In a recent poll, a majority of the American public said that President Obama would beat Mitt Romney in a fistfight. Due to Romney’s potentially vast reserves of Old Man Strength, however, we weren’t totally sure. So, when we ran into legendary boxing promoter Don King at the Black November premiere at the United Nations on Wednesday night, we asked him to analyze the matchup. And he complied, but with a somewhat more metaphorical interpretation of the question at hand. Here’s what the former gung-ho Bush supporter, and now gung-ho Obama supporter, had to say:
NYM: Who do you think would win if Obama and Romney went against each other in a boxing match?
Don King: What’s that? Rocky?
NYM: No, Romney. If Obama and Romney were in a match, who would be the winner?
Don King: Ah! Oh! Well, you know, [chuckles] I think they’re in a boxing match! But the American people will be the winner. The people will win from this match, you know? And they’re fighting like gladiators, and they’re doing a great job, giving it their all, but the people are the beneficiaries of it, because they’re seeing it vicariously, what it is for a champion to sit up and fight, and so they can transfer some of that psychology. And so when you do that to this magnitude — they come back over and over again — when you can vindicate yourself, and you understand what you’re doing? So I look at it that way.
NYM: Okay, but to continue the metaphor, what would their styles be? What kind of fighters would you say they are?
Don King: Well, I think, if they had to fight, I think one of them would be doing what we call stick and move, which would create an atmosphere of togetherness by being able to communicate in relief, and the other one would be a counterpuncher, trying to punch out his mistakes by design and calculation. But when you’re president, you’ve got to win friends and influence people, you know what I mean? Bring people together. And you can’t win over people if you don’t talk to them. So what you have is a communication where he’s saying what he would have been able to do, and you can’t live by yourself. And might is not right. Might creates power, creates choice, and is the power going to use you or are you going to use power?
NYM: Does that mean Romney is the counterpuncher in this scenario?
Don King: Romney is a selfish thing looking out for the few, you know what I mean? When you need to be for the many. That’s why we say “we the people.” You can’t just look out for the elite and the rich. It’s the haves and the have-nots.