Last night Obama needed to win. There really was no other option. Obama was so on (and then some) that you could feel Bill Maher's elation when he tweeted about the return of the "Black Ninja." Then it got seriously real when the issue of energy and drilling companies motivated both to pretty much get into each other's grills creating one of many unexpected and unforgettable moments. Moments such as a woman named Lorraine. Or was it Lorianne? In fact, there was a binder full of women. Romney attempting to spike the ball by asking Obama repeatedly if he has in fact checked his (much smaller) pension. And Michelle and Ann's fashion blunder.
During his first debate with Mitt Romney, Barack Obama seldom looked directly at Romney. He seldom contradicted Romney. He never raised his voice to Romney. He never really challenged Romney. So what happens in the second U.S. presidential debate? OBAMA GETS HIS MOJO BACK!!! He came out bristling for a fight. This time Obama's in charge. He dominates the fight, provides the drive, the passion. This time, no deference.
I really don't care if Clint Eastwood was stoned, drunk or at 82, just plain senile. He was the only speaker over the three nights of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, who I couldn't stop watching. Here's my professional report card on how the different speakers used the 'prompter.
The highlight of the RNC was the surprise appearance of Clint Eastwood, which virtually every commentator knocked as embarrassing, disrespectful to President Obama, the meanderings of a senile old man. What rubbish! Eastwood was brilliant and devastatingly funny. I guess you had to be there, but delegates were rolling in the aisles -- and he made some good points, too.
There are two elections this autumn that will have repercussions throughout Canada. The first happens in Quebec next week, the second in the United States in November. What makes these so important? What happens in Quebec next week and in the United States in two months' time will help shape the future, not only in that province and country, but for all of Canada as well.
The most exciting thing about the Republican convention which starts today in Tampa, is not Mitt Romney as the Presidential candidate, but Paul Ryan as his VP running mate. There's no guarantee a dynamic running mate will lead to a Romney victory come November 4, but without committed Republicans enthused and optimistic, his chances were slight to non-existent.
If Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan win in November the religious fringe of the Republican Party will solidify its place in Republican politics. The Party needs to lose, and loose badly, so it can remove from its tent the intolerant and credulous whose presence has begun to rot the bowels of a once great institution.
By now everyone knows that Mitt Romney's new friend, Paul Ryan, is a climate denier, so the environmental community is going nuts. But I think they are out of sync. Paul Ryan is going to be their best friend -- whether he knows it or not. Maybe mine, too. I'm an investor in "clean" energy, as in anything that works to provide energy (or use energy) that reduces the impact of too much carbon.
We don't usually get into foreign affairs over here at Media Bites, but sometimes life just hands you one of those weeks where nothing on the domestic seems to be turning anyone's journalistic crank. This weekend Canada's papers were filled mostly with chatter about noted Internet Deep Throat/ Simpsons guest star Julian Assange, and his recent Ecuadorian embassy-squatting shenanigans in England. None of the glitz and glamor of a Jason Kenney story, I grant you, but we'll just have to make due.
Many Canadian commenters are drawing comparisons between Republican heartthrob Paul Ryan and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Some parallels do exist. Both are men of strong convictions; both gained prominence at relatively young ages. More important than the similarities, however, are the differences.
The choice of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's Vice-Presidential running mate means two things for Canadians; the first, that a second term for Barack Obama and Joe Biden is inevitable and the second, that there will be great political theatre south of the border right up until the Presidential election on November 6. Forget the Olympics; this election will have all of the competition with none of the sportsmanship. the same Romney who said London may not have been "ready" for the Olympics would be wise to be "ready" for retirement from politics come November 7, 2012.
The Presidential race has suddenly livened up, and Romney no longer can be regarded as risk-averse. Choosing Paul Ryan is a considerable risk, if one thinks Romney had the election sewn up with the lousy economy, but it was his only hope if indeed Obama's popularity was gaining because of Tea Party defections from the GOP.
The complexity of passing legislation through Congress with an intransigent Republican Party is something we should be worried about here in Canada, too. There is the prospect that the federal government, Canada's largest province, and Canada's largest city could all be governed by ideological conservatives.