Romney cleans Obama’s clock – in the nick of time

Not since Lazarus of Bethany was raised from the grave has anyone performed an act of resuscitation as generous and staggering as that performed by Obama on Romney tonight.

Romney was recently shown lacerating the “47% of the country” who are “victims” who pay no income taxes. Since the foundation of the Republic US politicians have made careers (and misery) out of attacking and scapegoating minorities. But when the minority of the country you attack is literally 47% of it – including many Republicans – well, thanks for playing, but you are done.

Until Obama’s woeful debate performance breathed new life into him, Romney was close to done.
Capitalizing on Obama’s ‘absence’ the former Governor of Massachusetts delivered a performance I didn’t appreciate he had in him. Now everyone does. This race is back on.

In terms of arguments Romney won every round for me. Even the open goals her offered the President –e.g. his fanciful promises about more tax cuts not increasing the deficit – were badly fumbled by Obama to the extent that the President was hurt every time either man spoke tonight.

Romney addressed him verbally and physically as though Obama was a confused child. Obama responded by sounding puzzled and frustrated. Brutal.

Sure Romney was good; great in fact. But Obama was staggeringly awful.. How did Mitt do it?
Against the backdrop of a complicated, stalled economy, a broken, chaotic Congressional culture, and an idealistic young President who’s tried his best but not delivered much of the post-partisan America he promised, Romney walked in tonight and took charge. In charge of the debate, in charge of the terms of the exchange, in charge even even of the bumbling moderator. (Awful moderation by the way.)

At a time when Americans just want someone to take this all on and sort it out, Romney stepped up.

President Obama was walloped in tonight’s opening exchange, his vagueness obliterated by Romney’s fluid and assertive delivery of specific points. For the next ten minutes, the President appeared shocked and almost impressed by his opponent.
Remember, Romney’s narrative had almost been ruined by his Republican Primary opponents’ brutal attacks on his Bain Capital record, prior to this Presidential race even starting. The President’s team has brilliantly milked that caricature of Romney ever since so why didn’t Obama mention it tonight? Baffling.

As Bill Clinton pointed out this week, the 47% Romney dismissed are individuals whose overall tax contributions frequently amount to a greater total percentage of their incomes than does the percentage of Romney’s overall income that’s paid in tax! To suggest the 47% are the takers was an unpalatable insult that confirmed an impression of Romney as cold aloof and arrogant. That self-sabotaging speech had, I thought, decided the election before last night’s debate yet Obama made not one mention of the 47%. What was that about?

Aside from Romney’s impressive grasp of detail and debating skills, I was more stuck by Obama’s non-appearance. Is the man exhausted? Even his end note – something about “I know I’m not perfect…” Nothing you’re proud of? Nothing you’re getting ready to do next? Terrible.

Many commentators are this evening suggesting that debates don’t change elections. Perhaps. But they do change the media narrative and this one is about to change, at least for a while, in Romney’s favor.

  • Jack2

    I havent seen the debate yet, but checked out the odds vs yesterday.
    Money talks more than opinion – Romney has went from 26% chance on intrade to 33.4%. Odds on Obama have lengthened from 1.21 return on Betfair to 1.36.
    Pretty massive shift and backs up your post.

    / Will probably stick a chunk on Obama at those odds now 😉

  • Mick Fealty

    Ruarai,

    Dead right. It’s like Obama did not know he was in a fight. He knows it now. Plenty to talk about tomorrow night!!

  • Jack2

    I dont think one early debate will shift the election and now Obama knows he must prepare better.

    Have put my money where my mouth is:

    USA / 2012 Presidential Election / Next President Barack Obama Back 225xxxxxxx 04-Oct-12
    08:18 1.35 500.00 1.35 04-Oct-12 08:18

    USA / 2012 Presidential Election / Next President Barack Obama Back 225xxxxxxx 04-Oct-12
    08:57 1.36 500.00 1.36 04-Oct-12 08:58

    Have blanked out most of the bet number, 500 quid a pop @ odds of 1.35 & 1.36.

    If it goes above 1.40 I’ll put more on it.

    / Disclaimer – value of bets may vanish , be careful!

  • Mick Fealty

    I’d add that the brilliance of all that demonising may be the burden that the Democratic campaign now has to carry.

    Romney came across as open, likeable and engaged. He also sounded like someone who knows how things work. In short, in this environment he came over as a Republican Clinton…

    The President, shifty (he coughed a lot when asked any awkward questions) and kept resorting to big picture stuff when Romney was peppering him with ‘dollars in your pocket perspectives.

    If I was a soft Dem voter, I’d be asking what all that demonisation was about, and who’s hiding what in this campaign.

  • Mick Fealty

    Just listening to it as we ‘speak’, and it is clear that the campaign was not prepared for this… Maybe putting all your eggs in the TV basket (though Romney has spent virtually none of his donations on TV in Sept) is right.

    But if there’s only 6% of the electorate at play, you don’t need many changes in sentiment to change the outcome of the contest. Poor debating killed Gore.

  • Greenflag

    Obama tried to be Presidential and out awe his opponent and it did’nt work . Romney’s ‘trickle down government ‘ comment was a deft addition to political speak .

    Obama must improve in the next two debates .Was Romney’s performance enough to sway the polls enough to resurrect his chances ? We should see in a few days no doubt .

    The real winner last night was Goldman Sachs and/or Bank of America and the Private health insurance companies -NOT the American people .

  • President Obama is a very weak advocate of a lot of the things in which I believe. Governor Romney has emerged last night as a capable advocate of all of the things I despise.
    Obamas hopes of re-election rest on American voters having the same feeling.
    In November 2008, I could only offer two cheers rather than the thunderous three cheers that greeted his election. He was after all elected to represent American interests…..not mine.
    Europeans tend to prefer Democrats. Europeans and many American Republicans were caught up in History. Even McCain was caught up in it.
    But surely that premature Nobel Prize and Obamas intervention in Honduras was enough to bring us down to Earth.
    Frankly he deserves to fail to be re-elected.
    On the other hand, I would not wish Romney on USA.

  • Alias

    Perhaps the Messiah is just a very naughty boy after all?

    Unlike Obama, Romney doesn’t have to consult a reference book or ask an advisor when its comes to the subjects that the voters are most concerned about. He understands business, as shown by his success at it, whereas all Obama really knows is snake oil and lefty bullshit.

  • Jack2

    So your saying I’m a grand down then? 🙂

    After 2 terms of GWB I honestly shed a small tear on Obama’s inuaguration day. We were sold hope and change. If Romney is elected I’ll be shedding a selfish tear for my financial loss…

  • Greenflag

    ‘On the other hand, I would not wish Romney on USA.’

    I’d extend that beyond the USA to the rest of the world 🙁 Between Romney and Netanyahoo they’ll have another world war on top of Bush’s two disasters in Afghanistan and Iraq .

    ‘Europeans tend to prefer Democrats.’

    The Germans , British and French favour Obama by 90% to 10% or less for Romney . But such favourable margins were’nt always the case . The rot set in during Bush disastrous two terms and the slide downhill became a rush when the right wing neo conservative nutters of the Tea Party took over the Republican party . Romney seems prepared to ditch them if by doing so he can broaden his appeal to the ‘undecided ‘

    We can expect that Obama will be less ‘polite ‘in the next two debates to the representative of the 1% of snake oil thieves who have caused chaos in the world economy for the past decade !

  • ThomasMourne

    The US electorate which managed to put George Bush in the White House, not once but twice [admittedly with a bit of jiggery-pokery] will make asses of themselves again and pick Romney.

    Maybe after another 4 years of right-wing craziness some sort of message might get through to them that a rich and thick candidate is not the best choice.

    Obama [Nobel Peace Prize winner!] does not deserve re-election, given his remote-controlled war-mongering with drones.

    Perhaps he was given the word before last night’s debate that the Military-Industrial complex that run USA prefer Romney as their figurehead.

  • Perhaps youre right (on Obama tactics)
    And certainly GW Bush accelerated the support that Europeans have for Democrats.
    At what point did this set in as a trend rather than just swings of the pendulum.
    I suppose Reagans attachment to Thatcher was the key point. Or maybe its just generational. Certainly in the 1960s/70s my father would always have seen Humphrey/Carter as “our man”.
    There would of course be a competence factor in McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis in that they just didnt look strong enough. Id say the same for Obama based on last night.
    But I think USAs own attitude to Europe is probably the key….Bill O’Reilly, Glen Beck, Shaun Hannity depict even European conservatives as dangerous pinko liberals and maybe even after 15 years of internet chat with the good folks in Boise Idaho and Omaha Nebraska has convinced me that Americans and Europeans are divided by a “common POLITICAL language”.
    Of course this is not a view shared by many other American friends.

  • Neil

    Alias is right on the point that America clearly cares most about the bottom line, and who can blame them for that. Romney must be fairly attractive to those who wish to see America do well economically due to his background. And he’s battle hardened after a particularly nasty nomination campaign.

    That said, Obama has a couple of aces in the hole. Last night was the domestic policy debate – America’s number one concern. From now on there are two foreign and domestic policy debates and one foreign policy debate. Mana from heaven I’d say. Romney didn’t exactly set the world alight on his tour and surely they are fed up with carrying bodies off planes and a war in Iran or as GF says a world war – which ain’t looking that unlikely give the positions of the world powers, is bound to be worrying.

    Also Obama can get nasty, easily. He has enough ammo to sink ten candidates – depending on how it’s produced. You don’t want to be too dirty about it but it’d be easy to get a few 47% lines in. That dirty campaign for nomination put it all out there, Obama just has to steal a few choice lines.

    I reckon Obama and team are no slouches. Sit back in the first debate and don’t f*ck it up in a big way then go in for the kill if you feel you have to, plus you get all that foreign policy gold to produce.

  • andnowwhat

    Obama just isn’t the confrontational style. We a few weeks back how Clinton came out like a big brother protecting his younger sibling by kicking the bully in the nuts.

    Obamais nature is his greatest asset and his greatest curse.

  • Mick Fealty

    I’ve slipped some cuttings into the event page for tomorrow night’s late night panel, which are worth going through…

    https://plus.google.com/events/chpu6o9m6ragpemfkr12qg1ldb0?utm_source=chrome_ntp_icon&utm_medium=chrome_app&utm_campaign=chrome

    If you follow the Mickey Kaus link, he makes a point on immigration that you can sort of follow on out for an explanation for a certain reluctance to mix it on any number of policy issues… ie, because they have done their research on demographics and are reluctant to take risks…

    So we have been entertained to a wonkish gunfight… Not a bid broad brush sweep of principles… this might play in Obama’s favour in the longer run… If the electorate decide it is too risky to make a change…

    But David Kennedy notes:

    …we have a political system that manages to be both volatile and gridlocked — indeed, it may be gridlocked not least because it is so volatile. And, like their 19th-century forebears, today’s politicians have great difficulty gaining traction on any of those challenges. Now as then, it’s hard to lead citizens who are so eager to “throw the bums out” at every opportunity.

  • GavBelfast

    Isn’t it still the case that Romney basically wrote off 49% of the electorate (or at least a sizeable chunk of same, depending on registration, turnout and the like), and they’ll remain written-off?

    Simplistically, Romney would need a landslide of the remainder.

    Obama would not.

    I’d be amazed if Obama doesn’t win again (though always prepared to be amazed – if it’s as good as Chicago last Sunday).

  • Harry Flashman

    “I didn’t know Romney had that performance in him.”

    With respect Ruari, and I hope I’m not too presumptuous, that is because I dare say you have been following this election campaign through what you would regard as a widespread choice of media outlets, the BBC, RTE, The Guardian, Huffington Post perhaps, the Irish Times, maybe you log on to the New York Times or ABC/NBC/CBS websites or watch CNN for an idea of what’s going on.

    They have all told you the same thing, Romney is a stiff kinda guy, too much of a corporate suit, wooden, etc. can’t connect with the people the way Obama can. Romney makes too many “gaffes” you’d have read that and nodded your head in agreement, it’s a done deal, the economy’s in diffs but Obama will pull it off. That is what the mainstream media is telling you because that is what the mainstream media believes.

    If you relied on the “objective and fair” reporting of Lara Marlowe in the IT or Mark Mardell’s blog on the Beeb, one could not but wonder how is it that such an unpopular, gaffe-prone, Mormon billionaire seemed to be as good as tied with the wonderfully gifted speaker (can we lay that particular one to rest now? An uplifted chin and staring into the middle distance as one reads the words written by your advisers off a teleprompter do not an orator make), and warm decent human being as Barack Obama.

    If however you went outside the incestuous media bubble and looked at polls closer in various states and read what the mainstream media choose to ignore in what they loftily disdain as “flyover country” you would see that Romney was batting it out of the park.

    You don’t have to watch Fox News or listen to Rush Limbaugh, just adopt a slightly more cynical attitude to the mainstream media, what Mark Steyn calls the Obama court eunuchs, to see what’s really going on in this election, last night’s debate was only a shock to those people who weren’t watching what’s actually going on.

  • Jimmy Sands

    I think the term is “lamestream”. Otherwise, you nailed that Fox interview.

  • Ruarai

    Harry Flashman,

    Hi Harry, just to give full disclosure (as is on my profile on slugger), I’m a communication consultant based on DC for the last 10 years so my perspective on this, however clear-sighted, is not based on Irish and British media. (Just on that, I was a little surprised by the tomfoolery of the Guardian’s coverage, getting everything wrong from the tone – they treated Romney in their live debate blog like a cartoon figure – to the lazy post-debate reporting that suggested around 40 million people watched when it was actually around 58 million.)

    I’m in touch with people working in both camps regularly and one private point made to me by one Obama speechwriter – destroyed last night – was that they had sympathy for Romney’s speech writers because a speechwriter is not there to write a great speech, they’re there to write an authentic one. In other words, given the alleged woodenness of Romney, no speechwriter could write a ‘great’ speech for him since he’s not equipped to deliver one. It sounded interesting at the time but I’ve watched every debate performance Romney has given since the 2007 primaries and, believe me, he took it to another level last night; he proved he has rhetorical and communication capacities that were not previously appreciated.

    It’s way off, in my view, to suggest Romney is “knocking it out of the park” as you put it – any analysis of why so many non-entities like Bachmann or Gingrich or Cain lead him in the primaries for so long demonstrated that Romney will never electrify a following. But his base need not a champion as they’re sufficiently motivated by hatred of Democrats. This explains Romney’s disinterest in even connecting with “fly over country” (to borrow your phrase) last night – he pivoted to the middle (or at least pretended too).

    I still think Mitt’s likely to lose because he obviously is gaffe prone to say the least, despite last night, and he obviously is out of touch with middle America, regardless of last night. Plus, Obama’s electoral operation is so good. However, Romney gave a superb performance – performance being the operative word.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Ruarai,

    As I recall the 40m figure came from Obama.

  • Alias

    “Isn’t it still the case that Romney basically wrote off 49% of the electorate (or at least a sizeable chunk of same, depending on registration, turnout and the like), and they’ll remain written-off?”

    No, they would only be ‘written off’ if you assume, as Romney assumed, that they wanted to remain dependent on the state irrespective of (a) the negative impact that such dependency would have on the quality of their lives, (b) the unsustainability of the welfare state, (c) the control of their lives that state dependency transfer to government, and (d) concepts of self-sufficiency, making a contribution, and self-esteem.

    Unlike Europeans, Americans still attach value to concepts of self-sufficiency and self-respect. They do not make for a class of people who are comfortable being controlled by the state and being dependent on it. While it is true that Democrats are trying to engineer a majority state-dependent class who will vote for the party that promises them more of other peoples’ money, it isn’t true that Americans buy into that or accept it as a system that is designed to promote their interests.

    Americans won’t vote for a system wherein a minority are expected to create the wealth to support a non-productive majority while a political class controls every detail of their lives, so Obama’s europeanisation of America is doomed to fail.

  • Alias

    “…last night’s debate was only a shock to those people who weren’t watching what’s actually going on.”

    True, which is why the shocked are exploding with a plethora of diverse excuses for the ‘under-par’ theathre of their messiah.

    “He was tired”

    “Poor tactics/badly advised”

    “Speechwriters messed up”

    “Maybe he’s just too statesmanlike for a brute like Romney”

    “His zen-like calm made him appear too laid back”

    “He’s Gandhi – he doesn’t do fisting-fighting”

    Etc, et al

  • Harry Flashman

    Ruarai

    “Hi Harry, just to give full disclosure (as is on my profile on slugger), I’m a communication consultant based on DC for the last 10 years so my perspective on this, however clear-sighted, is not based on Irish and British media.”

    My apologies Ruari for my presumptuousness, however I think you’d agree that in DC they do tend to share the same rather incestuous groupthink that has underestimated Romney for so long.

    Greenflag

    “The Germans , British and French favour Obama by 90% to 10% or less for Romney . But such favourable margins were’nt always the case .

    The rot set in during Bush disastrous two terms”

    Yes, because the Europeans really loved Ronnie Reagan, didn’t they?

  • Greenflag

    Re

    ‘a superb performance – performance being the operative word.

    Here is a sample of what’s being reported about the truthiness of what Obama and Romney had to say Wednesday night on stage at the University of Denver:

    — One of the biggest disputes was over tax cuts. Obama argued that Romney’s plan to stimulate the economy includes a tax cut totaling $5 trillion that, Obama said, isn’t possible because the Republican nominee is also promising to spend money in other places.

    Romney flatly disputed that number. “First of all, I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut,” he said.

    Who’s right? The Washington Post’s Fact Checker says the facts on this one are on Obama’s side. The New York Times notes that Romney “has proposed cutting all marginal tax rates by 20 percent — which would in and of itself cut tax revenue by $5 trillion.”

    FactCheck.org has weighed in too, tweeting during the debate that “Romney says he will pay for $5T tax cut without raising deficit or raising taxes on middle class. Experts say that’s not possible.”

    PolitiFact has given a “mostly true” rating to the charge that “Romney is proposing a tax plan “that would give millionaires another tax break and raise taxes on middle class families by up to $2,000 a year.”

    Romney’s ‘factual ‘ lies are political spin speak .

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/10/03/162263539/romney-goes-on-offense-pays-for-it-in-first-wave-of-fact-checks

  • Harry Flashman

    In 2008 Obama had the entire media behind him, no you don’t have to be a tinfoil-hat wearing conspiracy theorist to believe that, he had Hollywood and the entertainment industry, he was young, handsome, telegenic, had a cute family, looked statesmanlike, came across as a breath of fresh air and had the historic first of becoming the first black US president on the back of one of the least popular presidents for a long time.

    He was up against a crotchety old, grey haired guy, who couldn’t stand straight (due to his war injuries), a man who was beaten by George W Bush, he picked a VP choice who the media (natch) immediately characterised as nutty as a fruitcake (another example of the media getting in wrong, Palin increased McCain’s vote).

    And yet, with all that, even with that massive wind behind him, he scraped in with a percentage of the vote pretty similar to what George W Bush got four years earlier. He then proceeded to lose the majority he had in both houses of congress in 2010.

    Is no one in the media paying attention? Is no one capable of taking off their rose-tinted spectacles about Obama? Do they not see what a divisive figure Obama actually is?

    I’ll tell you this for free the Democrats aren’t stupid, they aren’t relying on the skewed public polls that keep giving Obama a bare lead, their internal polls are telling them what’s really happening out there and they know that Romney’s going to shock on polling day. Look at Cook County Illinois, pure Democrat territory, absolute “D” to the core, in 2008 Obama led by 23%, latest poll puts Cook at 2% lead to Obama. These are what the Dem policy wonks are looking at and they sure as hell didn’t need to have their poster boy flunk his first run-in with his challenger.

    Obama is haemorrhaging voters, the Catholics, once true-blue Dems are walking away in their droves, gay marriage and handing out contraceptives in Catholic schools might appeal to College professors, the media luvvies and the gays but when it comes to election day those demographics don’t have the weight of the working and middle class Catholic vote.

    He’s down 25% on the Jewish vote, the Jews who vote Democrat as if it was written in the Torah, are beginning to turn against him.

    The batshit crazy leftists who actually believed Obama was going to close Guantanamo and end the Iraq and Afghanistan wars won’t be out in force this election either.

    Who does that leave him? Welfare dependents, teachers and other government workers, union members, immigrants, media people, maybe there’s enough of them out there to swing it.

    Maybe.

  • Greenflag

    Meanwhile the other half of America struggles to put food on the table NOT with the help of government . Some of Romney’s 47% .

  • Greenflag
  • Greenflag

    The ‘debate ‘viewed from Levittown

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19828865

    No believers here in Romney’s ‘America ‘ for the 1% !

  • Harry Flashman

    That whole 47% nonsense is a classic example of the media getting its knickers in a twist about a “gaffe” that no one else, ie voters, actually gave a fiddler’s fart about.

    The Irish Times editorial today among many others whined about why Obama hadn’t raised the issue, you could feel the hurt tone about how they’d gone to all that trouble to give Obama such a gift and he spurned it.

    He spurned it quite deliberately, these Romney “gaffes” are nothing of the sort, the only people shocked by them are the people who don’t understand what voters think. He said that there was no point in him trying to convince people who are dependent on government spending to cut back on government spending.

    Well d’uh! Stating the bleedin’ obvious is what everyone else calls such a “gaffe”.

    Despite the media-inspired froth the voters couldn’t see what all the fuss was about, polls indicated that they agreed with Romney, the Democrats saw this and dropped the issue like a stone.

    Same with Romney’s other supposed “gaffe” when he condemned the apologetic tone of the administration after the attack on the Benghazi consulate, accurately channelling the thoughts of the average American voter even if media types thought it “insensitive”.

    Was it a gaffe then? Well let’s see, the next debate if I’m not wrong will be on foreign affairs, a great opportunity for Obama to lampoon Romney for his gaffe and to defend his administration’s handling of the Benghazi incident.

    What’s the betting?

    Will Obama proudly support his government’s handling of Benghazi, will he quote back to Romney the words of the alleged “gaffe”? Why not? If it was such a foot in mouth moment for Romney it would be a golden opportunity for Obama to smack him down.

    Anyone want a bet? I’ll lay my entire net worth to the Aga Khan’s spare change that Obama doesn’t touch Romney’s alleged Benghazi “gaffe” with a twenty foot barge pole.

  • Greenflag

    @ Hairy Flashman

    ‘The rot set in during Bush disastrous two terms”

    Yes,

    ‘ because the Europeans really loved Ronnie Reagan, didn’t they’

    I would’nt use the word ‘love’ in describing how Europeans feel about their own or other politicians . I’d agree they disliked Reagan a lot less than they disliked Bush Jr . But then anyone who has ever heard of Bush Jrs attempt to enlist French support for the invasion of Iraq by telling the French President that this war was Gog v Magog as in the Old Testament .

    And now Romney a believer in Christ’s ‘transatlantic ‘hop to the America’s 2,000 years ago to speak to illiterate Indians and bury some stones with commandments dug up later by a charlatan con man is America’s ‘saviour ‘?

    He’s a paper man as in paper money -off shore banking -tax avoidance – and good at it . The USA doesn’t need any more of those shysters who have enriched themselves at the cost of the USA and the world economy . There are two places place for that ilk one is jail for those convicted and for the unconvicted yet in a tightly sectioned off (from the real economy ) world of casino banking ,

  • Harry Flashman

    You are a lot younger than me GF from what I understand so perhaps you wouldn’t realise the visceral loathing Europeans had for Reagan, the millions marching throughout Europe against the siting of cruise missiles, the sheer foam-flecked, eye-bulging, artery-popping hatred of Reagan was a sight to see.

    What drove the wimpy, Euro left so absolutely insane of course was that Sunny Ron couldn’t give a flying fuck what they thought and sailed on through in his own inimitable, cheerful way.

    Ronnie promised to defeat the Soviet Union, the “Evil Empire” he called it (a “gaffe” the liberal left said back then, plus ca change and all that) and they thought him a dangerous fanatic.

    He knew the Soviet Union was a rotten house of cards but all the pointy heads assured us it was the second-most powerful nation in the world and Ronnie was nothing but an oul’ fool.

    Reagan said “Mr Gorbachev tear down this wall” and he was mocked for his gaucheness and his lack of strategic thinking, two years later it wasn’t Gorbachev who was tearing down the Berlin Wall.

    He was of course proved 110% percent correct, no wonder they hated him so much. I miss him.

    A bit like W really, a lot of fun watching both men melt Euro-weenies’ heads, the good old days.

  • Jimmy Sands

    “I’d agree they disliked Reagan a lot less than they disliked Bush Jr .”

    Never understood that. Bush was pretty benign compared to the Gipper.

  • Greenflag

    @ Harry flashman ,

    Geography lesson number one – Europe was next door to USSR . Every major city in the UK ,Germany, France etc had several nuclear missiles directed at it .

    The Gipper’s speech was a wonderful soundbite -popular even in Berlin and even more popular back in the USA with voters .
    The real ‘hero ‘ was not the man who said the brave words and who could disagree with them in principle ? Reagan (and indeed every European and American and Russian can be grateful that Gorbachev happened to be Soviet leader during those times .

    But as the Gipper is your hero I’ll at least credit the man with realising towards the end of his presidency that his ‘trickle down ‘economics and deregulation were not the successes he wished for . And although he set in motion the deregulation which led to the Savings and Loans financial disaster which allowed the then ‘banksters’ to abscond with hundreds of millions -at least 1,000 or so ‘banksters ‘ ended up in jail for their crimes .

    Neither Bush nor Obama have been able to jail 5 never mind 1,000 . That excludes the more obvious sociopaths such as Bernie Madoff , Sanders etc.

    Reagan in the final analysis got the credit for the fall of the wall because of Napoleon’s favourite general -i.e General Luck .

    One reason why Europeans generally were not much taken with Reagan’s ‘sabre rattling ‘ was because they had suffered 25 million dead in WW1 due to ‘aristocratic ‘stupidity and imperial greed and overreach ‘ and 50 million dead to ideological insanity and ‘revenge ‘ for WW1 .So I imagine Europeans were not overly keen on the possibility of 400 million dead due to political miscalculations on the part of the then USA President .

    With the Middle East in turmoil and itchy fingers in Jerusalem and the USA directed at Iran I guess we are all in the lap of General Luck again ?

    Will they ever f***ing learn ?

  • pauluk

    Is [Obama] exhausted?

    From doing what? Playing golf, perhaps!