Side effects of Xanax may include sleepiness, drowsiness, slurred speech, and unsteadiness. Less common side effects may include blowing a presidential debate, and appearing to be completely uninterested in a discussion that may decide the fate of the free world.
Seriously, did the President chug some NyQuil before the first debate? Barack Obama barely looked at Mitt Romney, and mostly just stared at the podium and took notes. When the President did deign to look up, he looked completely uninterested in what was happening.
We can only speculate as to what might have been wrong with Mr. Obama. Wednesday night was his 20 year wedding anniversary. Though she may have been all smiles in public, you can imagine Michelle Obama wasn’t pleased to be spending that anniversary watching her husband debate a man who can’t choose a political position and stick with it for more than five minutes.
Let’s be fair here, it’s not like Mitt Romney came off looking much better. Sure, the mass media have been jumping all over each other to give him the “Didn’t Look Like He Was on Ludes” trophy, but the man didn’t present himself in a particularly erudite manner.
Romney went to the debate to do one thing: Make President Obama look bad. He didn’t concern himself with consistency, morality, or facts; he just wanted to present his case to the American people that Barack Obama was more dangerous than Hitler and Jimmy Carter combined.
But it’s hard to make a peanut farmer look like mein Führer, and Romney came across looking like an attack dog with no teeth. The puzzling thing is how Romney managed to gum Obama to death.
We’re still trying to figure out what was distracting the president. Maybe Obama got one of those “big red phone” calls, and found out that the aliens were in orbit, or that Russia has the bomb, or that the New Kids on the Block were planning another comeback tour.
Really horrifying stuff that might distract a person.
This wasn’t a wonderful night for anyone, even PBS’ Jim Lehrer. A word of advice Mr. Lehrer: A moderator is defined as one who arbitrates or mediates a meeting or discussion, not a person who sits behind his desk and weakly tries to interrupt two men who clearly aren’t terribly fond of one another.
You know who should’ve moderated the debate? Judge Judy. By the end of the whole thing she would have reduced Romney to tears and Obama would’ve given up and would’ve gone to take that nap he obviously needed.
Let’s stop being cute, and admit we really know what was going on with the President during the debate. Obama’s plan was most likely to let Romney do what he’s been doing for the last few weeks: Hang himself with his own penchant for idiotic remarks. Unfortunately, that was not the Mitt Romney who walked into the debate.
Americans, for all their limp-wristed allusions to the contrary, are not terribly fond of over-sensitivity. We appreciate intellectualism, we appreciate balanced consideration of an issue, but we welcome passion and drive.
President Obama has been accused of having a professorial style of speech and action, and last Wednesday he proved his detractors right. To undecided voters, Mitt Romney appeared full of energy, if not facts, and was ready for a fight. Barack Obama seemed like a bored old teacher waiting for tenure.
A few words of advice for our candidates, and their moderator: Obama, get some coffee; Romney, stop smiling, it’s just creepy; Lehrer, get Big Bird to host the next debate, he can’t do a much worse job than you did.
That and if we’re lucky we’ll get to see him get fired from Sesame Street on air.