In golf, the term is "sandbagging."
That's what Barack Obama must have been doing in the first debate. I mean, there's no way he could have been that bad unless he was trying to be that bad, right?
So yeah, that's the ticket. He sandbagged. He carded double-bogeys, couldn't get out of bunkers, chunked chips and got a terrible case of the shanks. He got Mitt Romney overconfident, gave the Republicans hope and lowered expectations on himself.
Then, just when people were starting to bet on the other guy, though, President Obama showed up for Mitt vs. Barack II and started raining birdies.
Nice strategy, chief!
This time, Obama wouldn't let Romney get away with blatant lies. Obama got the last, best word on oil production, on the auto bailout, on tax policy and on Libya. Not that politicians even seem to care anymore, but the fact-checkers generally confirmed that Romney had less truthiness (how's that for a word?) than Obama.
And the president brilliantly used his closing statement to condemn Romney for his infamous 47 percent of the country is not worthy comments, thereby preventing Romney from defending himself. The challenger didn't have the chance to blame everybody else for the true feelings he had shared with his audience of gazillionaires.
One final birdie in the heart of the cup for the sandbagger.
Had this Jack Nicklaus Obama showed up for the first debate -- instead of Judge Smails Obama -- the election already would be over. But he didn't and it isn't.
The temptation now is to say that the debate score is 1-1. Or maybe that the Obama ticket is even slightly ahead when factoring in Joe Biden's takedown of Paul Ryan in the VP debate. That, however, is not the case.
Obama's victory last night was not nearly as lopsided as Romney's was last time. Plus, by mopping the floor with the president in the first debate, Romney was able to get out from under having called nearly half the country victims, leeches and losers.
Romney completely stole the momentum during No. 1. Obama merely stemmed the tide in No. 2, showing America he was willing to fight.
I'm already looking forward to No. 3. It's been pretty darn good television theater.
In much more important news, Blue Thunder, our geezer-league softball team, reached a new high last night. We won 30-5 in a game that was even more decisive than the score might suggest.
In an effort to prevent runaways, the league has a rule that caps scoring in any one inning at 5 runs. Well, we had six offensive innings last night. And in each of those innings, we scored 5 runs. Our opponent wasn't very good and gave us extra chances, but the fact is that we were smacking line drive after line drive after line drive.
Our leadoff guy, Wheels, went 5-for-5 with four singles and a double -- every time delivering a clean hit, as if he were some kind of line-drive machine. Several players had four hits. I went 3-for-3 with a walk, including my first triple of the season.
All of this happened after one of our core players, our pitcher Pat, got bloodied in the first inning when hit in the face by a hard shot. Pat had to go to the hospital to get a few stitches, but the good news is that he is fine and should be back next week -- when we'll be trying to wrap up a perfect 9-0 regular season!
If you are going to ever read one of my personal finance articles at the Seeking Alpha web site, make it my most recent entry about Roth IRAs. Everybody who can have a Roth should have one, and I give the hows and whys in this article.
Plus, I get paid per page-view. So hey, everybody who clicks can help me fund my own Roth!