Who figured the debate to look like a costume ball? It was Mittens going as a centrist Russell Terrier and the President covering himself in oatmeal. Pretty psychedelic. A shame it wasn’t any less boring. 90 minutes later the challenger scrambled off stage with the seat of Obama’s slacks in his jaws.
That could have gone better. Romney touted his tax plan, and Obama didn’t note it doesn’t actually exist. The plan’s debits and credits are laid out only in Mitt’s top secret imagination. No thing wholly hinging on number-crunching that involves no numbers — not a one, or a 1 — is a ‘plan.’ It’s a dream. But Obama was happy to opine it was a tax cut and golly is that wise? I don’t know, people.
Romney touted his Medicare plan. Which will expand the deficit, shrink benefits and shorten the plan’s life. The President noted that his plan was better, in his opinion, snooze. So Mittens closed the night by touting again his heroic Medicare bungle. Win! Very presidential. Oh well I’m sure people will see how silly it is.
No matter where Mitt went, Obama re-oriented himself to stand directly in front of his punching and absorb his fists. Tried to grab his knuckles and hold them to his chest. If you’re some sort of jiu jitsu master, maybe this is a peaceable way to end the chaos. But if you’re a politician, you look like you’d prefer to get off the stage. Like you suppose yourself to be better than such a spectacle.
Whether it’s for good or bad (bad), Americans want their president to be a rough and ready sort. They can’t imagine a Commander-in-Chief that doesn’t himself want to attack his enemies. It’s stupid American Pop Psychology 101. The debates are then a litmus test for a candidate’s willingness to fight — if for nothing else, at least for his beliefs. If you’re loath to make a public fuss, Mr. President, there will be time for relaxing in civilian life. But you should remember that your country will be the worse for it. Nothing of any good will come from a plucky Romney administration, you know. Try not to not-win this thing.