October 1, 2012

State of the Debate

Hatched by Korso

I still think that we could really make an extravaganza out of the event if we got Don King to promote it, but this Wednesday's upcoming debate between Barack "The Stick" Obama and Pretty Boy Romney looks to be generating a good deal of heat all its own. For political junkies, it's like the Rumble in the Jungle and the Thrilla in Manila rolled up into one epic match. How this didn't make the cut on pay-per-view I'll never know.

It's pretty interesting, though, how the Obama hacks are already positioning our pugilist president as the anti-Muhammad Ali in this fight. At least so sayeth David Plouffe on ABC's This Week when giving his assessment of Mitt Romney's combat skills:

He's prepared more than any candidate I think maybe in history, certainly in recent memory. He’s been a good debater in the past. He’s very prepared. He’s got all these clever zingers and lines in his pocket, so we understand he’ll probably have a good night on Wednesday night.

Yeah, kind of like when Clubber Lang went up against Rocky Balboa for the first time. Plouffe is pretty much saying the same thing that Mickey Goldmill grumbled before that fight: "He'll knock you into tomorrow!" Of course, that was because fame, money and a fawning press had turned his champion into a flabby, lazy pretender who wasn't hungry like his opponent. Oh, and the same thing happened to Sly in the movie too.

So what does it say about you when your own people are downplaying expectations for your performance? Well, for one thing it shows how great the fall has really been for Barack Obama. The man who once stood astride the world, godlike and omnipotent, is now revealing how much of that was just plain hooey. But, a bit more insidiously, it also sets up the narrative that the media will use to explain away any mediocre showing on Obama's part. Romney, they'll say, may have won on style and "zingers," as Plouffe mentioned, but it was Obama's arguments that had more substance.

On top of that, they'll also try to cast Obama as the new underdog -- an outsider who met so much hostility from the Washington establishment that he simply couldn't push through the needed reforms to get the economy moving again. Contrast that with Mitt Romney, the consummate insider -- a slick and packaged product, more of the same old same-old, a political robot who looks perfect in the debates but lacks heart. Now, how the media will square this with their other narrative -- Romney the non-stop gaffe machine, too dumb to know why airplane windows don't roll down -- remains to be seen, but don't sell them short. After all, they do write creatively for a living.

Hatched by Korso on this day, October 1, 2012, at the time of 8:17 AM

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