Wednesday, October 17, 2012


The American presidential candidates were at it again yesterday. This time both were awake and aggressive, to a point. They did forgo every decorum, which should be expected from a potential president, and went for the jugular. Cool Obama was vicious, granite Romney was wavering. The result was a draw, but advantage Obama on testosterone.  If this will compensate for the President's distracted  previous performance, it needs to be seen.

There is one looser in this war of words. The "future" remains an empty canvas, waiting to be filled.  Both candidates threw generalities at each other and mostly at the electorate, but avoided specifics.  They know that their numbers do not match reality. They kept talking about the deficit, spending cuts and taxes as if they mistook the public for dummies.  Soundbites are no solutions, sophisms are no believable answers.
Obama won on points and zingers. Both lost on substance. In the end nothing has changed. The race is a neck to neck affair, where problems give way to egos.  All this underscores an intellectual deficit in the American system which chose for a "lock out" over engagement. The fiscal cliff which is looming is almost ignored, while the enormity of the federal deficit is slowly becoming a fait divers.  Americans must feel betrayed by both candidates. Besides their deceiving, they do not venture into what is really at stake, the four years ahead.  Their cardboard plans are utterly unconvincing if not inexistent.

The third debate should center around foreign policy.  Hearing what the President had to say about Benghazi, or Romney's "Trump-like" criticism of the P.R. of China and Russia, one is tempted to run for the lifeboats.  This is regrettable, given the fact that Obama was able to turn certain Bush blunders around.  Memory is an unreliable ally and the Iraq tragedy is no longer a speaking point which sells. I even wonder if Libya will have lasting power, given that the buck has been reclaimed by almost everyone in the Administration, with the exception of Ambassador Rice, who doesn't even have the decency to hint that she might have spoken too early!

The questions raised by the "undecided voters" belonged to some bad high school rather than to this format of town hall meeting, which by the way, was trampled on by the candidates in the first place.  The moderator came out rather well but her tilting in the direction of Obama was unmistakable. Romney's hair looked less sculptured, Obama was looking for the scalp.  In the end the spectators must have been bored, watching politicians trying to portray themselves as the alpha males they are not.

Three more weeks of this? We all had better stock Alpha Bismol.

No comments:

Post a Comment