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Monday, October 22, 2012

It'll Be Good To Have a President Who Is Presidential

That was essentially my reaction to the first debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.  After the dust cleared from that one, much was made of the fact that the latter - Obama - did so poorly as to be accused of being disinterested and lazy. Whatever.  But it was Romney's performance that was noteworthy.  For being refreshing.  Startling.  Encouraging.

Wall Street Journal editorial writer Dorothy Rabinowitz had a similar reactions as well.

From "The Unreality of the Past Four Years":
In the books yet to be written about this presidency, the Obama administration's exceptional readings of reality will deserve an honored place, and a large one. One that should also acknowledge the fact that, in the end, the American people inevitably recognize the difference between lies and truth, illusion and the real thing.

The most telling example of this capacity—the October surprise that shouldn't have been surprising—came with the first presidential debate. The nation saw a superbly cogent Mitt Romney, speaking to them in terms instantly recognizable, words without artifice that addressed their real lives. Viewers saw the life in him, the play of mind, felt the sense of powerful will—that of a leader. It didn't matter all that much that the president looked most unpresidential, a man lost. What mattered was the other man before them, who had brought home to Americans what they had been missing the past four years.

Not surprisingly, when the debate's effects were clear, Obama squads were again deployed to cry fraud. Mr. Romney, we were told, had done nothing but lie. This would now be the official story. It would have no effect.
One - and only one - debater came across as being presidential. A refreshing change from the "unreality of the last four years."