Blog: Leaving his fighting spirit in the dressing room

Undebateable conclusions reached by local pundit on Obama/Romney debate.

Said of a fighter, in boxing parlance, who, once he entered the ring didn’t live up to his reputation of being a skilled boxer, packing a KO punch, well prepped for his fights, and regarded as the the odds-on favorite.

That’s analogous , at least to me, of how Obama, despite having been heavily favored to easily prevail over Romney (if not mop up the floor with him as some predicted) in the first of their three scheduled bouts for the title of president, it was just the reverse that turned out to be true as he ended up losing by a wide margin, and barely escaped from being kayoed.

To continue with that analogy, as the debate progressed he became more like a punching bag for Romney’s roundhouse rights and left hooks, with his counterpunches beng blocked or lacking in power.

And adding to the beating he was taking, not once did the referee (moderator) warn Romney to stop with all the low blows when he had Obama in a corner.

Now, it was evident from the opening bell, that Romney was determined to take charge of the event and its tempo, going so far to assert his dominance as to chide the moderator for daring to stop him for exceeding his alotted time.

Similarly, when Obama was speaking he could hardly constrain himself from interrupting him to counter each and every point before his turn.

I also couldn’t help but observe his eye expressions throughout the 90 minutes, which appeared as flat and vicious like the eyes of a mean dog crouched over a bone. And, as they say, the eyes are the mirrors of the soul. 

As the performance, which was what it most closely resembled drug on, my attention span lessened considerably, with my eyelids drooping ever lower with each succeeding segment.

I looked forward, as did my dog, with eager antiscipation to the end of that boaring, one-sided battle of words and slurs, which was well past our bedtime.

Nor was there any reason to stay up later waiting to hear how the judges-the political whizards on the networks analyized it to death, knowing that they would be as dumbfounded as I was by the results, especially by the president having previously ruled out the possibility of Romney ever becoming a formidable opponent, as he ended up doing in one fell swoop. 

But I will, nevertheless, watch the next ones, if only to see if the president can rebound from that stunning defeat and recapture the zeal and all-out dedication to winning he  displayed in his first championship fight.

He can, however, take comfort in knowing that there’s no evidence that the presidential debates have any lasting impact on how people vote, by having already made up their minds.

And that all they really accomplish is to afford us an opportunity to assess their demeanor, likeability, composure (when under attack), wit, and even their physical appearance and facial expressions.

A case in point, was when Nixon, in the debates with Kennedy in 1960, who after refusing to have makeup applied beforehand, looked like death warmed over, leaving many viewers questioning his overall health and whether he could survive a full term as president.

On such intangibles, many politician’s image in the public’s eye have risen or fallen.

Quote of the week: “I wish I could give you a lot of good advice, based on my experience in winning debates…But I don’t have that experience…My only experience is at losing them.”  Richard Nixon

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Neil Ridgely October 08, 2012 at 12:47 PM
The President may have had an off night performance - wise but at least he didn't pull major mistakes like Romney did with promises he can't produce on and telling the PBS audience that the show was broadcast on that he would pull the finding for PBS if elected. Romney is both gaff-prone and detached from reality.
Native October 08, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Haha, both of you are dumbfounded! Neil, there's much more to the PBS issue then simply defunding them. Mitt didn't say that at all. And David, in one paragraph you say that there's no evidence that the debates have any influence, yet two paragraphs later you use the Kennedy/Nixon debate as evidence that they do matter. And oh boy, did this one matter. It showed, without the cloak of media spin, the real type of person each candidate is. This was particularly true with Obama, for without the scripted teleprompters & slanted media protection, he was shown to be the hollow figurehead that he really is. These series of debates will prove to be the most influential since the Kennedy/Nixon one, to be sure.


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