If you will excuse my sports metaphors and comparisons Mitt Romney reminded me of my beloved New York Giants football team in the final presidential debate of this election cycle Monday night, grinding it out on the ground, and sitting on the lead until the clock runs out and they win.
The key point being, they win; as in last year's Super Bowl.
Romney showed that he has a firm and wide grasp of international relations, refused to be baited into meaningless diatribes or arguments that only serve to make the participants look like buffoons, not presidential candidates, and in the end, didn’t fumble and had no turnovers. In short, he won.
President Barack Hussein Obama on the other hand spent the night mis-characterizing his record on foreign and domestic relations, as though American voters don't have a clue to what is going on and has been for the past four years. And he kept staring at Romney with the weirdest look I have ever seen on a man who is interviewing for a job.
Some in the media are calling it a "Death Stare" apparently intended to offset his performance in the first presidential debate where he hardly looked at Romney at all. Whoever is advising him on debate demeanor apparently decided that staring intently at Romney all night would make up for his failures in the previous debates.
But within five minutes of the beginning of the debate I turned to my wife and said that Obama would lose just on appearances if he kept up the freaky stare. He did. I also told her that Obama reminded me of Snoopy, the dog character in the Peanuts comic strip who sometimes sits in a tree pretending he is a vulture.
Thanks to GETTY IMAGES for the debate photo.
In the end, I believe voters' reaction to the debate will have more to do with how Obama looked than what either man said.
Try this: tell me what you remember of the vice presidential debate. Was there some defining moment – other than the moderator trying to bail out Joe Biden – in which Biden's light shone so brightly that it carried through the post debate analysis? Or do you remember Biden constantly cackling and solidifying his credentials as the court jester?
After all the pundits have talked themselves blue and out of breath, I believe we will have a similarly enduring image of Barack Obama, a.k.a. the Vulture and, like Biden in the VP debate, it isn't pretty.
There is plenty of Monday-Morning-Quarterbacking going on in the world of punditry with people who have never run for office talking about what they would have done in Romney's place. But if you actually review the transcript of the debate you will see that Romney scored some huge points.
The best, in my opinion, came when moderator Bob Schieffer asked Romney what he would do if he got a call from Israeli officials in the middle of the night saying their bombers already were on the way to hit Iran.
Romney refused to play that game saying bluntly, "I won't get that call." That my friends, was brilliant. It also saved Obama from having to answer that question, but nonetheless, it was Romney who came up with it, on the spot, no preparation, and he scored big on it.
Romney also told Obama that he won't be dealing with Russian premier, president for life, prime minister and dictator Vladimir Putin while "looking through rose-colored glasses," and promising "more flexibility" after the election. (You may remember that Obama got caught making that promise to the Russians when he thought his mike was off.)
When he is president, Romney said, Putin will encounter "more backbone," in America's relations with Russia.
The worst line of the night came from Obama when he blamed "failed policies" in an obvious reference to his never ending commentary on the previous president, George Bush, for "two long wars." That was just plain stupid.
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were fought because we were attacked by Islamo-fascist extremists who want to defeat the United State, and in fact all of western society, and replace our laws and customs with Sharia, their laws and customs. We fought not because George Bush had bad policies, another part of the Obama mantra with which I disagree, but because we had no choice; it was fight, be enslaved, or die.
If there were failed policies that led to the September 11, 2001 attacks that slaughtered 3,000 Americans they were failures of the Clinton administration. They included leaving our Army Rangers and Delta Force personnel hanging out on a limb in Somalia in 1993 and then turning tail and running away; not taking the opportunity to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden in the late 1990's when we had the opportunities; not retaliating for the bombing of the USS Cole; and sending in the FBI instead of counter-terrorism hit squads when the American military barracks known as the Hobart Towers in Saudi Arabia were bombed.
Those were the failed policies, all during the Clinton Administration, that led to the 9-11-2001 attacks, not something that George Bush or Dick Cheney did or didn't do. That one comment from Obama showed that without question he is out of touch, or just plain delusional.
Therein I believe lies the Obama-Biden message for the final days of the campaign. Biden already is on the campaign trail pushing the mantra that America is not in decline, but in fact is ascending. He says Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan "are in denial." Obama said essentially the same thing last night about our status in the wider world.
That position is so ludicrous and so easily disprovable simply by looking around the economic and international landscapes that it seems better to let the administration hang it self with its own rope than to go on about it.
What Biden has been displaying on the campaign trail in recent days, Obama displayed in front of a national television audience. His "two long wars" comment and "vulture" stare, showed the voters everything we need to know to make an intelligent choice on Election Day.
In the final analysis, both Obama and Biden had to win all four debates by a significant margin to convince voters that somehow they can turn around their disgraceful performance of the past four years. In the first debate Obama was taken to the woodshed, and from that point on he and Biden had to resort to theatrics and assistance from moderators whose support ranged from sympathetic questions to outright collusion to break even, much less actually win.
But the voters are not stupid, and we can see the true state of the country – high unemployment, manipulation of jobless statistics, widespread media propaganda including the dissemination of false polling information, and creeping regulation that will cost us all in the long run. On foreign affairs one word can best describe our world status; chaos.
I don't care what the national media has to say about the debate; Romney won on appearances and on points scored. No amount of media propaganda can counter my impression of what I saw and heard, simply because I have faith in my own abilities to make good choices. I saw the whole debate and I know that based on my view of the world, Romney won.
Now it is time for Romney to sit on the lead and run out the clock. (Unless he can get within range of a sure field goal and add a few points to the spread.)