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No wonder Obama supporters upset at Jim Lehrer

No wonder Obama supporters upset at Jim Lehrer

Lehrer technique permitted “a clear view into his head and heart”

Jim Lehrer has come under fire after his perhaps overly relaxed approach to moderating during last week’s presidential debate.

It turns out that Lehrer has been advocating the “slow listening” interview technique for some time, and in this case it worked just as planned, permitting the candidates to rise (Romney) or fall (Obama) on their own.

Inc. magazine ran a piece in early September that describes Lehrer’s approach, and quotes from the book “Change-Friendly Leadership,” the author of which was coached by Lehrer in his interviewing technique (emphasis added):

Duncan: He urged me to ask a good question, listen attentively to the answer, and then count silently to five before asking another question. At first that suggestion seemed silly. I argued that five seconds would seem like an eternity to wait after someone responds to a question. Then it occurred to me: Of course it would seem like an eternity, because our natural tendency is to fill a void with sound, usually that of our own voice.

Lehrer: If you resist the temptation to respond too quickly to the answer, you’ll discover something almost magical. The other person will either expand on what he’s already said or he’ll go in a different direction. Either way, he’s expanding his response, and you get a clear view into his head and heart.

Duncan: Giving other people sufficient psychological breathing room seemed to work wonders. When I bridled my natural impatience to get on with it, they seemed more willing to disclose, explore, and even be a bit vulnerable. When I treated the interview more as a conversation with a purpose than as a sterile interrogation, the tone of the exchange softened. It was now just two people talking…

Last Friday, the Commission on Presidential Debates released a statement in reaction to the general panning of Jim Lehrer’s debate performance:

The format for the first and fourth presidential debates calls for six 15-minute segments on topics selected and announced in advance by the moderators.  After the moderator asks a question, the candidates each have two minutes to answer.  After their answers, the moderator’s job is to facilitate a conversation on the topic for the balance of the 15 minutes before moving to the next topic.  The Commission on Presidential Debates’ goal in selecting this format was to have a serious discussion of the major domestic and foreign policy issues with minimal interference by the moderator or timing signals.  Jim Lehrer implemented the format exactly as it was designed by the CPD and announced in July.

The context of the “Lehrer approach” given by Inc. Magazine shows that either the CPD did, or could have, known in advance what type of moderator he would be.


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Lehrer discovered the single most powerful tool of the interrogator or negotiator.

Ask a question or state a position and SHUT UP!

Most people cannot STAND silence, and, as noted, will move to fill the void…often against their interests!

works great in sales and auditing, too

The leftist accent pronounces “Laissez-faire debate” as “Less-fair debate.”

a.k.a. the give-them-enough-rope-they’ll-hang-themselves approach. Very effective app.

Would the Commission on Presidential Debates have felt the need to release a statement had O been the clear winner? I doubt it, those who panned Lehrer’s work did so because he didn’t prop Obama up and shut Romney down.

Watching a liberal explaining what they believe is like watching a balloon deflate, its devastating.

I’m still not full of the warm and fuzzies for Mitt, but have to say that this was the best debate I’ve watched in decades simply because the moderator just sat back and let the two debate without inserting himself or his ego into the proceedings.

Did Mitt win? Absolutely and he did so because he had a chance (or at times manufactured a chance) to expand on an answer beyond the sound bite.

Dear Leader was as empty as the chair that Clint Eastwood had a “conversation” with that night at the RNC.

If that was Mitt with a cold, then I think we have the real deal for a candidate this time.

“There is nothing to figure out,” said President Muffley to General Turgidson in the War Room in Dr. Strangelove.

President Barack Obama without his retinue is in over his head, is outclassed be an achiever, is rightly shamed as revealed in his body language.

I do not call him psychotic as Merkin said to Buck, I do pray that he repent, repay, resign. And that those who have supported him repair the damage they have done to this great country and to the rest of the world with their selfishness and egocentricity.

Henry Hawkins | October 8, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I’m pretty sure Lehrer failed in his perceived-by-media responsibility to protect Obama and sabotage Romney wherever possible. He did prompt Obama when he got stuck a few times, but Lehrer otherwise never gotcha-ed Romney and inexplicably asked questions and allowed the candidates to answer as best they could. It was horribly fair and objective, inexcusably allowing not the preferred but the candidate to win. Lehrer is clearly a closet racist who needs to be expunged from the liberal machine.

    janitor in reply to Henry Hawkins. | October 8, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Lehrer didn’t commence this way. (My response to this post is below). My blood pressure started to rise at the beginning of the debate because of his biased approach.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to janitor. | October 8, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      I was being sarcastic, ironic. Of course Lehrer tried to steer things Obama’s way at first, but gave up pretty quick. By past standards, mainly lib moderations of GOP primaries, he did very little of it.

      radioone in reply to janitor. | October 8, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      “My blood pressure started to rise at the beginning of the debate because of his biased approach.”

      Never fear, you’ll get plenty of time to get your blood pressure up during the upcoming debates. You can bet “Axelgrease and Company” have given the rest of the moderators their “marching orders”.

Henry Hawkins | October 8, 2012 at 2:57 pm

“…inexcusably allowing not the preferred but the BETTER candidate to win.”


Lehrer’s technique is interesting and amongst highly visible and over-rated interviewers like Ted Koppel and Charlie Rose is likely unique. It also is very much in line with the behavioral interviewing technique I taught hundreds if not thousands of hiring managers in large organizations. The basic notion is that while framing initial questions is very important for ensuring the right focus and level of content, the key to effective interviewing is to actually listen very carefully to what the interviewee is saying and pose questions that simply keep them on topic and at the desired level of specificity. Accurately listening to someone is a much rarer skill than one might think.

“I do pray that he repent, repay, resign. And that those who have supported him repair the damage they have done to this great country and to the rest of the world with their selfishness and egocentricity.”

I’m afraid you’re asking for a miracle.

Dear Rosalie,

Indeed I do. We rescued Europe, we elected Reagan, the Soviet Union is no more. We have greed, fanaticism and despair still. Hope in the face of Progressive despair is the light that they wish to extinguish.

I have blown my nose and dried my eyes. I have read of miracles and have seen them.

Thanks, Rosalie and thank you, Professor.


I think Lehrer figured out early on that there was little he could do to help Obama. I wouldn’t be surprised if he votes for Romney.

[Post Debate Observations for “THE ONE AND DONE’]

What a heck of a day, when your “mask” fell away
And you couldn’t blame Media for your loss!
Since they’ve seen the “real you”, the faithful you knew,
Are now leaving to find a new “boss”

Before then, you were feted and flattered
“I am your new savior”, you cried!
With teleprompter on, and sneer firmly in place,
Most refused to believe that you lied.

And those lies came so fast–you were sure they must last,
After all, you had carefully planned,
To subvert and destroy the Republic you loathed,
Would be done in four years at your hand!

We all started so well, on your “highway to hell”,
You and yours set a record for fraud.
That apology tour *seemed* a rousing success!
But we’re seeing OUR GUYS DYING abroad.

Still, your lies kept improving, your policies moving,
Us closer and closer to a crash.
“Curb free speech”, “run on wind”; “we’ll let everyone in”,
And our “seniors”?—sorry; just don’t have the cash!

Since “the start of the end”, you must wonder again,
“How in hell” did we “rubes” find your flaws?
With your Media Whores, you should win all the wars!
You finagled and mangled our laws!

It took time BUT WE LEARNED that you never had earned,
Even ONE THING you claimed to be true.
(“But I sealed EVERY record” you whispered to friends),

Your plan’s fallen apart, and you don’t have the heart,
To “regroup”, “start again” or “revise”.
When proofs came of your historic deceptions,
You could not keep straight your OWN lies!

You’re so horribly proud, you will NOT be allowed,
To just claim “one mistake” and move on.
You’re dismayed at the fury of the PEOPLE YOU DECEIVED;
And you’re STAGGERED your opponent’s so strong!

You will try to “play through”, till the voters tell you,
That your adventure in GOLFING is done.
Pack your things, leave our House, you despicable louse,
And STOP saying that you were “THE WON”.


    counsel4pay ~ That is an excellent, profound poem! I’m sharing it with others (giving you credit, of course). Good going. 🙂

    Please, everyone, be so kind as to remember to observe the 40 Days Of Prayer leading up to the election. Thank you.

No. This is part of the grasping around to find some reason that Obama’s debate performance was someone else’s fault.

Watch the debate video, especially the beginning. Lehrer repeatedly jumped in, tried not to let Romney finish his responses, and tried to micromanage his responses. The only “slow interviewing” he did was on behalf of Obama, who he also repeatedly cued.

American Freedom Fighter | October 8, 2012 at 4:28 pm

“Either way, he’s expanding his response, and you get a clear view into his head and heart.”

Brilliant strategy. We got a great glimpse into Obama’s empty head and black heart.

(black as in soulless, not color, for all those boobs who will start screaming racism!)

Since the fault for Obama’s debate failure seems to be falling on everybody except Barack Obama, I sure hope his campaign continues to use John “Did-you-know-I received-three-Purple-Hearts-in-Vietnam?” Kerry as their debate coach. More John Kerry, please!

DemonCrats … can’t win in a fair fight.


    As Captain Sparrow replied to Will Turner:
    “Put it away, son. It’s not worth you getting beat again.”
    “You didn’t beat me. You ignored the rules of engagement. In a fair fight, I’d kill you.”
    “Then that’s not much incentive for me to fight fair, then, is it?”

    Since the liberal-progressive-socialist have no morals, in their opinion a fair fight is one they win, by any means, and an unfair fight is one they lose.

Such a level playing field is frightening to Liberals.

Dope-Roping-Self… AutoRopeADope

[…] See this discussion of my recent article and Jim Lehrer’s performance at last week’s debate. Then click here to see […]

When Lehrer gave Obama the five count, we discovered there’s not there there.

That clear view into his head was unobstructed.

When Lehrer gave Obama the five count, we discovered there’s no there there.

That clear view into his head was unobstructed.

I remember hearing a reporter…I think it might have even been Lehrer…back in the 90’s saying that the hardest person he ever interviewed was Marilyn Quayle. She was hard exactly because she knew how reporters used this trick and wouldn’t hold up the interviewee’s side of it. When the reporter allowed the dead-air to build, she would wait patiently until the reporter finally had to break the silence himself.

Considering who the ‘moderators’ are in the upcoming debates, we clearly have a Commissar on Presidential Debates, not a commission. How the GOP assented to this idiocy is lame even by Boehner terms.