Barack Obama showed up for the second debate Tuesday night. He knew it was important for him to be on time, and that was made easier because Mitt Romney cleaned his clock two weeks ago.
I always love the part where the candidates tell a one-sided story about an encounter with an aggrieved swing state voter who told them how bad their opponent is, or when they try to woo women voters with moves so transparent they might as well play Barry White music in the background.
Most view the second presidential debate as virtual tie, within the margin of error. The “margin of error” was provided by moderator Candy Crowley of CNN, who allowed Obama 10% more time and got him out of a tough question on Libya.
Crowley must have snagged one of the few public land drilling permits issued by the Obama administration, so she felt obligated to interject “He (Obama) did, in fact, say it was an act of terror.” Subsequent fact-checking proved he did not say that. For weeks Obama, Hillary Clinton, and UN Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on talk shows and blamed the attack on a 13-minute YouTube video. The only coordinated attack they recognized was theirs on the truth.
In Obama’s defense, U.S. outposts in radical Muslim strongholds are sitting ducks. The attacks are not the administration's fault, but their reaction to it is. Most frightening to me, the government orchestrated a public, large police force arrest of the US citizen who made the awful video, ostensibly for a minor “parole violation.” As we know, he was arrested only after the video aired, in what seemed an attempt by Obama to enforce Sharia law in the U.S. Our president was acting on his UN statement “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
I worry about the liberal moderators picked for the debates; they seem to be a virtual Who's Who of mainstream media Obama accolytes. Obama was asked several direct questions that he did not even attempt to answer. No fair moderator would allow that. Obama is slick, no doubt. But his slyness, greased by a compliant media, makes him even more slick than WD40 on a Slippery Slide.
I try never to judge a frumpy, rotund woman like Candy Crowley until I hear her sing “I Dreamed a Dream.” Yet I held out hope that she would shed the liberal skin that is CNN and be fair. Not much has been said about this, but Crowley even allowed a negative question directed to Romney which asked him to differentiate himself from George Bush. Obama was then allowed to opine on that question. Why was Obama not asked to compare himself to Jimmy Carter instead of letting him pile on to that question?
Clearly, Romney missed some opportunities. It is not in his nature to be a bombastic, Joe Biden-type of politician full of hyperbole, bluster, Rogaine and Viagra. In the vice-presidential debate, Biden took a strong stand against unspecified “malarkey.” I fully expected Obama to take Jumpin Joe’s lead and come out against shenanigans, horseplay, hooliganism and tomfoolery.
We know that Romney is a different type of person. He is a white guy who still buys Cadillacs, which speaks volumes.
Going into the second debate, the candidates tried to lower expectations. And no one has lowered expectations better over the last four years than Obama; his record is a well-documented disaster. There is nothing he has done while president that the country, absent the lay-abouts and moochers, wants more of. Do we want more debt? More lies about videos being the cause of 9/11 attacks on our consulates? More welfare, food stamps, regulations, taxes, and class warfare? More unemployment?
We are an imaginative country. We see more UFOs than all other nations combined. But on Tuesday night, neither candidate presented much of a vision for where he would take this country. There was no talk of cutting spending, limiting wars and limiting the growth of government. I thought one of the better town hall questions might be, "Are these our only two choices?" It was just more of the same-old, same old — resulting in our choice: the evil of two lessers.
A syndicated op-ed humorist, award winning author and TV/radio commentator, you can reach him at Ron@RonaldHart.com, Twitter @RonaldHart or at visit RonaldHart.com