Tuesday’s Main Event
Tuesday night will be a knock down, drag out, gritty, dirty free-for-all. The Hofstra University campus will be teeming with excitement as the combatants slash and jab at each other, always looking for the victory that will turn the tide. When the dust finally settles, a champion will emerge and shift momentum back to his team.
This may sound like a football game, but I am obviously referring to tomorrow night’s presidential debate between Democratic incumbent Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Thus far, the score is 1-0 in favor of Romney, who outperformed the President in their first meeting and kept him “on the ropes.” Obama took a beating, so he will be out for blood this time. And given the town hall format—candidates pacing around the same carpet, fielding questions from audience members, ready to pounce on each other—it should be an affair to remember.
For President Obama, things could not be more desperate. Losing the first debate to an almost unrecognizable opponent—face it, Romney seemed like a different person and surprised Barack with some of his new rhetoric—the President must now go for the jugular with verve and confidence. Likeability isn’t a huge issue for him—not as much as it is for Romney, at least—but Obama still has to appeal to his constituency, undecided voters and maybe even Republicans who just don’t care for Mitt. It’s possible there are a few out there.
On the flip side is former governor Romney. And for him, likeability is the key. In the first debate, he performed well and got many of his points across, partly because Obama just sat there doing nothing. And since that performance, Mitt has been rising in the polls, even passing the Commander-in-Chief in some battleground states.
Of course, we all know that polls are bullshit and can change faster than Lady Gaga between sets. But people have been talking more about Romney than Obama lately. This gives Mitt some breathing room so he can focus on the most important thing: convincing the American people he isn’t just some rich asshole who thinks most of us are morons. As sad as that sounds—and despite knowing Romney is a decent guy with great business skills—this is what a lot of people likely think. It’s up to Mitt to convince them that they’re wrong.
I know that we’re ultimately talking about politics here—a subject I normally avoid like a reformed crack head running from the pipe—but I’m anxious to see what happens. Obama still has my vote, but Romney could be our next president and I want to know more. Call it research for my own worst case scenario. Either way, there should be fireworks and plenty of the aforementioned bullshit.
After all, that’s what politics are all about. Enjoy the show, ladies and gentlemen!