The Candy Crawley Bias

Last night was the second of the three Presidential debates.  As I mentioned in last night’s post, Obama won, but only but a little.  And even that win will not likely change many minds.  Much work has yet to be done.

However, during the debate last night, I was struck by an intervention from the debate moderator; Candy Crowley.  More on that in a second.

I think we’d ALL love to see a debate where the candidates were in a place where they spoke through a microphone.  And that mic would go mute the second their time was up.  AND we’d like to see that debate take place where independent fact checkers could be identifying lies and false statements.

It would be grand.

But that debate didn’t take place last night.  It was more traditional, both in terms of live mics and in terms of truth stretching.  And while the moderator has a role in the former, she has NO role in the latter.  It is NOT the job of a moderator to fact check candidates.

Especially when the tide of the debate is at such a point as to determine a winner and a loser.

But that is exactly what Candy Crowley did last night.  She interrupted Romney when he had Obama so far in the ropes that the only thing the President could do was hold up his gloves and offer, “Continue…”

Why Crowley would perform in this manner is unbelievable.  And why she would do it during a time when the President was clearly being dominated is equally unbelievable.  And then, as if the critique of her couldn’t get worse – it does.

She was wrong, Romney was right.  And she admits it after the debate:

The President absolutely did NOT refer to Libya as terrorist attacks.  Not that day, not that night and certainly not for the next two weeks.  THAT is the whole point.  That is the issue at hand.

And Crowley rung the bell early and let the reigning champ get up and pushed the challenger back to his corner.

Obama won the debate to be sure, but Crowley lost it big time.

7 responses to “The Candy Crawley Bias

  1. My rule for telling who won a debate: which side complains about the moderator. That’s an admission of defeat. Crawley did a superb job, standing down both candidates and keeping things under control. I think you’re showing your bias in interpreting things in a way that I find unfathomable. Note that Crowley fact checked both candidates in that exchange, and got applause from both sides. Obama did refer to the acts as terrorism, specifically noting how America will not stand down in response to terror. The Libya response was Obama’s finest point in the debate, while Romney looked a bit petty trying to score partisan points off a tragedy. That exchange didn’t determine the debate (esp. since she had something for both sides) but the fact the right wants to focus on that shows that in the larger picture they know their man was bested last night. Sorry, but that’s how I see it.

    • My rule for telling who won a debate: which side complains about the moderator.

      It’s a good rule. She knew going in that she had to appear to do a better job that Jim. I thought she did moderately [i know i know] well. Both men pushed her pretty hard and she held her own.

      I think you’re showing your bias in interpreting things in a way that I find unfathomable. Note that Crowley fact checked both candidates in that exchange, and got applause from both sides.

      You’re proving my point. The moderator has no role in fact checking. Both candidates took liberty with the truth last night and she not once stepped in to object.

      Until Obama was so badly beaten that he could only muster, “Continue Governor.”

      Obama did refer to the acts as terrorism, specifically noting how America will not stand down in response to terror.

      Scott, the current issue facing us in this regard is “did the administration lie to the people of the United States. The controversy we face today is that the administration, for two weeks, told us that there were protests at the consulate and the ambassador was killed, all the result of a YouTube movie.

      This was one of the defining question of the night.

      Obama called “Uncle” and Crowley took on the debate herself.

      Later in the night, she admitted she was incorrect as well.

      their man was bested last night

      Romney did lose. I’ve never made any other case.

  2. If the GOP try to make Libya an issue it’ll work for Obama – guaranteed. There is no lying. The President was careful NOT to attribute the attack to a Youtube video. The attempt to construct a scandal relies on poor words chosen by the UN Ambassador on a TV talk show. But overall there is nothing there – it just took awhile before they gathered all the facts. There’s no way this will hurt Obama – and the more Romney tries, constructing obtuse claims about what was said when, the easier it will be for Obama to chide Romney for being un-Presidential in a time of crisis, when an ambassador was lost. Obama was winning big on the Libya question with or without Crowley saying anything (on the CNN meter it brought him his highest marks, Romney was down — again, before Crowley said anything).

    In my blog I argue that Libya and 47% are issues that each side should drop. Both play to their base, but don’t resonate with the public. These are gotcha issues; the core issues about the future of the country is where the election will be won or lost.

    In that, both Obama and Romney had strong arguments last night, and left some tasks unfinished. They clarified the choice before the country, and that made it a good debate.

    • If the GOP try to make Libya an issue it’ll work for Obama

      I disagree.

      I think it’s very clear that they knew the day after; the first 24 hours that this was an orchestrated terrorist attack. Further, they are now trying to figure out how to avoid being blamed for not providing the appropriate level of security.

      • We’ll see. But I just think politically it’s an old issue, the GOP gets complicated talking about what spokespeople said and if Obama really meant terror, etc. Obama can be Presidential, note that he was careful to gather the facts before telling the whole story, and then wax poetic about the need to come together in a time of emergency, talking about how important our diplomats are and how seriously he takes their safety. I think Obama will win (just as I think Romney now will win on the 47% issue for similar reasons — it’s old news and gives Romney a chance to wax poetic about how he cares for all Americans). Even if you’re right on the facts, I think the politics won’t help the GOP here, it appears petty. Both sides need to focus on real issues for the future, not gotchas against the other side.

        • Even if you’re right on the facts, I think the politics won’t help the GOP here, it appears petty. Both sides need to focus on real issues for the future, not gotchas against the other side.

          Unlike the 47% stuff, I think Libya speaks directly to how Obama manages the country.

          He muffed the crisis. He screwed up the security and then he lied about the events. That’s not a gotcha, that’s “End of Year Review” material.

          • I just don’t think it’ll play politically for Romney — Libya was the highlight of the debate for Obama last time. I also don’t think it speaks at all to how Obama manages the country. He didn’t muff the crisis. The only thing it’ll speak to is the GOP base. Obama called it an act of terrorism the next day. Then the White House gathered information wanting to give the full story when they had all the details in. A couple aides may have talked early with speculation, but that happens all the time. Obama will make Romney look like he’s playing petty politics with a crisis – that worked for Obama in debate two, and by this point public perceptions are already sealed. Romney can try, but I think he’ll be doing Obama a favor if he pushes it. (Same with Obama and the 47 %).

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