President Obama was the clear loser in the debate on October 16th. One more nail in the coffin of this failed presidency. This is best summed up in the bumper sticker, “Jimmy Carter, no longer our worst president.”
Some reasons for rating Obama the loser? The prime reason is he was trying to win the debate as a debate. What, you might say, isn’t that the purpose of a debate? Wrong. As the late, great Frank Sheed, attorney, speaker, and Catholic apologist (and no mean debater) would advise: holding your tongue can be more important than speaking, if your goal is convert minds and hearts.
Frank spent a lifetime trying to hold his own tongue from the perfect squelches his very fertile imagination could come up with, whether at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, London, or Times Square in New York. Frank’s key question wasn’t who could shine better, but what would convince and convert the listener. And make no mistake about it, these debates should only be used to bring undecideds into your tent.
By that standard, President Obama looked more like a fast talking, smart alecky Eddie Haskell, full of excuses and diversions, than someone who should be president. Romney succeeded in drawing the old dividing line. The Republicans are the adult party and the Democrats are the teenager party (no disrespect meant to teenagers). If that GOP leadership image can be sustained, the Democrats will return to their longstanding losing ways in presidential politics. (There have been 18 Republican presidents to 13 Democrats.)
President Obama’s comments, and attempts to look angry regarding questions on Libya, were so rehearsed as to seem absurd. But when they actually opened the door to a devastating counter attack, even Obama seemed to lose confidence in his story.The inside the beltway news wonks really missed the forest for the trees in their positive analysis. Obama’s sharpness revealed much, too much for his own good. His soft image got him elected, this won’t get him re-elected.
Never mind that if Obama, et al had heeded American Notebook’s advice to not get involved in toppling the government in Libya, this theater of operations might never have become a campaign issue. 🙂
While political debates are bloodless blood sports, the deft light touch works better than the sledge hammer. Especially if you goal is to win over those undecided women voters. Obama’s absurd belief that women who are themselves out of work, or who’s husband are out of work, or who’s kids have been doing without for way to long, will be swayed by free contraceptives, goes beyond the immoral to the absurd. How condescending to think that such a strategy would be a winner. And shame on Romney for responding to it as he did. While he is a better choice, he bears careful watching himself for his knee jerk responses to these tipping points in the culture war.
President Obama also made a comment that bordered on the suicidal, when he gruffly asserted about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – She works for me! Forget the meaningless content he was trying to convey. Disregard Clinton’s own popularity with women, who as a group think she, not he, should have been president. It sounded like all those obnoxious male bosses across the country that many women voters have to put up with on the job, day in and day out. This is not an image that will get women voting for the Democrats. Oh no. My guess is President Obama will now have a full fledged female revolt on his hands. No one will pinpoint the reasons, they don’t fall into neat news categories, but I think they are very real.