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Karen Hinton Headshot

We're in the Mood for Debate!

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The American people are in the mood for debate mostly because our president wasn't.

It's likely more people than ever will watch Tuesday's night debate just to see if President Obama will be in a good or bad mood. And, that's reason enough.

I like my politicians to show some emotion -- any emotion, even bad ones from time to time.

I mean we finally got a little drama from no-drama Obama.

The man had no interest in debating Mitt Romney, and 67 million viewers quickly figured that out -- about two minutes into it. We Democrats may not have liked the fact that our leader smirked and avoided eye contact with the enemy, but we gotta respect the honesty in that and the courage it took to actually sulk on prime time national television.

Some commentators criticized Vice President Joe Biden's big-tooth grins during his debate with Paul Ryan. While there might have been one too many, I loved the spirit behind them. He's a man who is not afraid to let you know how he feels. What you see is what you get.

It's the politicians who are wound too tight, though, that worry me.

Politicians like Romney and Ryan really need to learn how to lighten up every now and then, let loose, get stupid, something, anything human like.

I'm afraid the White House and all that comes with it will be too much of a pressure cooker for the two. When control freaks can't control; when demanding bosses can't boss; when tough closers can't close, things can get ugly. One day, they'll wake up, walk out into the Rose Garden and explode. Like one of those spontaneous human combustions you read about in the tabloids: "President Romney Bursts Into Flames Shortly After 100th Meeting with Tea Party Leaders" or "Vice President Ryan Blow Torches Head When Tuft of Hair above Forehead Refuses to Stand Up Straight."

It could happen.

After all, perfection isn't everything it's cracked up to be. I don't really like people who strive to be perfect all of the time. Something is wrong with them. They are the kind of people who get out of bed at night to make sure all the blue socks are in the blue sock drawer, and the black ones in the black drawer. I can envision Romney and Ryan doing that. Or, in Romney's case, he would order someone to check for him.

In some ways, it's really our fault our politicians behave so strangely. We expect too much. We wait anxiously for a misstep so we don't feel so bad about our own station in life: Yea, I knew this is what it would come to, or I told you all along he can't be trusted. But, we also like come-back kids, too, don't we? We all want to beat the odds of our demise.

My prediction is President Obama will be in a good mood Tuesday night, will be in the moment, and will get his groove back precisely because he is the person we saw in Denver: complicated, conflicted, worn out but committed. He is human, and we got a little peek into what it's like to be president. It's a bitch basically.

He got all of that resentment out of his system in the first debate. Now that everybody knows how much he hates debating, my guess is he'll dig in and put that Harvard education to use, if only to prove that he can.

Let the debate begin!