Who won the debates? Like baseball, this is best of five (4 debates and then the general election) for all the marbles; I think the Romney team has won the three debates that have taken place so far. But, in politics “it ain’t over ’til it’s over.” The “fat lady” won’t sing until the early-morning hours on Nov. 7.
Dateline: midnight, Oct. 16, Callaham family kitchen table; debate three has concluded and I’ve got a deadline to make so that this column will be published today, Oct. 21. Here’s how I’ve seen the debate series so far.
Debate one: Both teams led with their star pitcher. Gov. Mitt (how appropriate, he’s named after a baseball glove) Romney, a righty (again, how appropriate, he’s pitching for the conservative right) went up against the Obamanites’ rock star Barack “Barry” Obama, a lefty (watch him when he signs a bill, you can’t make this stuff up).
President Obama wasn’t well (altitude sickness) and didn’t bring his best “stuff”; fact of the matter, some believe he didn’t show up at all. At the end of the first segment, just before the umpire — Jim Lehrer — left the ball diamond (seems Jim lost control of the game); Romney scored many times, including a home run as he outlined a five-point program to begin to solve our nation’s economic and fiscal problems.
Mr. Obama struck out in his half of the first when once again he went to his standard relief pitch (relieving himself of any responsibility for our economic and fiscal problems) relating once again that “George did it.”
The following segments, one of which was canceled when the umpire — remember Jim Lehrer — tried to re-enter the contest by calling a balk on both pitchers at the same time, were no better for the favorite, President Obama. Highlights of the collapse included a “beaning” of “Big Bird” by Romney and the President didn’t “clear the dugout” to take up for his professed “feathered friend” and possible new mascot for the political left (next day when the dugout was cleared and the negative ads began, it was too late — I guess George did that too).
I could go on, but the late innings of debate one were just repeats of the opening segment. In fact one of the Obamanite managers, the Rev. Al Sharpton (and even some loyal local fans), could only call the debate a draw. Yet just like crying in baseball, there was no draw in this debate — this was a clear victory for team Romney.
Debate two: going to the “bump” for team Romney was No. 2 in the batting order Paul “the Kid” Ryan and representing team Obama was veteran Joe “the Gaffe” Biden. Everyone waited to hear the Gaffe’s first pitch, as usual only God knew what stuff he’d throw. But give the ol’ gaffer credit, his words were not gaffes, but his facial expressions (bordering at times like a grinning drunk explaining to a police officer that he’d only had a few) told the whole story. The Kid didn’t have to say a word as America saw Joe Biden strike himself out.
I’m sure not everyone saw it the way I did; but I cannot believe any American could support a team with Joe Biden on it after he laughed and grinned during Ryan’s discussion about dead Americans killed by terrorists on American soil in Libya. In my opinion Vice President Biden’s persona during the debate made the Joker in the recent Batman series look like a funnier comedian.
Debate three: the regular political scorekeepers give the edge in this debate, to the president on points. Yet, a review of the scorecards indicates that Romney lost points for what he didn’t do. The President hammered “The Mitt” with a string of curveballs — lots of spin with the hardball questions being unanswered. So, I give the nod to team Romney for sticking to his game plan and pitching the truth for strikes.
Once again the umpire (Moderator Candy Crowley) seemed to occasionally pitch for the Obamanites. At times she looked like an NFL replacement referee, blowing calls and refusing to remain silent. I sure hope the veteran umpires are back for the last debate.
I have Team Obama down by three with only two left (one debate and the election). But the stark reality remains that winning the election, not debates is the name of the game.
Art Callaham is a community activist and president of the Washington County Free Library Board of Trustees.