MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK: one who “coaches” a completed experience when it is safe… after it’s over

It’s always easier to prognosticate and speculate when you have the facts.  That’s true particularly when the event under scrutiny has already taken place.

A Monday morning quarterback is one who tries to sound profound, but only comments after the event is over and the results are known.   It’s easy to say, “I think New England was destined to win that game from the beginning.“  Especially when the game was on Sunday and everyone knows that they won, if only as a result of some NY errors and after a lot of fumbling around like a High School team.

This characteristic of a Monday morning quarterback is not restricted to football, or even to sports.   Today, for instance, it is interesting to listen to pundits who are saying that what they saw in last night’s presidential debate is exactly what they expected so see.   Even though they never said that before the debate began.  As a matter of fact, some of the “mmq” folk were quite silent about their anticipation of the debate when interviewed yesterday.  Or, they were cautious and generic.

I think anybody could have said that President Obama would be “on his game” last night.  He had to be.  He was in a position of needing to sound presidential (whatever that has come to mean.)  After a disaster in the first debate and a good showing in the second, he needed to be solid and not lose ground last night.   Duh!

And Mr. Romney needed to sound as if he knew more about foreign policy than he actually knows.  His lack of experience and wisdom in the foreign policy arena is a significant deficit in his campaign.   So it was clear that he had to appear to be “up to snuff” on his information, opinions, and plans.   So those who claim they got it right about him were just stating the obvious.

What nobody could have predicted was that Mr. Romney was going to parrot the Obama foreign policy and claim it as his own.   Oh, there were some who said they didn’t think the two candidates were that far apart.   But what we saw last night was a surprise.  Mr. Romney basically endorsed 80% of the Obama foreign policy and claimed that it is where he has been all along.  Hmmmm.  Not as I remember it.

The debate was strong and direct.  I wouldn’t say it was fiery or energetic.   Two men who were controlled and mature discussed the state of the world and how they see the U.S. playing a role in issues relating to the world.  There were some variations, but for the most part it was a case of Mr. Romney putting aside his previous commentary in which he played to his conservative base.   He moved to the center and agreed with the President and even commended him for his positions.  That is not what we were hearing a few weeks (or days) ago.

From my perspective, it was an excellent snapshot of Mr. Romney doing what he does best.  He played to the audience instead of  expressing what he has said is his conscience.   The supposedly-undecided voters who are left (????) are probably looking for a centrist, so he became a centrist.    That was to be expected, but the degree to which he capitulated to the Obama plan was surprising.

I’d love to say I knew he would do it that way.  But I didn’t.  I don’t have the arm for a quarterback.


Photo Credit: U of Michigan

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