The deconstruction of President Obama's debate performance continues. While appearing on MSNBC's NOW, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson stated that, in his opinion, the reason why Obama behavior was so subdued compared to Romney's was because he was worried he may come off as an “angry black man.” Watch a short clip below:
I'm usually sitting in the amen corner whenever Dr. Dyson speaks, but this time I have to raise my church finger. While he's dead on in saying Mitt Romney had the least to lose going into the debate--basically since everyone thought he'd suck balls--I'm not sure fear of being the angry black man was the reason behind Obama's aloofness . No doubt President Obama, like 99.99 percent of all black man, has thought/feared/confronted the idea of coming off like an angry black man, but I don't feel this was one of those times.
The five-year old Obama clip Fox News jumped up and down about and that Dr. Dyson cites has already been dissed and dismissed, both then and now, as inconsequential. As it should be. Outside of easily swayed swing voters and the Tea Party choir Fox News already preaches to, I doubt most rational adults will watch a video of the president speaking out about the government's handling of Katrina and investing in black-owned businesses and think "dem darkies 'bout to rise up!"
My personal opinion is Obama's detailed rebuttals, note writing and looking down while Mitt was doing his "see I'm not an android after all" routine was a psychological trick. Perhaps Obama and his team thought that by appearing extremely detached and "above it all," Romney in turn would grow more and more animated and irritated, thus throwing him off his game. Unfortunately for the president, that approach, if that's hat they were going for, backfired, at least in terms of media reaction.
I think the president stayed true to both the facts and to his talking points; he just did it in a way that came off as listless and disengaged. However, failing to mention the 47 percent video was a bad call all around. There was just too much meat on that bone not to take a bite.
In the end though, debates boil down to words and visuals. And someone raising their voice and gesturing all over the place--lest they wade into Howard Dean territory--is a flashier, more compelling visual image, than someone calmly explaining their position. That is why most folks came away thinking Romney won the debate. It sure wasn't for telling the truth.
What do you think? Is Dr. Dyson right? I'd really like to know what you guys think.