Copyright 2012 by John T. Reed

Obama looked more presidential in the Eastwood debate. He was steady, solid, unflappable.

Obama prepared for the debate by practicing against John Kerry. And also by giving interviews to Beyonce, the Pimp with the Limp, The View, Letterman, and Entertainment Tonight. If he really wanted to prepare for the debate, he should have gone on O’Reilly and Hannity. Or maybe just taken questions from legitimate reporters.

One theory I heard from the pundits makes sense. Obama has been full of himself forever, and becoming president has made him even more full of himself. Imperious. Rock star. Genius. Nobel Prize Winner.

The Great Obama does not take rude questions from mere mortals.

After Obama got his butt kicked in Copenhagen trying to get the summer Olympics for Chicago, Drudge ran the headline,

The Ego has landed.

Apparently not.

He surrounds himself with sycophants like Val Jarrett, as Charlie Rose calls her.

He rarely takes questions from non-sycophant media.

He gives interviews only to celebrity interviewers, not journalists or programs that have aspirations to substance.

Barack Obama does not want to do the job of president. He only wants the title, adulation, house, and plane. He has people to come up with policy, namely Pelosi and Reid.

He seemed to resent having to debate Romney at all.

Lehrer typical biased liberal moderator

Lehrer revealed his democratic bias when he kept using the word ‘balance” with regard to raising tax rates on the wealthy. Balance is the Democrat propaganda word. The correct word with regard to taxation is a tax law that optimizes revenue, growth, and individual freedom. That is always the goal with tax policy. The word balance means nothing but we Democrats refuse to agree to optimal deficit policies unless you agree to go along with our punishing “the rich.” Lehrer had no business using that word.

Lehrer deserved it when Romney told Lehrer he was going to lose his federal government subsidy, and therefore, his job at PBS if Romney is elected.

Balance that.

I thought Lehrer was a bit tone deaf. He had an obligation to point out the schedule and that the debaters were falling behind, but not to keep interrupting what was by most accounts an entertaining, substantive, likely debate. Lehrer seemed blind to how well it was going as a good old fashioned real debate and overly preoccupied with his hall monitor role.

I once debated the real estate guru Tony Hoffman on Financial News Network in a TV call-in talk show. I had my points I wanted to make in mind, but as the debate progressed, I could see that Hoffman was doing a better job of destroying himself that I ever could, plus the callers were responding appropriately to his self-destruction and piling on. So I, uncharacteristically, just went silent unless directly spoken to. More recently, I had a debate with Wayne Allyn Root, the Libertarian vice presidential candidate in 2008 who recently got 15 minutes of fame from accusing Obama of getting into Columbia by claiming to be a foreign student. Root did like Hoffman and I let him. Lehrer should have done the same. He should have pointed out the schedule occasionally, but otherwise, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Obama forgot the audience

The audience situation may have thrown Obama off. I am not a motion picture and TV star, but I have been on Good Morning America (#1 morning show at the time; about 4 million live audience), 60 Minutes (#1 show in America week after week at the time, about 35 million, filmed not taped), did a minor movie scene once (which ended up on the cutting room floor), made a speech in the New Orleans Superdome. When you are on stage or in front of a camera, there are a zillion very bright lights pointed at you to the point where you cannot see the audience at all. And in this debate, the audience was told to remain silent, which they did. (except for laughing when Romney said Obama did not pick winners and losers, only losers like Solyndra)

I think not being able to see OR HEAR the audience caused Obama to lose track of the fact that there was an audience in the room or on the other side of the cameras. In fact, there were 67 million people in the TV audience! Obama seemed to behave as if he were in a private room with just Romney and maybe Lehrer. Because of the lights, Lehrer was also hard to see for Obama and Romney.

Powered by cheering section

Remember during the Republican primaries the cheering section for one candidate made itself a factor in one debate and the candidates complained so much that the next debate had no audience at all and it screwed up the candidate who had benefitted from the previous cheering section? I would not be surprised if the Democrats tell their partisans in the audience in the next debate—which is a town-hall format—to violate any admonition to remain silent.

Obama needs audience adulation the way a cell phone needs to be plugged into the recharger at the end of the day.

Obama diehard Bill Maher tweeted during the debate that Obama looked lost without his teleprompter. I think that was only part of the problem. He also missed audience feedback. That may have been more important than the teleprompter.

‘Reagan in charge’

During the Reagan administration, Saturday Night Live did a skit where Reagan was the soft-spoken “Well,…” guy when meeting with boy scouts or other members of the public in the White House, then he would step back into the room with his top aides and fire off orders right and left like General Patton. Then another group would arrive and he would morph back into “Well,…”

Normally, Romney looks more to me like the “Well,…” soft-spoken version of Reagan. But on 10/3/12 Romney looked like the “Reagan in Charge” version (the name of that segment) and Obama either looked more like the “Well,…” version of Reagan or, more accurately, like Bill Clinton giving his “definition of is” deposition.

Obama looked like he overemphasized memorizing everything Romney ever said in the hope of pouncing on inconsistencies. Who cares? Politicians, including Obama, change their positions whenever it suits them. Go watch your own anti-Romney Etch-a-Sketch commercials, Barack.

‘Command presence’

During my four years at West Point, I often heard the phrases “command voice” and “command presence” a lot and they taught us exactly what each meant. Romney had both tonight. Obama had neither. That alone could be decisive. I think most Americans agree we’ve got problems and we need a president. Only one of them looked like a president tonight.

The day after the debate, Obama kept saying the guy he debated wasn’t the real Romney. The real Romney was the one obama prepared to debate. That’s called not being able to think on your feet. That’s called being blind to what’s happening in front of you.

I have written five books on coaching youth football. One of the problems there is the high-pressure situation of being in the game gives the players tunnel vision. I have often commented when a fellow coach talks about the offense reading the defense that the offensive players would not notice if the defense was the opponent’s cheerleaders. They are so up tight and nervous and scrutinizing their own navels. They are blind.

Not only was Obama unable to see that what he planned for was not what was happening in the debate, a day later he was still unable to see it. Even my nine-year-old football players could see their failures to read the defense in the pizza parlor film session after the game.

Obama cannot think on his feet. He cannot adapt to a changing situation on the run. He has a teleprompter brain. If he were a quarterback, he would never be able to call an audible. He would stick with his game plan long after it was clear to everyone else in the stadium that it was not working. This is not a description of a commander in chief or a finanical or natural disaster crisis manager.

Obama also cannot believe his lying eyes when they give him any evidence he is not the great messiah, rock star, genius he believes he is. They guy is psychiatrically defective: narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder (sociopath).

Let ’er rip

During the primaries, Gingrich won a debate by doing what I called “let ’er rip.” That was the debate where the audience was so influential that they banned the audience from the next debate. And Gingrich was far less effective as a result.

I wrote an rticle about it at I likened what Romney did during that debate to Little League pitchers who “throw darts,” that is, try so hard to avoid walking a batter that they throw pitches that are easy to hit and cannot get any strikeouts either. (See my book Youth Baseball Coaching.)

I am a “let ’er rip” guy as a writer and speaker. (See the “How to Write” chapter of my book How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Own How-To Book.) Essentially, it is required of writers and speakers. Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and so on are “let ’er rip” guys and would not be successful if they were not.

In the first Romney-Obama debate, Romney let ’er rip and Obama was throwing darts.

So can Obama fix the problem by just letting ’er rip?

Nope. Obama is a socialist, atheist who hates America, white people, business, capitalism, Britain, Israel, the Constitution, rich people, fossil fuels, non-union government employees, the military, Congress, Wall Street, banks, mortgage lenders, motor vehicles, and who suffers from the above-mentioned psychiatric disorders. He cannot let ’er rip because when he does he starts revealing who he really is by saying things like “You didn’t buld that,” “clinging to their guns and Bibles,” “spread the wealth around,” “our people” (when talking to black audiences), and so on.

No, Obama can’t let ’er rip. Obama needs to stay out of debates and stick to his teleprompter oratory.

Can Biden let ’er rip? No, but he is too stupid and undisciplined to do anything else. The gaffe that keeps on gaffing.


I have a list of Obama excuse list web sites in my article about a second Obama term.

Obama’s latest excuse, for his awful debate performance, is that “the real Mitt Romney wasn’t there. ”

The very first words spoken to New Cadets at West Point during the era when I went there (1960s) were,

Mister, from now on you have three answers: Yes, sir; No, sir; and No excuse, sir.

And they weren’t kidding about that. Whenever you screwed up, they asked why and woe be unto you if you said anything other than “No excuse, sir.” When my West Point class went through ranger school, the cadre there tried to give us crap for making excuses. But we kept answering their “Why?” questions with the words “No excuse, sir.” One of them flipped out about it. “No excuse. No excuse. Is that the only thing you West Pointers know how to say?”

“Actually, we have two other answers,” my ranger buddy whispered to me. I could see all my other classmates exchanging the same whisper. I taught my sons that. My oldest was late to class once at Columbia. At Columbia, you can spot the athletes from about 50 yards away, literally. My son was a football player there. The professor was angry and debanded to know why he was late. “No excuse,” he answered. That professor became my son’s best friend on the faculty.

Then there is Barack Obama. He is commander in chief of the armed forces of the United States of America, including the cadets at West Point who are all active-duty U.S. Army soldiers. But when it comes to excuses, which looking back from age 66 was probably the best thing they required of us at West Point, the current commander in chief does not rise to the standards of a first day West Point New Cadet, also known as a plebe. How low is a plebe in the military chain of command that has Obama at the top? Here is another little item we had to memorize as plebes. When asked who a plebe outranks, we had to answer,

Sir, the Superintendent’s dog, the Commandant’s cat, the waiters in the Mess Hall, the Hell Cats [reveille buglers], the Generals in the Air Force and all the Admirals in the whole damned Navy.

The only thing worse than a plebe making an excuse at West Point was a plebe’s superior doing it. I never heard it happen. If one had ever done so, all cadets of all classes within hearing would have turned and looked at him saying or thinking, “Is that one of your three answers, mister?” Barack Obama is not fit to command a West Point plebe.

John T. Reed