President Obama gives his first reaction to last night’s debate. {Video}

Via Waylon Lewis
on Oct 4, 2012
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A rebuttal (a day late).

Well, he’s got some juice today. It’s been much remarked that he seemed a bit tired, flat, patient, even passive in the first debate—perhaps ’cause he’s got something of a day job, and a war broke out that he had to deal with, yesterday. Or perhaps he just wasn’t expecting a full frontal, enthusiastic assault on the fact.

That’s not me being partisan, that’s me being partisan based on the facts of what both gentlemen have said they’d do.

“When I got on the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney.”

“Don’t boo, vote” So awesome.

Update: new ad:


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


15 Responses to “President Obama gives his first reaction to last night’s debate. {Video}”

  1. solfulsoul says:

    Is this seriously how we evaluate "future leaders"? His ability to talk smack (not even to his face) and pomp?

  2. elephantjournal says:

    Interesting criticism coming from an anonymous reader.

  3. Mark Ledbetter says:

    But an appropriate criticism.

    As a person who likes (like personally, definitely not politically) Barack Obama, I have a feeling that even Obama thought today's response, as well as the need to make today's response, was pretty stupid. He did it only because he actually agrees with solfulsoul's evaluation, ie, he understands how we choose our "leaders" and feels forced to play the game, ridiculous though the game is.

    Maybe the problem is that we are choosing a "leader". The Constitution imagines a government where we actually don't need a leader, which is why they chose what was, at the time, a VERY non-leader-like and actually rather silly title: president. But now we need a leader, so we vote for the best verbal boxer. Which is why there is so much anticipation for the debates, and why the underdog, when he scores a victory, gets a bump in the polls. And why the loser feels he must come back the next day an throw a few more punches.

    Btw, nothing particularly wrong with remaining anonymous.

  4. Colin Wiseman says:

    I agree. I wish the parties would just layout out their manifestos and say – do you want us? or them? And leave it at that. This tit for tat fighting is annoying (it's the same in the UK) and millions could be saved in these "fights" and runups to the election.

    (I will say nothing wrong with being anonymous when you are talking about certain things, but is being anonymous during a political debate is not a bit chicken?)

  5. Ben_Ralston says:

    There's a reason it's tit for tat. Because very often the people trying to get in to 'power' (literally), are not doing it for the people they will represent, they're doing it for the power it will afford them.
    If another Obama were were running against Obama, I bet it would be a very productive process.
    But somehow America is fooled by corruption, again and again.

  6. Heather says:

    What I fear is that people who are easily taken by slick, nice looking and attractive speaks 'could' be taken in my Romney. I agree that Obama seemed flat but he also seemed real.

    In this day and age often people mistake the former for the latter. Certainly Obama comes from a more humble beginning and is more in touch with what is happening. Many of Romney's comments don't 'seem' like they come from him but a second-handed thing he might have incorporated to sound good (perhaps coming from Ann).

    well, let's see.

  7. WaylongtheSchlong says:

    You out of touch if you don't get anonymity on the internet. Probably why you support Obama, because you agree with his stance on The Program:

  8. holysmokes says:

    You are way out of touch. Obama's appointment of Eric Holder created one of the most political DOJs in history. How many obama campaign contribs get government subsidies. Obama is dirty. Wake up.

  9. elephantjournal says:

    No, you out of touch!

    My point is that the…anonymous…commenter above is criticizing Obama for not "talking smack" to Romney's face. Would seem to be mildly hypocritical coming from someone who choosing to remain anonymous. But perhaps that was too subtle for you, or you had my schlong on your brain and couldn't think of anything else?

    Yours in non-anonymous smack talk with a little respect and hopefully humor,


  10. elephantjournal says:

    Mark, I disagree generally on anonymity—except in certain necessary circumstances it's "more spiritual", ie grown-up, to own our opinions and views, and if we own them, take responsibility for them, and talk face to face on some level, our disagreements will be more respectful.

    And my point about anonymity, which I'm sure you gathered, is that the above commenter was criticizing Obama for not talking to Romney's face, while the commenter was expressing this criticism while hiding beneath the veil of anonymity his or herself.

  11. Ben_Ralston says:

    Yep, I am. I'm also on a different continent and don't pay all that much attention to US politics.
    That said, all politics is dirty – I am aware of that much.
    And I dont' expect otherwise.
    I do expect a *degree* of honesty, and I don't see it in Romney. At all.

  12. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Hi Waylon,

    Being a professional fence-sitter, I'm really good at agreeing with both sides at the same time. You may have noticed that I often do that here on on Ele. Let me do it again right now. I think you are right and I think solful is right on the anonymity issue.

    Obviously, my own tack is non-anonymity. Full name right out front. Just as you recommend. Just as you yourself do. On the other hand, solful and many others choose anonymity. Why? Who knows. They just do. For their own reasons. And who are we to say that their reasons are not good? I don't judge them for it. I just consider their message. And, as I explained above, there was a valid point to soful's message.

    At the very least, anonymity gives a chance for playful monicker-creation, which is certainly a lot more interesting than what us name-up-front people do. In the end, all approaches to this and most issues seem to have a place.

  13. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Colin and Ben got me thinking…

    Politics doesn't actually have to be a boxing match where we choose leaders and use 'best boxer, dirty or not' as our standard of leadership. Take Switzerland, an important model to the writers of the US Constitution, and a model that, unlike America, stayed on the small decentralized, non-militaristic course that made it America's model.

    Power in Swtz is, first of all, diffused. Taxes and local policies in general are decided at the local level. Central govt's power is kept severely limited, making aggressive warfare next to impossible. Since there isn't much power at the center, there isn't much motivation for the power hungry to covet the presidency or for verbal boxing to be the standard by which they choose, or for the president to even be thought of as a leader. Did you know that even many Swiss (so I have heard) don't know who their president is? That sort of irrelevancy is something like what the "founding fathers" had in mind for America. Important national issues are all decided by referendum, ie by all the people, not by the president or even the legislature.

    Ben ponders, what if another Obama were running against another Obama. Near impossible to find two such politicians, but I imagine Obama against Ron Paul would work. Then you would have a debate of consequence, one where the point is not scoring knock out punches or trying to win, but simply talking the issues and then letting people choose based on the issues. Obama and Paul are far apart on the issues so there would be plenty to talk about. On the other hand, it wouldn't be a boxing match so maybe not too many people would watch.

    Ben points out, "America is fooled by corruption again." Yep. Doesn't matter who the president is. Corruption will always win. That's an immutable fact of human politics if you have immense power located in a political entity. Corruption WILL win. No way around it except to severely chain the power of the govt. As our lost and long forgotten constitution intended.

  14. […] There are the evening calls from campaign volunteers when you are about to scarf down dinner. There are the television ads that make you feel as if America is teetering on the brink of a commie revolution or a “let them eat cake” regime. There are arguments with family members and friends and neighbors and absolute strangers. I know the candidates themselves are anxious and terrified. We, the voters, can guess exactly how they feel. […]

  15. […] Just a week or so ago, The New Yorker’s cover featured Mitt Romney debating an empty chair, a reference both to Clint Eastwood’s infamous, incoherent convention speech and to Obama’s infamously passive first debate performance. […]