So it began.
The first Presidential debate between the Democratic incumbent Barack Obama and the Republican nominee, MItt Romney. Up until their initial handshake I never realized just how close in height and overall stature both candidates are.
It was appearent that both candidates were instructed to smile (Obama did overly so), while simultaneously maintaining their “swag” if you will. Seeing them on stage together brought feelings of anticipation and eagerness to new heights. I was sure this was the moment, this was the time. Finally Obama would symbolically slay Romney. Almost like a boxing match, where the contestants have been trash talking “Romneyhood” and making plain their disdain for one another, “food stamp president”.
Now it’s time. 50 million plus watching, and what happens? Well, kinda nothing. Obama’s corner all but threw in the towel. Don’t get me wrong, Obama is as smart and articulate as ever. I dont doubt the man’s intellect not even for a moment. But what I saw (or didn’t see) concerns me far more than anything Obama could have said.
What I didn’t see was heart. That intagible quality that coaches evaluate in young athlete’s across the country. “You see that kid? He has heart..” That quality that can be a difference maker, that can make up for lack of skill or training, that quality that turns an underdog into the biggest upset of the year. A quality I was sure Obama had in spades before this debate.
But again, be not dismayed. While Obama may be down, he is certainly not out. We have a standing 8 count and I just heard the referee call out 5 and Obama is at least to his knees. But while he’s bent over on the ropes, gathering his breath, and and seemingly appreciating the gravity of the fight he is in for the first time, he is all the while strategizing. Reassessing, much like the Borg (for all my Trekkie’s), he is adapting.
How was Obama to know Romney would jump center like Magic Johnson in the 1980 NBA Final? Who would have guessed Romney would abandon all that far right rhetoric (in front of the biggest national audience he has ever had, duh) for a more moderate and sensible posture? Well me, but we’ll revisit that in a minute. Nevermind that Romney opened a whole new can of worms of promises and policies that had to made much of his base at least slighty nauseated.
Obama now knows his opponent, and many would argue that you have to know your opponent inside and out, in essence anticipate their every move before you can ever be victorious. Now he can adjust and see Romney for who he is (or decides to be today). Yes it was no surprise to me that Romney transformed with the stealth and ease of Optimus Prime. He does it all the time. As a matter of fact its less a transformation (which would require a permanent change) and more of camoflage like a chameleon, simply blending with whatever background is prevelent for the purpose of fitting in. It is the very basis of military strategy. And it is in this moment Obama now knows he is in a war.
I think the referee just called out 7 and Obama is straightening his knees and raising his guard. His posture is renewed. With his eye squarely on his opponent, his mission has a new clarity and his vision a new acuity. He is the President of the people, he does have a plan for the benefit of the masses, (even those that are perpetually against him), and he will not be swayed nor distracted by half truths and semantics. He is the candidate of hope and change and his own belief in that has never been more firm. It is time Mitt Romney, time to stop the games, time to be exposed for who you really are, time for the camoflage of new found and convenient empathy and phony tolerance to be washed away by the cleansing of truth. Barack Obama is the candidate that the people have and will elect again to do the job.
The referee calls 8, and checks Obama’s gloves and awareness. He is ready, he is focused, he is coherent. Most of all his heart is back! Which spells trouble for you Gov. Romney. I hope for your sake that your corner brought their towel.