This is the last thing I'm going to say about the debate because the debate isn't determinative in the election, and we have a lot more important things to focus on. Like get-out-the-vote. But I worry that some of you may still be a bit downhearted because of the bad press Obama got.
So here goes: You can't wrestle with smoke. You can't pin Jello. And if you're president of the United States of America, you can't deck a guy or call him a liar to his face.
All the critics who jumped on Obama are people who do not do oral argument for a living. I did. As an attorney in court and before numerous legislative and administrative bodies, I had to plead and argue all the time. If I was up against a "heavy dude" or a "tough opponent", I was happy! Because I knew that when I threw a punch, he would be right there to get it in the gut. Thank heaven when my opponent wasn't a Clarence the Angel as in "It's A Wonderful Life."
You remember Clarence? And remember the scene where Bert the Cop tackles Clarence and wrestles him to the ground to handcuff him? But all Bert has is an armful of nothing. He's rolling around on the ground alone and looking ridiculous. Clarence is gone!
That's what Obama was up against in trying to debate Romney. Romney was a wisp of river fog. He denied everything with outrage, even insulting the President by likening him to Romney's lying little boys. What did you want the President to do? Challenge Romney to a duel? Kick him in the nuts, as Bobby advised JFK as the latter went on stage to debate Nixon. The President did exactly what he HAD to do in the face of such lying. He bowed his head in sorrow at the spectacle.
And left it to the voters - not the pundits, BUT THE VOTERS - to decide.
Because he believes - and I do too - that the voters know the truth. And the pundits and the voters have proven the President to be correct. That's what all the screaming at Obama has been about. The responsible media know the facts. You know the facts. And the pro-Obama voters know the facts. The screams of dismay have been the screams of frustration at some jerk telling lies and seemingly getting away with it. The dismay was because Obama wasn't bouncing all over Romney and beating him into admitting his lies. Everybody wanted to be on that stage telling Romney off in no uncertain terms. It was frustrating BECAUSE EVERYBODY ALREADY KNOWS THE TRUE FACTS! Obama felt frustration too. But he deliberately held himself in check - you could see it in his face and posture - and not just because he had to behave as a president, but because you CAN'T corner a shape-shifter. Romney was all prepped with more lies.
But most of all, Obama was trusting the public. And you. He believes you know the truth NO MATTER WHAT ROMNEY SAYS.
My friend Joyce is so outraged by the lies Romney told that she's gone to the local Obama meeting and volunteered to work. She's also giving money. When she told me on the phone some of the lies Romney had told that most offended her, I thought the phone would melt because she was so angry!
And who has taught you and Joyce and the voters all these truths that Romney trampled on? Obama and his campaign have! It's been a very good campaign, very effective and very convincing. The ones screaming the loudest are the ones who learned the most during this campaign. They know the truth because Obama and his campaign have told it so well.
So well, in fact, that Obama has persuaded a majority of the voters to support him, especially in the swing states. He's winning.
Yes, you say, but what about the undecided?
There aren't any that matter. The whole pool of them is at a record low. Many of the undecided also just don't bother to vote. Plus polling shows that many of them also don't bother to watch the debates.
Romney shape-shifted to the center to try to hold his more centrist voters. He's bleeding two significant groups: white males and seniors. This is very bad news for him. The energy you saw Wednesday night in him was the energy of desperation.
It was a genuine battle Wednesday night. A true mano-a-mano. It may have been different from the rough and tumble that outraged observors wanted, but it was a titanic struggle just the same.
And the strong, quiet man of truth won. He didn't take the bait. He just trusted you and the truth. It was hard because his IS a fighter, but he resisted the temptation to fight a shadow. Remember that Obama always plays the long game. He knows what he's doing.
And he's a teacher. A good teacher. He and his campaign have taught the public well, thanks to your dollars. And like a good teacher, he believes in his students and that they have learned well. He trusts them now to go out and do the right thing.
So let's go get those voters to the polls, waving to Obama as we go out the door: "Thanks, Teach! We'll take it from here!"
Hey, Romney, bet your tax returns show that you do know quite a bit about tax deductions for offshoring jobs. Otherwise why would you pretend in the debate that you never heard of such a thing? Hmmm?