I’m avoiding most political media. Why? Because it’s election season with a D in the office and Bullshit, when concentrated in unacceptably high levels, is bad for your health.
That’s why I deliberately scheduled something more pleasant (a proctology exam) during the time I could have been watching the Presidential debates on TV. That said; I can’t help peeking at reports in the aftermath. I expected Mitt to collapse in a black hole of boredom and The O to perform a soliloquy from Hamlet that moved Jim Lerher to tears. Instead Mitt swung for the bleachers and Obama wiffed his turn at the plate. Competence, when you least expect it, is a ray of sunshine. I love surprises like that.
Unwilling to actually watch the show I still assumed Obama was mediocre and Mitt merely eeked out a minimally superior performance. Apparently I was wrong. I saw Joel’s link to Al Gore explaining what happened. Go watch it. (Read the rest of Ultimate Answer to Kings while you’re there.) The esteemed high priest of environmentalism maintains the following:
- Obama “lost” the debates because he didn’t have time to acclimate to Denver’s altitude.
Oh. Wow. That’s not an excuse; it’s a cry for help.
There’s nothing quite so creepy as hearing “the dog ate my homework” excuses for the President. I’m also not sure which is worse; Al Gore’s idea that Obama couldn’t hack the altitude or Al Gore’s corollary that he was so colossally ignorant of his own weaknesses that he didn’t plan ahead for altitude.
I have personally flown in from sea level, stepped off a plane in Denver, and made a presentation within a couple of hours. It does suck but if that’s your job then you do it! If you’re feeling low or tired or hungover or jet lagged you still have to get up there and to your thing. If your laptop was seized by the TSA, your Powerpoint was deleted by aliens, you’ve just been routed through six airports, you’ve eaten nothing but peanut dust all day, and you sat next to six sick children and a fat smelly jerk who farted all through the flight? No excuses; keep soldiering on. When you land in Denver you do what everyone in that situation does, pop a couple Advil, slam as much coffee as you can keep down, then get out there and rock out. A knuckle dragging blogger can do it and I expect no less from the Commander in Chief.
I’d no more think of blaming the altitude for a bad showing in Denver than I’d think of giving Al Gore a lapdance. Pros don’t make excuses.
P.S. None of this should make anyone think it’s in the bag for Mitt. I like playing betting games but this one has me stumped. It’s either a squeaker for Obama or a landslide for Mitt. Mitt will not win by a hair. For him, it’s all or nothing. Don’t let prognosticators fool you. In this election nobody else knows the answer either. It’s good to know our elections are still contested and not merely coronations.