7:50: In the practice debates, Obama had John Kerry pretending to be Mitt Romney, and Romney had Rob Portman pretending to be Barack Obama. I've got to think Romney had the better practice partner. Why would Kerry be any good at that?...The day after the debate, I quoted a passage from the David Maraniss book about Obama, about how he learned how to debate as a teenager arguing with his grandfather ("Gramps") — "who had tried without much success to assume the role of disciplinarian, laying down what the teenager considered to be 'an endless series of petty and arbitrary rules.'" As Obama himself remembered: "With a certain talent for rhetoric, as well as an absolute certainty about the merits of my own views, I found that I could generally win these arguments in the narrow sense of leaving my grandfather flustered, angry, and sounding unreasonable." I said:
10:29: Everyone seems to be saying that Obama lost by a lot. I blame John Kerry. I'll bet he was a terrible practice partner.
And Romney's not Gramps, though I note that, in Obama's practice sessions for the debate, the role of Romney was played by John Kerry. And I think Kerry was Gramps.2 days after the debate, I looked at Obama's post debate zinger —"When I got on the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney" — and I said:
It's as if Obama expected Mitt Romney to show up in the form that Obama supporters have been sculpting in the media! Perhaps that's how Obama's sparring partner in the debate prep portrayed Romney. Oh, how I'd love to get the secret video of Obama practicing debating Romney with John Kerry playing the role of Romney. I think it would explain a lot.And then, 3 days after the debate, the campaign itself blamed Kerry!
They blame the President's team, first of all, for not preparing him to meet the challenge of an aggressive Mitt Romney. They say that nobody in the room challenged him, including the guy that he was debating with, John Kerry, because, as they say, he wants to be Secretary of State so he's not going to get in the President's face. And Presidents are used to deference; they're not used to people challenging them like that."Of course, it's not really Kerry's fault. It's Obama's fault. Presidents are "used to deference"?! It's up to the President to demand the stark truth from those around him. The choice of Kerry and allowing him to present easy practice sessions show terrible judgment. If Obama had such poor judgment about something that would put him at a disadvantage at a crucial event in which he knew he was about to be tested in public, think what that suggests about the advisers that surround him every day as he attempts to deal with the nation's problems in a private setting, where we don't get to scrutinize and evaluate him.