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Candidates from the top five Israeli parties addressed Anglo voters in Jerusalem on Wednesday; the big 'hot button' was Iran and the PM's speech to Congress next week.
Dani Dayan and Caroline Glick were met with hostility at the event (organised by Intelligence Squared) that was contacted at the lecture hall of the Royal Geographical Society.
Capping a race that on a national level was largely defined by the economy but in the Jewish community turned into an extended debate over which candidate would steer the best course for U.S.-Israel relations, President Barack Obama defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney on Tuesday to earn a second term.
There are two things Glenn Greenwald and I have in common – which is two more than I realized only an hour ago. He has the flu, according to his latest ‘Comment is Free’ post, and I have flu-like symptoms due to a recent ill-advised flu shot. The other more substantive commonality pertains to one acknowledgement in his post – one of seven miscellaneous observations by the Guardian’s new U.S. blogger.
Barack Obama has a weak record in the Middle East, but one would not learn this from the debate, where Mitt Romney praised Obama's achievements ("It's wonderful that Libya seems to be making some progress"), agreed with Obama more than he disagreed, and rarely pointed out his failings. Presumably, Romney took this mild approach to establish his likability, competence, and suitability to serve as commander-in-chief.
It occurred to me that someone back on the Romney bus decided not to win last night, but to shoot for a different target.
We’ve reached a watershed here, where we either live in our own heads affirming reality, regardless of spurious inputs from demagoguery or sentiment, or we give up on reality and let demagoguery and sentiment take over at the decision table. Did the president pull off a performance last night, in terms of sounding passionate and full of conviction? To some extent, yes. Does that mean he won the debate, or even achieved a draw with Romney? No.
Since the debate there's been a lot of analysis as to whether the President designated the attack on the U.S. embassy in Bengahzi, Libya, an act of terrorism. The President indeed used the term "act of terror" the next day but it wasn't clear if he was talking about that attack or 9-11. For the next week administration officials described the attacks as part of a protest-riot against the the U.S. over the "Innocence of Muslims" video which got out of hand.
We can now fairly assume that both Democrat and Republican analysts concluded that President Obama's weak performance in the first presidential debate could be attributed to the absence of a teleprompter. The president's reputation -- earned or unearned -- as a golden orator cannot be upheld without this prop. So, to level the playing field -- as he is fond of saying -- he was provided with a flesh and blood teleprompter in the shape of Candy Crowley for the second debate.
Here on vacation I woke up in the middle of the night to watch the second debate. I had not seen either the first one or the VP debate, though I saw and read clips. I thought I would be bored; I wasn't. I hoped I would be impressed - I was...by Mitt Romney.
Obama got away with saying that he had characterized the attack on the Benghazi consulate as a terrorist incident because the moderator confirmed his point; in fact he misrepresented the facts when he said "The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people and the world that … this was an act of terror."
The morning after last week’s vice presidential debate, Democrats were delighted. Vice President Joe Biden’s obnoxious display was exactly what was needed to cheer them up after a week of morose speculation about why President Obama was so passive and uninspired during the first presidential debate with Mitt Romney.
While it is still unclear whether the clear victory by Mitt Romney in the first presidential debate two weeks ago will amount to a more than a mere bump in terms of his popularity, or whether Vice President Joe Biden’s aggressiveness in last week’s vice presidential debate stanched the bleeding, we certainly have been witness to some troubling developments over the past couple of weeks.
The short answer is: because he’s got nothing. There is no record to run on, no argument to make for four more years. The ideology that drives him is outdated and bankrupt. He has, in fact, implemented his policies – Republicans have had little means of stopping him – and those policies are the problem. But there’s a slightly longer answer too.
Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently warned that, “The results of an American or Israeli military strike on Iran could, in my view, prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations in that part of the world.” During Thursday's Vice Presidential debate the statement was read to Vice President Joe Biden and Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan at the start of segment on Iran. What exactly Gates meant by “catastrophic” I’m not sure (Muslim/Middle East resentment towards the U.S.? Lack of access to oil? Increase in global terrorism?), but during the debate, both Biden and debate moderator Martha Raddatz seemed to argue that it meant going to war with Iran.
CNN reported that a CNN/ORC International nationwide poll found 48% of voters who watched the vice presidential debate Thursday thought Congressman Paul Ryan won,...
The most effective punches by Republican VP challenger, Congressman Paul Ryan, came in the first few minutes of Thursday night's debate, over the murder of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. He was correct on the facts – the Administration was concealing the truth about the attack on our Benghazi consulate. Biden was thrown off by Ryan's aggressive opener, and mumbled something about the White House following whatever information Intelligence was passing over. But, alas, Ryan was unable to hone his quick advantage into a devastating punch that could, possibly, leave his opponent staggering for the remaining 80 minutes or so.
President Barack Obama attended the wedding of the correspondent who will be the moderator for the VP debate.
Despite Obama’s poor debate performance, Romney’s rising likability numbers and voters saying he would better handle the economy – and two more polls which give him a significant bump since the debate – there is reason to fear that voters will still not vote against the incumbent.
The outcome of the debate between Obama and Romney had less to do with any extraordinary qualities possessed by Mitt Romney than with the purely ordinary qualities of Barack Obama. No matter how much Team Obama tried to warn the media faithful against any enthusiasm, the expectations were high and remained high until the Chicago Messiah began to speak. And then there was nothing.
Last week's U.S. presidential debate was a victory for Romney on all accounts, especially if one judges by the closing statements, where Obama couldn't muster any specific reason why voters should re-elect him aside from the fact that he was trying really hard as president. Looking at polls on how people view the candidates, I’m beginning to wonder why it is that Obama leads Romney in national polls and whether that is going start to change in a big way.