Who Won the Debate Tonight: President Obama Wins, Resurrects His Campaign

  On October 16th, the third presidential debate will take place in Hempstead, New York on Hofstra University. 

Candy Crowley will be the first female moderator in this town hall-styled debate since its inception 20 years ago. As chief political correspondent, she hosts the CNN weekly show, State of the Union. Nearly one hundred undecided voters — chosen by Gallup organization have submitted their questions ahead of time for tomorrow's event.  

President Obama has been engaged in a three-day prep session in Williamsburg, VA - -one of the key swing states that both nominees are aggressively courting. While Obama seeks to preserve his standing among the undecided voters, he will have to find a way to be more aggressive but not so much that it will turn off the voters. The pressure is on for President Obama to head off Romney's surge at the polls.

Vice President Biden did a good job stemming off the Romney camp with his aggressive style, but President Obama has vowed to adjust his campaign strategy to reflect his ability to get tough on Romney. President Obama should try to imitate President Clinton's 1992 performance with his direct but charismatic exchange with viewers. Doing so could help POTUS to resonate with the viewers.  

The benefit of having a town hall forum is that it allows both nominees to have a direct conversation with viewers, rather than with the stiff Q-and-A-style that allows for little audience interaction that we've seen so far. It won't do for both nominees to openly engage and attack each other; They will need to tone down their rhetoric and really bring the message that each side cares about the people first.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney's campaign manager, Matt Rhoades expresses disbelief that POTUS can make it happen: “Being an a**hole isn’t a skill that you can just pick up overnight...Mitt Romney’s been working on it all his life.” Stay classy! 

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

Update: 11:38pm And....that's a wrap. Good night folks

11:34pm Apparently the whole story of Romney's 'concerted efforts' of gathering female exec's during his time as Mass Governor is FALSE:

http://blog.thephoenix.com/BLOGS/talkingpolitics/archive/2012/10/16/mind-the-binder.aspx

An excerpt: 

What actually happened was that in 2002 -- prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration -- a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.

They did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected.

I have written about this before, in various contexts; tonight I've checked with several people directly involved in the MassGAP effort who confirm that this history as I've just presented it is correct -- and that Romney's claim tonight, that he asked for such a study, is false.

First of all, according to MassGAP and MWPC, Romney did appoint 14 women out of his first 33 senior-level appointments, which is a reasonably impressive 42 percent. However, as I have reported before, those were almost all to head departments and agencies that he didn't care about -- and in some cases, that he quite specifically wanted to not really do anything. None of the senior positions Romney cared about -- budget, business development, etc. -- went to women.

11:18pm And here, folks is the video clip where Romney was fact-checked by Ms.Crowley in all its entirety. Just skip over the advertisement.

Closing thoughts. POTUS exhibited a great U-turn as compared to last debate nearly two weeks ago. 

11:04pm Site went down for a bit. But here's a few clips from tonight's debate. 

"Whose Pension is Bigger?"

10:35pm Last question: what do you believe is the biggest misperception America has about you?

Romney: wants people to know that he cares about all kinds of people because of his faith.

Obama: pro-capitalism and self-reliance. But big point: everyone should have an opportunity to have the American dream. Fundamentally diff't vision on how to move forward. Wow, pounds on Romney's 47% .! 

10:32pm Romney keeps on pounding the point that US can do it all. 

Obama: high skill, high wage jobs but Romney may want to bring us down. Considering that the Foxconn factory in China had mandated interns to work on their products, considering that workers get few work breaks. 

Romney: "government does not create jobs"I disagree with this.

10:26pm Last question I think---> about outsourcing. surprise, surprise. China bashing. Romney states that China is #1 manufacturing. But his view of corporations moving jobs overseas is misplaced. There's issues such as China's large market that Romney has never really addressed.

This is why China doesn't like Romney.  I can't listen to this. 

Uh, Romney is quoting Canada but conservatives forgets that Canada openly courts skilled immigrants. 

10:25pm POTUS is going into overtime. Ms Crowley is really in a hard position.

10:24pm Woah, POTUS talking about education in schools...looks like my question earlier is being addressed somewhat.

10:21pm next Question: what would each side do about the weapons.

Romney: wouldn't pass new legislation to ban assault weapons. But somehow he brings up nuclear family and now invoking Fast and Furious. He's like way off topic here now. 

10:15pm Romney and Obama quibbling points of when the Benghazi was officially termed a "terrorist" act. Romney is sort of losing points here.  Woah, Ms Crowley just fact-checked Romney: Twitter is going nuts!

 

 

10:14pm Question of SEc State Hilary Clinton taking the blame on Benghazi. But POTUS says he is the one who is ultimately responsible. That's very dignified.

10:10pm Pres O is exhibiting some major points here. I like his eye contact with people posing the q's. 

10:10pm POTUS outlines his strengths at this instance of beefing up nat'l security.

10:07pm Question: Who denied Enhanced security in Benghazi for diplomats?

10:06pm A jab at POTUS pension somehow came from immigration. WTF?

10:06pm Wrap it up Romney! Make your point. People are waiting. 

10:05pm Romney seems to be backtracking. Keeps pointing to 'self-deportation' and POTUS failure to craft a viable immigration policy. D'oh! But gridlock in Congress prevented this from happenning.

9:58pm Question on undocumented individuals. 

Romney: "We welcome 'legal' immigrants"

in favor of green cards for STEM graduates. Stop 'illegal' immigrants. Will have employer verification system (Don't we have one of them already?) No driver id's for undocumented.

Favors pathway for anchor babies.

9:53pm It's Tai-chi time!

9:51pm

Q5: What have you done to earn my vote in 2012?

Obama outlining his accomplishments. Finally-while some may criticize the lack of jobs, but considering the tough economy.... people need to know.

9:48pm 

9:47pm Romney is giving his 5 point plan which he did in the last debate. To be more tougher on China and expanding trade in LatAm. Lower taxes for small businesses-less regulations. His priority is hiring people for small-businesses.

9:44 pm Q5: What's the biggest difference between George W Bush and Romney?

 9:43pm 

9:40pm Romney relaying a story about how he made a concerted effort to cull women into his company. The way he describes it just sounds off...like he's doing them a favor in a bad way.

9:38pm Q 4: In what new ways would you rectify income inequality for women?

Obama relaying a personal story about his mom and grandmother. He is working the room here. Maintains the Obama administration has been working re: Lilly Ledbetter Act, increasing Pell grants (which I'm benefiting from). 

Obama: administration to not tolerate discrimination.

9:31pm Woah, Romney is really not adhering by the time limits. 

Romney "of course they [the numbers] add up" when it comes to balancing the budget. Ms.Crowley asks Romney if the numbers didn't add up, would he be willing to go over the numbers again. Wow, that he thinks he doesn't need to look over his numbers just shows how out of touch he is with people.

Romney-concerned about small businesses and touts his real-world experience as a businessman. Nothing new here.

And Romney's so far is getting some flack on Twitter.

9:28pm From ThinkProgress : 

Mitt Romney on Coal: "I will not create jobs that will kill people"

 

 

 

"9:25pm Romney answers first. He won't have top 5% to pay more. 

9:23pm Q3: Which tax credits would you eliminate to pay for your tax cut?

9:22pm Romney continues to talk despite his time limit is over. Stop him Ms. Crowley!

9:22pm Romney is quibbling about who gets the last say. Seriously?!

9:21pm  "we've built enough pipeline to wrap around the world once" sez POTUS. Woah. Take that Romney.

9:18pm Romney-openly attacking Obama. Both are standing pretty close. Yikes. POTUS makes the distinciton for federally-opened land. I think Romney thinks that he can act the same way he did in the last debate but it's not working here. 

Check out these GIF's via The Atlantic.

"The right course of America is to do all the above"sez Romney. will fight for oil/coal and natural gas. He makes a general argument- I think it's totally wrong. Equates a lower gas price that Obama energy prices are working.

Obama-states that low prices at beginning of administration was due to the horrible economy in 2008.

 9:17pm POTUS sounds a bit like Romney and advocates for more drilling and opening of federal lands. Yikes, I can hear the natural wildlife running away.

9:13pm Q2: Is lowering gas prices not the job of Energy Dept? I don't think it is. Here POTUS details the need for exploring alternative sources of energy. Yes, other countries are investing in their industries, but Romney's optimistic dependence of coal is really outdated.

9:08pm Ms. Crowley poses question to Romney, what if any immediate plans to get long-term-unemployed people back to work.

Romney clarifies the Detroit bankruptcy and confirms. wow, did Romney just say that POTUS brung Detroit backrupt? I don't think that's true. At the time, GM wasn't exactly efficient and not-creative with their choice of cars that were coming out. The good thing now is that the company has turned around and profitable.

9:06pm Obama: build upon the 6 million job creation and make it easier for kids to get student loans and building up community colleges. Energy sources part of the equation. Reducing deficit to invest in education, reduce war debt.

9:03pm Romney will go first having won coin toss. 

First Q: what are the good chances of procuring a job after graduation? 

Romney: easy to afford college, and has a job ready after college. Pro-Pell Grant sez Romney. Wow, I'm pretty surprised.  "need a college-level job." 

Romney "i know what it takes to bring them back".  He presumes he will be president after asking person who asked question for year of graduation. Hm, awfully presumptuous.

9:01 Intro made by Ms. Crowley. 82 undecided voters. 2 minute question and followup. No outbursts! POTUS looks good and confident. Looks rested. Let's do this!

8:56pm And just as a reminder for not how to answer a question: the 1992 performance that pretty much vilified George HW Bush.

8:55pm Funny tweets.

8:50pm What few have mentioned as part of the Obama recovery is the remarkable number of banks that HAVE NOT failed. From The Daily Beast, I bring you:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/15/no-banks-failed-on-friday.html

8:40pm  This is Romney practicing Jenga. Draw your own conclusions.

8:30pm In other news.....what's gained a bit of steam but not covered by mainstream media outlets is Romney and #Sensata. 

The story behind this story is Bain Capital-the company affiliated with Romney is shipping jobs to China. With all the talk that Romney is facing and getting tough on China--kind of hard argument to make.

Huffington Post just came out with an article one hour ago with Tom Gaulrapp. Apparently Sensata Tech was bought by Bain Capital two years ago.  An excerpt:

"On Monday, November 5th Bain Capital is outsourcing my job to China. On Tuesday, November 6th I'm casting my vote against Mitt Romney.

Yes, I blame Mitt Romney for the loss of my job. Here's why."

Read the story here: "Tom Gaulrapp: My Pain is Mitt Romney's Gain: My Story as a Sensata Worker".

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-gaulrapp/sensata-bain-capital_b_1972021.html

8:24pm Photo of the Romney family before tonight's debate.

8:20pm I'm kind of hoping someone brings up the question of education for high school students. Last night I finished watching Frontline's documentary "Dropout Nation". 

Highly recommended and shows what happens to kids who don't end up getting a high school education: loss of production for the US overall and increased rate of incarceration. In our globalized world where we need all our kids to perform at their best, it's really disheartening to see some kids get left behind.

Here's a preview.

 8:19pm Less than one hour until the townhall debate. Romney just arrived in Hofstra U. Presumably, he's making last minute preparations.