SUBSCRIPT: Obama fighting by Chicago rules, as 'Rope A Dope' catches Mitt... Just watch what happens next

Mitt sure won that one? Sure. One of the more interesting realities in American media this week (first week of October 2012, five weeks before the election) is that a lot of influential people really seem to believe that Barack Obama turned into the arrogant, prissy, preachy professorial semi-entity on display in the first round of the Presidential Debates of 2012. Get real, Chicago. This is when you place your bets on the actual bout, and not on just one round.

U.S Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (in shorts) and President Barack Obama (in sweats) recently during a rehearsal for the presidential debates, Chicago style.For reasons that must still mystify anyone who can find his way from Chicago's 11th Ward to Chicago's 10th Ward — and then explain why the "First Ward" is no longer the Real First Ward — Barack Obama's doctorate in Chicago politics is paying off this week on the national stage one last time, and the payoff will be fun to watch (sort of; Arne Duncan is still breathing and Race To The Top is still out there, but this is fun no matter what else is at issue)...

Brothers and sisters, Obama took a fall in the first round of his fight with his chosen rival. The Plutocrats' choice, Mitt Romney, now not only "looks good" (and oh so white) but also has his MOJO or whatever they call it in the Passion of the Plutocrats back. The set up would be perfect. It was Rope A Dope, Chicago-style, one of several rules of how to win elections in the City of Broad Shoulders (sort of today).

RULE NUMBER ONE, PICK THE RIGHT OPPONENT. A first rule of Chicago politics has always been to pick your opponent carefully. Mayors named Daley, at least one of whom mentored Barack (back in the day, it was all limp handshakes and "Call me Barack..." when the current president was hanging around with those of us who worked at places like the Chicago Teachers Union...) in real time (and some times you'd think the other one was working from beyond the grave with Chicago rules know it's important to get guys like Bobby Rush to run against you).

CHICAGO RULE: If you want to get re-elected forever, give yourself the right opponent. It's called the "Two Schmidts rule," for those unfamiliar with it. If your opponent is named "Schmidt" (admittedly, a rarity in Chicago since World War I), have a friend name "Schmidt" get on the ballot, too.

OR THE MIRIAM SANTO PLAY. That is, discover "corruption" in a potential rival — e.g., Miriam Santos — and get the person locked up until the facts actually come out. Miriam Santos, who could have really given Rich Daley tantrums at the polls, was finished by the time she got out of jail and was told it was all a mistake.

Rahm had learned at least that much when be brought his Hollywood Road Show to Chicago and fought the limp fight against a team of losers... What Rahm missed along the way is that Chicago can't be scripted Spielberg style, and that his name wasn't "Daley." By the time Rahm had pissed off almost all the teachers — and all the cops and firefighters — the teachers strike just showed how stupid some geniuses can be.

But now everyone is a "Democrat" and Barack has set up Mitt for the final rounds.

But we disgress.

Or misagree.

Or something Bushian or Daleyesque...

While the pundits were declaring a knockout for Mitt Romney on October 3, 2012, after just one (of three) presidential debates, Barack was smiling for going down for a six-count in the first round. But, notice carefully, he seemed to get up off the canvas with life left in his legs (and a smile in his eyes).

Ali in his younger days, before the concussions took their toll.And the days since have proved: just about everybody missed a second rule of Chicago politics: Rope A Dope.

Although that was articulated most masterfully not by a Chicago politician, but by a Kentucky boxer who made Chicago his home for a long time, it now applies to the punditry that will bring Mitt Romney into the second and third presidential debates with the trade-marked arrogance that he has always exhibited and which he showed on Red Bull at the first debate. Obama is playing Rope A Dope with Mitt and Mitt's menagerie of high priced consultants, managers, and rehearsers. "Way to go, Mitt!" "You showed 'em, Mitt baby!"

You Da Man Mitt!

Does anyone really believe that Barack Obama is that fussy supercilious professorial mush that was on display in Round One? Granted, Barack has some, shall we say, interpersonal "issues," but that well rehearsed act was brilliant. So with the odds shifting, the time is today to get to Vegas fast, have some of that amazing buffet, watch the odds going Mitt's way, and put your bets down on the rest of the fight (er., "race") when the spread hits your points.

Without giving up any of the nonsense that has made his administration a huge disappointment (ow do you say "Race To The Top"?) to the majority of the people who were his infantry in 2008 (how do you spell teachers?), Barack Obama has managed to get himself misunderestimated at a level not seen since a millionaire Yale Skull and Boneser and Harvard MBA managed to reinvent himself as a semi-hick from rural Texas who really was just about clearing brush from his ranch and Aw Shucksing the locals...

But because he was trained in Chicago, Barack does it sooo much better than his predecessor (although he should stop using the word "Folks" when talking about average people; it's too personal out is Roseland... As Barack must know).

Moral of the story...?

Once upon a time Chicago First Ward Alderman Fred Roti, whose ward helped elected such important progressives as John F. Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt, ensured active participatory democracy in his precincts. Roti's off-the-clock friends were of no interest to the FBI and others as long as the Justice Department was in friendly hands. Welcome to the politics of the First Ward. Which is, as everyone in the know knows, no longer the real First Ward. Welcome to Chicago.

Within three weeks, an overconfident Mitt will be on the canvas like those cartoon characters — say the coyote from Beep Beep — with the stars over their heads. And what Mitt and his plutocratic pals will not even have seen was that the knockout punch he didn't see coming was delivered by Mitt's mitts.

Get some odds on that one from all the Hudge Fenders and other rich guys who are presently punditing in Mitt's corner. With luck, you can get them to three or four to one. Just have your muscle ready to collect when they try to claim they never made that bet.


October 5, 2012 at 1:18 PM

By: Anthony Smith

Totally Agree with your Assessment George!

I was laughing so hard during the debate because I could tell that Mitt Romney was picking up steam, thinking that he was roundly trouncing President Obama.

You could see the brain activity going on: "Wow, this is so easy, I'm crushing him, he's wobbly, his legs are weak, he's going down! I didn't think it would go so smoothly. This is great!"

Anyone who thinks the President was off his game, just didn't figure out that the Prez and his peeps figured this would be the best way to help build better self-esteem and confidence in Mitt. Puff him up so you can blow him down later.

Besides, Mitt really looked slick and totally convincing as he lied through his teeth.

Thrilla in Manilla, coming up soon.

January 23, 2017 at 2:39 PM

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