New Yorker cover about Obama-Romney debate is funny

This week's New Yorker cover is clever! (Via Cover Junkie)


    1. I don’t think that he’s losing it, necessarily; I think that someone without any stage acting experience (as far as I can tell) was given the green light to do improv by people who were afraid to say no to him. He had much the same problem nearly forty years ago when he was drafted literally at the last minute to emcee the beginning of the Oscars when Charlton Heston had a flat tire on the way to the ceremony.

  1. This was surprising only to anyone who has believed the president’s (entirely dishonest) campaign for the last 18 months or the major media’s representation of the same.

    1. But you gotta admit that to get up there and say things during a debate that are the precise opposite of your campaign platform, that it takes some brass.

    2. “the president”? wow, you’re that sure romney’s going to win? that’s some incredible optimism there.

    3. It’s only surprising that they let Mitt run on and on with his Gish-Galloping, and dishonest “debate” tactics.  You can’t really call his cheating a “win”.

  2. Like so many young nerds, I joined the debate team in high school. In a high school debate, you argue according to an agreed-upon outline structure and back up your arguments with citations.  If you don’t address your opponent’s arguments point-by-point with proper footnotes and references, you lose.

    After all of that formal training, I sat down and watched the Reagan/Carter debate.  It was so dumbed down that no one could state with any conviction that anyone had “won”.  I haven’t been able to watch a Presidential debate since.  What’s the point when we hold high school kids to a more rigorous debate structure?

    1. But a formal debate has no bearing on reality. It’s just a structured logic game. They might as well play poker and see who wins.

      1. Indeed, when I was on the debate team (which I regretted, instantly) I soon learned that it didn’t matter how well or how poorly I presented my arguments.  What mattered was how experienced or engaged the judge was in ruling on the outcome.

      2. Isn’t the significance of debate based on the idea that it is just a structured logic game – a game which oftentimes ends with a (very subjectively chosen) winner, but also a game that demonstrates a person’s ability to sound convincing no matter what position they are required to take. Being convincing is a pretty helpful skill to have for effective international engagement.

        I, too, was a debating nerd… in primary school we got out of class for it but in high school we had to stay back after school, meaning my high school debating career was very short lived. The whole reason I mention this is that one day everyone was out of control and the teacher with a lazy eye was having trouble getting everyone to behave.. until she lost it and announced in shouty angry teacher voice “That’s it.. I’m giving you all a mass debating detention”. The room did not come to order.

  3. Some thoughts about the debate and the aftermath: 

    1) As many people suspected, the president was distracted by the job of being the president.

    2) Romney supposedly memorized a number of “zingers” to drop into the debate, but the only specific thing that most people seemed to take away from it is the War on Big Bird.

    3) Now that Romney’s post-debate bounce is settling down, it’s clear that, absent some major catastrophe (like the attacks on U.S. embassies in Libya and elsewhere that distracted Obama during his initial debate prep), Romney’s only hope is to nail both of the upcoming debates and hope that enough people watch them to make a difference. He’s weak on foreign policy, the main subject of the next debate, and Obama is stronger in a town-hall setting, which covers the final debate. And Romney no longer has the flip-to-moderate card to play. 

    1. Debates are to candidates as eyewitnesses are to criminal justice: not very reliable evidence of factual reality.

  4. Being President, by which we mean attending to the economy, foreign policy and negotiating with Congress, is now supposed to distract from The One’s ability to debate over government? Wouldn’t being President actually mean you have more access to the real workings of government and therefore a more hands on grasp of both its function and figures? Who would you ask to debate on the shoe industry, a guy applying for the job or the person who actually runs the factory? Now you’re saying Obama is too busy running government to actually talk about government? The man who is so intelligent he doesn’t need to attend intelligence briefings? You mean appearing on the View and ditching Netenyahu for Late Night Television has made him too distracted? Is he too distracted from the onerous task of hanging out with Jay-Z and playing golf? Too distracted from spinning the whole Libya debacle?

    1. ditching Netenyahu

      If he actually gone further and told him to fuck off too, I’d probably vote for him.

  5. Man, I really hope we never let our system here devolve into a two-party system. It’s a terrible thing to have happen to a democracy.

  6. What *is* the joke in the image, here?
    That all the news was about Romney’s talk, and nothing about what Obama said?
    And where are Romney’s crib-notes in this pic? :P

  7. Holy shit.  The end times are upon us.  A political New Yorker cartoon managed to extract a brief chuckle from me.

  8. Sorry, I know clever and that isn’t clever. It was low-hanging fruit disguised as clever. It would have been clever if,  as a previous commenter said, Romney had a pinocchio nose.

    1. I agree, they went for the easy joke when they could have made about three overall, just to start with.

  9. Ask and it might take me a while but if I’m in the mood to play with Photoshop you shall receive. Here’s an edited version of the cover for anyone who wants it. Enjoy!

    (Also located at my Flicker photostream –

  10. Dear America, I hope you realise that if you elect Mittens as your president, we (the rest of the world) have been stockpiling enough concrete to finally wall you off from spreading the stupid. We appreciate that we may lose plasticky chocolate, plasticky burgers and plasticky TV, but we feel it’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make. PS – we’ll make sure The Hoff is on your side before we add the last piece.

  11. That image is a lot more clever than most people will probably give it credit for.  Depending on your party affiliation, you could interpret it differently:
    1) A dig at Romney’s debate style, which included a number of falsehoods and seemed akin to Clint Eastwood’s attacks on an imaginary Obama.
    2) A sendup of Obama, emphasizing that his mind (and body) was elsewhere during the debate – that he wasn’t really present.

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