By Micco Fay – Sundown United – Austin 

I think Obama’s debate performance may have been one of the most brilliant political moves ever in a Presidential Election.

Romney had been on the ropes politically and ripe for a knockout punch by Obama in the debate.  Instead, Obama… pulled punches?  He didn’t mention Bain Capital, the 47% comment, women’s reproductive rights or Mitt’s tax returns; all haymaker swings if they land and stick.  Obama also did not tout his accomplishments from Obamacare, ending of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the auto bailout, sustained job growth, and more. He didn’t defend attacks by Romney about investments in clean energy, 47 million on food stamps, rising gas prices, stimulus bill, and more.  He didn’t challenge Romney on his several erroneous facts and numbers.  Lastly, he just looked bad visually with no eye contact, stuttering, and long-winded answers.  If you look at past debates with Obama and other spontaneous interactions with opposition leaders, you see none of these weaknesses (well, maybe the long-winded part).  I think most moderately informed Democrats felt they could have done a far better debate job than Obama even with no preparation.

It’s so unbelievable that a now seasoned politician can perform so poorly. So unbelievable, in fact, that I find it necessary to invoke Occam’s Razor.  If it is not fathomable that Obama can just perform so badly in a debate, then it must be that Obama intentionally performed so poorly at the debate.  The obvious follow up question then, is why?

Some pundits and media outlets have applied spin to the Obama’s performance saying he coasted in order to see Romney’s hand and talking point attacks so Obama could pounce after in subsequent debates and ads.  A fair enough assumption, but why bother with that if Romney was on the ropes and a solid debate performance would have put him out of competitiveness in the minds of most democrats and more importantly, conservatives? Why allow him to stay alive with any hope?

To answer this, we have to look back at the past 2 years in Washington.  In 2010, Republicans, with the spike of enthusiasm from the Tea Party and financial backing of the Koch brothers and the like, won sweeping victories in not only Congress (taking back the House), but also in many state, city and county elections.  It was a shrewd move by Republicans who now have used this power to not only block many initiatives by Obama on the federal level, but also give us fun new laws like the immigration law in Arizona, laws dramatically limiting abortions in several states, and most recently, voter ID laws whose rushed implementation blatantly smells of voter suppression of certain voting blocs (democrats).  All in all, it’s made for a very tough 2 years for Democrats as they deal with the Republican controlled country changing the very ground on which politics are fought on.  It appears this has not gone unnoticed by Democrats and the Obama campaign, but again, how does intentionally losing the debate help Democrats in this area?

BATTLE 2012 – The Nation Votes

The Citizen’s United ruling by the Supreme Court has opened up a floodgate of money to political process.  Many of you have heard of the term “Super PACs” where people and corporations (sorry, I don’t consider those to be the same thing) can donate an unlimited amount of money.  In addition, there are also “Non Profit” political groups like Karl Rove’s Crossroads that also can receive unlimited funds but have the great advantage of not having to disclose their donors (unlike Super PACs).  In this new political arena of rules, Republicans have out raised Democrats by large margin (Google it).  All this money is then used by these Super PACs and Political Non-Profits to advertise, organize, and just generally promote their preferred candidate and/or negatively attack their opponents.  These Republican favoring groups, with all their money, have been spending on city, state, congressional, and national elections all the way up to helping Mitt Romney himself. Helping him alot!

With this knowledge as the backdrop, Mitt Romney has had a mediocre August and a terrible September.  Even conservatives were starting to count Romney out, including those leading these Super PACs and Political Non-Profits.  Everyone was looking at the October 3rd debate as the last stand for the Romney campaign before supporters truly started jumping ship.  As great as it sounds to knock Romney out in early October for the Obama campaign, doing so would dry up the money funneled at him by supporters and have it redirected elsewhere… like Congressional, state, city, and county races of importance across the nation.  This added influx of money redirected from Romney would inevitably influence enough of these races to make an impact, putting even more Republicans in place across the country.  If you thought the last two years were stagnant nationally and becoming more politically one-sided locally, it would only become greater.

Which brings us full circle back to October 3rd’s presidential debate.  If Obama knocks Romney out or even simply performs so that Romney’s performance and Obama’s performance in the Debate is tied, that leaves Romney still trailing significantly and supporters redirecting their money elsewhere.  Romney would need to have a stellar debate performance to convince supporters that he indeed has a chance at winning and their money invested in him is not going to waste and should not be redirected.  Knowing this and having a very solid lead in the election, Obama takes the stage at the debate prepared to do what it takes to ensure republican money stays tied up in the Presidential race and not redirected elsewhere. And whatever it takes equals Obama tanking the debate intentionally to make Romney look like a superstar.

Romney’s Plan to cut the deficit – Fire this Bird.

Now, I don’t want to take away everything from Romney; he did indeed have a good debate performance.  However, it was unchallenged; had Obama been truly swinging, we would not have been as impressed with Romney as he struggled to talk about tax returns, 47% and so on.  Obama, meanwhile, though taking a hit in the debate, still has a substantial lead in key swing states and debates rarely move the polls more than a point or two.  Romney, however, still needs several points in order to reach competitiveness again in Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire.  Yet, Romney supporters are now re-energized, raving about his performance, and thus, dropping dollars into his coffers and not those of other elections.  At this point, Romney supporters have likely crossed a point of no return with just a month to go before the election; they are now committed.  Obama can now come back in the 2nd and 3rd debates swinging for the fences at Romney, gaining back the faith of his supporters and eliminating Romney’s momentum.  Meanwhile, supporters are already committed to Romney now to the end and the vast majority of their money stays on Romney and, subsequently, out of local elections.  This gives Democrats a much better chance of not only holding their ground on these other elections, but gaining ground, which ultimately will facilitate a more successful presidency for Obama when he is re-elected.  Brilliant!

Written by The Sundown United

The SUNDOWN UNITED is a multi-faceted project that houses an apparel and accessories brand, and online-magazine(weblogs/articles). All ends of and begins with the Sundown United our trademark, lifestyle, attitude, and personal perspective on Americana art/lifestyle subculture.


  1. Some people told me Obama lost the first debate on purpose so he can come out and attack Romney in ads and the two other debates about his flip flops which he did. I think President Obama likes to take chances and has won all the gambles he took. President Obama took a chance by bailing out the automakers not knowing if they would rebound and make a profit. If the auto bailout would have failed Obama’s presidency would have been over. The gamble Obama took on bailing out the automakers paid off. He took a gamble with choosing the riskest move when catching Bin Laden. If the Bin Laden raid have gone south people said it would have been the end of his presidency. The Bin Laden Raid was a flawless mission. The Bin Laden raid bet paid off for the President. President Obama took a gamble by allowing the Supreme Court decide universal healthcare before the election. There was an opportunity for President Obama to have the supreme court hear the healthcare law after the election. Obama’s gamble on having the supreme court decide the fate of universal healthcare before the election paid off. If the supreme court would have struck down the healthcare law it would have been a huge blow to his presidency. President Obama took a gamble in the first debate because it was a gamble Obama may not have recovered from if he did bad in the last two debates. Now we know that President Obama got reelected and that his high stakes gambles in his first term paid off.


  2. You are so right Micco, many non political people, (regular citizens) seem to understand that Obama was playing Romney, for a purpose. But, unfortunately, many Liberal commentators, pundits, and political figures – it washed over there heads. So I wrote this to some of their blog sites. Basically to see if anyone out their still had half a brain…

    Was It A Debate Challenge for President Obama? Maybe Not. Food for Thought.
    We need to recognize that we have a clever President. He is constantly thinking about what is the best move, that will give the ultimate results, for his mission.
    Now, I know many say, “Why didn’t President Obama, say this or that…” — “Romney won…” and so on, during the Oct. 3rd debate.
    One thing you must admit, President Obama has always been a consistent broker. He knows his policies through and through. President Obama is not a “knee jerk reactive.” He knows his opponent, is a dodger, a flip-flopper and basically a habitual liar. Putting a hand up to faces of the naysayers, the President has accomplished some important political and policy wins, despite the stalemating of a Republican controlled Congress.
    So what we should be asking ourselves is how is it possible for him (Our President) to come off so timid, at such an important event, with over 60 million of the citizenry watching, with eyes wide. Not to mention the thousands or even millions that were watching via the internet, worldwide.
    Has anyone considered that the president may have been playing Romney. Allowing Romney to come out full force — as one of his many faces.
    We Americans tend to get, too emotional about things. I know, because I’m one of them.
    But, President Obama, has read the book, “The Art of War”, and it is evident in Wednesday performance that he was using it:

    Quotes from the Art of War:
    The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.
    Sun Tzu

    Pretend inferiority and encourage his (the opponent’s) arrogance.
    Sun Tzu

    Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.
    Sun Tzu

    He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.
    Sun Tzu

    If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.
    Sun Tzu

    Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.
    Sun Tzu

    You must admit that the President’s performance, allowed Romney to sing like a bird, albeit they were mostly lies. But, Romney’s lies has put a millstone about his neck, with the large yellow sticker of “VOUCHER CARE” stuck to his forehead, to be carried for the next 32 days, for all to see. Not to mention whatever other results the President wanted out of this perceived loss.

    We have to watch the remaining debates, and the next 32 days like spectators at a Chess Match. A dead pawn here, a dead Bishop there, and a dead Rook, means absolutely nothing to a seasoned chess master.

    Keep up the good work, Micco.



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