It has taken me days to figure out what happened at the Presidential debate, or as so many people called it, the Titanic. Several things were obvious. Mitt had much better debate preparation. Mitt became a viable candidate – to a whole lotta folks who, before the debate, didn’t think so. The President was distant and removed. The President is not good at impromptu confrontation. The question is why was Mitt good, and the President, if not bad, was less than impressive.
It’s hard not to read and listen to the talking head commentary. But I don’t want to be influenced by what anyone else thinks or says, because then I simply steal someone else’s thoughts, as opposed to making a fool of myself without any help from strangers. But for this particular blob, I will put on my communication professors chapeau, and explain, in simple English, what went wrong and what worked well. Let me say, no one was the winner of the debate, but Mitt moved his candidacy forward and the President now has to play catch up in the next debate.
Because both of these campaigns are media, and advertising centered, you don’t get the sense that either candidate is talking to you. They are blurting facts and their own truths, but as with most unsuccessful communication, they are simply presenting you with a list of facts that you are supposed to believe. But they are so contradictory, you don’t know who to believe. Listing information, and expecting people to comprehend and connect them to the way people live, as opposed to telling a story and attaching it to real life experience, is often a mistake that men make. When I watched the debate, I felt like I was in an Ivy League economic seminar --- it didn’t have anything to do with me. What I wanted was more information about outrageous gas prices, job creation, health care and yes, even the environment –which will eventually kill us all.
It is not a contest, but successful debaters, (many women), are more likely to paint a picture. To tell a story. Instead of blurting out statistics, like 47% of this or that, or explaining how to cut a 70 gazillion dollar budget, item by item. A successful communicator will answer every question with a “what’s in it for me/you” explanation. Why, hasn’t anyone asked The President or Mitt, when the last time was that they filled their gas tank. Or, have they ever had to choose between medication, food and gas? The person who wins a debate is the one that makes the audience feel satisfied. They do not leave the venue with more questions than they had when they came. By the end of the debate, I was so bored that I finally understood counter programming on cable stations. Why I would rather have spent the time watching “Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid” on TCM, then tuned into PBS, (the network chatter was unbearable).
To be perfectly honest (as is always the way with me and Anne Coulter), my expectations of what the President would do were disappointed. My expectations of Mitt falling flat on his face, or missing too many beats, were never realized. And this scares me to death. I don’t think Mitt is evil or immoral. Maybe he’s about being too flexible in stating what he really believes. But the people with whom he has made his deals, are not the 47%. They are people who want to control my body, and your head. They think war is good and people are poor because they don’t try hard enough to be rich. That is not to say the President has done a great job. He hasn’t. But it’s never the President who ultimately makes things happen. It’s and understanding who to appoint to positions of power, when to be a leader and in control of the government, and actually caring about the people who elected you.
The President inherited a nightmare. There is no doubt about that. But if, in the next debate, he gives snarky answers, without confronting and explaining the issues with more than a few facts, it may be that people will choose between the guy who lies to them but cares about their lives. And the guy who, let’s say manipulates, instead of lies, but doesn’t seem to give a damn about the 47% that Mitt gave him as a gift. The next Vice President of the United States will be the guy who has a right wing social agenda, that confirms rape is just fine, and the morning after pill is a sin. Same sex marriage is a sin, the military should be allowed to question and arrest you without provocation, and the Green Bay Packers should be in charge of Homeland Security – well maybe that last one’s not a bad idea. We’re just sayin’…. Iris.