Debate Postmortem

American Flag at a Obama Rally

In the wake of Wednesday’s Presidential debate, most air time and print has been devoted to President Obama’s rather lackluster performance. Much less time and space has been given to the substance of Governor Romney arguments. Most pundits, both from the left and the right, have adopted metaphors along the lines of my morning after Rocky allegory. The words “smack down” and “beat down” are bandied about. Most have not been as charitable as I was when I gave the decision to the President.

Most of the people I work with are Republicans. Political discussions in the office had been rather mute for the last few weeks, until Thursday morning. I guess that they felt beat down by the polls. They were all up on Thursday. I don’t know if they were listening to what was said though. Anne and I were playing a debate bingo game. It was of the non-drinking variety. We had different cards that some wag had thrown out onto the web. We both noticed that trying to play the bingo game sharpened our attentions and comprehension of what was actually said, instead of just focusing on the style of the speakers. Style over substance seemed to be the order of the day everywhere else.

My co-workers embraced Mr. Romney’s act whole heartedly. Why they now love a Massachusetts moderate is a mystery to me. Ideological malleability like Romney’s once was not worth more than a flip or a flop. Either they expect that once elected, Mr. Romney will etch-e-sketch reset himself one more time, back to the ‘severe conservative’ that he once represented himself as or they just hate Mr. Obama. I suspect the later. Some of them doubled-downed on this hate with this week’s jobs numbers. Partisan pundit’s calls of foul about the Bureau of Labor Statistics are indicative of this. The unexpectedly good news drop in the unemployment rate was met with derision. Conspiracy theories about the BLS numbers erupted in record time. By Friday afternoon, one worker was going on about some .666 entry in the BLS report. I never could discern if his point was that two divided by three was proof of cooked books, or a sign of the devil.

I should speak about Barack disengagement in the debate, questions abound. Was he feeling ill? Was it altitude sickness? Did that race-baiting ’07 video throw him off his game? Some think that he tanked on purpose. Doing so has served to galvanized his once complacent Democratic base, “What? You mean we actually have to turnout and vote?” Going forward, Obama now has the opportunity to make lemonade from lemons. For their next two debates, he has nowhere to go but up, while Romney will find it difficult to maintain perceptions at their current high level.

Thank you! I feel better now that I have gotten that off of my chest. Thank you for reading my rant. This morning, we are thirty days out from the election, one month to go. A month and a day from now, it will all be over. I pray to God that America makes the right correct choice.

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