It’s a good thing that I stipulated that the main purpose of my fantasy debate line contest was catharsis—letting us put out there the best lines President Obama couldn’t speak, so that we’d be less dissatisfied with the ones he could—since if the purpose had been a timely contest, my announcing the winners today wouldn’t meet it.
Actually, I’m sure I speak for many in saying that catharsis wasn’t as necessary as I feared it might be. While the President couldn’t actually say that Romney was afraid to put forth his real plans because he knew he’d lose if he did (see MassDem’s entry below), he did find a great, viable way to say much the same thing: Romney’s plan was “sketchy” and shouldn’t be bought. While Obama could not (of course) fulfill my fantasy by calling the deaths in Benghazi small potatoes compared to the war in Iraq, his “I mean what I say” pivot ended up implying something very similar: you can trust the President on pisher-in-Chief Mitt Romney’s favorite little crisis, Benghazi, because he’s kept big promises regarding what really matters: Iraq, bin Laden. And so on.
That, of course, is the game: not fulfilling the friend-enemy fantasies of us partisans, but winning the point in a way that makes the President look both right on substance and, more important, worth supporting. And I’m confident—as I wasn’t, fully, week ago—that that’s what Obama will do, repeatedly, in the last debate tonight.
On to the winners:
Let me tell you something. States don’t have rights: people have rights, and it’s time you fought at the ballot box for yours.
The reason Mitt will not try to avoid any specifics about his plans is that he knows you won’t vote for him if you know the specifics.
Look at the decision he made on releasing only 2 years of his own taxes. He has taken some heat for that, but decided that he’d never get elected if he let the public see a full 10 years.
This is the same calculation he makes when he evades specifics on his tax plans, his budget plans, and his health care plans. If he let the public know what he plans to do on this issues, he’ll never get elected. So, he won’t share his plans.
As Mitt himself said — “I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake!”
Governor, for months, there has been a man running around claiming to be Mitt Romney who has been espousing policies which directly contradict what you have recently been advocating. I want to reassure you that my administration takes identity theft very seriously, and I promise that the FBI will do whatever is necessary to find and arrest the perpetrator of this fraudulent impersonation.
Your Vice-Presidential candidate, Congressman Ryan, was recently photographed keeping his manicured hands clean washing a spotless saucepan in a soup kitchen in Ohio. That’s your anti-poverty programme: all pan and no soup.
(James “Always a Bridesmaid” Wimberley)
And the Oscar the Grouch goes to Byomtov’s entry:
If Governor Romney is so proud of his business career, why is he ashamed of his income tax returns?
Byomtov will be the proud recipient of the previously announced grand prize: either a a mixed herd of hippogriffs, chimeras, and thestrals (in assorted colors), or a Republican budget plan with real numbers. His/her choice, with the warning that I’ll be a lot more likely to be able to deliver on the thestrals.
Congratulations to the winners and my thanks to all who competed.