A week after President Obama gave a lackluster performance at the first presidential debate, he assesses his own performance. In remarks on the Tom Joyner morning show today, the President said he was “just too polite” in how he dealt with Mitt Romney. I am glad that the president analyzed why the media said he lost. Clap, clap bravo. Now that we can all admit we were disappointed after the president himself said he wasn’t satisfied with his performance, lets explore this latest remark. To keep it cordial, let’s be real about this. Letting lies go by in a live debate session is not polite, it’s overly conciliatory. It is possible to be polite and call someone on their lies at the same darn time. Believe me, I know. I have the award to prove it. I’m just saying.
The second part of the statement confirmed a sneaking suspicion that I had about President Obama. To borrow a term from Southern dialect, I surmised he was “playing possum”. When he talks about we will see “a little more activity” it becomes apparent that this was part of a strategy. Had he went hard the first debate, he might have been characterized as a desperate, frantic candidate. He could have been seen as a person willing to defending his record by decibel, not logic. Plus, there is that whole thing about being deemed an angry Black male barking on folks that acts as a sub-narrative. A Black man always has to be mindful of his tone, like it or not. Now that he is seen as the person who got shriveled up in the corner, President Obama has more leeway for a more forceful response the second time around. People love to see a come back from a setback. With Biden on against Ryan on Thursday, the tone is set for that increased activity.
In our American culture, people often mistake kindness for weakness. The assessment of Romney’s performance shows that. Now, President Obama can play the “No more Mr. Nice Guy” card, and not look like the bad guy. Now, its game on.
Marc W. Polite
Has heard every variation of name jokes possible