Illegal Immigrants created Intel and Google – Who Knew?
Surely he didn’t literally mean it, but it certainly sounded like he thought two of our greatest technology companies wouldn’t be here but for illegal immigration. For Barack Obama, who claimed everything he said in the first debate was absolutely true, and presumably will make the same claim for this one, that was my biggest take-away. I’m sure it will come as a shock to Robert Noyce and Larry Page to discover they are illegal aliens.
For a man who spent the first thirty minutes or so accusing Romney of being a liar, Obama had several moments where his remarks were at odds with the real world. The most notable will undoubtedly be the one and only exchange about Benghazi, in which Romney cornered Obama after Obama stated he had called the attack on Benghazi a terrorist act on the day after it occurred in his speech from the Rose Garden. Coming to his aid, Candy Crowley told Romney that yes, Obama had indeed called it a terrorist act.
This stinks of a set-up to me.
You can see the full clip of Obama’s speech here. What Obama actually calls the attack, at about the 1:30 mark in the speech, is an “[act] of senseless violence,” which is perfectly in keeping with the “Internet Video” narrative the White House started spinning immediately after the attack. At about the 4:19 mark, he says “no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation,” but this is said in the contextual reference to Americans serving all around the globe, which he points-out in the immediately preceding phrase. At no point in his short speech does Obama call Benghazi “an act of terror” as both he and Crowley falsely claimed during the debate.
What are we to make of this? Both Obama and the supposedly impartial moderator on exactly the same page, on a point both clearly think will embarrass Romney, and which also happens to be false? If at this point nobody is talking about deliberate coordination between Obama and Crowley, I would be amazed. This can’t possibly be coincidence, especially when one considers that Romney actually turned to Obama and asked if he was actually sure about this, and Obama said “continue” as if expecting what would happen next. This is the same guy who jumped-up and interrupted Romney every chance he had, whether it was over time, or wanting to contest something Romney had said. Now, we are expected to believe that as he is about to be boxed-in on a particularly damning point, he’s just going to say “continue?” This strains credulity well past the breaking-point. Either way, I think this will be the biggest point about this debate that will be remembered.
There was one other point in my opinion that gave-away the game. I don’t recall her name, but there was a woman who stood-up and claimed to be an undecided voter, who nevertheless felt all the problems we are currently experiencing were the fault of the Bush administration, and wanted to know how Romney distinguished himself from Bush. Seriously? And this was one of the questions Crowley picked for the debate? Unbelievable.
As for the rest of the evening, the “passive” Obama of the first debate was nowhere to be seen on this night. He was testy and ready to contest Romney at every point. I have probably watched all the presidential debates going back through 1984, and this is the first time I think I recall any participant directly challenging the honesty of his opponent. Obama did this on at least three or four occasions within the first 30 minutes. Of course this doesn’t mean anything Romney said was actually not true, but I’m sure Obama’s base believed it, so it accomplished its purpose, and fired-up the people who were so disappointed with him the first time out.
For Romney’s part, he didn’t give an inch, either to Obama or Crowley, who tried to bully him early on. He insisted on getting his say when it was appropriate, and was well-prepared, respectful, and on point with his answers. He spent most of the night on the defensive, thanks to Crowley limiting his answers early on, and Obama repeatedly accusing him of lying, but he did a good job of making his points where he was able, and if one applies the time-honored standard of “looking presidential,” he certainly accomplished this to a far greater extent than Obama, who often looked petulant. I would say Romney had the advantage on the “optics” for one early exchange, where Obama tried to stand up and talk over him, and Romney said something to the effect that “..that was a statement, not a question, go sit back down.” And Obama did exactly that.
What will people take away from the debate tonight? I think this one will take a while to digest. If you are a conservative, Republican, or one of the few remaining undecided with an open mind, my guess is you will see this debate as a travesty, an obvious behind-the-scenes collaboration between Obama and the moderator, who rather famously opined that the selection of Paul Ryan as the Republican running-mate was a sort of “ticket death-wish” last summer. Despite this, Romney held his ground reasonably well, and came out looking pretty good. If you are a liberal or Democrat, you will be thrilled Obama showed some life tonight, and fought back effectively from the disaster in his first debate. What is certain is this one will be the subject of a great deal of analysis and commentary between now and election-day. Like last weeks vice-Presidential debate, I don’t think it will change many minds.
Edit- I can’t believe I forgot to mention the other notable development from the debate, which was Obama taking responsibility fro Benghazi back from Hillary, not once but twice. I thought this was remarkable in demonstrating that he and his Secretary of State were not on the same-page. Thinking about it, this may have been a very crafty move by Hillary. By stepping-up and claiming responsibility, she put Obama in the position of looking weak, while managing to look like a team-player herself. Lest he continue to be seen as hiding behind Hillary, Obama had no choice but to step-up and let everyone know the buck stopped with him. This instantly accomplished two things: it made Obama the proper target of responsibility for Benghazi, and inoculates Hillary from taking the fall. Very interesting!