Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lives of Our Leaders: Obama vs. Romney #1

It wasn’t the Thrilla in Manila or the The Rumble in the Jungle. The first debate was primarily defensive like one of those 12 round fights in which cautious styles create a kind of depersonalization. The problem with the debate was homogenization. The hurtle  for Obamacare as a political fact is that it was introduced and worked in the state where Romney was governor, though it was plain that health care is an issue about which the president is impassioned and one which he can outpoint the challenger. If health care is Obama’s forte, then the 700,000 jobs that would be lost due to tax increases became Romney’s mantra. Why was the president spending two years working on heath care, when the country was dogged by unemployment? Still, if Romney was strong on the economy he was still haunted by his non-existent loopholes and the fact that his criticisms of Dodd-Frank were not backed up with specific proposals about the open wound of banking deregulation. In a prize fight, the challenger has to be more than the equal of the title holder. He has to take the belt away and that comes from not merely ducking and slipping, not merely avoiding the champion’s power. He has to take control of the ring. He has to stop his opponent at his own game. You box a fighter and fight a boxer. In the first bout Romney might be given some extra points for style, but Obama and Romney both kept their distance and boxed the first debate. Hopefully in Obama/Romney #2, they’ll come out fighting.

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