Tag Archives: government

Post-Debate Breakdown (Like the One Joe Biden Had)

Good Lord, last night was a mess. Disrespectful, catty, and unrestrained. And that was just Martha Radditz (BAZINGA!)

Short summary of the debate: Proverbs 29:9 “If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.”

But seriously, my longer breakdown of the debate:

  • Biden was a mess…the first 75 minutes, he was angry, disrespectful and smug. Smirking, laughing, rolling his eyes, interrupting, and just plain rude. His last 25 minutes were better – he calmed down, he got emotion and level with this audience, but still…his overall tone was one that turned off a lot of undecideds, especially women.
  • Paul Ryan held his own, especially during taxes and the economy; however, Radditz decided the focus needed to be more foreign policy than domestic policy — why, I don’t know? He handled Biden’s smugness with class, he was calm and respectful, measured and poised, and did well. He was nervous at the beginning, got better as he went along, and ended with an excellent emotional appeal to the audience.
  • Biden’s best moment: arguing for the middle class. His worst: contradicting the State Department and saying the Benghazi Embassy never asked for more security
  • Ryan’s best moment: defending his and Romney’s plans for Medicare. His worst: Iraq and Afghanistan answers.
  • Biden’s best line: “Stop talking about how you care about people. Show me something.” Solid.
    Second best line: “Their ideas are old, their ideas are bad.” Equally solid.
  • Biden worst line: “Oh, now you’re Jack Kennedy?” Awkward delivery.
    Second worst line: “War should always be the last resort.” Definitely not last.
  • Ryan’s best line: “With respect to that quote, I think the vice president very well knows that sometimes the words don’t come out of your mouth the right way.” Got laughs.
    Second best line: “Mr. Vice President, I know you’re under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground, but I think people would be better served if we don’t keep interrupting each other.” Adult in the room.
  • Ryan’s worst line: “Mitt Romney’s a car guy.” Awkward.
    Second worst line: “And then I would say, you have a president who ran for president four years ago promising hope and change, who has now turned his campaign into attack, blame and defame.” Pointless.
  • It was a draw on substance; on professionalism, Ryan won by a landslide; on energy, Biden romped. CBS says Biden won by nearly 20 points; CNN says Ryan won by 4 points and was more likeable by 10 points.
  • Watching the CNN undecideds, men responded well to Biden (forceful, aggressive defense of the middle class); women responded well to Ryan (polite, gentle tone and measured responses).
  • This debate will do nothing to move the needle of this race. It won’t sustain the Romney surge and it won’t create an Obama resurge. There won’t be enough time to poll in the field to measure the impact of the debate as Romney and Obama go back on stage Tuesday night.

First Presidential Debate = BINGO!

Get your checklist out for tonight. The first presidential debate will take place tonight, in Colorado, and as usual, we can play BINGO with buzzwords:

big government




Supreme Court


debt ceiling

fiscal cliff


energy independencd

Social Security




middle class

(insert foreign country)

(Insert foreign leader)

leading from behind

Wall Street

(insert random US cabinet department)

fiscal cliff



Obamacare/Affordable Care Act/Romneycare

99% and/or 47%

“you didn’t build that”

bin Laden

Fast and Furious

(insert swing state)

I would be shocked – hell, I might drop dead – if 90% of those don’t show up tonight.

On Civil Discourse and Being Open Minded

I’ve always considered myself rather open-minded in terms of political beliefs. Not to say I flip-flop, but in the words of President Obama, I can “evolve” on certain issues.

I was what I thought was a Democrat back in the 06/08 days when they really appealed to the people in the middle – they were moderate and Blue Dog Democrats were all over the place. I would have easily been a Republican during 00/02/04 when there were a lot of liberal Republicans, especially in the Northeast. RINO was not a bad word until 2006/2008.

I’ve evolved in a lot of issues – fiscal issues such as taxes, social issues such as gay marriage – and I found myself listening to an argument being made to me over the weekend about healthcare. In my mind, it’s a state by state decision – things like Romneycare and TennCare are good for their individual states because the voters had a direct say in it being instituted. I’m a fan of government referendums – let the voters decide.

But, this was the question posed to me: if we institute universal healthcare on a state-by-state basis, (1) what is to stop someone from moving from a state without to a state with universal healthcare, using up the services for as long as it takes for them to get better, and leaving; and (2), how do you ask states to take on the burden of these decisions?

(1) I’m sick. I live in Texas, so I pack up and move to Tennessee. I get a job, get a house, and start using the TennCare services. Six months later, I’m all better, so I move back to Texas. What did I accomplish? I didn’t even pay enough in taxes to my state to justify using the services, but more than likely, I got the full coverage of services.

This messes up a lot of stuff. People go in and pay, say, $1,500 in state taxes for $5,000 worth of service.

(2) Texas decides to institute universal healthcare by a vote of the people. How do we pay for this? Texas has no income tax. We pay sales tax and sales tax funds our state government. Do we now have to vote on and approve a state income tax to fund our state healthcare? But wait, the Texas Constitution would have to be changed. Boy is this messy.

Maybe universal healthcare isn’t so bad, but, the process by which it is brought up, debated, legislated, and passed needs to be done better.

A Look at the Inside Track


Politico outlines some possible names for a Romney Cabinet.

  • The qualification that is uppermost in his mind is private-sector experience: “My focus is going to be on the economy, getting us strong again. So having people who have actually run things in the private sector or have been actively involved in the private sector will be of real interest to me.”
  • Romney also said he would empower his Cabinet more than Obama has. “I do not look to bring someone in to run an agency and say, ‘Hey, go do a good job, and let me know how it goes.’ I look, instead, to come in and say, ‘Here is what I want to have done. These are the things I believe need to be done in this agency, and I’m the guy that got elected, not you. So, it is my goals, not your goals, that are first and foremost.”
  • Romney said he expects that his Cabinet will have “a representative form of diversity that mirrors our society at large,” including women, African-Americans and Hispanics.

So let’s look at a few names:

  • Former Utah Governor and Bush EPA chief Mike Leavitt for Chief of Staff
  • PR Governor Luis Fortuño as possible Interior or Commerce
  • OH Senator Rob Portman for Treasury
  • Former MN Governor Tim Pawlenty for Education
  • Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal for Health and Human Services
  • VA Governor Bob McDonnell or former PA Governor Ed Rendell (D)
  • Former MO Senator Jim Talent for Secretary of Defense
  • Former CT Senator Joseph Lieberman (D/I) as Secretary of State

All of this is speculation, of course.


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