Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Obama schools Romney on debating

Yowzer. In the last debate, Obama was Mr. Magoo. In tonight's debate, he was Cicero, Churchill and Samuel L. Jackson rolled into one. So, what accounts for this head-snapping tale of the Two Obamas? In a word: engagement. In the first debate, Romney certainly aquitted himself well. But, for whatever reason, Obama was lackadaisical and never punched back. So Romney won it in a walk, at least stylistically. Tonight, Obama engaged -- and brought his presidential brass knuckles. The result: Romney got his brains beat out, repeatedly. I knew Obama was good. I didn't know he was that good. They'll be teaching the "Obama technique" in Politics 101 from now on. In fact, Mr. Obama was so good tonight, it's tempting to conclude that a deliberate, rope-a-dope strategy was at play. Feign weakness, feed your opponent's overconfidence, then deck 'em. That's how I'd script tonight's debate for a movie. But real life rarely mimics Rocky II. What actually happened is something more mundane, but just as lethal: Underestimate Barack Obama at your peril. Mitt Romney, the latest to do so, has just joined a long list of opponents who have had their heads handed to them on a plate.

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