Poor Barack Obama. This morning he is getting slammed from every corner of the globe for his performance in the first presidential debate last night. The pundits are saying he choked, he blew it, it’s a brand new race now. On and on and on. They say 60 million people watched him implode. That was more people than watched the Oscars and the Emmy’s combined. I think Nancy O’Dell was the source for that important fact. Relevance, please?
Personally, I don’t think the president has anything to worry about. If most people paid attention like I did, his success or failure on the stage in Denver is not going to have one ounce of influence on the outcome of the election.
I was actually excited to see the debate, so at the beginning I focused on it as hard as I could. They started with the economy, which was a mistake, in my opinion, because I think they may have lost a lot of the audience right off the bat. I could only hold on for about five minutes before my mind started to wander. Economics bored me to tears in college, and forty years later that is one of the few things about me that has not changed.
So I pulled up the on-screen TV channel guide to see what else I was missing. Two pretty good baseball games, for one thing. But my wife doesn’t like baseball, and even though she had her nose buried in her iPad, I knew it would not be an acceptable alternative. So I refocused on the debate, but only long enough to see that Jim Lehrer had completely lost control over the time keeping. They had moved on to taxes, I think, which interests me even less than the economy, so I started piddling around in the App Store on my iPhone, and I finally decided to pay the $4.99 for iMovie.
After iMovie finished downloading, it dawned on me that the debate had preempted Modern Family, and I began to resent the entire electoral process. I went to the kitchen and poured myself a bowl of Cheerios, and after that I have no memory of anything that happened in the debate. It was all of twenty minutes old.
But there is one thing I can tell you. Not once in the five or six minutes when the debate had my full attention did I ever think “Wow, Obama’s really tanking.” I had to wait until the smarter people explained it to me afterwards.
So to President Obama, I say this morning, “Buck up, sir.” Don’t let the bastards get you down with all this talk of your disastrous performance. I’m pretty sure that, of the 60 million people who watched the debate, nobody who already planned to vote for you changed their mind, the undecided are still undecided, and the 250 million people who didn’t bother to tune in don’t care anyway.