If you have been watching a news network recently, or Fox for that matter, you will have been inundated with predictions, prognostications and prophecies about the Obama-Romney debate that takes place tomorrow night. This is a valuable function of our press…in addition to keeping us fully informed about celebrity sideboobs (Huffington Post, you will always be my sideboob!), filling time up before a media event with a repetitive regurgitation of hyperbole and supposition instead of wasting the public’s time on reporting on something that is actually happening that day.
Think of it as having imaginary appetizers at your five year old daughter’s backyard tea party…for three days straight without any real food along the way. Of course it makes you hungry not to consume any substance for days, imaginary or not, why do you think they call them appetizers? Aren’t you hungry now? Well?
Thanks to a consensus of media pundits, it’s perfectly clear what we can expect from the debate. Mitt Romney will successfully re-introduce himself for the 27th time while affirming that he is every previous incarnation of himself. He will both deliver effective zingers and come off as over-rehearsed. Obama will connect with the American Public while being too professorial and condescending towards Romney. Both candidates are poor debaters with obstacles to winning while both are also excellent debaters with effective strategies. And as all pundits agree, debates often change everything and they rarely change anything.
BTW, the official mascot for this debate will be The Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz who points in opposite directions…and sings that official theme song of punditry, “If I Only Had a Brain”.
The problem with the media and pundits spending an enormous amount of news broadcast time speculating about something that hasn’t happened is that they are jumping off a mountain after only climbing half way up it. If they had any conviction…well, they probably wouldn’t be pundits but put that aside for now…they would go The Full Romney and not just predict what will happen but review the debate that they imagine will happen.
Fortunately, PlanetPOV is stepping in to complete this Mobius Loop of Punditry by publishing a review of the debate that we predict will happen. So, here we go.
First off, I hate to say I told you so but I told you so. The debate we’re predicting unfolded exactly as we predicted. In the end, the low expectations for Romney couldn’t have been met more perfectly. He did the deficient job he needed to do and then some, which explains why most in the media, who were coincidentally wearing, “Romney/Ratings 2012” buttons, declared Mitt Romney the winner of the debate (and held their fingers in their ears and chanted “I can’t hear you!” each time Barack Obama spoke).
Romney’s winning this debate in the eyes of the Mainstream Media came as an absolute surprise to anyone who doesn’t know the phrase “Nielsen Ratings”. Especially in light of responses that some on Twitter have deemed “Totally UnBieber”, it is a victory for Romney to have come out on top of that President guy.
Recapping his debate performance, there were a number of tense moments for Mitt Romney in the debate. His attempt to diffuse the negative impact from his “47 Percent of Americans are moochers I can’t worry about” video seemed to have come off a bit less effectively than he had hoped:
MITT ROMNEY: “I will be the President of 100% of Americans. Asterisk. Oh, ignore that. What I’m trying to say is that I feel your pain. When your show horse doesn’t win an Olympic medal in dressage, I know how that hurts. When your blind trust invests in Chinese off shoring and it hurts your Presidential campaign, I feel ya, bro. When your wife goes on national tv and says she worries about your mental health, ‘Bang! Zoom! To the moon, Alice’, am I right? I love you women, I like sport and fried poultry like you men, I’m one of you, don’t let the pedicure fool you.”
Romney’s evading details could have worked against him as well but thankfully, the expectations of his performance at the debate were lower than those for a Tea Party protester at a spelling bee.
JIM LEHRER: “Governor Romney, could you provide details of what deductions you would cut in order to pay for an across the board 20% income tax cut?”
MITT ROMNEY: “Of course Jim, heh-heh! To be very frank and specific, I think cheesy grits are delicious.”
JIM LEHRER: “Excuse me sir but I’m asking you for details on how you would pay for your proposed tax cuts.”
MITT ROMNEY: “Of course, heh-heh! There are many deductions that I would cut that would affect all taxpayers while at the same time, won’t affect them at all. In order to get this economy going and balance our budget, we need to cut taxes in a way that greatly reduces what we pay to government while greatly increasing the amount government has so it can pay down the deficit. Only by trying to have it both ways, can we have it both ways!”
On the up side for Romney were the many zingers he launched at Obama:
MITT ROMNEY: “Mr. Obama, I know you are but may I ask with all due respect, what am I?”
MITT ROMNEY: “Your mama, Obama. Heh-heh!”
MITT ROMNEY: “Ken-ya show us your birth certificate?”
MITT ROMNEY: “The difference between you and me is that I’m white and want to put government spending in the black while you’re…a socialist.”
As for President Obama, he made a valiant effort to remain calm, composed and not condescending but when he slapped his forehead in disbelief at Romney’s explanation of how killing “Obamacare” and kicking 30 million people off of health care actually will insure more people, it was a major gaffe.
Also, after being pounded by Mitt Romney with accusations that he supports the Muslim Brotherhood, is personally responsible for the national obesity rate and created an environment where Honey Boo Boo could get such great ratings…even on the night of his RNC speech, Obama responded in a way that may have turned off independent voters.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “The American people expect us to work for them and solve the problems that are too big for them to solve on their own. They want a President who is honest about the difficulties we face and can come up with and share with them detailed solutions. All of this naturally brings up the question…how the hell can anyone vote for this weasel?”
There were positive moments for Obama about all that he has accomplished in his first term but since we’d like to see a closer race, we’re going to kind of ignore that.
So, one debate down and one win for Romney. This is especially good news for a Romney campaign that has been hammered by events over the last month and even more meaningful because he hasn’t even had this debate yet.
Stay tuned, we may be providing analysis of the ups and downs of President Obama’s second term next week.