James Taranto | Honey, I Shrunk the President

Maybe there’s something to be said for clean living after all. Although Mitt Romney is closer in age to the venerable Jim Lehrer than to the callow Barack Obama, it was the Republican nominee who came across in last night’s debate as energetic and vigorous. And if Obama looked put upon when the cameras were on, imagine what he must’ve come home to. You spent our anniversary doing WHAT?!

About the private reaction of Obama’s wife, of course, we can only speculate. But many of his lovers went public with their devastation: “I don’t know what he was doing out there,” wailed Chris Matthews. “He had his head down, he was enduring the debate rather than fighting it.” One expected Matthews to burst into song: “The thrill is gone baby / The thrill is gone away / You know you done me wrong baby / And you’ll be sorry Election Day.”

Even better was Andrew Sullivan: “Look: you know how much I love the guy. . . . But this was a disaster for the president for the key people he needs to reach, and his effete, wonkish lectures may have jolted a lot of independents into giving Romney a second look. Obama looked tired, even bored; he kept looking down; he had no crisp statements of passion or argument; he wasn’t there.” Cue Shania Twain: “So you got the brain but have you got the touch / Don’t get me wrong, yeah I think you’re all right / But that won’t keep me warm in the middle of the night.”

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