CLEVELAND, October 5, 2012 – Adversity happens to all of us. Our character is reflected in how we react to it.
One day after Governor Mitt Romney crushed President Barack Obama in the first presidential debate, Mr. Obama had a major decision to make.
Even some of Mr. Obama’s biggest water carriers had no answers for his flop on the biggest stage. Some blamed jet lag and the Denver altitude, while others blamed moderator Jim Lehrer. Some individuals tried to declare debates irrelevant, since anything President Obama does badly has to be meaningless.
This keeps intact the image of him as perfection personified that has crippled his presidency due to unrealistic expectations.
Liberals cite Ronald Reagan’s poor first debate, neglecting that he crushed Walter Mondale in the second one. The main comparison the left is relying on are the 2004 debates between President George W. Bush and John Kerry.
Mr. Kerry was seen as winning the debates.
There are two major problems with the 2004 analysis that gets to the very heart of the problem with Mr. Obama.
The first problem is one of sincerity. Many politicians including Mr. Obama are seen as insincere. They will say whatever they think will fool the voters. Mr. Bush never had that problem. His critics believed what he was saying, and simply disagreed with him, often to the point of hatred. They disliked his ideas, but absolutely believed that he believed what he was saying. Mr. Obama has an authenticity problem.
Yet the main problem is a behavioral one. Most people have others in their life that provide a check on their egos. My closest friends have said to me that “We knew you when you weren’t that special, and that was two days ago.” We all should have a precious few people we respect so much that we take heed when they let us know we have slipped off track. During the 2000 primaries, Mr. Bush was criticized for having a smirk.
His advisors told him to get rid of it. He did. In the 2000 general election, Al Gore was criticized for rolling his eyeballs and sighing during the first debate. He stopped. In 2004 President Bush was criticized for being unable to hide his disgust during his first debate with Kerry. Cameras caught him looking angry.
Advisor Karen Hughes had the clout to go to him and tell her boss that he looked peeved. He accepted her advice.
Changing course is not easy. Mr. Bush had to change his entire Iraq war strategy in 2006 when his advisors told him it was on the verge of failing. He accepted the criticism and did change course.
This takes character. It is a trait that President Obama is unable and unwilling of allowing into his personality. He can’t do it. He has advisors who tell him he is perfect. He has supporters and media members (same thing) who reinforce this. He does not have a “real friend” who will perform an intervention by getting in his face and saying “Sir, you screwed up.”
Mr. Obama ran on “change,” but he is incapable of changing himself.
He is arrogant. He is the worst stereotype of the insufferable pompous college professor, which is what Mr. Obama was. He has utter disdain for anyone who disagrees with him. He sees honest dissent as personal malice toward him. He often resorts to mocking and ridiculing his political opponents, which is a form of bullying.
So one day after the debate, he had a chance to be a better person. He could have been gracious. He could have said “Governor Romney had a good night last night. I look forward to sparring with him further over the course of this election.”
That phrasing even had the word “forward” in it that Mr. Obama cherishes so much. Yet Mr. Obama cannot alter his worst instincts. He is very think-skinned, and he chose to frown, frown, double down on the very bad behavior that turns off voters.
The President mocked Governor Romney in a speech, barely concealing his anger. The President called Mr. Romney a liar without specifying exactly what it was that Mr. Romney lied about. He said that Mr. Romney covers up his real beliefs. That is the entire history of Mr. Obama, a man who throws giant boulders from his plexiglass house.
Mr. Obama will most likely make the same mistake Al Gore did in 2000. He will overcompensate. Then he will take the gloves off and take some cheap shots. He will get in the gutter. Taking the tough shots in a first debate when one is ahead looks like a prize fighter looking for the knockout blow. Doing it in a later debate when one is trailing reeks of desperation.
Most people would say that Mr. Obama’s “too cool for school” attitude was humbled during the debate, but that is not true. Mr. Obama is incapable of any human characteristics remotely resembling introspection or humility.
Up until the moment Julius Caesar was stabbed, he was convinced that everybody loved him. Barack Obama does have many people that claim to love him to the point of idolatry. Yet if they truly love him, they will stop coddling him, and verbally slap him back to reality.
At that point the real question will be whether there is anybody on this earth who commands enough respect to get him to listen.
Based on his entire life, that scenario is doubtful. Everything is everybody else’s fault.
In fact, had the financial meltdown not happened, he would not have inherited a mess. He would then not be blamed for failing to clean it up.
Ergo, Barack Obama’s failure in the first debate was all George W. Bush’s fault.
Hey, this is Barack Obama. No scenario is too preposterous if it means protecting his over-inflated ego.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS
Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at TYGRRRR EXPRESS
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