Debate 2012: Romney and Obama Attack, Jim Lehrer Loses Control -- the Media Room View

Categories: Election 2012
The following post was written by Sam Levin, an editorial fellow at New Times' Denver-based sister paper, Westword. Although Senator John McCain easily won Arizona in the 2008 election, team Obama believes Arizona is in play this time around. Read on for observation and analysis from last night's debate.

Large photos below.
President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney squared off inside the University of Denver's Magness Arena last night, once again bringing the national spotlight to the Mile High City -- as the two candidates discussed the economy and the role of government in a surprisingly unstructured first presidential debate.

Romney and Obama -- who have both spent a lot of time in the last several months rallying Colorado voters -- frequently interrupted each other during the debate, and Jim Lehrer, the increasingly flustered moderator, often seemed unable to keep the conversation under control. This was especially true during several interactions the PBS NewsHour anchor had with Romney, who was particularly aggressive and confident during the debate -- with the president's deputy campaign manager even saying afterward that the Republican candidate "won on style."

Debate speech 1.JPG
Sam Levin
From inside the media room
The awkward interruptions and chaotic moments of the debate frequently got laughs and scoffs from inside the giant media filing room, where hundreds of reporters from all over the United States and beyond typed and Tweeted furiously during the ninety-minute event.

Here's an exchange toward the end of the event (access the full transcript here), during which Lehrer seemed to acknowledge that things had gotten a little out of hand:
"Alright, gentlemen, listen," Lehrer said as Obama interrupts to try to get a word in.

"Excuse me sir," Lehrer continued. "We've got barely...three minutes left. I'm not going to grade the two of you and say your answers have been too long or I've done a poor job."

"You've done a great job, Jim," the president interjected.

Lehrer continued, "Oh, well, no. But the fact is, government, the role of government and governing.... So we only have three minutes left in the debate before we go to your closing statements. And so I want to ask finally here, and remember we've got three minutes total time here. And the question is this...
This kind of stumbling was common throughout the night. And the interruptions from Romney, who repeatedly continued speaking and attacking the president even after Lehrer requested they move on, reflected an overall level of comfort and poise that political experts -- and Romney fans -- say worked in his favor.

Much of the back and forth of the debate was characterized, unsurprisingly, by both sides arguing that they were being misrepresented by the opponent -- which in the case of some complex topics like health care and federal regulations created some rather dizzying, wonky policy disputes.

Continue for more about the view of the debate from the University of Denver media room.

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Obama lost!  The winner, according to every poll, is Romney by a landslide!  Ha ha!


Both candidates behaved as if they had just received the ass whooping of their life out behind the woodshed.  I don't need a "body language expert" to tell me what I saw - they both acted like dogs who got whooped for taking a dump on the bed.  The very air was stuffy and stifled from whatever transpired before the cameras focused on them and it came through the tube clearly.  I'd love to know what happened.  Generally the debates are enjoyable but this one not.  As for the commentary on the droppings (offerings), I'll leave that to Margaret & Helen.  "Plans" should have been laid out clearly in writing months ago for comparison by us, leaving the debates to finish up unresolved questions - not change the entire platform (Mr Royal Romney who thought getting to the Presidency would be a cakewalk.)   As always, both parties insult us and make a mockery of our election process.  


It appears that the garbage man came by and took out the liberal trash, too funny.


Jim Lehrer did o'k - it was an open format and he flexed it to meet the demands.Was that the same Mitt Romney reported by the Press for the last year?Obama was obviously wrong footed by the flip-flop from Romney.


If you libtards want your far-left pbs programming, you'll just have to pay for it yourselves. You're probably unfamiliar with the concept, it goes like this, when pbs has one of it's many pledge drives, you guys will need to actually send them money out of your own pocket. Never mind that you want a new iphone, pbs is too important to lose and is more worthy of your dollars than your own petty desires. You will also be required to fund npr, so start saving your pennies.

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