violently.

The mindset of Progressives is that the Leftist agenda is inevitable. It's like a religion.

Clinton had to give up Govt-run health care and triangulate to the right to get re-elected, and was further damaged by horndog-a-quiddick. Al Gore, untainted by such scandals, was supposed to restore the march to the left, especially on Global Warming.

Even though W was a moderate, he halted that march to the left, and even rolled it back in some ways. In particular, W used his leadership to ensure that the response to 9/11 was conservative in nature (standing up and fighting back, depending on American Exceptionalism) rather than the typical liberal response (handwringing, appeasement, and more govt control).

He also exposed the lie of Progressive popularity and the lie of a stolen election by winning a second term, when they had been painting him as the stupidest, most hated President of all time.

AprilApple said...

Romney was awesome. Made me like the guy. And you know what's important? - Likeability.

Roger J. said...

Whore: I served my country for 30 years. Won two silver stars, three bronze stars and a purple heart. Do not deign to lecture me on courage motherfucker,. You remain an abject piece of shit--now go fuck yourself.

AprilApple said...

Of course the jokes were written for them. Still, Romney has a good joke writer.

This comment was brought to you by the letter O and the number 16 trillion.

Nathan Alexander said...

Exactly why should candidates for President tell jokes on themselves?

Why should they have debates?

Because the style part of campaigning is down to nearly a science. Any persuasive fiction can be maintained in controlled circumstances (see the excellent movie "F/X", among many, many others).

The point is to put the candidate into a situation that isn't completely controlled by his handlers, so people can see who he really is.

Sure, the candidate will prep as much as possible to avoid that. And the campaigns will always try to minimize the uncontrolled moments as much as possible.

But we need those. We need the candidates to be challenged with their past, with things they said before, with moments, views and facts that don't fit the current narrative, to see how they respond. It can't just be the things a campaign can foresee, or you end up with a fully-scripted "unscripted" answer.

Sure, sometimes even with those opportunities, the candidate doesn't stumble and reveal their true self. Or maybe that is their true self. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, necessarily. But the more truly unscripted moments there are, the more confidence you can have that the image you are being shown of the candidate is true.

Which is why the legacy media's refusal to challenge Obama at all in the 2008 campaign is very nearly literally criminal. We never had much chance to his petulance, thin skin, arrogance, etc. The resume indicated the likelihood of those problems, so many of us were not surprised when that side of his character was revealed...but the legacy media actually helped the Obama campaign control the public image of Obama...the few times the mask slipped, the legacy media helped conceal (like the LA tape the LA Times still won't let anyone see, or the "nothing to see here" edited Hampton video).

Aside: a politician changing their mind isn't as bad as some people think it is (lefty screeches about Romney's "flip-flops"). It depends on: what the change was, how they explain why the change occurred, how they handle questions about the change of view.

EMD said...

Three Thinnest books in the world:

History of British Dentistry
Jewish Sports Heroes
The German Joke Book

dreams said...

Romney was very good. You have to be a flaming liberal to think he wasn't funny. Obama still hasn't gotten over getting his liberal socialist butt kicked in the first debate and talked too much about it. He is right though, the joke is on him.

Ralph L said...

I look askance at everything. It's a point of view.
That must be hard on your neck.

J Scott said...

Stewart is in the general trend of American political humor. Colbert is actually a serious problem for the soft liberal/progressive types, because he generates a never ending stream of strawmen for people who are then left completely disarmed when they meet someone that has actual conservative/libertarian ideas.

Bryan C said...

It's fun. I wish our candidates were this clever the whole campaign.

Obama's delivery wasn't flat so much as restrained and wry. Romney was surprisingly lively, and the audience seemed to enjoy some of his digs in spite of themselves.

whoresoftheinternet said...

@Roger J:

Whore: I served my country for 30 years. Won two silver stars, three bronze stars and a purple heart.
---And John Kerry threw his medals away and hung out with Jane Fonda. And Ted Kennedy murdered a girl and committed treason.

Appealing to authority to your military record won't excuse fraternizing with scum and being too cowardly to purge them out of your life now.

You were brave once. You are not any longer.

Do not deign to lecture me on courage motherfucker,.
---Courage is standing up to trash every day. Like Garbage Pail and his worthless genes.

Courage is making your life uncomfortable to apply your principles.

You remain an abject piece of shit

----you remain a quisling, a coward, and an enabler. Enjoy the dictatorship you are enabling, fuckhead!I'm sure Garbage's hero, Mein Obama, will only punish you a little for being a right winger (hehehehe)...

Matthew Sablan said...

Just reading, I think they both did a good job.

Matthew Sablan said...

I thought the best line was about giving Matthews a stroke.

Patrick said...

Courage is standing up to trash every day. Like Garbage Pail and his worthless genes.


Courage to post comments on the internet? I don't think "courage" means what you think it means.

Cedarford said...

Was noteworthy that both men cast Joe Biden as a laughingstock.

Somehow Obama has escaped the "bad judgment call " that was slammed on McCain for picking a not-ready-for-primetime Palin.

Then again, that Obama felt fine joining in in the VP mockery suggests Obama agrees with most political experts that the VP candidates are irrelevant to how the vote goes.

Sure, some women voted for Silky Pony in 2004 because their ladyparts told them to...and older white goobers elevated Palin to Goddess status..and some admired Cheny and Lieberman.

But it doesn't seem to be a sognificant factor in winning or losing the Presidency.

Still, it bodes bad for Biden that most people now view him as a gaffe-ridden clown. "Hey, I got a high IQ and I was Senator for Life before I got to drink a beer with a cop and a black professor. That's a fucking big deal, you know!"

MadisonMan said...

dont be a curmudgeon Madison Man--sometimes a little levity is a good thing :)

Yeah, and when the sun is shining, it's easier.

My fundamental problem is the people attending this dinner are all people seeking to curry favor from the Government. There's Katie Couric, interviewer, right up on stage. Pat yourself on the back for getting so close to the Pres, Katie! You rock!!!

No hoi polloi at this place, I'm sure. Are you just an average shmoe? You don't get jokes from the Candidates, you get pandering statements.

whoresoftheinternet said...

@Patrick:

Courage to post comments on the internet?
---lol.

You know I was directing that comment at the coward Roger J., who thinks fishing is more important that politics.

He refuses to toss the refuse from his life, or to stand up against a morally despicable friend; he prefers "not to think." That is cowardice.

I said nothing about myself, though you will lie and claim that I did.

Patrick said...


No hoi polloi at this place, I'm sure. Are you just an average shmoe? You don't get jokes from the Candidates, you get pandering statements.


Pretty much applies to the whole campaign.

Seeing Red said...

--''Let me tell you a few things that I've learned about my opponent in this campaign,'' Mr. Bush said. "He's a man who clearly loves and respect his wife and family---


The Chakra!

Patrick said...

whores, you seem to miss the irony of an anonymous internet jackass lecturing a US soldier on courage. Whether your comment suggested that you have courage or not (tough to say based on your poor and imprecise writing) isn't relevant.

You're a sad little loser.

Seeing Red said...

--He also exposed the lie of Progressive popularity and the lie of a stolen election by winning a second term, when they had been painting him as the stupidest, most hated President of all time.--

Crossing every body part I can that Barry takes the title.

Christopher in MA said...

And he really was a moderate-right president in domestic policy. Which is why I never understood why the left hated him so violently.

Iraq.


I must disagree, Colonel. As our resident buffoons have proven, Iraq (or Afghanistan or Kosovo or anywhere) is not a problem so long as the president is a Democrat.

The left hate Bush because he didn't let them steal the election. Nothing more nor less.

I watched some of the clips of the AES dinner. Both got off good pre-written zingers, but it was instructive to watch each man as the other took shots at him. Romney laughed. Obama stuck his nose into his coffee cup. My takeaway? Romney can enjoy a laugh at his expense. The One cannot abide being mocked.

gregq said...

"Which is why I never understood why the left hated him so violently."

They hated him for two reasons:

1: When Gore tried to steal the election in FL, Bush didn't roll over and play dead. That was a big shock for the Dems. Bush wasn't playing the role in life that they've assigned to conservatives.

2: Bush refused to honor their cultural pretensions. Despite his Harvard degree, he refused to ape the behavior of the upper class left. This was and is a great assault on their self esteem (it's also why they hate Palin).

Those great proponents of "diversity" hate people who don't act like them, talk like them, and like the same things they like. Bush rejected that, which makes him an apostate who must be destroyed.

J Scott said...

I think it's simpler then that gregp.

The election of Bush represented a repudiation of Clintonism. The Republicans could impeach him, but they couldn't get rid of him, so electing Bush was the next best thing.

It's the absurdity of the modern times in that Clinton is elevated to some pantheon of Democratic Presidential Gods.

gregq said...

Colonel Angus said...

"And he really was a moderate-right president in domestic policy. Which is why I never understood why the left hated him so violently."

Iraq.

Really? They hate him for something that the vast majority of Democrats voted for and supported?

Why does the left hate him? Because he successfully prosecuted the GWOT when they said it couldn't be done.

Why does the moderate left hate him? Because he rejects their pretensions.

And there's nothing that a "diversity advocate" hates worse than someone who's actually different from him or her.

phx said...
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phx said...
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edutcher said...

As someone noted, their stuff is scripted, so they should sound pretty good.

If Miller wrote some of the Romster's material, it would be very good.

As for Barry, his lack of timing was noted at the dinner 4 years ago and ascribed to fact he really has no sense of humor.

YMMV.

creeley23 said...

Somehow I never noticed this tradition.

Does Alfred E. Smith have any relation to Alfred E. Neuman?


Al Smith ran for POTUS in '28, beginning the realignment of urban and Catholic voters that led to FDR's coalition.

He later fought the New Deal on the grounds it wasn't good government and, like our own Little Zero, fought business rather than trying to work with it.

William said...

I expected Romney to win the debates, but I didn't think he'd top Obama in the stand up comedy field. Nonetheless, he did. Obama had access to the best comedy writers and comedians in America, and that's all he could come up with. Tina Fey, David Letterman, Stephen Colbert where were you? Did Obama not think to consult the best comedy minds in America before speaking rashly?.... Obama was OK, but, given the resources available to him, he should have been transcendentally better, not slightly worse......I can't imagine anyone voting for either candidate on the basis of this, but it's reassuring to know that Romney can recognize a funny joke and present it in a competent way.

gregq said...

"I watched some of the clips of the AES dinner. Both got off good pre-written zingers, but it was instructive to watch each man as the other took shots at him. Romney laughed. Obama stuck his nose into his coffee cup. My takeaway? Romney can enjoy a laugh at his expense. The One cannot abide being mocked."

While that's normally true, and after one zinger I did see him look down into his coffee (while he got control?), most of the time when the camera panned to him, he was laughing. I was impressed, because I didn't think President Thin Skin could do it (I know I would have had a hard time laughing while getting zinged like that).

I thought Mitt gave a great speech. I loved the zingers, and I loved even more that he managed to launch them w/o using a hostile or otherwise negative tone. He walked a VERY fine line, and walked it beautifully.

I thought Obama's speech was good, which, IIRC, is the first time I've ever thought that about him. I was surprised that he threw almost no jabs at Romney. Two thoughts on why:

1: Karl Rove is right. The Obama campaign has given up on the negative attacks because they're just not working. (the problem for Obama being that they just don't have anything positive to go on.)

2: They wrote a bunch of attacks for Obama to use, but when they listened to him using them he sounded so harsh and angry that they had to pull them, and go with the speech he gave.

I do note how much Obama harped on the first debate, and how much he tried to make it all about him (I took a nap) rather than admitting the big problem was that Romney was good.

Jason said...

I noticed that, too... when Obama was mad, he'd drink coffee.

That's his tell.

He probably has others that indicate when he's stressed or lying. Foreign intelligence services, of course, look at these extremely closely. And prepare a dossier on it to give to their own reps right before a summit or meeting.

The eye contact thing is part of it, but not all of it. Does he look up and to the right when he's fibbing? Or to the left? Well you don't know before you test it, so you look for a tape with a known fabrication, unrehearsed. Confirm it a couple of times, and you have a tell.

The POTUS is more obvious than most. As a private equity guy, Romney was at a poker table every day of his career. What is his real price? He obviously did pretty well.

I think Obama stopped at Candyland.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Romney wasn't repulsive.

phx said...

whoresoftheinternet is like that troll from reddit who was recently exposed.

They say what goes around comes around.

gregq said...

J Scott said...

"I think it's simpler then that gregp.

The election of Bush represented a repudiation of Clintonism. The Republicans could impeach him, but they couldn't get rid of him, so electing Bush was the next best thing."

I disagree. If Bush had won as strongly as the polls heading in to the election indicated, there would have been a lot less bitterness. "Close, but no cigar", hurts ever so much more than "you never had a chance."

2000 was close enough that they could cheat. But, unlike Nixon in 1960 (or Colman in MN in 2008), Bush wouldn't let them cheat.

And that really made them angry.

See the anger about voter ID, today. What has them so bent out of shape? Republicans are trying to take away their ability to commit vote fraud. The left just can't stand that.

Nathan Alexander said...

Disdain of whoresoftheinternet is one of the few things that can unite the left and right within the Althouse Commentariat.

rhhardin said...

I look askance at everything.

Skepticism is a male failing.

The female is foolishness.

Roger J. said...

nathan--well said and spot on. as much as cons and libs like to disagree, and we do so on this blog frequently, we can agree on the fact that whores is an asshole.

deborah said...

I only saw the last minute of Romney's. He came off very charming...the happy warrior striving to do his best even when not in his element.

The most hilarious I ever saw Obama was when he skewered Trump at the Correspondents' Dinner. Wicked funny.

bearing said...

Where is the link where you get to see how the other candidate is reacting to the jokes? Please post.

Chip S. said...

Weren't Romney's jokes unconstitutional?

campy said...

Weren't Romney's jokes unconstitutional?

Yes, and also raaaaacist.

phx said...

Nathan Alexander I was just thinking that same thing.

Shanna said...

Germans do not mix humor and seriousness as the British and the Americans do.

I was reading the book 'The Great Escape' and the guy said in the POW camp the nazi's were always trying to turn the americans and brits against each other but had a great deal of trouble in part because of their shared sense of humor (which was foreign to the germans). I thought that was really interesting.

Sheridan said...

Roger J - please accept my thanks for your service.

EMD said...

I initially got Alfred E. Smith confused with Alf Landon — the pride of West Middlesex, Pennsylvania.

bagoh20 said...

I simply enjoyed them both doing this. It has tension mixed with relief, and forces you to see these two men dismount from their battle horses and shake hands, even if only for a minute. I was laughing out loud at both of them, and especially Romney's jokes which went right up to the line. The one that didn't work and was a mistake was Romney saying he had his wife for support while Obama had Bill Clinton. That came off as a hit on Obama's marriage to my ear. That one should have been scrapped in the first read through.

For the first time in along time, I enjoyed Obama speaking. He had me laughing with him, and that helps mitigate my partisanship some.

phx said...

I read on some site a sampling from the dinner over the years. The funniest I thought was Mike Dukakis:

"It’s a great pleasure to be here … on an evening when all thought of politics is banished and I can concentrate on what I do best — humor."

Dukakis had a very funny shtick. I remember him saying once "People have accused me of being too technocratic. But that's only 73.6 percent of them."

phx said...

Bush II was really good at this too.

phx said...

"This is an impressive crowd. The haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite. I call you my base." - GW

Christopher in MA said...

"This is an impressive crowd. The haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite. I call you my base." - GW

"Better put some ice on that." - W.J. Clinton

Roger J. said...

Sheridan--thank you and if I may add: I served the men that served with me. They are the true heroes. It was privilege to lead them.

gregq said...

"The one that didn't work and was a mistake was Romney saying he had his wife for support while Obama had Bill Clinton. That came off as a hit on Obama's marriage to my ear. That one should have been scrapped in the first read through."

I think Romney is pissed at her for starting the clapping after Candy violated her moderator's role WRT Libya.

And I think Michelle deserved the shot. She should not have broken the rules.

Mike said...

Thanks, Ann. I wonder if Dr. Carroll will be on the road near me soon. It's difficult to tell from his Web site. Of course, I'm only a ten minute drive from Cal Tech so maybe I can just wander over and see what he's up to!

Amartel said...

"whores is an asshole."

Cosign.

Also, unexpectedly, a whore.

Joe Schmoe said...

Didn't see the clips; the jokes I read were good on both sides. I actually liked Barry's joke in the second debate when Romney asked if he's looked at his pension lately, and Barry said "Mine's smaller so it doesn't take as long", something to that affect.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

I loved Romney's jokes. I thought he said what he did about not having animus toward the president personally was kind of to cover for Tregg (?sp). The upshot of the whole previous thing is, in part, to make Obama (like) another white guy which is kind of how the racial divide gets bridged.

@Gregg, I think the problem with Bush is really more subtle. I've been reading American Nations lately, 'the eleven rival cultures of North America.' One of the author's postulates is that people adapt/conform to the first standing culture. New York is thus still culturally New Netherlands for instance. 'Greater Appalachia' extends at least to Midland where he grew up. He has some patina of Yankeedom and some El Norte which is also Texan. So for all his 'cowboy,' or at least so called by Yankees, but it really isn't, it's Appalachian simplicity, the other elements in his cultural personality come across as disharmonious especially to those who don't have a strong Appalachian perspective, 'people (who) have supported every war the United States has ever fought once the fighting began, regardless of cause, opponent, or consequences' and you are going to have trouble. So you might says he's a disarmingly exotic dish probably best served cold.