Jon Stewart wasted no time leaping on Tuesday night's Presidential Debates on "Daily Show" Wednesday -- and he picked two of the most obvious soundbites from the debates to skewer: First, Mitt Romney's infamous comment about getting “binders full of women” qualified for jobs when he was governor of Massachusetts. Stewart played the clip, arranged the papers on his desk, paused, and smiled.
“Couple of things: One the women’s group was called MassGAP and they approached Governor Romney, not the other way around. And two, my guess is they did not refer to what they presented as a binder full of women, but perhaps as an organized collection of qualified resumes,” Stewart said. “But hey, Binder of Women, Book of Broads, Notebook of Nipples, whatever.”
He had more fun with the Libya discussion, which centered on determining the exact day President Obama first referred to it as an act of terror. Watching Romney walk into a trap of his own devising was almost too good for Stewart to talk about, particularly given that Obama urged him to "please, proceed."
“There’s your first clue -- when you feel you’re about you’re about to spring what you think is the checkmate moment of the debate and your debate opponent says to you, ‘Please proceed. Hold on, are you trying to open that door? Allow me to open it wider,’” Stewart said. “When your opponent does that, you may want to wonder a la Wile E Coyote and Road Runner, (whether) that door your opponent is pointing to is merely paint on a rock.”
From Stewart’s perspective, that’s exactly what it was. It should make Thursday’s interview with President Obama less awkward than it would have been a week ago, when Stewart was still focused on his less-robust performance in the first debate. Odds are good, however, that this will still come up in that conversation.
Stephen Colbert also had some thoughts, although he first told his viewers: “If you’re an undecided voter who did not watch, just trust me, it’s 2-0.”
Like Stewart, he considered the Libya comment a turning point -- but wasn’t as happy with the outcome. “No, no ... it’s supposed to change everything the other way!” he said. “That should have been Mitt’s moment of chest-thumping dominance over the carcass of his opponent, and it would have been too had it not been for that meddling moderator.”
In that latter comment, he echoed the Fox News spin, which also decried Candy Crowley’s purported fact-checking, which they argued should have taken place only after the event.
“Yes, the time for fact-checking is after the event, when voters have stopped watching,” Colbert said.
He was also sympathetic towards the Fox criticism of the “random” questions. “Why are we talking about Lady Issues in the Town Hall? Save it for the Sadie Hawkins debate when the girls are supposed to do the asking.”
And don’t get him started on assault weapons, or Romney’s spin that two-parent households could help solve the problem.
“The answer to gun violence isn’t getting rid of assault weapon, its two-parent households,” Colbert said. “Because when a psychopath marches into the mall in Kevlar body armor, slowly lifting the laser site of his Ak-47 towards the Sunglass Hut, the only thing that will stop him from carnage is when he asks himself what would mom and dad think?”
And having learned that people on the street will opine on anything if a microphone is in front of them, "Jimmy Kimmel Live" again sent roving reporters out to talk to people not just about a debate that hadn't happened yet (as they did last night, before the second presidential debates even started) -- but on one that would never exist: A First Ladies debate between Ann Romney and Michelle Obama. Naturally, everyone they spoke to was well-informed and happy to talk about who did the best in that particular debate.