As could be expected, Jon Stewart had a lot to say about Tuesday’s debate. In this segment, Jon Stewart discusses some of the disagreements between Obama and Romney, and has fun with the “binders full of women” meme.
In the next segment, he focuses on Romney’s tactical blunder on Benghazi.
This whole Benghazi issue seemed to me like a typical effort by the government to stretch the facts to get out quickly a version of a story that is favorable to it, even if it is not the correct one, and then backtrack later if necessary. Governments do this all the time, often on issues of much greater importance. It is not clear to me that this was big enough to be winning issue for Republicans though they clearly seem to think it is. So the question is why Romney’s staff did not check the facts more thoroughly if they were determined to exploit it.
When I was watching the debate, I thought that Romney had simply made an unforced, but tactically serious, error but on reading the transcript later, I began to think that Obama had anticipated where he was going and deliberately led him into a trap. Watching the replay below seems to confirm this. When Obama cordially encourages Romney to proceed with his attack you can see him hesitating, sensing that something is not quite right, but then plowing ahead. If this was not pre-planned by the Obama camp and he did this on the fly, then he is a far better debater than I have been giving him credit for.
(This clip appeared on October 17, 2012. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)