This Wednesday, President Barack Obama and Republican Nominee Mitt Romney will meet for their first debate of the 2012 presidential election. Tonight's focus is domestic policy, and both candidates will be looking to win the crowd as well as the argument.
Without a doubt, the biggest pressure is on Mitt Romney, whose "47%" comment is still fresh in the minds of American public. With that gaffe, Romney, dug himself a major hole and put Obama seemingly out of reach in the polls. It will take some Lincoln-equse debating for Romney to close to the gap, but even his own campaign is trying to dial back expectations. Perhaps the hope is the President Obama will put his foot in his mouth, but it's far more likely for Joe Biden to say something damning during net week's vice-presidential debate.
The economy is sure to be the centerpiece of tonight's debate, as it is by far the biggest issue on the home-front. The candidates have very different tax reform plans, and selling the public on their plans should be the primary goal for Romney and Obama alike. They've already been trading shots in the form of campaign ads, and tonight's debate could be the deciding blow for one of them. Can Romney convince us that his loophole elimination is the superior option, or will Obama's fair-share ideology win out?
PolicyMic will be covering the presidential debate live. For live updates, bookmark and refresh this page.
Those bits about their tax plans and the 47% basically represent the extent of my previous knowledge regarding the 2012 Presidential Election. Tonight I'll be giving, my uncensored, unbiased, and totally uninformed reactions to the debate. Stay tuned, it should be fun.
UPDATE: 10:36 - I give this round to Mitt Romney. He was playing to win, and had way more moments of "sticking it" to Obama.
10:33 - Of COURSE the Obama campaign didn't object to letting all the Romney's on the stage. For one thing, he can't appear to be anti-family, and for another, why wouldn't he want the Romneys' Mormom clown car on full display?
10:32 - Romney's closing remarks seem to contain a few points that were debunked over the course of the debate, and I disagree with ending on a committment to the military.
10:29 - Now Obama is playing the "I talk to people from battleground states" card. Shameless.
10:26 - LOL @ "Busy first day." First ownage moment for the President. It's about time.
10:24 - Obama is sporting a smirk of his own now, but his is more smug and less "I'm smiling to hide the fact that I want to leap across the stage and strangle you."
10:22 - I wonder how long Romney had that "you're entitled to your own plane, but not your own facts" quip lined up. I give it a 6/10
10:20 - Romney and Obama are too friendly to each other. Part of me wants a more cutthroat President.
10:19 - It seems like "let the states handle it" is the Republican failsafe/cop-out for any divisive issue. Romney never has to take a real stance on anything.
10:16 - For a second there, I was almost ready to get on board with Romney. Then he goes all "I love the constitution," and "children of the same God." on me. Now I remember why I'm an independent...
10:14 - Is Obama rambling, or has the Presidential Debate drinking game caught up with me?
10:10 - Romney's plans are secret because they are too good? I'm lost. Obama was building towards a potential knockout blow there, but then totally fizzled.
10:07 - Gotta give it up for Romney again... he turned Obama's Cleaveland Clinic argument completely back around on him. That's the third "ownage" moment for Mitt. I'll admit I'm surprised.
10:06 - How can we already be seeing the benefits of Obamacare?
10:03 - I don't know much about politics, but I do that Obamacare is a bunch of shenanigans. We don't need unversal health INSURANCE, we need universal health CARE. They are not synonymous.
10:01 - The tone seems to have taken a turn for the casual.
10:00 - Obama gets the prize for first LOL moment of the debate.
9:58 - Nice. Obama calls Romney out on his pandering. "Yeah I remember when I had to say things like that too"
9:56 - This is at least the third time that Romney has mentioned meeting from a family in a battleground state and listening to their plight. Are people really fooled by such obvious pandering? They must be...
9:54 - Obama should have put bigger emphasis on the fact that the banks had to pay back their bailouts with interest. Is that really true?
9:51 - "You can't have a free market without regulations." I would say you can't have a "free" market WITH regulations, but that's just my inner philosophy major talking.
9:48 - I like choice.
9:44 - So far Romney seems to be absolutely killing it. The alleged fallout from Obama's medicare cut is damning.
9:41 - You're losing me with this Grandma stuff, Mr. President. Also, was she really "independent" if she could only be independent because of Medicare?
9:38 - I don't undertand Romney's criticism of Obama giving tax breaks to green energy programs. Last I checked, sustainable energy is invaluable for our future prosperity.
9:35 - That's the 2nd time Obama has made reference to Romney's phantom loopholes. Can Romney really not just name ONE!?
9:34 - Is Romney really saying that we don't want to be like Spain? Sure their economy is in shambles... but they get 2 hour lunches! Yo quiero siesta.
9:33 - "You kill jobs!" Romney is getting fierce.
9:32 - I like the Simpsons.
9:27 - Romney's government program acid test is intruiging, but I'm OK with China covering the bill for Big Bird.
9:25 - Romney really has a plan that's never been tried before? I thought conservative didn't get down like that.
9:23 - Did Obama really just suggest changing topics? He's on the run!
9:21 - Daaaaaaaaaayum... Obama just got statistically owned with that "Top 3% employ 50% of the people."
9:20 - The smirk is back. Romney looks like he's about to explode.
9:18 - It seems like they are talking past each other. They each have a study that says their tax plan is awesome and the other guy sucks.
9:16 - Oh shit! Romney interrupting Lehrer! He really hates that 5 trillion number...
9:15 -This "5 Trillion" number seems like a sticky wicket. I hope they can move on.
9:14 - Why couldn't Romney cut taxes for the middle class and raise them for the rich? Maybe he doesn't WANT to, but it would be totally feasible, no?
9:13 - I guess not. Instead of a question how about a 3 minute, multi-part speech?
9:11 - It sure looked like Romney has a question for Obama... what was with that smirk during the split-screen?
9:10 - Still with the wind power? I thought that was debunked as wildly inneficient?
9:09 - Booooo, Obama is the first to dodge a question. Clearly he was caught off guard by being called a trickle-down government.
9:07 - Romney's perfunctory "thank yous" and "it's an honors" were not as warm as Obama's, but I am 2/2 now on side bets since he mentioned Ohio. Cha-ching!
9:06 - Obama's shot-out to Michelle seems a little more strategic than truly heartfelt.
9:04 - One for one on Presidential Debate side bets. Obama in a blue tie and Romney in red.
8:58 - Got my 6-pack of McSorley's ready for the PolicyMic Presidential Debate official drinking game. Let's have a good, dirty, fight.
4:00 - Just 5 hours left until the debate begins, and I still don't know anything.