Using Canine Pack Behavior to Evaluate Obama’s Debate Performance

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7:06 pm PST: Obama still refuses to look the alpha dog in the eye, even when he makes a lame attempt to interrupt him.  And a young woman just called Governor Romney “President Romney.”  And now, after assuming in a most condescending way the dreaded Libya question was asked by a little old lady rather than the beefy intelligent business man in the back, he refused to answer the question about accountability and blamed Governor Romney for having an opinion on the killing of four Americans.  And Mr. Obama, quit calling the terrorists “folks!”  And now, miracle of miracles, Candy just asked if the buck stops with Obama or with Hillary.  Needless to say, he won’t answer.  He just keeps talking about the caskets, but at least he’s finally looking the alpha dog in the eye.  And Governor Romney stared him right back down, catching him in yet another Obama lie about how this fiasco was handled.  Great moment!

Original Post:  As somewhat of an expert on canine behavior, I feel like a field researcher tonight watching the second presidential debate.  Tonight we are watching an alpha male (Mitt Romney) facing off against omega Obama (the omega, for those who might not know, being the lowest member of the pack).  I realized this most pointedly when the question was about gas prices.  When it was Governor Romney’s turn to counter Obama’s predictable rhetorical answer, he turned to face the president of the United States, looked him in the eye and asked a pointed question.  The trouble for Obama was that when the Governor turned to face him, the president of the United States diverted his eyes, looking away and down, and he hunched his shoulders over to make himself as small and weak as possible, just like a good omega does when the alpha looks his way.  And it seemed a completely natural reflex, a reflex he has since repeated over and over again when the Governor looks his way.

Now, I’ve never viewed Obama as some powerhouse of masculinity.  Indeed he spends his life surrounded by women (often hiding behind them…right, Hillary?), and I have seen very little evidence of a strong male presence in his life at any stage of his life (I know he has placed his father on a pedestal, but given that daddy left him so young, I don’t happen to believe that pedestal is deserved).  So I don’t think he can help reacting in such a submissive manner when confronted by a successful alpha male, especially when he has spent his life avoiding any confrontation or opposition from anyone.

So no, the debate is about half done, and though he has improved over his first performance, Obama seems to be breathing heavy; his struggles to suppress the “ums” are noticeable (oops! one just snuck through); he is simply repeating the same rhetoric we have heard over and over again for four years; and, as someone with whom I’m watching the debate has pointed out, his voice seems high and strained in his attempt to sound energetic and concerned, and as a result it just makes him sound whiny.

So now let’s all wait to hear, once this hour and half is over, that Obama has emerged victorious, because you know that has already been decided by the media types so invested in this president’s re-election.  I, however, will disagree wholeheartedly, because you see, fluent as I am in the language of dogs, I am well aware that an omega with his tail between his legs, his shoulders hunched, head down and eyes lowered just because the alpha looks his way…well, that is not a portrait of victory, either in the wolf pack or on a stage in New York State.

2 Comments

  1. ScottieM
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    You need to make up your mind. Is Romney a nice guy or an alpha dog?


  2. Betsy Siino
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Just so you know, one can be a nice guy AND an alpha male — whether that be man or dog.



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