Getting the Job Done
A better way to talk about who “won” the debate would be to discuss who accomplished what he needed to accomplish. For Obama, it was pretty modest.
- Don’t do anything disasterous.
- Get out a couple decent soundbites that can be used in campaign commercials.
- Let Romney contribute a bit more to the narrative that he’s willing to say anything to get elected.
I think Obama got the job done. It wasn’t glorious or satisfying, but it accomplished what needed to be accomplished. It’s October. Virtually everybody who is sufficiently engaged to both watch the debates and vote has already chosen a candidate. Obama just needs to avoid any disasters so large that people who had made up their mind start wavering.
Getting the job done isn’t always glorious. I watched a colleague conduct a deposition with a guy who was about as cocky as Romney. And this jerk didn’t have the resume to begin to justify his smugness. He basically sat there and smirked at her for two or three hours. I wanted her to go for the throat. Shove the guy’s mediocrity in his face. That sort of thing. She didn’t. She kept her calm, asked the questions, and got all the answers she needed. By the time the guy swaggered out of the room, the case against his company had been built. He had no idea. It didn’t have the high drama of a courtroom showdown—but the job got done.
(Incidentally, I learned something worthwhile that day. Go in with a defined set of goals. Accomplish them. Don’t get distracted by trying to be flashy.)