Obama Meltdown in Denver

As last night’s debate ended, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC was not her usual perky, pro-Obama self.  She refused to pick a winner, which means her guy didn’t do so well.  “I do know that we saw this debate format die a very painful death on camera tonight,” she intoned.

Granted, the format was a bit tiresome.  Mr. Obama simply wouldn’t let go of his misperceptions, causing Romney to correct him numerous times.  But what Rachel Maddow saw was not the painful death of the format.  It was the complete meltdown of a failed presidency, along with the inability of Mr. Obama to offer much substance on the issues that came up during the evening.  As I have said many times before, Obama is a community organizer, an agitator.  He is not a leader.  His job, as he understands it, is to point out the problems as he sees them (America being one of them) and to stir up others to develop solutions.  Look at his presidency.  His aloofness and hands-off style demonstrates this fact.

The “mainstream” media has long portrayed Obama as a great leader and a stirring orator.  I’ll grant that he has some oration skills, but those skills are primarily in the area of delivery.  And to be effective, he requires a script.  He never does well when he’s off script, and last night’s performance showed that again.  Honestly, I’m shocked that his advisors allowed the format as it was devised, except that perhaps they expected Obama to hammer Romney on the idea that he’ll give tax breaks to the rich while hitting the middle class with more tax burden.  He tried to do that, but Romney simply wouldn’t allow it.

Romney did what I knew he’d do.  He was calm and in control.  He was loaded with humor and smiled often.  He displayed what I might call a worried look when watching Obama.  Occasionally it made him seem emotional, but it could have been just a squint from the lights shining on stage.  Obama, on the other hand, mostly looked down when Romney was speaking.  He shook his head in a mechanical sense, almost like a student sitting at the feet of a good teacher.

Perhaps that’s an appropriate image.  Barack Obama knows nothing about building a business.  There is much he can learn from Mitt Romney about the things that build–and destroy–an economy.  Gosh, at times last night, I felt pity for Obama.  I found myself saying aloud more than once, “this guy is in over his head.”

In preparation for last night’s debate, I watched about two and a half hours of pre-event coverage, mostly on Fox.  Beginning an hour before the debate I switched to MSNBC and there I stayed until after the debate was concluded.  As the pre-debate program began on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews could barely contain themselves.  They were energetic, excited, and very vocal in their support of Obama.  Chris Matthews was literally bouncing in his seat, probably still reeling from the tingle he gets in his leg when he hears Obama speak.

The program music was stirring; as it began one could hear Maddow’s strong voice detailing how Obama had saved the nation from the economic disaster brought about by the Republican party under the administration of George W. Bush.  Lawrence O’Donnell proclaimed that the evening’s format favored Obama because Romney has things to hide regarding his economic plans and his tax returns.

Whereas on Fox they were allowing both Democrats and Republicans to speak about their expectations, on MSNBC it was an all-out cheerleading event for Barack Obama.

More than once in the past week I heard the left-leaning talking heads on TV suggest that if you really want to see a presidential man, turn the sound off during the debate and just watch the mannerisms of Mr. Obama.  I wondered who dreamed up such a ridiculous idea.  Even more important, I wondered about the motivation behind the suggestion.  Perhaps all the pro-Obama energy of recent days is hype?  Has it all been a cover?  Are they working so hard to get Obama re-elected because they know that it’s not going to happen?

Matthews and Maddow waxed poetic about Democrat unity.  They presented the Democrat party as if it were a Clinton-Obama love fest.  Numerous sources close to the Clintons have made it clear over the last four years that Bill and Hillary are no fans of Barack Obama.  Politically, however, the Clintons are some of the nation’s most ambitious.  Hillary still wants to be president.  My expectation is that she’ll run in 2016.  She’s biding her time, and along with Bill, the two of them are smiling their way to what they hope will be a repeat performance in the White House.

Yesterday, I suggested that I’d offer a grade to Mitt Romney based upon his performance in the debate.  I knew he’d do well, but he did even better than expected.  Obama did worse than expected.

The Obama team began its damage control immediately after the debate.  It boils down to this:  Romney is a good debater, but he’s out to soak the middle class and make his rich friends richer.  The debate, they said repeatedly, is not a game changer.

As the French say, au contraire mon ami.  I beg to differ.  Last night did change the game.  It didn’t take Romney from losing to winning because he was already winning.  But it did increase his margin.  Why?  Because he was presidential.  Knowledgeable, concerned about the economic pain caused by this president and his allies in Congress, in control, and clear, Romney hit a home run.  He even made constitutional conservatives like me feel a bit better about his upcoming presidency.  He insisted on returning control of education and healthcare to local constituencies in the states.  He stood up for the 10th Amendment, and he called Obama out for misrepresenting the current state of oil production.

Romney also left us with concise statements about what his presidential priorities will be:

“My priority is jobs.”
“Trickle-down government doesn’t work.”
“I will not increase the deficit.”
“I will not raise taxes on the middle class.”

While Obama stammered, hesitated, glanced at his feet, and even looked to the moderator for help (which he occasionally received), Romney laid out five points for saving the nation:

Engergy independence
Increased trade
Education and skills training
Balanced budget
Being a champion of small businesses

Are there still things we don’t know about Romney’s details?  Yes.  But, as he said, we do know the broad contours of his plans and we’re starting to get a firm grasp of the values that inform his decisions.  Will he compromise too often with liberal Democrats?  Perhaps.  But that’s a risk we’ll have to take.  We can cross that bridge when we get to it.

One thing is sure.  We’re finally getting to know Barack Obama.  The empty suit who led the throngs of adoring worshipers can no longer hide behind the supporting cast of left-leaning media.  Everyone appreciates a good slogan.  “Yes we can” and “hope and change” are words that ring delightfully in the ear.  But there are other words being heard by average Americans these days:  “Sorry, but we have to let you go,” or “I can’t afford my mortgage,” and “the plant where I work is closing.”

On the day after Barack Obama was elected to the presidency, I told a gloating colleague that Obama would never be re-elected.  My friend disagreed, but I was adamant.  “He has raised expectations beyond what is reasonable and he has played upon the emotions of millions,” I said.  “By the end of his first term people on both sides of the political spectrum will be disgruntled.”  If you compare the attitude of Chris Matthews after the debate with his attitude before the debate, you’ll understand just how right I was.

Mitt, your grade on this assignment is “A.”  You’re not only learning how to be president, you seem to be learning more about the values of the Constitution.  No student is perfect, however, and you still have some growing to do.  I look forward to helping you accomplish that growth.  There are many others who will join me.


7 thoughts on “Obama Meltdown in Denver

  1. Excellent commentary, John. Like you, I’ve known for a long time that Obama would not be re-elected. He’s an empty suit with absolutely no leadership skills. His Marxist and anti-colonialism tendancies and his contempt for capitalism have bubbled to the surface on many occasions. One must just look to see. Now, finally, folks are looking, and they don’t like what they see.

  2. Thanks, John. Could be I’ve become dependent on your analysis as my contribution to the Facebook arguments, but I just couldn’t say it any better.

  3. I fear I did not have the stomach to watch this debate. But glad to hear Romney did better. I look forward to the next debate, which my stomach might actually be able to tolerate.

    I believe that between the two, Obama is a better liar and can get away with unConstitutional shenanigans better than Romney. So perhaps his victory is a good thing.

  4. Hi again John,
    Although I did enjoy the organizational flow of your commentary and the consistency with which you detracted from Obama, what about Romney? I have to agree even as a lefty leaner that Mitt was much sharper in the debate than Barack, a big victory for him no doubt, but did he really sell you with just those little one-liners? Clever semantics to reverse the old “trickle down” phrase but didn’t distract me from his apparent inability to add and both candidates unwillingness to define terms.
    1. What is the middle class? This turns out to be tremendously important when calculating how he can make up the decreased tax revenue by cutting deductions. is it 200k, 100k? What do you think? You would think as wealthy as Mitt is, he’d like to assume a higher threshold for the middle class, but the Feldstein study he cites assumes 100k, while Obama cited the Tax Policy Center which assumes 200k.
    2. How can you run on a tax plan that you promise will not increase the deficit while not explaining what deductions you will cut out? This becomes a little tricky for the undecided voters in the 100-200k range wouldn’t you say? He promises not to sign a tax plan that will increase the deficit and won’t burden the middle class, but he won’t say at what income level the deductions stop. Seems like a bit of a pie-in-the-sky promise a month before the election wouldn’t you say?
    3. Although it may be true to his original statement that the wealthiest in this country will pay the same “proportion” of taxes, even with all the cancelled deductions, they still see an 80k+ tax decrease while the decrease in lower brackets will be significantly smaller to insignificant. That seems like a pretty sweet deal if you make a million or more.
    4. He mentioned the 90 billion in breaks for green energy, but he completely overstepped on that one. It’s literally riddled with holes.
    “But don’t forget, you put $90 billion, like 50 years’ worth of breaks, into solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tesla and Ener1”
    Over 60% of that went to high-speed rail projects, weatherizing low-income homes, updating the electrical grid, researching biofuels and advanced battery initiatives. Don’t forget 3 billion to clean coal. something Mitt publicly supported. Less than 30 billion went into solar and wind. Which has increased over 100% in electrical output since B.O. took office.
    “Department of Energy has said the tax break for oil companies is $2.8 billion a year. And in one year, you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world. Now, I like green energy as well, but that’s about 50 years’ worth of what oil and gas receives.”
    Much of this 90$ billion was loan guarantees, not tax breaks or cash as he would have us believe. Much of this guaranteed loan money was never even claimed. Also, divide 90 by 2.8. You will not get 50. 2.8 isn’t even an accurate estimate, its closer to 8.
    “I think about half of them, of the ones have been invested in have gone out of business.”
    Only Solyndra, Abound and Beacon went out of business in the 1705 loan program which is about 12% of the total. They borrowed around 680$ million together and much of the money from Beacon is expected to be recovered.

    Obama lied too. He used shady calculations to get the 5 trillion number he accused Romney of trying to cut. He also made false claims about the increases in insurance premium pricing and claimed the average person would pay 6000 more a year in Medicare through Romney’s plan.

    Both candidates did their fair share of truth twisting, but come-on John, if you’re gonna critique the debates, why not show both sides?

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