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October 4, 2012 1:36 pm

Presidential Debate: The Prince and the Fighter

avatar by Heather Robinson

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Presidential candidate Mitt Romney debates President Obama. Photo: Screenshot.

A few quick thoughts about Wednesday’s Presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Romney has been fighting to be President of the United States for eight long years. He was not anointed by his party; his competitors for the Republican nomination (remember Newt?) were not asked to step down out of concern there was too much acrimony within the party or things were dragging out (remember Hillary?) The point is, the man has had to struggle long and hard to get to where he is now. Is it any surprise he’s tough? He would never have made it this far if he weren’t.

Not to take anything away from President Obama, a charming man of intellect. But I think former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani cut to the heart of matter on FOX News following the debate when he said, regarding the media’s treatment of President Obama, “the man has had an easy ride for four years.” Giuliani pointed out that President Obama seldom even holds press conferences anymore, but leaves answering questions to spokesmen. I would add that, even when Obama did appear at press conferences, the media didn’t challenge him. This was true to a degree that was odd. All previous Presidents of recent memory have had a much more adversarial relationship with the press.

To those of us who have followed Governor Romney these past years, the facts that he is highly intelligent, detail-oriented, very Type-A, and resilient under pressure, are no surprise. Nor is the fact that he is likable. Indeed, he seems more than any Presidential contender in recent history to have spent huge amounts of time and energy in his personal life–including long before he ran for office–helping people, sometimes in remarkably creative and unexpected ways. Like his political philosophy or not, the Obama campaign should be having a harder time characterizing him as an unfeeling rich guy than they have been, given that even cursory familiarity with his biography shows him to be an unusually charitable and devoted family man who on many occasions went above and beyond to help the less fortunate.

At times I have wondered, is it possible the American people who consistently rate Romney’s likability as lower than the President’s (including many women voters) only think he’s less likable because they’ve been told he is, over and over again, by talking heads who prefer Obama?

There might be an irony here and a chance for the Romney campaign in these final weeks. The media have characterized Romney as the spoiled, uncaring prince, and given his background, one might think that would be the case. But in this contest, who has really had to fight harder, for longer, to win, and who has been given every advantage an adoring media and enraptured party leadership could bestow?

Perhaps the prince is Obama, and the fighter is Romney.

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  • Tomyris

    Romney has class and it shows…unlike Obione who in contrast looked board, above it all and one who could not wait to tee off the following day.

    • Diogenes

      Are you too “board” to learn English, including the incumbent president’s name?

      • Nick

        I don’t know much about your name sake, but he would probably turn in his grave if he read your comment. There are perhaps several hundreds of thousands if not millions of typos and mis-spellings daily on the internet. I believe that tomyris’ naming of the incumbent was meant to play with Obi Wan Kenobi of Star Wars fame. I suggest that you concentrate on more meaningful subjects and concerns. Our country and world are headed for disaster and all that you can see are board and Obione. God! please save us from the likes of you. Obama sure can’t.

  • Marylin Pitz

    Right on with this. Obama, the celebrity president, was crowned this by a celebrity-obsessed media, pandering to a celebrity-obsessed public. Instead of true world leader and economic maven, we’ve had four years of President Cool and the Katdashians. Instead of rebuilding our economy, we’re nearly bankrupt. Instead of meeting with an Israeli Prime Minister pleading for his country’s continued existence, our president paid a visit to David Letterman’s laugh -o -rama. Swell.

    • intrepid09

      When the BS is so thick who would not want to think about how to escape from it ASAP. Rather have a cool president than one shoveling BS.

  • Don Chafetz

    Sorry to report, but Romney sounded like a 5year old kindergarten kid trying to get the teachers attention so he can speak his per-rehearsed lines. This not a school play where kids perform, this is real life requiring fact based leadership!

    • Stan G.



      Aaron David Miller:

      Our street credibility under Obama is as low as I have ever seen it.
      The last time we had a serious and compelling foreign policy in this country was under Bush 41. We ended up succeeding in war- and peace-making. Bush and James Baker pursued a limited and successful war in pushing Saddam out of Kuwait and got everyone else to pay for the campaign. Then we moved on to peace-making with the Madrid conference. It was effective and successful, and as a result American prestige was at an all-time high. From there it proceeded to diminish. Now we are neither feared nor respected nor admired in that part of the world. Our street credibility under Obama is as low as I have ever seen it.

  • Lawrence Kulak

    “A charming man of intellect” is an apt phrase for those who cannot resist dancing with the devil.