UPDATE ON THE “DEBATES”
The first Presidential “Debate” of the 2012 election season (10/3/12) produced an outcome that surprised millions of people. This writer is mildly chagrined to include himself in that group. (See “The ‘Debates’ Will Be Crucial,” posted here 9/27/12). An unusual combination of a slightly less scripted format, a slightly less intrusive moderator, and proof for all to see that Barack Obama cannot order breakfast without his teleprompter, caused Mitt Romney to be universally declared the winner.
The second “debate” (Vice President, 10/11/12) was more true to form. Barack Obama, it seems, attended the 1991 wedding of the moderator, Martha Raddatz, an ABC “Senior Correspondent.” The groom, Julius Genachowski, was on the Harvard Law Review with the Magnificent One, and went on in later years to be one of the One’s wealthiest and most generous donors and bundlers. That had nothing to do, of course, with the One’s appointment of Genachowski to head the Federal Communications Commission.
At any rate, Raddatz understood that her job as “moderator” was to allow Biden to interrupt Paul Ryan an actual 92 times in the approximately 45 minutes allotted to Ryan. Ryan was ill prepared for that as well as for Biden’s clownish buffoonery. The buffoonery would have merely made Biden look like an idiot (“just like Joe,” according to his defenders). But the serial interruptions made it difficult or impossible for Ryan to keep a train of thought. Biden might just as well have walked over and clapped his hand over Ryan’s mouth every time it was Ryan’s turn to talk. Thus Ryan was ill served by his “debate” coach, Ted Olson (incorrectly named by this writer as Romney’s “debate” coach). Olson’s claim to fame was having argued some forty cases before the ritualized and structured formality of the Supreme Court, a venue in which, shall we say, Joe Biden would not thrive.
Now we approach the next crucial “debate” (10/16/12), in the ever-informative town-hall format, peopled exclusively with “undecided’ voters. Pony-tailed aging hippies will ask Romney what he, if elected as the nation’s figurative “Father,” will do to care for his “children.” Romney, unfortunately, will probably be happy to discourse on that. The One’s mantra will be “Osama is dead and GM is alive!” We will hear from the One, no doubt during times when it is Romney’s turn to talk, things like: "We refused to let Detroit go bankrupt . . . we bet on American workers and American ingenuity, and three years later, that bet is paying off in a big way."
What we will probably not hear, not from the townfolk and not from either candidate, is this 2011 quote from Dan Akerson, CEO of General Motors: “Almost seven out of every ten automobiles – seven out of ten of our vehicles – were made outside of the United States.” Most of that seven, and the factories, technology, and, dare we say it – jobs, have gone to China. Candy Crowley will not be bringing up that quote, if she is even aware of it. She knows her assignment, just as Martha Raddatz did. For the rest of us, don’t get out your notebooks, get out your prayerbooks. God help us.