Last night, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney held their second (of three) presidential debates in Long Island. What did you guys think? Personally, I always find the “town hall” style debate to feel like a MadTV sketch, which is great if you love MadTV! You’re just kind of always waiting for someone to ask “boxers or briefs” (which many of our younger readers will think is a joke I stole from someone on Twitter, but is actually a REAL THING that presidential candidates were asked in the ’90s! This was before MTV was closed down and turned into a Red Mango). But overall it was a pretty decent debate. At the very least, I am sure 99% of the people thought their guy did great, whoever their guy happens to be. (Although can I just say that one thing that is very confusing to me in the lamestream media is this insistence that the challenger always comes out of debates looking stronger simply because “they were able to stand on the same stage as the president and hold their own, kind of”? Like, shouldn’t the ability to engage in a thoughtful and meaningful debate be one of our lowest and most basic expectations for any of these guys?) (To which someone will say that Obama’s performance two weeks ago was neither engaged nor thoughtful, but that is subjective and I think you are trying to obscure my point. But OK, touche, I’ll grant you a half-point if we can move on.) Then, of course, there is that tricky 1% of undecided voters. What is UP with those guys, for real? That one undecided lady last night who was sophisticated enough to connect Romney’s fiscal outlook for the United States to the economic policies of George W. Bush, who she blamed for our current economic woes, but she can’t decide who to vote for?! Oh brother! My personal favorite moment of the evening was the large number of strangers who wrote to me on Twitter telling me to look up the definition of “socialism” before I wrote any more Tweets. LOL. I did! I looked it up! I am so sorry for everything I said, and let’s please kick this communist out of office! Together we can do it! What a load of malarkey. These same people got very mad when I pointed out at the end how Mitt Romney exasperatedly said, “Government doesn’t create jobs. Government doesn’t create jobs,” even though he had spent the entire evening hammering home the vacuous and unsubstantiated point that if he was elected president he would create a bunch of jobs. And do not even get me started on the Rose Garden thing. BOOM! KABOOM! I mean that is some real egg on the face stuff, no matter what you want. Oh, and also this. But, so, what did you think of last night’s debate? Who do you think is the President? The next and final debate is next Monday in Florida and will focus on foreign policy.

Comments (115)
    • Also, President Obama totally wins on facial expression here. 4 More Years of that Face!

      • I was talking with a co-worker just now about how attractive the candidate boat is this time around. whoever wins (Obama please please please), you guys are going to have a very handsome president. And that’s all that matters. Which is why I always vote for Justin Trudeau even though he can’t string two words together without making me squirm with embarrassment-by-proxy.

  1. Obama clearly “won” this debate. Romney “won” the last one. What tipped me off to Obama’s win was that Fox news said “They both acted like jerks” – had Romney won they would have said that. They would never say Obama won.

    That said, who are the undecided voters? I’m pretty sure they are just people desperate for attention.

  2. Can’t wait to hit on a chick dressed as a sexy binder full of women at a halloween party this year.


  4. I’m probably going to end up saying this A MILLION times today but i think its frustrating that everyone is focusing on the BINDERS FULL OF WOMEN comment and not on the substance of Romney’s response which was essentially: “I THINK WE CAN GET WOMEN TO BE EQUAL TO MEN BY LETTING THEM GO HOME FROM WORK EARLY AND COOK AND CLEAN.”

  5. ”Lorena?”

    “It’s Lorraine.”

    “Okay, Laurie, thank you for your question.”

  6. I don’t know Romney personally obviously, but oh god as a prospective president I hate him. He is the most pandering, disingenuous, patronizing, lying snake oil salesman I have ever seen*.

    *that had a shot to have power. I mean, yeah, the dudes selling weird tonics out of vans are worse but will probably never be in a position to legislate away my choices, so.

  7. I’m sorry, is it Gabe? Gabe? Gabe? OK, Gabe, my favorite part was that undecided voters got the spotlight because we all know the most informed people are those who haven’t been paying attention this whole fucking time. Honestly, you guys are on the fence? Who are you people?*



    *It was obvious several questioners were anything but undecided, which just made the whole premise even more absurd. And, anyway, wouldn’t it be more interesting to see candidates handle pointed questions from the opposition?

    • Wow, that is a really good point. I would love to see a townhall debate using questioners who’ve already firmly made up their minds. “Mr Romney, hi, I’m hotspur, and I knew as early as 1998 that I could never vote for you or anyone else your party nominated except Colin Powell, or maybe McCain if it was 2000 and he ran against just Lieberman, and here’s my question: Why are all your policies so douchey? I can elaborate if you’d like.”

  8. Serious question: why do you guys watch the debates? Why does anybody who already knows who they’re voting for watch them? I’m honestly curious because you couldn’t pay me to watch two politicians arguing with each other.

    • Cause it was like, really really entertaining. As bitchy as Bad Girl Club or Real Housewives!

    • I watched it so I could understand jokes on twitter.

    • I came home and my roommate was watching it, that’s only reason I can give. I should have gone to my room and read a book.

    • I actually gave up and put on Arrested Development, but followed tumblr/facebook updates to know what was happening. easier that way.

    • Because the fact that we can have two politicians vying for the most powerful position in the country (and, arguably, world) with only rhetoric, stump speeches, and zingers instead of guns and explosives is an incredible, incredible privilege that I don’t think we, as a country, should begin to take for granted.

      Even if I’ve heard it all before and half of it isn’t true, it’s a marvel that this is as rough as it gets.

    • Because after every debate… or any milestone in the campaign… the next day i have to listen to the hordes of right wingers I know go BALLISTIC and spout out one asinine thing after another that makes absolutely no sense to me and sounds like groupthink and scares the bajeezus out of me… so i need to have my arguments prepared. Sharpen my knives if you will. To turn around and snap, “he said 32% not 79% you lying bastard!!” Regardless of age, people are as impressionable as children. If they hear this garbage and there is no one there to refute it, then that’s not good in my opinion.

      So – yeah, i need to be savvy on the latest debate to have my arguments in place. OH! And, okay, my immediate family is hardcore republican. I’m talking like… they wish W Bush was president for all eternity. I pretty much strutted out of the womb as a liberal/leftist piece of garbage in their eyes. So we get into constant screaming matches and the ONE intelligent thing they have to pull on me is to say, “Tell me where you get your info. Did you watch this that one night? Did you watch the debates? The conventions?” On and on. If I didn’t, I lose all credibility to them. I gotta fight the power. The powers that be.

  9. “shouldn’t the ability to be able to engage in a thoughtful and meaningful debate be one of our lowest and most basic expectations for any of these guys?”

    I think most politicians who are able to engage in a thoughtful and meaningful debate with the president are probably smart enough to not want his job. #paradox

  10. I’m still very disappointed by the lack of questions related to UFOs. Is the truth even still out there anymore?

  11. This was basically my Facebook the entire night.

    My head nearly exploded several times over.

    • I think this person got Romney and Obama confused because it was definitely not Obama making condescending and arrogant faces last night.

    • maybe you shouldn’t have implied that Obama was not a christian then!

    • Eesh, I wish I had a citation for this; I am only pretty sure it was NPR in 2008: They went around interviewing normal-sounding people about whether it’s important the president be Christian. And more than one coherent person gave this answer: Yes, because God speaks directly to the President to guide the nation, and won’t do that if he’s not Christian.

      LITERALLY SPEAKS. Not “I like to think the president reflects on the same things I reflect on when I pray” but GOD CALLS THE OVAL OFFICE AND TELLS HIM WHAT TO DO. I almost drove off the road. I had no idea this kind of moron was out there, walking around. And I still feel angry when I think I have to share my rational Enlightenment democracy with people whose thought process is “Volcano favor Chief, tell Chief what to do!”

  12. I can kind of understand the whole “it’s easier for the challenger to ‘win’ debates” thing, though not because they “stood on the same stage as the president” or whatever, but rather because it’s easier to tear down than to build up.

    It’s easier for the challenger blame everything that is not perfect on the incumbent than it is for the incumbent to convince everyone that they were personally responsible for good things that happened in the first term and that everyone is better off for his having been in office for that term.

    But on the whole, I don’t really understand the point of the debates at all. If you’re at all familiar with the platform of the parties that each candidate represents, you almost certainly know who you’re going to vote for already, and the candidates are essentially preaching to their respective choirs.

    The news media just has to declare a winner and loser for each to claim that the race is so close that you should probably continue watching news coverage about it 24/7 and boost their ratings. It’s always “Candidate A made up for lost ground” or “Candidate B failed to distance himself,” whichever way means it’s a close race so keep watching and now a few words from our sponsor.

  13. The whole debate (any debate, really) made me really uncomfortable. What really incensed me, however, was one of the pundits rehashing it who said something along the lines of ‘Women will just see two high school jocks who don’t like each other arguing and they won’t get turned on by either of them enough to choose one to vote for’*

    *I don’t remember the exact quote because everything went red and I don’t remember much else.

  14. I just want Katharine and Jeremy to find love together. Those two kids deserve it.

  15. I can’t stand this election. Romney is running on a platform of anti-gay, anti-women, misogyny and absurdly dangerous healthcare reform.

    The jewel in his crown is his economic plan which an insane amount of people seem to believe in. And his plan is essentially this: “I am going to cut taxes for everybody by 20% and reduce the deficit at the same time because I am made of magic and everyone will magically be rich if you make me your King.”

    All he does in these debates is attack Obama and try not to say anything of substance about how he is going to make everything better (because he has no idea).

    And he is GAINING GROUND on this platform.

    My misanthropy levels are sky high right now.

    • Mostly because the Republican party has an amazingly effective arm that spreads fear, uncertainty and doubt about Obama to ignorant bigots.

      • And Democrats don’t know how to play politics. At. Fucking. All.

        • Well, they’re nowhere near as ruthless in going after the “easily swayed idiot” demographic, but I think doing so would kind of ruin their whole “appealing to intelligent, rational people” thing.

          • Well, yes and no. I’ll just copy and paste what I said on another site:

            “The Democrats can’t play politics well. Their dude loses in the debates, and they own up to it with their version of Hannity (ol’ Hardball) yelling at the President.

            The Republicans lose, and they fucking refuse to acknowledge it, going as far as to call fact-checks biased spin. Somehow, they think their candidate presented a coherent argument and didn’t jump all over the place.

            Fuck this idea of a liberal media. The entire damn country leans so far right it’s a joke.”

          • That whole thing about Obama “losing” the first debate was stupid. He retained his composure and seemed confident that his actions in his first term spoke for him. Chris Matthews just wanted bloodsport. At the end of the day, people vote for confidence and experience, not who gets the most worked up.

            But yeah, I don’t think MSNBC is nearly as much of a party cheerleader as Fox News is for the Republican Party. The hosts are all super liberal, but they’re essentially too liberal, to the extent that the party distances itself from them, and they don’t exist solely to build up candidates and smooth over gaffes and scandals like Fox News seems to.

        • They really need to hire a better marketing team. The Dems seriously have no idea how to sell themselves. Obama has done some great stuff the last few years and they don’t know how to play it up! It makes me sad.

  16. Still really want to vote for Jill Stein to contribute to the meager and unrealistic effort of dismantling our two-party dictatorship…but with or without the debates I would take a more-or-less corporate friendly democrat like Obama over practically any other conventional figurehead.

    I just want this election cycle over, it just makes the bog that is international affairs coagulate into a fine sticky cement, that devours any thought of productivity in its entirety only to belch Productivity’s suspenders back up to the surface.

    • It’s kind of amazing how barely-left-of-center Obama really is given the outcry that he’s a socialist, communist anti-capitalist whatever. Did people say the same things about Clinton and I’m just too young to remember? Did they say those things about Gore or Kerry? I don’t think they did, yet they were each actually more left-leaning that Obama.

      • When Clinton won, my teacher at the time said Saddam Hussein was dancing in the street. So yes? Don’t remember similar about Gore or Kerry though.

    • i think jill stein won the debate last night after she got ARRESTED trying to get into the debate hall and then spent eight hours HANDCUFFED TO A CHAIR in police detention.

      and i’m voting for her, because the “no, i want to rape the environment harder” pissing contest that occurred 10 minutes into the debate made me see blood.

      • Yeah, that was terrible as was the Libya thing. I don’t see why who jumps to conclusions faster is a positive.

      • I’d just like to point out that the debates are not constitutionally mandated. So while Jill Stein has the right to be in the ballot, she does not have the right to crash what essentially is a joint last minute advertisement from the two big parties to appeal to undecided voters.

    • I would encourage you to not vote for Jill Stein, because if Obama loses in the same way Gore did (via Nader) I will be denied healthcare. thanks!

      • Not this again. Southernbitch isn’t voting for Romney and is free to vote for whomever Southernbitch chooses. Gore lost that election on his own. Nader didn’t lose it for him. I think the fact that both candidates want to put our public lands at risk by drilling for oil and fracking for natural gas is terrible.

      • i live in louisiana. it really doesn’t matter if i vote for obama.

        • Ahh, sounds good then :)

        • also, because i live in southeast louisiana, a portion of the country that is already getting fucked my climate change and man-made disasters due to oil drilling- the 2010 oil spill, the 400 foot wide sinkhole that is just eating a section of assumption parish and leaking oil into the bayous- i certainly give a fuck when obama brags about being friendly to oil and gas companies. fuck that. i’m not going to be held hostage by the center left.

          • Yup, I’m seriously considering voting for Jill as well because being friendly to coal and natural gas? FUCK YOU. (Also because I live in Portland and my vote doesn’t count either.)

            And I voted for Nader in 2000, back when I lived in Brooklyn and my whole district when green. Not blue, green.

  17. I hated how Romney kept asking overly specific questions that were clearly Obama traps and then losing his shit and repeating the question over and over louder and louder when Obama tried to sidestep the booby trap and give an answer with some sense of context. He was really banking on reducing broad policy issues to specific data points that favor him and it made him look like a total dick.

  18. The debate was fine. I mean, it was definitely better than last season, if only because they’re finally off that goddamn farm. And we got to see some good zombie kills. Obama had some good points I guess, but if you’re going to lead a group into the dark, unknown maze that is the rest of the prison, why the hell would you take the only doctor (and also a senior citizen!) with you as part of your attack squad? That certainly won’t win over the remaining undecided voters. And Carl. Ugh, Carl. I thought you were getting a little better, but then you make the comment about the binder full of women, try to feed the group dog food, AND try to get with Hershel’s daughter – ew. You’re ten, CARL. Knock it off. Lose the hat.
    I did like when Lori in the audience asked the question about zombie abortion. “How do you feel about abortion in the circumstances of rape, incest or an undead zombie fetus tearing up your insides?” Really getting down to the hot-button issues, Lori. I still hate you, though.
    Oh, and Carol hitting on Daryl – gross.

  19. Have we really not mentioned the “prevent gun violence by GETTING MARRIED” statement yet? Because that was pretty WTF hilarious right there

    • I was interested in this!

      Romney was emphasizing “2-parent families” which he clearly meant to be heterosexual nuclear families. But I think it was fascinating how he only sad “with a mother and a father” or some variant of that, like, once or twice? He said “2-parent families” a bunch of times! Was he just trying to stay away from saying anything remotely related to LGBT issues?! Because he knows his opinions on that aren’t popular?

      • It was also absurd and one of a million things he said where he would make this grandiose claim about what he wants with NO EXPLANATION as to how he’s gonna get that. “Kids won’t have guns if they have two parents. So Go! Everybody! Be 2-parent families!”

        • “Before they have babies they ought to think about getting married to someone” So what if you can’t do that because there is no one to get married to? Have an abortion maybe? You just can’t win I guees

    • Yes, it also bothered me that Obama did not respond to this directly. Like, “Hello? There’s some clear examples of children raised by one parent who turned out all right, though. So that argument is absolutely insane.” Because: are you kidding me with this? “But gosh to tell our kids that before they have babies, they ought to think about getting married to someone, that’s a great idea.”

  20. Guns don’t kill people, penises going into vaginas not formally sanctioned and venerated by the Osmonds..kill people.

  21. also. y’all. the phrase “TRICKLE DOWN GOVERNMENT” is just so mind-bendingly awful that i don’t even know how to parse it. romney keeps saying it and saying it with so much obvious “haha, i’ve really turned the narrative around on this one! look at my witty repartee”. just. ooooooooooh.

    • I can just imagine the hours spent in the Romneydome Crisis Suite coming up with that little turn of phrase and the celebratory near-beers sipped upon its invention.

  22. I missed most of the debate because I was in a pizza food coma nap, but I tuned in just when Romney blamed assault weapon violence on single parents and that the cure was promoting (abstinence before) marriage.
    Gun don’t kill people; fertile, unwed uteruses kill people.

  23. “Governor Romney, how do you feel about Lilly Ledbetter?”
    “I don’t know who that is.”

  24. Out of all the possible verbs those think septic tanks could come up with is trickle. Trickle down anything is just a clear indication of what level of intellect we are collectively working on as a nation. Sure Europe has austerity which is just as ridiculous, but at least it brings images of robed men muttering Latin at a casting call for aa film adaptation of Brothers Karamazov. Trickle down is perfect for the raunchy Calvin sans Hobbes set.

  25. It’s going to be ironic when Mitt Romney only gets 47% of the vote.

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