Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Not Buying Romney Rope-a-Dope Strategy

The pro-Romney spin on the final presidential candidate debate is that Romney was brilliant to let Obama exhaust himself by punching him, and look desperate and unpresidential in the process. I disagree.

Muhammad Ali beat George Foreman in the 1974 boxing match known as the Rumble in the Jungle in Zaire (now the Republic of the Congo) by letting Foreman be the aggressor for most of the fight. When Foreman got tired, Ali went on the attack and won the fight. The strategy was called rope-a-dope because Ali spent most of the fight leaning against the ropes that enclosed the ring, looking like a "dope" simply taking a beating.

Romney supporters say the governor accomplished the same thing in the final debate with the president.

I'm disappointed.

The moderator teed up the very first question for Romney: Libya. He should have nailed Obama for not responding to pleas for stronger security, misreading the Benghazi attack, and misrepresenting the whole situation to the American people.

Then he should have cited it as an example that Obama is a dangerous amateur on foreign policy. He had no idea what was going on and know idea that by knocking off Middle East dictators he was unleashing a violent, and now lethal, wave of Islamic extremism.

Romney slammed Obama for skipping Israel while visiting other nations on a presidential trip to the Middle East. Obama said with great indignation that he visited Israel as a candidate in 2008.

That was a golden opportunity for Romney to destroy Obama for not understanding that there is a difference between being a candidate and being the president. Obama thinks it's all a continuing campaign, and what he did as a candidate counts.

Who cares if you visited Israel as a candidate? As president, you went to the Middle East to apologize to Arab countries and did not visit Israel to reaffirm America's commitment. What you do as president is in a whole different category than what you did as a candidate. It is stunning that Obama would say "been there, done that" because he visited Israel as a candidate.

Romney should have come off the ropes and put Obama on the canvas on that point.

No comments: