The Recency Effect

What was I saying? Doom and gloom? Blah blah blah?

Mister Obama’s performance tonight was staggering. As he has in his office throughout his term, Obama demonstrated that, somehow, foreign policy, the ever-present bogey-man of the Hillary 3 a.m. phone call ads, is and always has been his bailey-wick. This is a President who has presented a forceful, muscular, yet impressively strategic foreign policy. There are hand-wringers on my side of the fence regarding this arena, regarding drone warfare, regarding a reluctance on this administration’s part to relinquish the extraordinary powers that were seized by the previous administration. What did you expect? That toothpaste is all over the damned place.

Mitt Romney seemed pimpled somehow. Pink. Odd looking. His face was often pinched weirdly. I think he needed to pee. One might argue that he cannot be expected to have a mastery of foreign policy over an incumbent President, an argument I presented on these pages regarding Sen. Obama some years back, although, then, there was not an incumbent President. The only record to run against then was that of the clown who brought us the Iraq incursion. Now, a competent leader is at the wheel.

So, yes, the President could have delivered a more robust performance for debate #1, but there is a phenomenon in psych circles known as the recency effect: The most recent event is the one that will stick in your craw. I’d rather have Mr. Obama stumble a little for the first and destroy in the last, which he did.

Well played.

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