Obama Romney Debate: First Presidential Debate Recap and Analysis

Every time the presidential debates air, media pundits apply their slightly veiled bias to breaking down what occured. Who won? Who presented the best solutions? Who was more charismatic? The problem is that the pundits that cover politics are all largely educated on political matters, meaning they've already decided what they believe on a topic before the candidates have discussed it. This means that issues are no longer the issue. Whoever is more charismatic wins the debate. The "dark suit and makeup" is still all it takes to win a debate.

I tend to believe that less than 20% of Americans are open-minded enough or uninformed enough to be won over in these debates, but that number will be enough to make the difference. I'm one of those uninformed swing votes, so I consider myself uniquely qualified to determine the ebb and flow of this debate. I know nothing about political issues. I'm a lump of clay, waiting for political potters to shape me.  So take that ride with me live at 8pm on Wednesday, October 3rd. I'll be looping in people's comments from texts and from Twitter at @dustinriedesel.

PolicyMic will be covering the presidential debate live. For live updates, bookmark and refresh this page.

UPDATE: 10/4/12 9:00am - Interesting counter culture hypothesis in the wake of the Romney balling: Moderates don't like aggression. That's why they're moderates. So Obama's bashful approach will actually be a relatable and winning strategy to them. Sounds absurd, but it might be true.

10:35pm - Consensus from my social sphere is that Mitt brought it.  I'll be interested in recapping this tomorrow.  But I'll be darned if we're not looking for a tighter race than I expected. My assumption prior to this debate was that Obama would crush this.  He did well, but it feels like more of a battle than I expected.  Happy debate season, y'all!

10:33pm - Rommate quote, "Neither guy has said that much, but the reason everyone think's Mitt is beating his ass is because Mitt's come out like Rocky. He thinks it's a damn fight!"

10:24pm - Best agreement from the candidates, "Where you put your money is where your heart lies."  You'd think Chastity would know I love her by now.

10:14pm - Ronald Reagan show up again! Drink!

10:07pm - Just doing my civic duty!


10:01pm - Look at Barack with that, "I had five seconds" quote! One thing you'll never hear me say is that he's not cool.  Kind of like Biden. Biden's an idiot, but is there a guy you'd rather muck it up on the town with than ol' Joe?

9:55pm - How can you tell that Mitt is richer than Barack?  Check out the American flag pin.


9:50pm - Text from a friend: "Your blog is biased and lame."  I agree with 90% of the text.  Can some liberals weigh in? Apparently my friend core is loving Romney. Is that an indictment of my friends or me? OK, it's just me.

9:37pm - new tweet


9:31pm - My roommate's response to richer people giving more money, "F*** that. I'm just trying to make more money."  Only people who plan on being poor would hate on rich people being taxed.

9:26pm - Did Romney just go alpha there! I think I heard the moderator try to stop it and fail!  Barack did the best thing he could, "Let him have it."

9:21pm - The texts are coming in, and the consensus right now is that Romney is crushing it.  Bringing fresh ideas.  Quote from friend, "I heard that tax cut line four years ago, and I'm not any better off. I feel like I'm a victim of the looooooong con."

9:17pm - An undeniable problem:


9:15pm - I can't understand what Mitt's talking about because his hair is so hypnotic.  I think he's actually driving oil prices up because of his personal demand for it in hair products.  Also, Barack is looking like a sleek, young Morgan Freeman.

9:11 - I'll love it someone takes a moment of silence right now.

9:01pm - The Fox News guys forgot to call each other on their ties. Classic!


8:52pm - OK, I've rewatched John Wayne, dried my tears, and I'm ready to go again. FYI, the recent episode of New Girl was hilarious. Schmidt played a fake Romney to the point that I thought, "Maybe Romney is good for four years of jokes."  Is that an acceptable way to choose your voting stance? My roommates say no, but I'm not so sure...

8:01pm - I realize that the debate starts at 9pm EST, not 8pm.  Good to kow my editors are actually editing my stuff.  I feel betrayed.  I'm going to watch an episode New Girl. Then I'll rewatch the John Wayne vid, then I'm back.

7:58pm - CNN claims that their viewer room giving the dial tests are undecided. Sure they are.  The best part of being a pathological liar is that it gives me a 210 IQ.

7:50pm - Officially ten minutes out. It's time to step back from the coverage, take a moment to center our hearts and our minds, and focus on what this debate is all about.  AMERICA!  There was much debate about what the pregame video of choice should be. Team America? Lee Greenwood with God Bless the USA? Nope. We went with The Duke, tanning your hide with his American pride.


7:37pm - A lot of love going toward Ronny Reagan in the pregame coverage. Makes me proud to be wearing this t-shirt during the debates (buy them here):


7:32pm - A CNN talking head uses the words "master debater" in sincere reverence to Ronald Reagan. This update is the commentary.

7:18pm, Debate Day - Pregaming while watching the pregame coverage on CNN.  I prefer the fair and balanced coverage of Fox News, but CNN is really bringing some strong coverage of Romney's love of gambling....Ooh, the debate stage looks fierce.  We've got a beautiful bald eagle filigree in the background.  I still think we should settle these debates in an octagon or a thunderdome, alpha style.

2:43pm Debate Day - Had this number sent by a friend of mine.  I haven't paid much attention to debates of the past, but something tells me that nationwide particpance in this game would hurt our Thursday economy.


12:22pm, Debate Day - This picture came out.  Can it affect my vote?  Only if I saw it played out to fruition.  While I'll admit that I think superheroes and light sabers are ostensibly cooler than kung-fu masters with skewered meat, I think I respect the underdog nature of the sausage shogun. Point for Mitt pending a victory.


10:17am, Debate Day - So this is the most Mic'd headline on PolicyMic right now:

I gotta be honest, I think this is a terrible reason to not vote for a guy.  If there's one thing that 24's David Palmer taught me, it's that a president needs have huge onions.  And is it possible to be truly confident without thinking that you're better than others?  Who's the best at what they do? LeBron James, Matthew Weiner, Lil Wayne and Chris Hemsworth (debatably).  I don't think any of those guys are about to think I could do what they do.  If Barack or Mitt has the audacity to say that they're just regular Americans after voluntarily running for the most presitgious job in America, I'm going to send a write in vote for a guy with real onions, Sam Cassell.

7:43am, Debate Day - I don't know how much I'll buy into this "Romney in Range" headline.  It's a poll by NBC and the Wall Street Journal, so my conspiracy is that they're making it look close to boost ratings and internet traffic (and maybe newspaper sales too. I guess).  Still, it would make tonight more interesting...Screw it. Romney's in range!


6:38am, Debate Day - I woke up at 4:30am, went grocery shopping and hit the gym already. Why? Mostly because I dropped a friend off at the airport at 4:45am, but also cause it's debate day!  Theory to think about leading into the debates today: as I mentioned in my preamble, the debates are all about winning independents, but don't you have to be an idiot to be an independent? I mean, the only other otion is  being willfully ignorant.  To actually care about politics and claim to be an independent is just lazy.  You can't decide wha tyou think is right and wrong?  If either candidate has the balls to call independents stupid, he'll get my vote.

7:49pm 10/2/12 - Just had a conversation with my friend from Kentucky. He raises an interesting point.  Both Obama and Romney are using the same pre-debate tactic of underselling (My money is on neither over-delivering). Obama says that Romney is a great debater.  Romney says Obama is a great debater.  Both men claim themselves as average debaters.  Someone call Ron Paul, I'll bet his opinion is that he's a better debater than either of them!

6:00pm 10/2/12 - The hype is already building! I'm commenting on Rush Limbaugh commenting on John Elway commenting on Mitt Romney.  I'm sure Kevin Bacon fits somewhere in those degrees of seperation too.

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Dustin Riedesel

An amateur chauvinist, failed lesbian and aggressively mediocre wordsmith. For money, he is a salesman. You can find more of Dustin's work at Writing Bareback.

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