Nomalanga: What Women Know About Obama’s Debate Performance

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By Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses

On Tuesday night, President Obama and Mitt Romney will face off again, in the second Presidential election. While there is a lot of anticipation surrounding this next debate, my observation has been that there is still a lot of talk about the first debate.
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I will admit, the first debate was so unbearable to me that I did not even watch it all the way to the end. First of all, I generally wake up at 4:15am, so staying up past 9 p.m was already an ambitious goal. But the real reason why I went to bed before the end of the debate was, as I just said, it was unbearable. I was so surprised at how the “fired up and ready to go” Obama of 2008 had morphed into a seemingly tired, sullen and defeated man. At some points, the President even looked indifferent.

No one can know for sure if president Obama had every intention of coming to the debate cool, calm and collected and not letting Romney draw him into a loud and rude yelling match. Or maybe, and this is what I reckon we were witnessing, President Obama is like a lot of women who are overworked, under-appreciated, overwhelmed and absolutely exhausted.

Most women are pulled in three different directions, they have children and family life, a demanding career and then they have other responsibilities in their communities like church or volunteering. All the roles pull them in different directions and it is next to impossible to fulfill all of them without finally collapsing or showing up to a very important event looking and feeling so exhausted that anyone can take one glance at them and know that they should be at home sleeping or at least, resting.

Maybe the President had an unpleasant exchange with the First Lady that day. Any woman who is married can attest to the fact that we can cripple our husbands with our tongues if we are not mindful of what comes tumbling out of our mouths in a heated moment. Any man who truly loves a woman wants to make her happy and when we lack the wisdom to choose our words wisely, we can say things that ultimately translate to him as “You are a loser and you can’t do anything right!”

From what I have heard the First Lady say about how she perceives her role, I imagine that I am wrong. Mrs Obama has said, more than once, that she is the President’s greatest cheerleader and encourager and I have no reason to believe otherwise.

So we’re back to square one and question one-why would President Obama show up to one of the most important events of his life, and that of his administration, looking like he did not want to be there? Well, maybe that’s the answer. Maybe, just like a woman who is tired and fed up of trying to do their best for everyone and shown no appreciation, President Obama did not want to be there. Maybe he is going through the motions until the day that he can finally walk away and be left alone to live his life in peace.

Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s blog at