Both men were dressed well as they walked to their podium and psychologically braced themselves for the battle that was about to begin. No physical weapons were needed, just the mind, perhaps experience, wit, and a dash of charm and good looks. The President came out strong, confident, and relaxed. The governor looked, well, like Governor Romney, capable, well dressed, put-together. The first question was asked and their replies sang out to the room and the millions watching as we subliminally assessed their stance, body language, and tone.
In the first few minutes, Obama appeared to have it all together. He had his usual swagger, confidence and great comebacks.
Then “it happened”– and Romney took full advantage of it. There was a break in Obama’s formation, and before he knew what was going on, Obama found himself on the dreaded side of the defense. This allowed Romney to take over, and literally “outwit, outplay, and outlast”. Romney had puns, he dazzled us with facts, he proved he had experience and his offensive tactics drew us in. Gov. Romney saw the weakness and took full advantage of his opponent.
Was Romney finally the dynamic orator, and debate extraordinaire we have all been waiting to see? Or was he simply in the right place at the right time? Honestly, I believe it is a little of both. Romney was spot on, polished and practiced, and he also took clear advantage of what I believe Obama did “right”.
The President was real. He didn’t fake it. He wasn’t prideful or over-confident, to his demise. Let me explain. As a professional in the world of psychology I make a living at analyzing people, reading between the lines, and then forming an educated opinion on why people speak and act the way they do. It becomes formulaic and Obama fit nicely into my long time analysis of him.
While I may in jest comment on Obama’s leading style, I have never really believed that the President was the “evil dictator” many do; I honestly think that’s giving him too much credit and last night proved just that. When I look at Obama I don’t see an Adolf Hitler, Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin or even a Benito Mussolini. Perhaps Obama desires to be a great name and leader sans the overt evil those above possess, but as an expert analyzer, I don’t see it happening and I didn’t see it last night.
And that is when I noticed what Obama did right. His decisions caught up with him, his heart was exposed. He momentarily stopped hiding behind his cloak of strong character. The person he was trying so hard to be, for the people, for his family, perhaps for his late father he barely knew, was revealed. For some time I have noticed that the President was declining as the leader of this free world. He was “trying too hard”, for lack of a better phrase, and what I saw last night was a defeated man–someone who can no longer keep up with the lies, deceit and soul warfare that has been going on for years now. The good in him was trying to “right” the not so good. The subconscious battle between good and evil was evident and my hope and prayer was that it continued. And it did.
Do I honestly think this is the emergence of a new, honest, truthful Obama? No. I have been in this business a long time and true “change” doesn’t happen overnight, if ever in those who deny they need to implement change. He is in this too far and his personality, and political handlers, would never allow for that.
What we saw last night however was a glimpse of an Obama we have not seen in a long time, if ever, and most likely will never see again. It was a real, honest, human side. It was a man, defeated, tired of the facade he has put forth for years. Although Obama had it right and we saw truth in his weakness, and realness in his frustration, I don’t believe we will see it again anytime soon. The next debate will reveal a more polished Obama and the grand orator we have called the President for the last four years will attempt to emerge once again. How long can one keep up the facade of strong character when internally battling good and evil? Perhaps in two weeks we will see.
Written by Dr. Bridget Bell Melson