GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Election Updates

October 17, 2012

Politics: In the end, it's all a big game

Editor’s Note: Now that the disastrous Red Sox season is over, the NHL is in a lockout, the Celtics are in pre-season, and Bill Belichick still doesn’t answer questions, sports columnist Bill Burt has time to turn his attention to the full-contact sport of presidential politics.

I went to watch the second of three presidental debates in my family room and, well, a heavyweight fight broke out.

Yes, it was a sportswriter’s dream.

In fact, my only wish as the debate was 15 minutes old was that some political operative could have slipped in two pairs of 16-ounce boxing gloves.

Honestly, there were two, maybe three times, when President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney, stood face to face, about a right hook away from each other, talking tough.

I loved it. Everybody loved it.

This is what politics should be about: passion and more passion. Sometimes, somebody gets a little heated. So what?

Facts and issues? They’re overrated. We’ve heard all of this stuff before about taxes, immigration, terrorism, gas prices, unemployment, jobs, etc.

Sure, we’ve got opinions on all of the above, but that’s not what these debates are about. I’m a part-time follower of this and I had heard every argument last night at least a dozen times.

These debates more represent how our representatives think on their feet, literally, and show some leadership in a public setting. I like it. There are no scripts, only issues and, well, jabs.

Quite frankly, Obama was a church mouse in Denver in the first debate, which I watched in its entirety. His obsession with trying to look cool and suave, a problem he always has I believe, killed his half-hearted arguments and efforts.

Obama apparently read the polls and heard the pundits who said he was a punching bag for Romney, “the bully,” last time out, leading to a recent surge for Romney’s candidacy and making this race very close to even.

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