Copyright 2012 by John T. Reed

I am concerned that Romney will lose the first debate of 2012 because of pressing in Zen portions of the debate. It is now 2:46 PDST, about three hours before that debate.

Some aspects of various types of performances require a Zen approach. That means

Let it happen. Don’t make it happen.

I talk about that in my books on baseball coaching and succeeding.

Golf and tennis are almost entirely Zen. Baseball is about half Zen. Zen. applies to full swing hitting, pitching/throwing, and catching hot grounders in the infield. Base running, playing outfield, bunting, and the defensive play book are not Zen.

In football, only kicking and passing are Zen.

In romance, meeting Mr. or Ms. Right are not Zen. Falling in love after you meet the person is Zen.

Let it happen. Don’t make it happen.

In the presidential debates, you have two candidates and a moderator. Nowadays, the moderator is an ally of the Democrat candidate. So allocating time to topics is not Zen. Romney need to prevent Obama and Lehrer from devoting all or almost all of the time to Obama’s strengths and Romney’s weaknesses. Romney needs to make discussing his strengths and Obama’s weaknesses happen. What is Zen. is Romney’s reactions to Obama and Lehrer. He must trust his instincts on those, NOT script anger or lines that sounded good in rehearsal but that do not really fit the moment.

Because of all the build-up, the fact that he is behind, and all the advice he has been getting, I fear he will press. That is, try to make Zen. things happen, and lose the debate as a result.

Am I afraid that my advice will contribute even more to tangling his brain? Nah. He probably will never hear what I say here.

In a few hours, we’ll see if I am right to be concerned about this.

Big-picture, Romney winning is not the solution to all of America’s problems, but it might be progress if we are not hit with the winner’s curse.

7:42 pm after the debate. Well done, Mitt. He did NOT make the above mistake I feared. Obama, on the other hand, seemed to let his chameleon side take over. Obama has this marriage-counselor approach to relating to other people. Put him in a room full of blacks and Obama morphs into Stoakley Carmichael. Put him in a room with Mitt Romney and he sounds like a moderate Republican—the better to get along with Mitt. I suspect his followers will now remind him he was supposed to defeat Romney, not make nice with him. Surprising. Obama is apparently competitive, unless the opponent is in the same room, in which case he turns conciliatory.

Vote him out of office so he can move on to his true calling: mediator. He can help in labor, marriage, and other negotiations.

John T. Reed