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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Did President Obama Win The Debate?

The answer to this should be a firm yes.  Whoa – my liberal friends – no, I have not crossed the aisle.  Never fear, my conservative friends – my tent is still set firmly in your camp.

Here’s something I’ve been thinking about, though.  If an incumbent candidate is not able to absolutely mop the floor with a challenger, then… does he really deserve a second term?  Think about it.  (For the sake of simplicity, I’m using *male* as the gender.) It’s not like we’re comparing apples to apples here.  Here is a man, who for the past four years, has been allowed into the innermost circle of classified information, has experienced the daily grind of the job, and has been privy to the experiences and information handed down from the previous administration.  Shouldn’t he be able to swat the challenger like an annoying fly, and slam dunk him at the outset with all the ammunition he possesses? 

The debates of 2008 were a bit more evenly matched.  I’d say McCain probably even had an edge on Obama, because of his years in the military and in the senate.  He just didn’t *show* very well, and didn’t have the stage presence of Obama. The fact that he was FAR more qualified for the job didn't carry much weight in light of the smooth-talking, half-black, handsome man who mesmerized America with his talk of Hope and Change.

I’ve watched all three Presidential Debates as well as the VP Debates.  Here’s my take.  I know very little about foreign policy, how the economic system works, government spending, and even less about the mechanics of how our government operates.  That is a shameful thing to admit.  But, I probably fall into the majority.  I’d bet a good many of the Average Joe Americans know about as much (or little) as me.  So how do we know who is telling the truth?  We don’t.  So, then, on what do we base our decision on who "won" the debates?  Stage presence, charisma, class, and who appears the most “presidential”.  Shallow?  Perhaps.  Somewhat impressive, I'd say, is the ability to answer questions, and go head-to-head with the opponent. The ability for the non-incumbent candidate to know the vast amount of stuff he has to know in order to duke it out with the Commander In Chief, the Leader Of The Free World. Impressive. At least it is to me. 

It’s no secret that I do not care for President Obama.  About the only good thing that I can or will say about him is that he has charisma, a great stage presence, and he knows how to give a speech.  I believe he could sell a cup of water to a drowning man.  That being said – if you know me, or have read other posts related to politics, you will also know that I’m fair.  As best I know how to be.  I listen to both sides.  I want to hear what the liberals say as much as I want to hear what the conservatives say.  I don’t care about race, sexual orientation, or gender.  However, I do care about integrity, both real and perceived.

And I detest arrogance.  In my opinion, President Obama is one of the most arrogant men to walk the planet.  In reality, maybe he’s not. Perhaps I am wrong. I’ve not had the occasion to meet him personally or hang out with him on the weekends.  However – the way he conducts himself exudes arrogance.  I had to refrain myself from slapping my television set during the first debate.  There was a man who was so confident in his position and his assumption that his reelection is a done deal, that he had little regard for what the opposing candidate had to say.  He looked bored, condescending, and appeared as though scooping up his dog’s poop while on an afternoon walk would be more stimulating to him. Don’t believe me?  Go back and watch it again, with the volume turned down.  The words that were spoken said far less (to me) than the demeanor of the men talking. 

Athletics has never been a strong point for me.  I can dribble a basketball, and I can walk or run.  I cannot to both at the same time.  That fact was enough to keep me off the basketball team when I was in (today’s equivalent of) middle school.  But give me some pom-poms and I could rock-n-roll with the best cheerleaders in the county.  At the beginning of my 8th grade year, at the annual cheerleading tryouts, I was dealt a hard blow of reality.  I very distinctly remember the basketball coach and one of my 8th grade teachers, Sammy Wood, greeting me as I walked into the classroom that afternoon after tryouts.  He had an odd look on his face, and I asked him what was wrong.  It was like he was mad at me, or something.  I’ll never forget what he said.  “Cathy, you are so SURE you made the cut.  You need to understand that just because you were a cheerleader in 6th and 7th grade, and just because you think you are so great, does NOT guarantee you a place on the squad this year.”

Wow.  Sounds pretty harsh. You’d never hear a teacher say anything like that nowadays.  Angry parents would have them fired over such a derogatory remark to little Johnny or Suzie.  This was a different time, though, when teachers were allowed to be teachers, and the authority figures that they should be.  We loved and respected our teachers.  What Mr. Wood said to me not only scared the crap out of me, but it broke my heart that he felt that way about me.  It also broke my heart to realize that I had behaved in such a manner.  I vaguely even remember walking off the court thinking “I got this.”  Mr. Wood saw my attitude, and cared enough about me to bring me down a notch.  He followed it up with “I hope you do make it, but you just need not assume you will make it.”  I had not only assumed I would make it, I was absolutely certain of it.  I spent a worried few hours, and was prepared to be humiliated if I didn’t make the cut.

Thankfully – I did make the cheerleading squad that year, and lived to rock the pom-poms one more season, but that encounter with Mr. Wood taught me a valuable lesson that I hope I never forget. 

It seems that President Obama has an “I got this” attitude.  I am afraid that he probably will end up back in the Oval Office again.  But he need not be so cocky.  It doesn’t look good on him.  I'm hoping that he is wrong, and that he will be vacating the White House come January.

And then there’s VP Biden.  His performance during the debate was laughable.  (Pun intended.)  What a joke.  Five minutes into the debate, I posted on FB something to the effect that "Joe’s got his gigglebox turned over."  Even Average Joe Americans like me could see that he viewed Paul Ryan as a gnat in his lemonade on a hot afternoon.  Simply something to be shooed away, and laughed over.  What an arrogant ass.  While I readily admit that there’s more that I don’t understand than I do – does he really think we are that stupid?  He wants to laugh at concerns over Iran’s ability to generate nuclear weapons.  Oh.. sure, they’ve got the stuff to make the bombs, but don't  worry about it!  They don’t have anything to load or carry them on.  Really, Mr. VP?  The fact that they are able to procure the materials needed to build a bomb doesn’t alert you to the fact that they can get their grubby little hands on a missile?  Oh, but let’s just laugh about such a silly concern.  Like he laughed about everything else.  Honestly, Paul Ryan deserves an award for being able to continue the debate without punching that smile right off of VP Biden’s face.  I seriously wanted to punch him my ownself. How the liberal media declared him the “winner” of that debate is beyond my grasp of comprehension. 

But back to my original point. President Obama and VP Biden should have been able to absolutely slaughter Gov Romney and Senator Ryan, considering their positions.   The fact that they didn’t, IMO, would make Romney and Ryan the winners, by default – regardless of whether they won or not on their own merit (which I still think they did!)

I am ready for a president who thinks we are more important, and our nation’s recovery is more important than bowing in deference to a middle-eastern king, or apologizing to Muslim nations because we have been “insensitive”, or “dictatorial”.  That’s a crock.  And a president who knows that we indeed still have lots and lots of bayonets, and that it does matter who has the most battleships in the ocean. 

I am well aware that this election is probably the most hotly-discussed and emotional election in many years - certainly since I have been of voting age.  I hope that YOU have made up YOUR mind which candidate you will support.  This rant of mine is not intended to sway you or change your mind.  (Likewise, don’t bother to try and change mine… you will not succeed.)  I have many friends who feel as strongly supportive of President Obama as I strongly oppose him.  That’s fine.  I love you anyway.  Vote for whomever you please. Just please vote.  But don’t be saying The Democrats won the debate.  Because they didn’t.  They should have blown them out of the water, but they didn’t.   I am Hoping for Change.  I already voted my choice.  Make sure you vote yours!!  

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