Dan Majestic writes from Washington: The damage limitation from the fallout that the first TV debate between Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has caused to the current President is in full swing.
White House officials and all sorts of people who call themselves Obamawhites are telling anyone who’d listen that their boss and idol screwed up the debate simply because he was too busy running the country and didn’t have enough time to prepare while Romney had all the time in the world. So worried were members of the Obama election campaign team by the outcome of the debate that they staged a rally of supporters the next day where the President delivered a rousing speech and looked sharp and focused. Although, of course, anyone could tell you that addressing a crowd of supporters and having to answer hostile questions are two different ballgames. (You can ask that weasel Tony Blair about it. He managed to avoid hostile questioning for the whole duration of his disastrous spell in power.)
The Obama loving media, which constitutes something like 90 per cent of the US media, has gone into overdrive, trying to present the disastrous outcome of the first TV debate for their chosen one as a glitch, a one-off, a lucky coincidence for the Republican challenger. Just you wait till the second debate comes along, wide-eyed presenters and reporters were saying. He’ll show that tax avoider and out of touch multi-millionaire who’s the boss.
But the suspicion that Mr Obama is not really all that cool and sophisticated lingers. Especially as people are starting to remember the three TV debates which took place in 2008, with the then Republican challenger, John McCain, where the current President didn’t really fare all that well. In fact, considering that Senator McCain was heavily burdened with the baggage that George Bush had left him and the liberal media was basically throwing all their weight behind Obama, it was amazing that the three debates were not a simple walk over for the Democratic candidate. I would even go as far as saying that Obama lost to McCain on those three occasions, coming across as very insecure and wooden in his answers.
And how about those earlier debates that Mr Obama had with the fearsome Hillary Clinton? They didn’t go brilliantly either for the Senator from Illinois. I suppose the only reason he had won the nomination was because no one in the country was prepared to stomach four or even eight more years of Bill Clinton in the White House. Bill, so that you know, was one of the most disliked US Presidents ever. His first years in office were a total disaster and his Administration was one of the most inept and corrupt in history. Not to mention that he had laid the foundation for the financial crash of 2008, letting banks do whatever they pleased. And losing Congress to the Republicans in the mid-term elections and pardoning 150 crooks before leaving office and taking some of the White House furniture with him that he was forced to return later. No wonder no one wanted to see Hillary bring her hubby back into the spotlight.
But coming back to Mr Obama: his two best-selling books were always considered as proof of his wisdom and eloquence. But somehow throughout the years the feeling was growing that maybe he had some serious help in writing them. Because it does look odd that a man who could have formulated his vision so articulately in books does not really set the house on fire by his answers to unscripted questions. And that dependence on teleprompters was not really making him look all that sophisticated either.
I suppose in these politically correct days no one is ready in America to question President Obama’s intellectual potential, for fear of being labelled a racist. He is, let’s face it, going to win the election in November, even if he loses the other two TV debates. The PC brigade in America is way too powerful to allow its favourite son to lose to some filthy rich right-winger.