A debate raged prior to the start of the presidential debating season due to the lack of diversity among the selected debate moderators. Not one of the four moderators, it turns out, is a representative from LGBT community, or any community of four other random consonants in the alphabet, for that matter.
Many political pundits had planned to relax on the evening of the first presidential debate, having written their debate analysis the day before. George Stephanopoulos merely pulled out his 2008 analysis and crossed out McCain and inserted Romney, where necessary. Before the debate started, many members of the media on the left (yes, I know, kind of redundant) wondered why we were having any debates, or an election for that matter. All their friends are voting for Obama, so why are we even going through the motions? However, many of them had to get out their white out and Crayons and start anew.
It turns out the person who won the debate was the only guy on stage whose salary we don’t currently pay, Mitt Romney. (By the way, after all those years at PBS, not once have I gotten a thank you card from Jim Lehrer, not even an email. Ingrate!)* Romney was strong, forceful, yet respectful of the president and in charge. Wonder why he waited until October to run for president?
President Obama, on the other hand, appeared as though Michelle had forced him to sit through an Amway presentation at her sister-in-law’s house. It’s as if he was assured the debate would include no questions. That, perhaps, is understandable since very few people not named Whoopie have actually asked him any questions in recent months. I think he wanted to get back to his hotel room to watch Real Housewives of Benghazi. (And really, who could blame him?)
Part of the way through one of Obama’s perplexing healthcare responses, my twenty year-old started talking to me about something completely unrelated. He was making more sense than Obama. My son is in college – he never makes sense! Obama acted as if he hadn’t been president for the last four years. Granted, I don’t normally watch talk shows, so I can’t confirm he has actually been president, but I’m pretty sure he has been.
The subject of healthcare came up often during the ninety minute debate. Romney was quick to criticize Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), that unelected, unaccountable bunch that would be given authority to reduce Medicare spending by deciding what and, more importantly, what not to pay for. Perhaps, AGED is a better acronym – Assisting Grandma’s Early Demise.
Romney also scored points, I think, by bringing up the Bowles-Simpson committee. As we all know, once the Bowles-Simpson committee released its report, Obama immediately ignored it. In my book, The Constitution – I’m Not Kidding and Other Tales of Liberal Folly, I refer to this as the politics of Never Mind. I was pleased to see President Obama remembered that the committee actually had made deficit reduction recommendations. (Actually, I was pleased he remembered the committee!) He essentially said during the debate, “I’ll get right on that.”
To get a different perspective, after the debate I switched over to MSNBC for a few minutes. (The Nielsen people were no doubt thrilled to see that I increased the cable network’s viewership by 33%.) Even they couldn’t spin it in favor of Obama. Chris Matthews looked much like I did the first and only time I tried calamari. Bad meal for me and a bad night for Chris.
In 1916, the Boston Red Sox won the American League pennant. That year the Philadelphia Athletics finished last in the eight-team league, forty games out of seventh place! I’ll let you draw your own conclusions in determining which presidential debater was Boston and which one was Philadelphia.
* The best Twitter line of the night goes to Jonah Goldberg over at National Review Online. When Romney said that although he loves Big Bird, he would cut funding to PBS, Goldberg tweeted, “YESSSS!!!!! I Had “I love big bird” in the pool. Pays off at 7,000 to 1.” I wish I had said that.
Curtice Mang is the author of the new book, The Constitution – I’m Not Kidding and Other Tales of Liberal Folly. He can be contacted at www.mangwrites.com, where one can also purchase his book; or contact Curtice at mangwrites at cox.net.