Thursday, October  11, 2012 - Volume 3, Number 11

© Copyright 2012, The Ultrapolis Project.  All Rights Reserved.

Vice Presidential Debate: Replay?

Who Is Right: the Maddows or the Hannitys? Obama’s Re-election Prospects Revised


Despite Romney’s seemingly successful ‘etch-a-sketching’ of his positions last week, we still believe that the long-term impact of the first presidential debate will be small in terms of votes permanently moved, despite the unanimity of responses we have received telling us we are wrong (first time ever it is unanimous).  It is a lonely place here at UWFR right now.  However, in an election where the polls have been very close for many months, and only developed a spread after President gained a bounce from the Democratic National Convention which then evaporated after Governor Romney gained an equally-sized bounce, and where folks in both parties have had their discomforts with their selected candidates, even small changes can be decisive.  After all, the 2000 election was decided by a tiny handful of votes, as have others.


Tonight, when Vice-President Joe Biden faces Congressman Paul Ryan, the leftists pundits at MSNBC are proclaiming that the Ayn Randian Paul Ryan will be in over his head and will be trapped by his lies, and the rightists at Fox News are sure Ryan will run circles around the old gaffe-prone dinosaur Biden and that he will be trapped by his lies.


Our outlook is as follows:


Unless the Obama campaign has completely gone off the rails and fallen into a twilight zone vortex of incompetency, the august Joe Biden will hold his own against the earnest Ryan.  Joe Biden is highly experienced, knowledgeable in policy approaches, and has the emotional steadiness of age.  On the other hand, he also has not debated in four years, and his age could slow him down a bit in his responses – but we don’t think so.  Ryan is bright, unafraid, knowledgeable with policy numbers and facts, and has debated much more recently.  However, he is less experienced than Biden, and may still be a little green in some ways.  It will be interesting, but we don’t see either side routing the other; and if Biden understands well that Ryan is no Palin, Biden may even best Ryan.


As for the presidential debates, we were gratified Tuesday night to at last hear we are not alone to think that there was something going on internally within President’s mind that may have had an effect on his performance (aside from the expected rustiness):  Bill O’Reilly opined on his show The Factor on Fox News that the president seemed “preoccupied” with something else on his mind during the first debate with Romney.  His conservative guest dismissed this, but we think it is true, and we first noted the president’s apparent angst as evident at his formal appearance at the Democratic convention.


We expect the president to snap out of it, and eventually whittle away at the governor’s recent gains.  Will Barack Obama win the election?  For the last two years, and up to last week we thought it was likely, even as this past January we said that the election would be close - especially if he ended up facing Mitt Romney (which, of course, he is).  Now, with Obama’s public appearances becoming emotionally unpredictable, we can longer say this with even modest confidence.  As we said Tuesday, it all now depends on whether Barack Obama regains his original sense of purpose (we suppose you could say his ‘mojo').  If he does, and we think the odds are he will, then Romney will not be able to make a strong and credible case as to how his plan is principally different than from what George W. Bush did for eight years.



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