Terry Paulson

When facing George Foreman, Muhammad Ali mastered the "rope-a-dope," a method of tiring a boxing opponent by pretending to be trapped on the ropes while the opponent expends vital energy on blocked punches. Ali would just smile, taunt, duck, block and move.

When President Obama agreed to a 10-minute Super Bowl interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, it was clear that no one does political "rope-a-dope" better than our president. He deflected questions, taunted Fox News for biased preoccupation with his scandals, and consistently denied any corruption or political motivation for the many already "fully investigated" incidents. It was political theater--smile, taunt, delay, deny and dodge.

As O'Reilly later confessed, no one can make the president answer any questions, but it should never stop us from asking and the media from digging for answers for questions worth answering:

1. There are serious questions regarding the Benghazi attack: Who said no to the requests for added security by the ambassador? Who refused sending additional reinforcements once the attack was in progress? When did you know this was clearly a terrorist attack? If not for political reasons, why did your administration continue to use talking points for weeks that blamed an anti-Islamic video demonstration gone bad when within 12 hours after the attack there was no question that this was an organized terrorist attack?

2. If the IRS targeting of conservative tea party groups and the sharing of their private information with opponents were nothing more than "bone-headed mistakes," why did Lois Lerner claim the fifth to avoid criminal persecution? Are we to accept your "no corruption" claim when the FBI's study is not yet completed and many targeted groups have not even been interviewed? Instead of putting a campaign contributor in charge of the Justice Department investigation, isn't it time for an independent investigator?

3. As a Senator, you called raising the debt limit a "leadership failure," but you now refuse to add spending concessions to any debt limit increase in spite of the fact that half of the 54 debt limit increases since 1978 have required negotiated concessions. Will you turn your debt-limit "leadership failure" into an opportunity to work with the GOP to tackle our deficit nightmare by making needed changes to the unfunded liabilities involved with Social Security, Medicare and government pensions?

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

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