Archive for presidential debates

Reince Priebus, Who Are You Kidding?


Reince Pribus failure to lead

The GOP certainly love to wallow in their misery. After all, they took the man who led the RNC to a sound thrashing in the last presidential election and decided to reward him with a second term. Evidently the fault was all Romney's. The sound bitch slapping they took losing seats in the House, the Senate and of course, the big prize, the presidency isn't proof enough that the RNC didn't do it's job.

So what does the party do to assure a different outcome next time? They put Reince Priebus back in control. Of course this makes sense. This is the party who hates women, poor, immigrants, jobs, education, social security, medicare, elderly, and medical care for all. Their thinking must be, how could Reince lose so miserably twice in a row?

Well, for starters, by making hollow threats against NBC and CNN. In order to win a national election you have to get your candidate out there as much as possible. Any press will do. The last thing you want to do is have a debate and pull your candidate from it. That just ain't gonna fly with the American public. It basically means that you're going to see the opposing party show up with their front runner and your party will be unrepresented.

As reported throughout the entertainment industry, CNN announced last month it had planned a feature-length film on the life of the former secretary of State and possible Democratic presidential contender. NBC will air a four-hour mini-series starring Diane Lane as Clinton.

Diane Lane Hillary Clinton

Here's the Pribus threat, as reported by The Hill Blog Briefing Room:

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus threatened to pull the group’s partnership with NBC and CNN for 2016 GOP presidential primary debates if the networks moved ahead with plans to air films on Hillary Clinton.

“If they have not agreed to pull this programming prior to the start of the RNC’s Summer Meeting on August 14, I will seek a binding vote stating that the RNC will neither partner with these networks in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates they sponsor,” Preibus said in a statement.

Who's he kidding? Whether the RNC sanctions a debate or not, the Democrats won't hide Hillary Clinton. The only chance the Republicans have is for their candidate to show up and land some blows on Ms. Clinton. Neither the Republican candidate nor the party investors will stand for their standard bearer not to be present and prepared.

So get real, Reince. Propose all the sanctions you want. Your candidate will show. And let the best man/woman win.


The top ten comedic news stories of 2012


Today’s guest post by the one, the only, Will Durst:


First a disclaimer: the Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2012 should not under any circumstances be confused with the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of 2012. They are as different as red satin cummerbunds and Liar’s Dice. Duck liver and Spanish moss. Matched pearl necklaces and motorcycle handlebars.

For those of you itching to point out that some stories, especially those involving death, destruction, devastation and disaster are not proper subjects for this sort of fanciful folderol; way ahead of you. Totally agree. Exactly why the Aurora, Colorado movie theater massacre, Hurricane Sandy, Jerry Sandusky and the movie John Carter failed to make the cut.

Also left off the list are a few of the fiendishly frivolous footprints despoiling the sands of this annum horribilis such as Lindsay Lohan’s continuing struggles with sobriety, that curious craze called Gangnam Style, the introduction of the iPhone 5 and Facebook’s roller coaster IPO.

That said; here they are, the key stories from the past year providing the purest opportunities for major mocking and scoffing and taunting as determined by the executive council of the Comics, Clowns, Jesters & Satirists Union. Me.

10. Donald Trump. Assumes figurehead post of Birther Movement. Then refuses to shut up all year long including several embarrassing tweets on Election Day. An ever- gushing political comedy material fountain with all the grace and elegance of tumbling dumpsters.
9. First Presidential Debate. Turned what was becoming a slam-dunk into a horse race. 70 million Americans tuned in. But for some unknown reason, President Obama was not among them.
8. The entire GOP primary campaign. Party plays Candidate Whack-A-Mole for five months. Everybody takes turns beating Romney like a red headed stepchild, including some folks who aren’t even running.
7. London Olympics. Ann Romney’s horse Rafalca competes in Dressage. Event where the horse and the rider perform predetermined movements. Like interspecies dancing. Which you would think would be illegal in Utah. But horse fails to medal and probably gets shipped home strapped to the fuselage of a 747. McKayla Maroney remains unimpressed.
6. Vice Presidential Debate. Joe Biden goes all Malarkey on Paul Ryan. Two words- decaf. Bold Choice Ryan blames Obama for GM plant closing in 08. Fails to implicate POTUS in fall of the Roman Empire. But just barely.
5. Barack Obama comes out in support of gay marriage. Emerges from his own personal policy closet like a butterfly emerging from a conflicted cocoon.
4. Mitt Romney vows to get rid of Big Bird losing him pivotal pre- adolescent vote.
3. Democratic National Convention. Specifically Bill Clinton laying out the precise reasons why America should re- elect as President… Bill Clinton.
2. Republican National Convention. Specifically Clint Eastwood upstaging the nominee’s acceptance speech by getting into an argument with an empty chair. Which he proceeded to lose. Probably upset him so badly he rushed back to the hotel room where he got into a squabble with his armoire.
1. Mitt Romney. All the charisma of a plastic picnic fork with three of the tines snapped off. May have run the worst campaign ever. And that includes New Coke, McCain/ Palin and France in 39.

5 time Emmy- nominee Will Durst’s new e- book “Elect to Laugh!” published by Hyperink, now available at, Amazon or any fine virtual book retailer near you. And don’t forget the Twentieth Annual Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show. Dec 26- Jan 1. 6 comics. 7 cities. 8 shows. Details at facebook or


In a First, Debates Give Presidential Candidates the Topics Ahead Of Time


Back in the olden days, this was called cheating.

Are the presidential debates in danger of becoming as scripted as professional wrestling?

Wednesday afternoon, the Commission on Presidential Debates quietly posted a press release announcing the topics for the first presidential debate in Denver on October 3. What the commission didn't say is that this may be the first time in history presidential candidates have been given the topics of a debate ahead of time.

"We had been thinking about this for awhile," says CPD executive director Janet Brown. "CPD's intention is to have the candidates come prepared for a more in-depth conversation."


Though specific questions were not given, debate moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS NewsHour announced the topics of the questions on the commission Web site, saying that three questions will be on the economy, one on health care, one on the role of government and one on governing.

"Romney, Obama debates to be more controlled and duller than usual,"
election reform blog Democracy Chronicles warned Thursday.


Poll-itics- Pres. Obama "in the driver's seat": leads among Hispanic voters 68%-26%, ahead in most polls nationally


The Democratic convention bounce may have already started to deflate a little overall, but so far, President Obama has hung on to most of it, and is soaring with Latinos.

Via The Hill:

President Obama holds a commanding lead over his Republican challenger among Latino voters, with a particular advantage among women, according to a poll released Monday by Latino Decisions.

The survey finds Obama with a 68-26 percent lead over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney among all Latinos. Among Hispanic women, Obama's lead is even larger. He leads Romney among this consituency by a 74-21 percent margin — a staggering 53-point advantage. 

Among men, the lead decreases to 61-32 percent in favor of Obama. Both Hispanic women and men give the president a 71 percent favorability rating, while Romney's favorability fails to crack 30 percent with either group.

And again, The Hill:

Obama is ahead of Romney by a narrow margin in most national polls, and has a slightly wider lead in most swing states, giving Romney almost no room for error. Obama continues to lead Romney in personal likability — a major asset — and a sustained barrage of summer advertising from his campaign combined with a successful Democratic National Convention has put him in the driver's seat heading into the election's homestretch.

The president has led Romney in polling throughout the summer except for a slight blip following the GOP convention, and the electoral college map sets up favorably for the president.

Team Romney will be throwing bags of cash into ad buys now, but per The Hill, Democrats have the edge in the ground game.

The debates, which begin October 3rd, will be the next Big Thing. I've maintained that people will be setting such low expectations for Romney that he'll end up getting rave reviews for simply not falling on his face, just as happened with GW Bush. Yes, Bush was considered "more likable" than Willard, so there's that. But it seems I'm on the right track with my prediction:

Advisers for Romney, including his wife, have already begun to downplay expectations for his performance: on Friday, Ann Romney described her husband as the “underdog," noting the president’s oratorical skills.

Just watch the rave reviews pour in because Romney manages to squeeze in an occasional jab and/or a memorable line. If that's how we judge our candidates, we're worse off than I thought.