Who won the debate, because web polls are accurate!

CBS and CNN paid for real scientific polling to gauge victor. NBC are a bunch of cheap bastards and decided to do an old-timey online web poll:

[POLL] Who do you think won the VP Debate? Reply #Biden or #Ryan. Also, vote here: http://t.co/…
@CNBC via HootSuite

How bad was Paul Ryan’s night? Bad enough that the Romney campaign is blasting out the results of this WEB POLL to try and claim Ryan won.

So hey, let’s give that a shot and see who won the debate! Vote.

8:16 PM PT (Susan Gardner): And if you want to thank Joe Biden for his kick-ass performance tonight, let him know right here!

8:22 PM PT: CNN snap poll: Ryan 48, Biden 44, so CNN did get their “tie”. CBS snap poll of undecided voters provided clear Biden victory 50-32.

8:33 PM PT: Great job freeping that CNBC web poll. Ryan’s lead is almost gone, which must suck for the Romney campaign that thought that really important!

8:44 PM PT (Kaili Joy Gray): Okay, one more for you here.

No one’s taking the bait….

Matt Wuerker
(Click for larger image)

Reporters frustrated they can’t show you how great Mitt Romney really is

Mitt Romney split screen image—Romney grimacing at Romney

My Two Romneys

It’s a slow news day, so here’s an article about how reporters are feeling frustrated that they can’t tell you how awesome Mitt Romney really is.

[F]or Romney’s traveling press corps, the jerky party was just the latest in a series of similar casual encounters with the candidate — most of which are joined by reporters on the condition that they are “off the record,” meaning nothing the candidate does or says can be reported.

Eager for access to the famously reserved candidate, reporters have generally agreed to the campaign’s terms for these “OTRs,” which have long been common practice on presidential campaigns. But the resulting interactions — rare, unfettered conversations with an unusually candid Romney — have left many of the traveling campaign reporters frustrated that they’re unable capture a side of the candidate that he keeps hidden from public view.

“The OTRs are annoying,” said one reporter who covers Romney. “I mean, I’m glad we do them, but it’s like, we can’t show a side of him that exists.”

Off-the-record Romney apparently is fun, witty, and answers reporter questions in great detail while handing out large quantities of beef jerky. On-the-record Romney isn’t, and doesn’t. This frustrates reporters because … I have no idea. Maybe it’s like that Warner Brothers cartoon with the frog that starts singing and dancing, but only when nobody else is looking?

It seems like we get these stories every election season. Oh, if you only knew the real so-and-so, he’s not nearly the jackass that he is every other time you see him. He just has a hard time expressing himself. Sure, fine, whatever. I’ll take your word for it; that is one talented singing, dancing frog.

On the other hand, we elect leaders for their public personas, not their private ones; knowing that so-and-so is a nice enough fellow when nobody is looking does not particularly help them navigate a distinctly public job. Hearing that a candidate is only willing to give detailed answers to questions when he knows they won’t leak out is, likewise, not particularly endearing, and knowing that a candidate has the ability to not come off as a self-centered ass does us little good if only select, privileged audiences get that treatment. The “if you knew the real candidate” stories, therefore, always seem forced and a little out of place. We are at least supposed to pretend that we are electing leaders based on their ideas, not their affability, so pointing to secret affability, of all things, seems two or three steps removed from whatever more noble process we were trying to emulate.

Maybe off-the-record Romney still thinks America should guarantee certain standards of health care, or agrees that maybe the fabulously wealthy are not the most abused and put-upon people in the nation? Now there’s a singing frog I’d be interested in hearing from.

Beltway hackery, meet Beltway hackery

Mark Halperin


Mark Halperin, hack extraordinaire:

Mitt Romney decisively loses the Tom Friedman Primary. Boston will likely say “who cares?” and “big surprise (not),” rather than asking why it happened and what the political (and potential governing) implications are.

Holy fucking shit, did Romney really lose the Tom Fucking Friedman Primary? Oh noes! And Boston doesn’t even care! Because, you know, Tom Friedman gets 1 million votes, all of them strategically allocated in swing states. So the Romney campaign better care that they’ve just lost Friedman’s 75,000 votes in North Carolina, not to mention his 125,000 votes in Ohio!

Um, it isn’t just the Romney campaign who doesn’t give a shit. The current population of the United States is 311,591,917, and I guarantee that 311,591,915 of them don’t give a shit who won the Tom Friedman Primary, particularly since the primaries that actually matter ended back in April. Someone should let Halperin know.


Paul Ryan not yet onboard with his campaign’s ‘no whining’ policy

Paul Ryan receiving dollar sign cake on Fox News.

Fox didn’t give him a cake this time. Austerity, I guess.

We were quite specifically told that the Romney campaign had a no-whining policy, but apparently the actual candidates have not yet received that memo:

“It goes without saying that there is definitely media bias,” Mr. Ryan said on “Fox News Sunday.” He said he believed that most people in the news media were left of center and pro-Obama; that meant that he and his running mate, Mitt Romney, needed to take their message directly to the people.

Mr. Ryan declined to say exactly where he saw such bias.

Well thank goodness there’s still safe places like Fox News Sunday for Paul Ryan to sit down and whine about the media. It’s still not a safe enough place for him to actually explain how the numbers in Paul Ryan’s Magical Budget of Rainbows and Catfood-Eating-Unicorns are supposed to add up—America hasn’t been able to provide anyplace that safe, apparently, no matter how hard we might try—but at least it’s a nice, safe place to complain about how the media that has quite charitably elevated you into a supposed Magical Budget Expert is secretly against you after all.

Ryan’s spokesman, however, would like you to know that Paul Ryan was in fact not whining about the supposed anti-Magical-Budget-Expert bias of the media, and that he wasn’t the one bringing it up:

Ryan’s spokesperson Brendan Buck later emailed POLITICO about the Sunday show appearance, writing that Ryan “did not blame the media. He was asked a question about media bias and answered it. And his answer made clear it’s not something he worries about.”

From the same article, about a fundraiser held the same day:

“We can’t expect the president to play fair — he’s not,” Ryan told donors at a fundraiser in West Hartford, Conn., in a video on the Rocky Hill Republican Party Facebook page. “And we’re not expecting the media to tell our story — they’re not. That means we have to do it ourselves. […]”

Well, all righty then. Yep, no whining there.