It’s hard work…

So the polls say Romney and Obama are even now after the very sad performance by Obama the other day and the strong but dishonest performance of Romney. No reason to panic.

Anyone remember Bush’s: “It’s hard work” phrase? In his first presidential debate with John Kerry in 2004, Bush kept repeating a few times too many that being President is "hard work". What he was trying to say is that he had to work so hard in his role as president and worry about the important stuff that he had little time to think about or prepare to debate some guy who wants his job.

And because it is fun to watch, here are the key moments of that historic debate:

 

Something similar happened to Obama in last week’s debate, but given that Obama is an intelligent man, he did not utter any “ridiculous” misstatements, but did however, appear tired and unmotivated. The La Times has a similar take on this:

Though far more articulate than President Bush of 2004, President Obama of 2012 seemed a bit irked by the debate proceedings and not particularly enjoying defending himself against someone who he probably believes has no clue about the real trials and tribulations of the Oval Office.

Let’s not forget that all Romney has been doing for the past 2 years is “campaigning”. It is a hard job, but nowhere comparable to the job of the president of the US with the responsibility of making decisions that may advance or ruin people’s lives, and military decisions that have life or death consequences.

Presidential challengers can be elevated substantially by debates. John Kerry jumped up in the polls in the days after that first debate and in subsequent debate showdowns with Bush, in which he also performed strongly.

This reminds us that, no matter how bad Obama was in the most recent debate, Bush was worse in the aforementioned debate and he won the election. Therefore, let’s take it all in stride.

Just make sure you go out and vote!

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1 comment to It’s hard work…

  • BC

    We'll know in a few weeks who wins and I agree everyone should go out and vote for whomever they feel best represents their interests.
     
    Also agree that being president is an extremely hard job, which is well demonstrated by how presidents age.  This being said part of getting re-elected is debates.
     
    Obama had a bad night – I would leave it at that rather than try to make excuses.  There are two more debates – let's see how he does.
     
    What both sides need to remember is that winning the election is about undecided/independents = those slightly right/left of center and those in the middle.
     
    You're point on how tough the presidency is is a very timely comment.  Obama inherited two wars and the worst economy since the depression.  Bush inherited the tech collapse and 9/11. Reagan inherited a terrible economy with its roots in stagflation caused by the oil crises of the 70s something both Nixon and Carter had foisted upon them.
     
    Johnson had Vietnam.  FDR had great depression and WW2.
     
    The point being candidates often enter office with an agenda/wish list and their ability to pursue such can often be derailed or altered by stuff happening.  This is what the job is.
     
    One big mistake, IMHO, that Obama has been making is trying to deflect blame for everything.  Makes it look like he isn't up to the job.  At a certain point people don't want to hear I inherited this and again the election will be won or lost by the undecided a group that is not wed to either party.
     
    The potentially toughest of the two remaining debates will be the last given that it is on foreign policy.  How tough it is depends on what happens over the next few weeks.
     
    The Middle East is heavily in play now particularly on Syria and growing problems on the Turkish frontier and Russian involvement.  Outside of Libya/Egypt one has Hezbollah now pushing drones into Israel.  If the situation worsens it will be harder for Obama, but if it improves better for Obama.
     
    Hard to say what will happen here – time will tell.

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