President Barack Obama greets NJ Gov. Christie
to survey damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.
(AFP photo by Jewel Samad)
Was it a matter of political irony or plain old-fashioned racism that prompted the lack of definitive media headlines proclaiming President Barack Obama––currently immersed in managing the United States’ recovery from the impact of Hurricane Sandy––the overwhelming winner of the third 2012 presidential debate?
Instead of headlines such as “Barack Obama Triumphs with Second Consecutive Debate,” or “Obama Slams Romney in Debate Showdown,” readers were treated to the likes of these from FOX News: “Third debate sets tough tone for campaign’s final stretch” and “Obama scores hollow victory against Romney (if that's what it was).” Among the few bolder as well as more accurate announcements was: “Sargent: A pummeling for Mitt Romney in the final debate.”
In addition, although the New York Times did not put it in the headline, it did feature an in-depth editorial analysis of the debate in which it observed “Mr. Romney’s problem is that he does not actually have any real ideas on foreign policy beyond what President Obama has already done, or plans to do.
Given the public record of muted responses to many of Mr. Obama’s singular achievements and services to his country, only one kind of irony seems involved: it is that of some Americans’ choice to pretend no such achievements or services exist. The issue is not about being on one or the other candidate’s side, as it were. It is about acknowledging reality in order to make the best political choice for oneself and one’s country in the 2012 presidential election.
Lesson on When and When not to “Give a damn”
It is also about remaining true to one’s humanity. That point was driven home powerfully in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy as New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie repeatedly affirmed before reporters that President Obama, working with FEMA, had acted swiftly to expedite his state’s recovery from the now historic storm.
“The cooperation from the president has been outstanding and he deserves great credit,” said Governor Christie. “I cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern.”
Christie, who is known for speaking in a very straightforward New Jersey style, made it clear that he did not “give a damn” about presidential politics at this particular time. That declaration might strike many as natural common sense under the circumstances––after all, New Jersey is where Hurricane Sandy made landfall and consequently where most damage has been sustained thus far. But it nevertheless stood out in stark contrast against remarks made by the governor just two weeks prior. At that time, in his role as a campaign surrogate for Mitt Romney, he forcefully asserted before television cameras that President Obama “doesn’t know how to lead.”
There was no room for a distortion of facts, guerrilla decontextualization of comments, or attacks upon Mr. Obama’s character in this case because too much was and still is at stake. In order to reclaim some sense of normalcy in their lives, residents of New Jersey and the entire Northeast can use all the compassion and resources available while putting the politics on hold for however long necessary. Millions of people view the 2012 presidential election in that same kind of urgent life and death context.
Notebook on the 2012 Presidential Election & Guerrilla Decontextualization
- Tricks and Treats of the 2012 Presidential Debates Editorial and Poem Part 1
- Tricks and Treats of the 2012 Presidential Debates Editorial and Poem Part 2
- 47 Percenters and Guerrilla Decontextualization (Part 1 of 3): Dreamers and Nightmares
- 47 Percenters and Guerrilla Decontextualization (Part 2 of 3): Barack Obama
- 47 Percenters and Guerrilla Decontextualization (Part 3 of 3) The New Jim Crow
- Guerrilla Decontextualization and the 2012 Presidential Campaign Part 1
- Guerrilla Decontextualization and the 2012 Presidential Campaign Part 2
- Guerrilla Decontextualization and the 2012 Presidential Campaign Part 3
- Poetics of Paradigm Dancing in the 2012 Presidential Election Campaign
Causes Aberjhani * Supports
I make contributions to a number of charities through my lenses on Squidoo but the following are a few that interest me the most: