We all saw what happen last week. Some watched in anger, confusion, and distress. I personally sat with my mouth open wondering what Barack Obama was doing in last week’s debate. The confident, commanding, charismatic leader of the nation was replaced with a different person. Someone who allowed Romney to bully his way through the debate without countering any of his false claims. Who was this person? It wasn’t the Obama I know. There has to be some sort of plan; a strategy that will help benefit a larger plan. And now, after last night’s debate, I think I am starting to see the bigger picture.
Biden. What can I say? The man was on fire last night. He was in it to win it. He wasn’t holding back. For every claim/accusation Ryan stated, Biden had a rebuttal. In fact, there were multiple times when Biden had to interrupt Ryan’s rehearsed speech and drop some knowledge on the poor boy.
I use the word boy because by the end of the debate that is exactly what Ryan looked like; a boy. Ryan had confidence but next to Biden he looked more inexperienced. It also didn’t help Ryan’s case that the moderator, Martha Raddatz, had to repeat her questions and ask Ryan to “give specifics.” Give specifics to the Romney/Ryan tax plan and reason for increase defense spending. And for some unknown reason he was unable to do this. May I just add that Ryan said Iran has enough material to create five nuclear weapons and later a representative of the Romney team was unable to confirm if that statement is true. I wonder why is it always about war.
Biden on the other was more real and about the people. He also took these moments of vagueness and lack of detail to hit him back with the attack. He addressed 47% comment, he reasserted the plan to not raise taxes on the middle class, he talked about Obamacare, and foreign policy. Biden was able to do this in way that the people understood. He was personable and relatable. He didn’t talk in circles. May I just say that I thought it was hilarious when he said “That is malarkey!”
So what does all this mean for Obama? Biden did well. But many are asking why is it that Obama couldn’t have been more like Biden? The simple answer to that is due to the color of his skin. If Obama was aggressive during the first debate, throwing blows at Romney, he would have been stereotyped as the angry Black man. Therefore whatever he said, whether it was factually correct or not, would not receive any attention or validation. The media would have painted him as the villain not the hero. However, when assertiveness and aggressiveness is seen on Romney and Biden they are deemed the winners of the debate.
When looking at Obama, we have to remember that not only is he the president of the United States but that he is also a Black man. As a people we are always carefully navigating through spaces. We watch the way we speak when applying to interviews, change our tone of voice when talking to professors or our kids’ teachers. I know we code switch when we are paying the bills. Obama is no exception to this. In fact it is probably more heightened because he is the president. Last week’s debate and Obama’s lack luster performance was a calculated move. One that we all have had experience with.
To me, this was all a part of the plan. Now, with Biden’s performance and the media asking for a more aggressive Obama, that is what we are going to get next Tuesday. I honestly cannot wait. Because at the end of the day, what I saw from Biden is what I need to see from Obama. I want to see the man I voted for four years ago. I want to see a man who is ready to fight and defend the rights of all American citizens.
What are your thoughts on Biden’s performance? What are you hopes for next Tuesday?
Check out the full VP debate below.