D.C. al fine

History has a way of repeating itself, as last week’s “A Preview of the Presidential Debates” ought to have suggested. If you didn’t read it then, you ought to read it now, because it is a spot-on analysis of last night’s “debate.” And people are starting to notice …

Romney’s Successful Debate Plan: Lying
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine

Political reporters and pundits lean heavily on the horse race method of coverage, which has badly hurt Mitt Romney for most of the campaign.  Last night it helped him.  Romney was forceful and articulate and dodged his association with almost all the most unpopular aspects of his platform.

The most important was taxes. Romney asserted, “I cannot reduce the burden paid by high-income Americans.” Let me explain how this is untrue even by his own campaign’s accounting.

Moreso, now that I have learned that Mitt’s original debate coach (primaries) is the former debate coach at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University and a semi-regular Faux Nooz contributor.

We have this from NPR (soon to be axed, along with Big Bird, according to Mendacious Mitt):

Behind The Man Who Revamped Romney’s Stage Presence
January 31, 2012

After floundering through debates in South Carolina, Mitt Romney nailed his two performances in Florida. Brett O’Donnell is the man behind Romney’s new stage presence….

And when you check who O’Donnell is, this is his (self-written?) bio on his company’s website:

Prior to joining the McCain Presidential Campaign Brett O’Donnell was the Director of Debate at Liberty University for eighteen years where he focused on providing students with skills in oral and written argument, critical thinking, and persuasion through the activity of competitive intercollegiate debate. His teams won eighteen national rankings championships in intercollegiate debate.

Of course, if you check the winners (top four) in all prior National Debate Tournaments, you’ll notice that not one of his teams ever so much as placed.

Advisors Stuart Stevens, left, Eric Fehrnstrom, center, and Brett O’Donnell,
right, listen as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts
Mitt Romney, holds a discussion on housing and foreclosure in
Tampa, Fla., Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. Mitt’s ‘brain trust’

Which kind of tells you exactly what you should have expected from Mitt’s new debate style –hired a personal trainer, naturally, since Thurston Howell III was getting embarrassed by the likes of Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann, originally.  Which is interesting additionally, because O’Donnell was, well:

 January 23, 2012, 2:41 pm
Romney Adds a Top Debate Coach
The Caucus/The New York Times

TAMPA, Fla. — With another potentially crucial debate on Monday night, Mitt Romney has apparently recruited a top debate coach to help out.

Brett O’Donnell, who served as one of Michele Bachmann’s top strategists, was standing quietly at the back of the room Monday morning as Mr. Romney held his first event, a round table with Florida residents and small-business owners.

He quietly slipped out again with other top advisers to Mr. Romney, who is holding debate prep sessions in the Sheraton hotel where the morning event took place.

“Brett’s been working with us for some time, since Michele Bachmann got out of the race,” said Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for Mr. Romney…

Jeepers. I guess the “Old Jesus University” story is more apt than I thought.

Lather, rinse, repeat. Or, D.C. al fine, with the ending at November 6.

Coda:  In all the coverage of Obama’s performance in Denver, no one has mentioned hypoxia. When I was a kid, growing up in Wyoming, my parents would regularly go down to Denver (a mere 5280 feet from Laramie’s 7200 feet above sea level) for concerts, and performers would invariably huff oxygen in the wings to counteract the real effects of altitude sickness. I seem to remember that Nat King Cole (or, perhaps, Shirley Bassey) had a particularly tough time of it. He clearly was having trouble with the altitude throughout the performance. Flatlanders never think of this, but it’s real, and may explain the lackluster performance. Just sayin’.



A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, an honorary Texan, Clown (ditto) and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog

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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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