Oct 18, 2012

I wish I can confirm that this  photograph is of the exact moment of President Obama staring down Mitt Romney in the grand check of the debate.  It was clear that the normally cool, calm, and collected Barack Obama was not just angry but straight pissed off.  On Facebook, my friends and I were going back and forth about the debate and I remember writing that the President was angry.  Not angry in the sense of the "angry black man" that is disguised as the cool, calm and collected Barack Obama that the right wants us to believe is the real man.  But a righteous indignation that let the world know that he has tolerated the former governor long enough.  It scared me for a moment only because I can relate to the President's cool, calm, and collected demeanor.  I am pretty even-keeled and level-headed.  I try my best not to actually get angry and for me anger is indeed a rare occurrence and it is also rare for me to just not like someone.  If I do not like someone, I do not arrive at that conclusion lightly.  It is after careful observation and thoughtful examination that I arrive at that point.  When I am angry or allow my anger to be expressed, it's deep. Not deep-seeded or suppressed but a person has to dig deep to hit my anger button.  When it happens I do not throw a tantrum nor do I get dramatic, but it is very clear that I am about to take care of business.  Those around me do not get in the way; they usually rally around me because if I am angry it is extremely likely that I have just cause to be.  I say it scared me because it was beyond clear to me that the President does not like the former governor and for that anger and disdain to be apparent that is just a place where us cool, calm, and collected folks don't like to go.  Thankfully, it was indeed just a moment for me because the President was skillful and forceful in his delivery that even the moderator tried to give Romney a heads up that he better not go there.  What was even more classic was the President didn't even have to deliver the knock out punch.  Instead the President led his opponent right into the trap that was supposedly set up for him and Romney could not recover.

Back to this idea of disdain for Romney, I heard a reporter open his segment about the debate saying how clear it is that the two men do not like each other.  I am not sure that Romney does not like the President as a person.  I think he is desperate for the President's job.  A lot of people do not like his policies but like the President personally.  On the other hand, the President does not appear to like Romney at all.  I remember hearing a report that the President thinks Romney is an "empty suit."  When I heard that I thought wow, Because as I alluded to earlier it seems rare for the President to not like someone.  So if that is the case, that means something.  If he is willing to go to that place, it is because he genuinely feels that way.  It is not because of political expediency.  In the first debate, I  believe he held back purposefully because he did not want his genuine feelings about Romney to come through.  He said himself that he was too polite.   Why be polite?  Because it is consistent with being cool, calm, and collected. Showing anger is a last resort.  I know his supporters wanted the President to come out swinging and put the race away.  He has been criticized before for not showing anger and for not fighting.  However we never saw him shift.  Even in 2008, he was direct but not angry.  The concern was that it was just not in him.  Ordinarily quite frankly it is not in him.  That is not his M.O. Why now? Him being considerate, patient, and slow to anger should really inform the answer to that question.  Maybe the President thought if he showed how deep this was for him, that maybe those watching will see there is just cause for his righteous indignation. Maybe those watching should take heed when a man whose signature is being steady expends such political capital that his undeniable shift demeanor is more than what meets the eye.  Maybe those watching the guy willing to risk the key asset of his likeability and "fight" and give what has been touted the best debate of his career, should see that this is more than political theater. Maybe the message he is sending is that after careful observation and thoughtful examination of his opponent, he knows in his core that his opponent cannot be trusted and will take the country backwards. .Perhaps if he, the guy that usually likes everyone and considerate of their point of view, can conclude that his opponent is shifty, desperate, and has no core, maybe just maybe the American people will see that he did not arrive at that conclusion lightly and that would prompt them to question Romney's character and intentions all the more.


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