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Analyzing Debate Optics: How Does Right-Wing Process Chummy Romney-Obama Exchange?

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While I had this thought at the time as the debate began, seeing the above picture while perusing post-debate analysis crystallized a question: How do the most vociferous conservative pundits rationalize the above picture, and GOP candidate Mitt Romney’s chummy exchange, before and after the debate, with President Obama?

Now, I understand there’s a certain cordiality and decorum expected at these affairs. They even had the wives hug, awkwardly, before the debate commenced. And yes, traditionally, the argument has been that you have to exhibit respect for the office of the presidency, if not the man himself.

But you have to follow the most pointed barbs directed at Obama by some of the best-known media personalities to realize “cordial” and respectful left the building a long time ago.

If the guy really is a socialist who harbors deep-seated resentment toward white people and is intent on destroying the American way of life — as this guy and this guy and this guy and this guy and this guy have argued — how do you sit there yukking it up with him, like you just completed 18 holes at the country club?

From what I heard Monday, conservatives were too busy exulting over Romney’s perceived debate “win” to do a lot of naysaying. But it’s a fair question. I mean, who wants to shake hands with a guy who sees America as being so imperfect as to pal around with terrorists?

Sure, even boxers shake hands — or, you know, tap gloves — when they get in the ring. Yet if you take the rhetoric to its extreme, I’m not sure Poland did the same thing with Germany.

 

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