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Democrats Must Stop Whining

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Now that the hoopla has died down over what many perceived as President Barack Obama's lack luster performance during the first Presidential Debate against Republican Challenger Mitt Romney, I've decided to take a cold, sober look at the facts -- not the partisan hype that saturated the airwaves in the aftermath. The salivating field day by the punditocracy, spinmeisters and Sunday morning talking heads is just about over. Now they are focusing on the next debate making all kinds of suggestions as to what the president has to do or not do. Seems everybody is now a debate expert.

For Republicans it was bragging rights after the debate and the unsubstantiated giddy-headed claim that this was a Romney game-changer. For Democrats it was the Chicken Liken Syndrome -- the political sky was literally falling. As Team Romney went on offense, sucking up its new found favorite campaign status, the Democrats ratcheted up the whining knob on the political dial as if the president's debate performance had cost him the presidency. As a political campaign strategist I have seen the president do far better debates and I am experienced enough to understand that Romney did w hat he had to do against an incumbent president -- go on offense.

Point is what do you do when your champion loses Round I? do you whine, gripe, blame and run scared at the slightest sign of opposition? Or as Democratic strategist James Carville would say "suck it up and prepare for a comeback"?   As Democrats we have to rally around our champion; accept the Round I results and prepare for Rounds II and III. We need to analyze what went wrong, correct it, and go after the other guy with gusto.

So Democrats must stop the silly endless post-debate analyses, saying the same things over and over again in different ways. That's not going to change the outcome. Democrats had better get back on the horse and urge supporters to come out and vote on November 6 and draw a sharp contrast between Champion Obama and Challenger Mitt Romney. No amount of griping and whining is going to reverse the outcome of the first debate. Put it to rest, refocus, and let's win this thing.

And by the way, speaking loud and saying nothing is a vacuous debate strategy designed to garner sound bites and to deflect from real debate on issues. Aggression and bullying are the tactics of the insecure. Calmness and composure those of the secure and competent. While style and technique matters in any debate, so is substance. But substance does not sit well with the media and the punditry because it's not newsworthy.

So substance has been replaced by the media trolling for   "zingers," non-issues, lies, half-truths and spin. That's what makes for juicy evening news tid-bits. Mitt Romney is an expert at this. With twenty-seven lies in 38 minutes that was a monumental feat -- even for Mitt Romney. But he accomplished that with time to spare while the President Obama, well, just let things slide. I don't know what the Obama Campaign debate strategy was but one thing is clear -- it did not work. It also sent his base into convulsions, anger and contortions to explain why his PERFORMANCE, not the substance of this arguments, were so flaccid.

I am still in a state of shock over the tsunami of inane hackery from the liberal Left and their jaundiced belief that President Obama needs to be more aggressive and bullish in Debate Number II. So my question is this: should the president become like Mitt Romney? I for one think not. He has to be himself and if he was off of his game for one debate, let's give the guy the benefit of the doubt and see what he does in Debate Number II.

Me? I'm a wonkish kind of guy; I like policy issues and believe that government has a sacred right to help the 47% that need a hand up -- not a hand out. That's what President Obama believes and he does not have to be a bully to get that across. But the political stratosphere is a strange place to be in 2012 if you are the first Black president of the United States with a determined and committed Republican Party and Establishment obsessed with making you a one term president.

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I also believe that Democrats and the Left liberal media had better stop the griping and second guessing over what amounted to be nothing more than Debate Theater. Heck, that's what the mainstream media want -- a 60 minute real time theater that yields an enthralled populace that is conditioned to think a certain way by the media and its "experts" for the purpose of tomorrow's news cycle of spin, punch and counter-punch in an endless vapid live-stream of nihility.

But hear me: content matters in any debate and President Obama delivered factual and germane content time and time again. Only the pundits of television and the millions of viewers were not listening. They were caught up in the antics and theatrical grandstanding of Mitt Romney determined to obfuscate the facts and drown out genuine debate over key issues. It was therefore sound bite full, substance empty, and performance driven. In my view President Obama did not deserve the drubbing that he got from friends and opponents alike.

Funny thing is the pundits and liberal Democrats trained their fire at their champion and standard-bearer and NOT on Mitt Romney. To me it is mindboggling that the president has to undergo such intense battering over ONE performance and Mitt Romney gets off lightly for simply being better in Debate Theater. There is NOTHING that anyone can remember from the debate that Romney said or clarified. Just his animated, belligerent behavior tapping into the in-your-face-kick-butt mentality that now defines the American character.

So if you have a problem with the way the president handled himself at the debate and think that he should have out Romneyied Romney, then I disagree. It is however a valid criticism that he should have pushed back harder and challenged Romney on his evasions, distortions and mountain of lies and half-truths.

On a scale of 1 -- 10 President Obama served up real concrete solutions to real problems and answered Romney's recitations, robotic pandering simply and calmly scoring a 9 every time. So onto Presidential Debate II. I'm not a betting man but I think that American is in for a surprise.

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This election is far from being over.

So here's what has to be done. Democrats must stop whining and criticizing our champion. This election will be won by which campaign can turn out its voters and get them to the polls on November 6. No debate will change that. The time is now to get off the couch, stop the Monday morning quarterbacking, and roll up your sleeves and get the base energized enough to go the polls.

 

MICHAEL D. ROBERTS is a top Political Strategist and Business, Management and Communications Specialist in New York City's Black community. He is an experienced writer whose specialty is socio-political and economic analysis and local (more...)
 

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