Last night’s debate immediately reminded me of both Steve Sailer and Kevin Williamson.
Sailer because he’s relentlessly focused on President Obama’s introverted professorial nature. As even James Carville noted, Obama looked like he didn’t even want to be at last night’s debate. That he was put upon; like he wanted to spend time either alone rather than participate in this dog-and-pony show. It’s not so much that Obama lost the aid of the teleprompter or the structured speech; it’s that he lost the aid of the media, the referee. Jim Lehrer could not help Obama from the onslaught of Mitt Romney, “The Boss”. Romney, as if he’s negotiated or cut deals or worked his posture, body language, and voice commands before, deftly skated over both of these guys.
Which brings us to Kevin Williamson who wrote in a highly contentious piece:
When things went wrong, people put Romney in charge of them — at Bain, at the Olympics, at a hundred companies he helped turn around or restructure. Bain is a financial firm, but Romney wasn’t some Wall Street bank-monkey with a pitch book. He was the guy who fired you. He was a boss, like his dad, and like his sons probably will be. Barack Obama was never in charge of anything of any significance until the delicate geniuses who make up the electorate of this fine republic handed him the keys to the Treasury and the nuclear football because we were tired of Frenchmen sneering at us when we went on vacation. Obama made his money in part through political connections — no, I don’t think Michelle Obama was worth nearly 400 grand a year — and by authoring two celebrity memoirs, his sole innovation in life having been to write the memoir first and become a celebrity second. Can you imagine Barack Obama trying to pull off a hostile takeover without Rahm Emanuel holding his diapers up for him? Impossible.
Elections are not about public policy. They aren’t even about the economy. Elections are tribal, and tribes are — Occupy types, cover your delicate ears — ruthlessly hierarchical.
Williamson also “argued” that since women are hypergamous they should line up in the Romney camp. He has resources and such. The argument goes that they side with liberals like Obama instead because they can’t get close enough to Romney because, well, math – Romney’s Mormon background notwithstanding. And so they opt for the second-best option: a candidate who will promise them goodies.
This argument makes me think of what is often mentioned by men who point out the gap between what women say and what women do. I’ll risk it by just uttering the name Chris Brown. When an assertive man is a non-possibility, a projection, a caricature, or a piece of gossip passed between a group of girlfriends like a blunt at Burning Man, he is viewed unfavorably. Only his negatives get picked up because who is going to be the person to buck the crowd and speak positively about this proven asshole? “OMG I can’t believe he did that,” one will say as she secretly wishes that he would do the same thing to her. When such a man is brought nearer to these same women they’ll often find him a bit more tolerable, charming, or, dare I say, attractive.
What I’m getting at here is that women are heavily skewed towards Obama. Even moreso than women typically are towards the liberal candidate. Even more, they have a high unfavorable rating of Mitt Romney. But that’s mostly when he was just a piece of gossip. When his image was crafted by the gossip hounds otherwise known as the mainstream media. As they witnessed Romney last night force Obama into near submission – Obama was avoiding eye contact and *nodding along to Romney’s criticisms as if he was accepting corporal punishment* – I wonder if some hindbrain switch was triggered. More important than whether they initially liked Romney or not, the Obama campaign has been telling women to have a really strong opinion about Romney. They have been taught to be passionate about him, though the campaign intends this to be a really strong *negative* opinion. But this could backfire on a few marginal women voters – some might say “you know what, he’s not a jerk like everyone said and he’s actually kind of alpha”. Similarly, and as my girlfriend pointed out (also, I peppered my girlfriend, who has an Obama bias, with questions to sort out my thoughts for this post), the fact that Romney was presented as a buffoon or as clueless may backfire as people’s low expectations of Romney were shattered by his likeability and his competence in the debate).
Romney exuded authority in last night’s debate. He earned moral high ground and basically just steamrolled the moderator and President Obama. As sad as it is, debates and elections are about image, and Romney “The Boss” clearly beat up on Obama “The Tormented Professor”.