In case he had forgotten, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was reminded quickly and often who exactly is the commander-in-chief. And it is not him. President Barack Obama showed up at the second of three presidential debates looking like a prize fighter coiled to land some haymakers against his arrogantly postured opponent.
The President landed more than a couple of bombs on the Republican Party candidate, throwing out and landing some stingy jabs and effectively counter-punching anything Romney had to say all evening. It was Mike Tyson against Michael Spinks all over again, except this time the combatants weren’t sparring over a heavyweight title.
No, there is much more at stake, like the economy, foreign policy, energy for the future, equality for women in the workplace and, yes, what it would be like to govern only 47 percent of the people in this country. Unlike the first presidential debate which became a nightmarish debacle for Mr. Obama, the President came out swinging early and hard. And he didn’t let up.
This wasn’t the same guy who kind of just let Romney say and do whatever he wanted in the first official encounter. President Obama went on the offensive from the start and kept hitting Romney with quick, decisive blows, showing us that he is not afraid to stand up and go toe-to-toe with the bully pulpit of Romney and the Republican Party.
What initially seemed as if was a failed calculated strategy where he curled up in a fetal position during the first debate, may have been the right move for President Obama as election time nears with the third and final debate right around the corner. Much like a boxer who comes out and unleashes a flurry of punches in the opening moments of a boxing match, Romney threw his best shots in the first debate, and the President is still standing.
Not only has President Obama weathered Romney’s first round onslaught, he’s setting the stage for a late round TKO. Like any great fighter who knows how to withstand the storm of punches coming at him, President Obama has bounced back off the mat, dusted himself off and now has the affirmed confidence he can take his opponent out.
Romney appeared dazed and confused by this latest turn of events. Momentum is everything in a boxing match. When a boxer has momentum he usually seizes on the moment to close out his opponent. Romney didn’t do that. After the first debate, Romney had President Obama on the ropes, but clearly failed to deliver the knockout punch in the second matchup.
Instead, Romney saw President Obama get to his feet and regain the momentum heading into the homestretch of the election cycle. During the second debate the momentum dramatically shifted in favor of the President. After looking like he was punched-drunk in the first debate, President Obama clearly has his legs under him now and looks ready to finish the deal. The bleeding has officially stopped.
Romney now has to contend with a guy in the final debate who has yet to throw his best punch. President Obama basically used the second debate as a setup for the final encounter between the two presidential candidates much like Tyson would do when he closed in for the inevitable shellacking of an unprepared opponent.
That’s not good for the Romney camp. Romney learned in this second debate that taking away the championship belt from the title holder is much more difficult than it looks. Using a boxing analogy, if you want to beat the champ, you have to knock him out. It’s that plain and simple.
While Romney was looking for the one big punch to land, President Obama hit him all night, busting him low and smacking him up top. A well-calculated strategist, President Obama consistently hit the mark on the issues before him, scoring point after point against the now backpedaling Romney. The challenger (Romney) came out strong at the beginning of this three-round matchup, even dazing the champ (President Obama).
Romney’s mistake was like an overzealous boxer, and that was coming out too fast, too soon. He threw everything he had at the President. But it was clear from the second debate that Romney weakened and lost his edge when he got hit right back in the mouth by President Obama. President Obama has re-established control of the presidential race. Romney knows it.
Like Tyson’s opponents used to do, Romney also knows what’s coming in the final debate and he knows he is powerless to stop it: Obama by technical knockout.