Rocci Fisch

Random Thoughts

Rocci Fisch watches what's out there and has a lot to say about it. "Random Thoughts" is a quick-read, running commentary column which features his observations about the news, pop culture and the media, zested up with Rocci's unique humor.

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE: PITBULL AND MELLOW MAN

October 4, 2012
  1. . . . That’s what I’d call Mitt Romney and President Obama.

  2. . . . Romney was loaded for bear and Obama was laid back.

  3. . . . Peter Alexander “reported” on NBC Nightly News that Romney “fueled up on a peanut butter and honey’ sandwich” in preparation for the debate. That sounds gooey.

  4. . . . The networks had fact-checkers up the ying-yang, correcting assertions the candidates made over the hour and a half fun time debate.

  5. . . . The arrogance of the truth squads.

  6. . . . Moderator Jim Lehrer said at the top of the debate that there should be “absolute silence” during the night’s proceedings – no applause or causing a commotion at what was being said from the podiums in the hall at the University of Denver.

  7. . . . VIOLATION: President Obama must not have heard those instructions. He kicked off the proceedings on a light note by mentioning jokingly that it was his and wife Michelle’s 20th wedding anniversary – he referred to her as “sweetie” -- and that next year he doesn’t plan to celebrate the 21st in front of 40 million people.

  8. . . . The audience reacted, laughed.

  9. . . . Mitt Romney lightheartedly congratulated his opponent and jokingly said, “I’m sure this was the most romantic place you could imagine here – here with me.”

  10. . . . The audience chuckled.

  11. . . . So the “Sound of Silence”(Simon & Garfinckel  Columbia Records, 1965) was broken right off the bat.

  12. . . . Obama seemed serious most of the night and kept looking at his notes, tilting his head up and down and then looking at “the Governor.”

  13. . . . Mitt was an enthusiastic challenger.

  14. . . . Romney: Red and yellow-striped tie. Obama: Blue tie. Both donned U.S. flag lapel pins.

  15. . . . Romney’s suit was single-vented; Obama’s was double-flapped, currently a hipper style. All the young guys wear them now.

  16. . . . Obama’s tie looked better and the knot appeared to be a Full Windsor with a nice-looking “dimple.”

  17. . . . Romney’s tie was less wide but not of the currently popular, retro skinny-type. The knot was smaller and not very dimpled.

  18. . . . Jim Lehrer’s eyes looked like a deer in the headlights many times throughout the evening.

  19. . . . Romney’s debate experience showed. He’s had enough practice.

  20. . . . “I . . . I . . . I,” the candidates repeatedly said, mentioning what he would do or what he had done.

  21. . . . What about Congress? Does a president autocratically do it all and get full credit for everything?

  22. . . . Quite the contrary, dear candidates.

  23. . . . Romney stood up to the president when talking about the trillion dollar deficit.

  24. . . . He “Won’t Back Down” (Tom Petty, 1989 on MCA Records).

  25. . . . Obama was cool; Romney was excitable.

  26. . . . Obama mentioned his grandmother (“Grandma’s Hands” – Bill Withers, 1971 on Sussex Records) while discussing health care and vouchers and all that stuff.

  27. . . . Romney said he’d rather have his own medical plan than “the government making decisions for me.”

  28. . . . Easy for him to say. He’s a millionaire.

  29. . . . Romney took over the reins from Lehrer in continuing to discuss Medicare. He told him to hold up. He was aggressive. He’s used to being the boss.

  30. . . . The hand-written Constitution and Declaration of Independence were plastered over the wall behind the candidates, looked nice. Romney made reference to it.

  31. . . . They kept talking about “Dot Frank,” as I heard it. What’s that, I wondered.

  32. . . . A Web site, as in “.frank”?

  33. . . . I was informed by a friend of mine that it was, in fact, the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that they were referring to. Dodd being Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Frank being Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).

  34. . . . I felt stupid.

  35. . . . It sounded awful insidery to me.

  36. . . . Romney was good at listing points on Obamacare: “Number 1, Number 2, Number 3 and Number 4.”

  37. . . . Obama made similar points on the subject but only had two.

  38. . . . Obama often made good eye contact with the camera, the audience and with those of us at home.

  39. . . . Obama has a full-toothed, nice smile. Romney’s mouth is smaller and so are his teeth.

  40. . . . On the wide shot of the stage there was a big black rectangular hole in the wall in the rear that took up an awful lot of space.

  41. . . . It looked like a big piece of tape on the wall.

  42. . . . What was going on back there?

  43. . . . I think it was a peek-a-boo hole for a camera.

  44. . . . Did it have to be that big, take up that much space? Haven’t we come further along in the art of television production than that?

  45. . . . Get a new director and more up-to-date technology, for crissakes.

  46. . . . ABC had “#Debates” down in the right-hand corner of the screen -- what they call a “hashtag,” which is a keyword-type thing that categorizes topics in the “Twitterverse.”

  47. . . . “The most tweeted event in U.S. political history,” reported the reporters.

  48. . . . “All the little birds on J-Bird Street love to hear the robin goin’ tweet, tweet, tweet . . .” (“Rockin’ Robin” – Bobby Day, 1958 on Class Records and later done by Michael Jackson in 1972 on Motown Records).

  49. . . . NBC’s right hand corner had “NBC Politics” written there.

  50. . . . CBS had their iconic eye logo.

  51. . . . Obama seemed to think his answers through while responding, sounding more conversational. He spoke casually and not officious-ly.

  52. . . . Romney states his facts vehemently and impatiently. He speechifies.

  53. . . . He acts like he’s in a race, which he is.

  54. . . . Obama is philosophical and maybe not practical enough.

  55. . . . “I have to respond to this,” said Romney in referring to some issue, taking it away from the moderator again.

  56. . . . Lehrer put his finger up to try to stop him but failed and Mitt ramrodded right on through.

  57. . . . Obama used his hands a lot, Romney didn’t.

  58. . . . Obama gave his closing statement first. There was a coin toss earlier in the evening, Romney won and decided to go last.

  59. . . . That would’ve been nice video to see. Does it exist anywhere or is that off-limits?

  60. . . . Obama described what it was like being president and that there were a lot of things you have to take care of and consider in managing the country and the office. It’s not easy.

  61. . . . Romney said he’d help create 12 million jobs. He played the sincerity card in his closing comments.

  62. . . . It seemed to me that the “closings” were over two minutes, which Lehrer stressed in his instructions to the candidates.

  63. . . . That was the case throughout the evening. Who’s keeping time? Who’s holding the stopwatch?

  64. . . . NBC put tweets on the screen in the lower-third section. The type was so small you could hardly read it.

  65. . . . It was a distraction.

  66. . . . CNN’s screen was chock-full: Upper left: “Debate Night”; Lower left: “Colorado Undecided Voters: Men, Women,” with lines moving like they do on those hospital electrocardiograms; Lower right: CNN logo; Further down lower-right: “Speaking Time: Obama, Romney, with actual tallies of each’s talk; Center lower-third: the moderator’s question.

  67. . . . Squeezed in were Romney and Obama.

  68. . . . What was more important to see? The candidates or the gadgetry?

  69. . . . A bit overboard.

  70. . . . UH . . . Love Overboard” – Gladys Knight & The Pips on Columbia Records, 1987.

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