One of the incidental, and not often discussed, aspects of the presidential and vice presidential debates is the candidates' change in demeanor and content from one debate to the next. Those sometimes dramatic changes offer us a powerful glimpse into the real character of the candidate.
Many pundits have been theorizing that Barack Obama will come out swinging in tonight's debate because he appeared so subdued and reticent in the last one. The public reacted badly to his subdued nature and reticence, and if there's anything that drives Barack Obama's personality and purported policy it is the public's perception of both.
I contend that American leftists, in general, are nothing more than empty suits waiting to be filled by personalities and policies that are popular with the electorate at any given time. Don't get me wrong. American leftists have their goals, the primary ones being (1) the amassing of government power at the expense of individual freedom, and (2) getting re-elected so as to continue the drive for (1). But, because the former goal is certainly not popular with freedom-loving people, the policies and beliefs that leftists espouse while constructing an avenue toward achieving it are entirely phony, and embraced, or not, depending upon what happens to be popular with the American electorate at any given time.
On the other hand, American conservatives have very basic beliefs in the need for limited government and the sanctity of individual liberties. They have no need to mask those beliefs because they are vastly popular with the American electorate. Therefore, conservatives tend to reveal, without the need for obfuscation and deceit, their beliefs and policies, and they tend to be consistent in expressing those beliefs. Their suits are filled with a core set of values, and policies aimed at furthering those values, and what fills their suits can therefore withstand the sunshine test.
Why are so many pundits, and so many Americans in general, speculating on how different Barack Obama's second debate behavior will be as compared to his first? Simply because a leftist's behavior is entirely variable. It changes with the political winds and poll results. It mirrors what the public wants to hear, how emphatically or dispassionately the public wants it stated, and how convenient it is to lie to cover authentic goals.
Obama knows full well that his "likeability" is the one factor that has always remained highly positive in the polls. Before the first debate, he and his handlers surely decided that he had to portray "likeability" more than all else in that first debate, so as not to lose support in that area and so as to affirm the majority of America's mistaken opinion of him as a likeable person. To that end, he tried to remain affable, unexcitable, emotionally level, and "nice". Little did he know that that performance would not go over well when matched with a debate opponent who is on fire to save America.
In the next debate, many are saying that he will be much more aggressive, maybe even angry. I happen to agree. Yet think about this: Mitt Romney will be no different than he was in Danville, simply because Mitt Romney is Mitt Romney, not an empty suit filled with whatever the prevailing political winds might require for election success.
I believe the same is true of Biden, although to a lesser degree. Biden is indeed a rude, arrogant, disrespectful man. But those traits were magnified exponentially last week because he was told that he had to "come out swinging" in his debate in order to counterbalance Obama's perceived lack of emotion and involvement in his. So Biden did just that. He resorted to theatrics. If there were to be a second vice presidential debate, he would tone the theatrics down as a result of the criticism he is receiving for his repulsive behavior. And yet Ryan would be pretty much a carbon copy of who he was last week: respectful, poised, even-tempered and dedicated to principle, simply because, with conservatives, what you see is what you get. With leftists, you get whatever the situation calls for.
Certainly Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan take on a certain persona depending upon where they are and who their audience is. They may wear a pair of jeans and a flannel shirt when appearing in rural Kansas. Or they may don a hard hat, for more than reasons of protection, when their audience is a group of construction workers in a suburban construction company. But their message, and their method of delivering it, remains consistent.
Not so with Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Let's look at a fairly typical incident that occurred when Barack Obama was on the campaign trail in 2007. Economist Thomas Sowell recently referred to this incident in one of his brilliant syndicated columns. The event is one of literally hundreds of examples of the duplicitous character of the man serving as president of the United States. Every American voter should consider this incident, which is typical of Obama's depravity, before casting a ballot on November 6th. And every American should ask himself, "Can I envision Mitt Romney mirroring this kind of behavior?"
Back in June of 2007 Barack Obama delivered a speech at Hampton University in Virginia, a predominantly black school. In delivering that speech, he employed a ghetto-style accent the entire time, something that both he and Hillary Clinton have been known to do when addressing primarily black audiences. Such an accommodation is a far cry from wearing a pair of jeans when speaking in a rural area, or the like. I've never quite comprehended how the adoption of a ghetto accent seems to make what Obama or Clinton is saying somehow more acceptable. I would think it would be considered a major insult to an audience when a speaker conveniently adopts the audience's presumed method of speech, one that is completely foreign to the speaker himself. It smacks of blatant ingratiation. But I digress.
There stood Barack, using ghetto-talk, and telling his audience that many in congress are racist, at least in part, for the simple reason that, after hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, congress failed to vote to suspend the Stafford Act, which requires communities receiving federal disaster aid to provide up 10% of the needed money.
After 9/11, and after hurricane Andrew devastated south Florida, the Stafford Act was suspended because the need for aid was so great and the victims may have been unable to contribute the required 10% of funds. Obama told his audience that the people of Florida, and the people of New York, were considered "part of the American family", and yet the people of New Orleans, who are predominantly black, were not accorded the same suspension of the Stafford Act because "they don't care about [blacks] as much."
Is there any conceivable motive for bringing up this kind of racially divisive talk other than to create even more racial divisiveness, and to further one's election prospects? Add in the ghetto accent, and you have a perfect picture of a man trying to pit black against white, trying to convince blacks that they are victims of discrimination and oppression, and asserting that he will stand up for them if elected president.
As if all of the above weren't bad enough, if we look at the truth of Obama's claims, we discover that every salient point of his speech was a lie.
(1) Twelve days before Obama delivered this speech, the United States Senate, with Barack Obama present, had voted 80-14 to waive the Stafford Act requirement for the victims of hurricane Katrina. As a result, more federal money was poured into New Orleans than was poured into New York City after 9/11, and southern Florida after hurricane Andrew, combined.
(2) Only 14 senators voted against waiving the Stafford Act requirement for the victims of hurricane Katrina. One of those 14 was none other than Barack Obama. Using his own logic, it would appear that Barack Obama is an anti-black racist, while the huge majority of congress is not.
Yet there he stood at Hampton University, a mere twelve days after casting that vote to deny suspension of the act for New Orleans Katrina victims, telling a black audience that the vote did not pass, decrying that fact, claiming it as evidence of racism, and urging them to vote for him as a champion of equal rights.
I contend that Mitt Romney would never stoop to such devious, duplicitous levels for two reasons: (1) he has a personal moral code that would not allow him to do so, and (2) he does not have to employ blatant lies in order to incite a crowd to vote for him in response to angry, divisive, phony rhetoric.
Would Obama repeat the salient elements of that speech in tonight's debate? Of course not. The whole of America wouldn't stand for it. Barack Obama will surely be a "different man" in tonight's debate. Different from his 2007 speech at Hampton, and different from the Obama we saw in the first debate. Mitt Romney will be Mitt Romney. The question is, do we want a man of principle or a chameleon to be at the helm for the next four years, and to serve as the leader of the free world during possibly the most dangerous era in human history?