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CURL: Obama wins first debate, says everyone in world
In a debate sure to sway millions of voters and quite possibly change the course of mankind if not the very orbit of the heavenly bodies in the Milky Way, President Obama last night crushed Mitt Romney like a bug, displaying an agile and fecund intellect rivaled only by Albert Einstein and possibly Socrates.
Already the smartest man ever to hold the office of president, the one-time constitutional law professor lectured his pathetic opponent on the profound ramifications of Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, held court on the pros and cons of the Austrian School versus Hydraulic Macroeconomics, and delivered a 14-minute recitation of Federalist Paper No. 51 from memory, justifying big government as "the greatest of all reflections on human nature."
Jim Lehrer, the clearly unbiased moderator employed by the government-funded Public Broadcasting Service, opened the debate with clearly unbiased questions for the two contenders.
"What," he asked Mr. Obama, "is your favorite color?" The president delivered a 22-minute dissertation on the estimated 16,800,000 colors in the world before concluding, "They're all pretty cool." "What," Mr. Lehrer then said to the GOP challenger, "is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?" Mr. Romney's time ran out as he asked, "African or European ?"
Mr. Lehrer, another searing genius, deeply probed the candidates on America's most-pressing problems. "To both of you, I think the nation demands to know: Should airliners have windows that roll down?"
"I oppose that," Mr. Obama said, "unless they're installed at $1,200 an hour by union workers in either Ohio or Florida."
"You, of course, know," Mr. Romney said, "that I was only joking when I " Unfortunately, a flashing red light prompted Mr. Lehrer to cut him off.
The format was tightly structured: The first three segments were (seriously) "the Economy I, the Economy II, the Economy III." The brilliant dean of moderators again blazed with brilliance: To Mr. Obama he asked, "So, the economy, how's all that going?"
"Well, Jim, I'm glad you asked. See, there's a lot of misinformation out there. Look, has it been as easy as I thought to fix? No. Have we done everything we thought we'd do in four years? Absolutely not. But have we fixed the problems, making America's economy stronger than it has ever been before? You bet we have. So far, we have created 500 million new jobs. We have made sure that all Americans who want jobs not only finds one, but usually need to find at least two to make enough money to pay their taxes. We have cut the unemployment rate from above 10 percent to negative 3 percent. That means we're literally waiting for children to be born, and when they are, boom, they immediately have jobs. So, are Americans better off now than they were four years ago? Nuh uh. They're much worse off. But is everything in America absolutely fantastic? You better believe it, Jim."
Mr. Romney, apparently struck dumb by the answer, stood silent for a full minute, then managed only "I, I, I, don't know where to begin," before his buzzer sounded.
Turning to taxes, Mr. Lehrer played a video clip of Mr. Obama's latest campaign ad. "To pay for huge, new tax breaks for millionaires like him, Romney would have to raise taxes on the middle class: $2,000 for a family with children." Cutting to the point, Mr. Lehrer said: "Absolutely fabulous. Thoughts?"
"You know, Jim," Mr. Obama said, "we are going to need a lot more of Americans' money if we are going to keep growing government — as our Founding Fathers so clearly laid out in the Magna Carta. We have re-interpreted what President Benjamin Franklin meant when he said 'That government is best governs least' to be simply 'More government, please.' We are making inroads into every aspect of Americans' lives: what they eat, what they can read and, of course, making sure they cannot fly anywhere without having their genitals fondled. But it all comes down this fact: The United States brings in about $2.1 trillion from the less-than-half of Americans who pay taxes, yet this year I proposed we spend more than $3.6 billion. Now, we can't do that unless we cut taxes for the middle class. It's not complicated. And last, I think we can all agree that as the greatest nation in the world, we simply must pay for all women's contraception or look, men, we are simply not going to be getting busy this weekend, am I right?"
As Mr. Romney began to say, "Well, there you go aga " a curtain rose behind the podiums, unveiling a full band with backup singers. The president stepped over, grabbed a microphone, and performed Al Green's "Let's Stay Together."
After the debate, the talking heads weighed in. "How can anyone even think of voting for Mitt Romney after that?!" said CNN analyst Gloria Borger, wearing a shirt emblazoned "CNN Analysts for Obama." Erin Burnett, wearing a tube-top and micro-mini-dress, chimed in: "I was like, OMG, how much more awesome could he be?! The answer is, like, none — none more awesome."
Over on MSNBC, longtime newsman Tom Brokaw, known as the modern Edward R. Murrow for his honesty and integrity in delivering news, summed up the feelings of all who were lucky enough to watch the debate.
"This now stands in history with the night some 2,000 years ago, when a star appeared in the sky to herald the birth of mankind's savior," the anchor said. "And if anyone out there is so confused as to still be supporting Romney, let me just say — you're racist."
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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