Somehow the body snatchers came last week and took the fire (as in “fired up, ready to go”) out of President Obama, leaving a rather listless shell of a man who never truly engaged the audience.
He looked down at his notes, fidgeted, and let his opponent, Mitt Romney, get away with multiple lies.
The body snatchers also took Mitt Romney, the greedy venture capitalist who likes to fire people, and turned him into a facsimile of a human being.
Of course, with Romney’s disrespect for both President Obama (interrupting him several times) and moderator Jim Lehrer (who he simply ignored), the faux human being turned out to be one that was rude, arrogant, overbearing, and clearly rehearsed.
Romney threw out a line that he had five boys, thus he was used to hearing the same thing said over and over as if it were the truth. President Obama could not ask Romney who taught the little liars, but that’s what went through my mind.
While President Obama does not have to be as sarcastic as I usually am, he surely could have given Romney a better run for his money.
Still, anybody who can do arithmetic knows that Romney has a penchant for mathematical fiction. How can you cut the taxes on the wealthy (which is done if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire), cut tax rates by 20 percent, and end up with a revenue-neutral solution? His solution is by cutting spending, in which he cites Public Broadcasting as one of the cuts he would make.
Public Broadcasting represents less than one-thousandth of one percent of the entire federal budget, so cutting it won’t make much difference to the deficits he is quick to rail on.
President Obama really needs to toot his own horn. When Romney says, “you have been president for four years,” our president needs to respond with his list of accomplishments, many of which blunted the effects of the Great Recession which he inherited from George Bush.
Who won debate?
The question about who won the debates turns out to be a question of policy versus performance. Too many pundits talked about Mitt Romney’s “performance” indicating that he performed well.
The United States is not a stage looking for a leading actor; it’s a nation, looking for a leader who can make a difference. We are not looking for a contender who thinks that bluster means leadership. We are looking for a leader to finish the work he started. Those who were mesmerized by the body snatchers’ version of Mitt Romney fail to understand that a listless Obama is ten times better than an arrogant and overbearing Romney.
It’s not over ‘til it’s over. There are two more debates, and many of the undecided will be swayed by these debates. Others will make their minds up as they walk into the voting booth.
In the next debate, President Obama must be a stronger advocate of the policies he has embraced, and we who watch must not be fooled by a glitzy performance that is devoid of truth or substance.
Julianne Malveaux is a DC based economist and author.