Home > john mccain, Obama, politics, Uncategorized > Barack Obama: Floats like a butterfly, stings like a mosquito???

Barack Obama: Floats like a butterfly, stings like a mosquito???

Obama came into tonight’s debate with his work cut out for him.

He was going up against a vastly more experienced politician with a long track record of aggressiveness and a lack of congeniality. Aged, yes, but feisty and energetic as ever, and a self-professed man of great ambition. Despite the hype, the maverick in him died long ago, assassinated, I suspect, by the scorn he contracted in his bitter battle with the Bush/Rove machine back in 2000, and has been replaced by something altogether unattractive: anger and cynicism; evidenced in the way he has run his campaign, or has allowed his campaign to be run, ironically by the same people responsible for slaying the Maverick in him.

Though I still retained a residual respect for the man from his past efforts to make amends for his dirty deeds earlier in his career,  over the course of this current presidential campaign he has made it abundantly clear to me that he will say and do anything to win the prize. Not exactly unusual traits in a politician and, granted, these tactics are the necessary tools of bad politicians, but I actually hadn’t placed him in either of those slots until recently.

And, perhaps neither had Obama. So, in preparation for this debate with the the Politician-formerly-known-as-a-Maverick, from all appearances, Obama, and his team of strategists, decided to pace themselves. As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post about the Japanese admiration for Obama, it’s based on what they perceive as his zen-like patience.

I used to love Mike Tyson. He’d get in the ring with some fighter who’d been hyped up beyond recognition and upon the ringing of the bell, proceed to whip his ass like he’d raped his grandmother.  And from the look on McCain’s face throughout the debate, he was probably trying to channel his inner-Tyson.  He appeared to have built Obama up as this nemesis worthy of his rage, and since fury directed at your opponent (I’m sure his staff warned him) does not play well in an essentially civilized debate, he focused all of that unwarranted wrath into facial expressions, condescension, and accusations just seething with contempt. If he had unleashed that anger in Obama’s direction (he couldn’t even look at Obama)  he would have had to protect his ears. I’m sure Holyfield wishes he had. I could imagine Iron Mike at home watching the debate saying, “damn, now that’s an angry motherfucker! Don King must be his campaign manager!”

Close, but no cigar. These guys play for higher stakes than Don.

I’m sure Obama’s efforts to be Mr. Congeniality weren’t helping the matter , either. Can you imagine during “The Rumble in the Jungle” Muhammad Ali clinching George Foreman and whispering in his ear, “hey George, I jogged by a great African-Chinese Restaurant while I was out training to whip yo’ ass. So, after I whip yo’ ass, what say we go grab some Congolese Chop Suey?”

I think Richard Pryor actually said it best when he was talking about Muhammad Ali. Listen:

Obviously, it’s not all relevant, but the part where Pryor is talking about Ali’s tactic of tying a fighter up and then sending him away with a blow. That’s what Obama seemed to be doing tonight. For example, the tie-up / clinch would be Obama saying, “I think Senator McCain is absolutely right on that we need responsibility…” Then, like Rich said, “Take that with you.” Well, the “Take that with you,” line would be the words that follow the agreement:  “…but we need it not just when there’s a crisis. I mean, we’ve had years when the reigning economic ideology has been what’s good for Wall Street, but not what’s good for Main Street.” Words tying McCain to Bush. John McCain probably didn’t even register that sting. All he heard was the, “He’s right” part. Everything after that was Charlie Brown’s teacher.

So, Obama gave him a few more including this one: Now, John mentioned the fact that business taxes on paper are high in this country, and he’s absolutely right. Here’s the problem: There are so many loopholes that have been written into the tax code, oftentimes with support of Senator McCain, that we actually see our businesses pay effectively one of the lowest tax rates in the world.

Maybe McCain felt that one. Maybe not. I’m pretty sure he felt the next one though:

“And, you’re absolutely right that presidents have to be prudent in what they say. But, you know, coming from you, who, you know, in the past has threatened extinction for North Korea and, you know, sung songs about bombing Iran, I don’t know, you know, how credible that is.”

McCain had no response.

There’s actually a pattern to these attacks. Obama would recognize that McCain has good ideas but then demonstrate that good ideas aren’t enough because when it came time to execute, McCain couldn’t do it because he was either a poor leader, tethered to the failed Bush Ideology or it wasn’t in the best interest of the lobbyist who had access to him or it wasn’t in the best interest of his corporate contributors and McCain was protecting their interests to the detriment of the people he allegedly is fighting for.

Despite appearances and recent lapses in judgment, John McCain really wants and frankly expects to win this election, and truly believes he is the better man. But, I suspect he is going to wake up tomorrow with welts and bumps all over his body from the stings that Obama applied tonight, and, though I don’t think any of the stings contained a strain of politicized malaria, he should consider himself lucky that they didn’t because he might not wake up at all.

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