Like most folks, the first Presidential debate surprised me. I wasn’t surprised that Romney did so well. What did he have–like 200 debates against that Republican field? He should be ready for anything after that. Debating a comparatively sane person should be like shooting lay ups on a four-foot goal. No, the surprise was how poorly President Obama performed.
I’m one who disagrees with many of Obama’s positions. Now, don’t confuse me with people who think he’s a time traveler able to doctor birth records in the past or that he’s lived his entire life as some sort of Manchurian Candidate groomed by a cabal of Muslim socialists to take over the world . I just disagree with him. That said, I know why people like him. He’s convincing and charming. So, it was all the more surprising that he was neither in the debate.
Of course, there have been many on the left rising to his defense with explanations. Some say Obama did fine, but Romney is just a big, fat liar. Al Gore thinks it was the altitude (personally, it bothers me if the President is only able to function well at certain elevations, but that’s probably just me). Chris Matthews has just yelled a lot without really making a point.
Regardless of the validity of any of these arguments, I’m convinced that something had to be wrong. Naturally, no one will admit that, but I don’t give up that easily. Through a combination of cursory research, speculation and guess-work, I have surmised a number of reasons to explain Obama’s performance:
10. Thought it would be more humiliating if the Republicans lost to a stammering moron.
9. He forgot it was his anniversary, and Michelle hit him in the head with a frying pan just before the debate.
8. Squandered valuable preparation time watching TiVo’d episodes of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
7. All that writing he was doing? Sudoku.
6. Last minute decision to bring in poorly prepared “Replacement” President.
5. Counted on Jim Lehrer to strangle Romney over PBS comments.
4. Mistakenly thought debate format required only disinterested scribbling and smirking.
3. Debate coach: Joe Biden.
2. Thought he could use Bill Clinton as a “life line.”
1. Let’s just say that the altitude wasn’t the only thing a “mile high” at the debate.
As an aside, I’m probably done with my debate-watching for this cycle. I know how I’m voting, and the debates won’t change that. I do, however, hope they liven up a bit. My ten-year old son kept hoping they’d attack each other. My 17-year-old, on the other hand, had just watched the Kennedy-Nixon Debate at school and said they didn’t “choose” each other like Romney and Obama.
I do have one hope for the remaining debates–that they get the make-up fixed. Jim Lehrer looked like the Joker. Obama’s make-up was some pancake stuff that made him the color of a creamy Dove Bar. Romney–despite his fabulous hair–was just blotchy. It’s HDTV folks. Get it together.