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December 10, 2012 | 51 comments
Already on day two they were busily trying.
Frankly, I thought Mitt Romney won the debate in the first 30 seconds when President Obama opened with the usual maudlin reference to his wife and their wedding anniversary. (I’ve been invited to this party every time I open the New York Times website in the last three months.)
So Romney immediately responded, “Congratulations, but you’re going to have to spend your anniversary here with me!”
Wow, did he really say that to the President? It was a complete wakeup, just as disarming as Ronald Reagan’s famous, “There you go again.” It sent an immediate message: Romney wasn’t going to be intimidated or paralyzed by the President’s lachrymose self-indulgences, nor was this debate going to be a polite volley of memorized talking points. Romney was already off the cuff and ready to play. And play he did.
Alright, Romney won the debate, hands down. Even Huffington Post was willing to admit “Romney Wins the Night” 20 minutes after the debate ended. CNN did a begrudging “Romney Sets a Winning Tone” and of course there were the public meltdowns of the obsequious Chris Matthews and Andrew Sullivan. There is plenty of reason to celebrate.
But all these are just first-day responses. What is far more important is how the press will regroup and continue to create the mythical Best President Ever while throwing up a smokescreen between Mitt Romney and the voting public. Give them a day or so and they’ll recover. According to London’s Daily Mail, David Axelrod has specifically asked reporters to start making the debating points that Obama was unable to muster during the evening.
What the first Presidential debate revealed is that President Obama is basically an empty suit. By retaining his enigmatic calm, the President has enabled the press to project any and all of their fantasies upon him. Obama is the smartest President ever. He has accomplished more than Roosevelt. He’s as charismatic as John F. Kennedy. If he has trouble with particulars, it is only because he is thinking of higher things. When Chris Matthews told the President he could recover his mojo by watching MSNBC, he wasn’t kidding. The subtext, of course, is: “We’re the ones who made you who you are.”
Obama is a grown-up college Marxist. He probably hasn’t changed his perspective much since he was an undergraduate. What he has mastered is the academic trope of pretending to entertain all different points of view before settling on the one furthest to the left. He is a pure product of academia. All the President’s famous faux pas — the rural folk seeking consolation in “guns and religion,” the small business owners who “didn’t build that” — are the routine scuttlebutt of faculty lounges.
There is nothing more frustrating to a junior professor who scored 700s on his SATs and spent seven years earning his Ph.D. than the moment when he goes back to his 15th high school reunion and discovers that the dumb kid who used to sit in the back of the class drawing pictures of jet airplanes on his forearm in indelible ink has become a successful builder and is riding around town in a Porsche. “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there.” I wonder who we’re talking about there?
So the question remains, if the press has essentially created Obama, can they rescue him now that the blank slate upon which they have been drawing has been shattered? Well, they can certainly try and they definitely will.
Just to get a taste of what to expect, consider this. I just searched “You Didn’t Build That” on Google News. Here’s what you get from the last three days:
“Romney’s ‘You Didn’t Build That’ Attack: An Epic Failure.” (Washington Post)
“Poll: Didn’t Build That Message a Dud” (Politico)
“Surprise! Obama’s ‘You didn’t build that’ statement didn’t hurt him at all with voters!” (Suburban Life)
“The You Didn’t Build That Flap” (Minneapolis Star)
“Obama Regrets ‘Syntax’ of ‘You Didn’t Build That’ Remark. (ABC News)
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online