Emmett Tyrrell
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This election is not turning out the way President Barack Obama had expected. Perhaps that is why he has looked so uncomfortable in his three debates with the suddenly debonair Governor Mitt Romney. Possibly President Obama had expected something more from the former governor of Massachusetts, the former CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympics, the former head of Bain Capital -- and, incidentally, is not Bain Capital assuming the same demonic role in this contest between Obama and Romney as Halliburton industries once played in the campaigns of Bush-Cheney? It is, I suppose, an asset that in all their years of adult life neither Obama nor Joe Biden have ever suffered any exposure to the dark doings of private-sector employment, none whatsoever. It is a dispensation that has kept them pure, almost virginal.

The president in his high-minded innocence aspired to something more in this presidential race, something higher. I think he wanted to experience the clash and bang of Great Ideas in these debates. First, he would propose his view of a healthy prosperous America with budgets balanced and deficits receding. Then the challenger would admit to his view of the world. Romney would manfully step forward and envision the endless breadlines that his economic policies would engender. There would be the Hoovervilles, the soup kitchens, the scenes of little children, their noses running, huddled waiting in Dickensian stupefaction for their parents to return from the pollution-belching factories, perhaps with a loaf of bread for their starving families, PERHAPS NOT. Meanwhile, zoom, zoom, the millionaires and billionaires motor by in their Bentleys and Rolls Royces, and Priuses.

Frankly the way that these debates have turned out has got to leave the president feeling a little low. Why could not Romney admit to his audience the other night that he has not a clue to running foreign policy? Why does he not admit to having no idea as to the name of the capital of Ghana or the Gross National Product of Burkina Faso? Why is Romney so dishonest? A good healthy debate is what President Obama was seeking and for all his high-minded efforts he has gotten deception and arrant lies. He should have known that the Republicans would come up with a candidate like Romney. After all, was it not the Republican Party that came up with Richard Nixon?
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Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
 
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