A few weeks ago, Barack Obama debated Mitt Romney. It did not, strictly speaking, go well for the president -- with reactions to his performance ranging from "he had an off night" to "he drenched himself in his own sick and set himself on fire on national television." He fell short of the mark, in other words.
But this week, Obama will have a chance to erase those bad memories when he and Romney meet for their rematch in a town-hall style debate at Hofstra University. Naturally, the president's supporters have suggestions for him; he says that by and large, people have told him, "Don't be so polite, don't be so nice." But they haven't stopped there. Over the past week, advice has poured in from all quarters. Some of it is good. Some of it is not so good. Some of it makes you wonder what possessed anyone to both solicit the advice and then enter it into the historical record. From the sublime to the ridiculous, here's what made the HuffPost List.
BRING BACK BUSH: "Buckeye Nut Schell," a member of the left-leaning Daily Kos, wants a lot more Dubya: "Obama should bring up the former president and leader of the GOP early and often. The economy sucks? Ask George Bush (the guy who crashed it) how giving tax cuts to the wealthy while simultaneously starting two wars worked for him. Worried about the security of Ambassadors in foreign hostile countries? Ask George Bush, the Republican president who ignored warnings and let 3,000 Americans get killed on our on soil after repeated warnings. Worried about the solvency of Medicare? Ask George Bush, the Republican president who never funded the pharmaceutical company give-away that has led to Medicare being underwater in 2014 if it were not for what you call Obamacare which you republicans vow to repeal. Let's remember who was president when this economy collapsed... George Bush. Let's remember whose advisors are working as advisors to Mitt Romney... George Bush."
I mean, I guess this worked before, at least?
STOP THE FACT CHECKING: Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, on ABC News' "This Week," advised Obama to ease up on calling out Romney's obvious lies, saying that the president and his Democratic allies "have got to just stop trying to fact check the Republicans every time they open their mouths and get back to talking to the American people."
But one of the problems with Obama's debate performance is that he didn't start trying to fact check Romney.
OKAY WELL, FACT CHECK ROMNEY TO THE DEATH, THEN: Andrew Sullivan, on Sunday's edition of "The Chris Matthews Show," was keeping it gangsta. Way gangsta: "You stare the guy down. You look him right in the eye and you watch him lie. You tell him, 'I know you're lying, you know you're lying, I'm about to rip your [unintelligible] off.'"
We listened over and over again to what it was the Sullivan wanted ripped off. Whatever it was, it didn't sound pleasant.
KEEP IT LESS GANGSTA: Rapper Ice-T makes it plain in a tweet: "Message to the President: 'No weed before the next debate homie....'"
WHY DID SOMEONE EVEN OBTAIN THIS ADVICE?: "In a debate, if someone said something not true, I would state what I believe. I don’t think we should judge other human beings unless they have been an hour in their shoes. I would just say I respect your views, but your truth doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the real truth ... I would say, read up on your facts. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that doesn’t mean it’s the truth. If you have God on your side, the world can be against you and nothing else matters.”
BURN BEFORE READING: The sum of all hacks: Maureen Dowd channels Aaron Sorkin's Jed Bartlet (of "The West Wing") and Will McAvoy (of "The Newsroom") in a perfect storm of suck that will have you not just looking to close the browser tab you opened it in, but set fire to it, to prevent communicable suck from spreading to other parts of your computer and life.
If you ask us, the best advice that the president has been offered came from a fake version of Joe Biden, but that's just us.