Like a Boxing Match: First of 3 Rounds. Outcome Round #1: Romney 10, Obama 9

In tonight’s powder-puff and patta-cake boxing match between the unbeaten Commander and the Great White Hope (it’s a moniker from the history of boxing), there was no shutdown, no knockdowns, no clinching (but a whole pile of clichés), no demolishing. By end of Round 1 debate: there was no one who could enthusiastically be called The Presser, The Mountain or Earthquake. (all time-honored names for great fighters).

Instead, it was a catchweight round, meaning a fight between two different weight classes, in this case, a bantyweight against a flyweight. You choose which man was which.

But/ and, listening to all the pundits after the debate, either crowing or anguishing, I saw something different than they did. Comes from the days of my dad and my uncles dressed to the nines and smoking cigars, dragging us kids to the harshly lit and smoky rowdy boxing rings of eld. President Obama’ is using boxing strategy in the debate tonight. Almost certain.

Back when, it was called ‘the sling shot.’ You lay on the ropes and let your opponent pound you while letting the ropes absorb a lot of the body shocks. It looks like you are being beaten half to death, but your head is kept out of reach by leaning far far back. You lay there observing, literally taking note, and strategizing about how to take your opponent down just a little down the road from now…

It’s called playing ‘Rope a Dope’ today. Some think this term Rope a Dope means sagging on the ropes semi-defeated by the power of the opponent’s punches. That’s not what it means.

Rope a Dope was used by Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali, in the 1974 fight against George Foreman, a fight scene called “Rumble in the Jungle.” Again, it is an updated strategy of leaning way back on the ropes, body open, and allowing your opponent to throw punches until they tire themselves out– some say. But, more importantly, the opponent is allowed to feel they are winning and thereby they lose their psychological edge, they lower their defenses slightly by the inflation of thinking they are winning.

But, the person on the ropes, is studying… that’s right, studying the other guy’s offensive and defensive flaws, in order to nail their opponent just a little bit farther down the road.

Romney was ok tonight, seemingly better than Obama on the ropes. But the question has to be, why was Obama looking all puny on the ropes? Because he really is puny? Doubt it. Time will tell in the next match and the next.

Muhammad Ali let George Foreman beat the heck out of him, and as George tired, Ali then sprung up off the ropes like a boulder flying from a gigantic slingshot, and trounced Foreman with Ali’s ‘excess of skills.’

Opponents in debating when it’s for high stakes, and in boxing, when it’s for high stakes, have to have a long term strategy, one that will preserve and strengthen them from round to round.

Dont be fooled about Obama’s overcooked noodle delivery in tonight’s first debate of three dabates.

Obama’s mummy didnt raise no dummy.

Author: DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist