Many of the commentators following the event likened it to a boxing match. Since I had a brief career in the squared circle, I would have to agree with them. Romney was on his toes all through the evening while Obama seemed sluggish and motionless. Even his famous “rope-a-dope” of inane protestations of how wonderful he is and what impossible dreams he can achieve were sadly lacking.
As boxing in the Army, when I competed, was limited to three 3 minute rounds, the simile is very appropriate since we have two more Presidential debates to go. With one of those matches to concentrate on foreign policy, Obama seems even more vulnerable than he was last week. Following the recent murder of our Ambassador in Libya, the subsequent uprisings in the rest of the world and the President’s failure to call it an act of terror, it would seem he is wide open for a haymaker from Romney.
Another pundit last week referred to the debate as a football game that Romney won by at least two touchdowns. Interestingly enough local expert Professor Fred Lokken, a political science teacher at TMCC, agreed with 2 percent of the people polled when he said that the debate was a draw. Apparently, the sound was turned off on his TV set. Even the major left-leaning networks gave a nod to Romney.
Al Gore, who incidentally invented the internet, said the altitude was the reason for Obama’s lackluster effort.
Back to the boxing match comparison, I was reminded of the time that the German challenger Max Schmeling took on the highly favored World Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis and scored a tremendous upset. Whether or not Obama can come back as Louis did in the rematch is a matter of speculation.
According to all the polls taken the morning following the debate, Romney was a two-to-one winner. They bore out the prediction by New Jersey’s Chris Christie that people would think differently about the challenger after the face-to-face meeting with the President.
There is no question that Romney’s performance re-energized the Republican base. One of the most glowing tributes he received was from former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who couldn’t have been more enthusiastic in his praise for the Governor.
Body language experts were in unison about the petulant demeanor exhibited by the President during the entire debate. Obama seemed to be on the receiving end of a lecture from Romney. On Thursday morning, even David Axelrod, Obama’s senior advisor, had to commend Romney’s performance with the caveat that a performance does not indicate he will win. Numerous other Democratic-leaning soothsayers attempted to spin the fact that Obama had not lost so decisively.
Unfortunately for the President it was also a very sorry way to celebrate his 20th wedding anniversary. The champagne following the debate that he and Michelle likely imbibed probably tasted more like vinegar to them.
Harry Spencer is a long-time northern Nevada resident.