The LuLac Edition #2238, October 21st, 2012
DEBATE PREVIEWMonday night is the final Presidential debate before the Election on November 6th. The debate will center on Foreign Policy. With Governor Romney winning the first debate and President Obama coming back in the second round, this third series might be pivotal to the Election Day results. Even with the economy being the major issue, Foreign Policy and America’s role in the world is something people will be interested in. Here’s what the two men need to do:
President Obama: He needs to reiterate the strength America has projected in his administration. He has made significant progress in repairing relationships with allies. He can’t tout the Osama Bin Laden card too many times in 90 minutes but he can’t ignore it all together either. He needs to make a logical explanation of what happened in Benghazi and lay out the facts in a clear manner so it will make sense. On Iran he has to make the same case Vice President Joe Biden did in articulating the fact that America needs to stay out of another war. He can turn that around with a nod to the economy saying that if we can reduce our involvement in the world, the United States can put money back into rebuilding our own nation.
Governor Mitt Romney: Romney needs to be less of a fact machine and more of a conveyor of a message. Romney needs to convey the message that he indeed will keep the world a safer place. He’ll lose if he tries to discredit the administration’s foreign policy with only harping on Benghazi. It is a fact that the Foreign Policy component of the Obama administration (thanks in large part to Hillary Clinton) is more successful than his economic programs. Most importantly, Romney needs to look comfortable in discussing Foreign policy. The fact of the matter is he doesn’t. He looks like me trying to explain to a carpenter how to do his job. He seems stilted and by all means has to avoid a mistake during the last debate when he challenged the President on whether he called the Benghazi event a terrorist attack. If Romney asks a question like that again, he should remember the old lawyer’s saw that you never ask a question that you don’t know the answer to. Plus Romney has had so much focus on the economy, he might be rusty in that area. If he looks confident and avoids a Gerald Ford like mistake, he might make this third debate a draw.
Once the election is over, Foreign policy in most cases is the most forgettable part of a Presidential election. Issues change constantly and rarely do the portions of the debate carry over into crisis. Those usually come from nowhere. In the 1960 debates, John Kennedy and Richard Nixon argued about the safety surrounding the Pacific islands of Quemoy and Matsu. In terms of facts about foreign affairs, a majority of Americans will say they care about Foreign policy but cannot pick an issue that is important to them. Granted military families will be paying close attention but the American voter I believe has a very low bar for a President when it comes to Foreign affairs. First and foremost, Americans want to be safe and free from attack. In Foreign Affairs the devil is usually in the details and few Americans know the details or care to.
To that end, Romney has to appear Presidential. The President must keep fighting back from that first debater. He would be wise to not attack Romney on Foreign policy but state what he has done (which is considerable) and address the future of his role as leader of the free world. Foreign policy will always be fluid and both men would do well to stick to their facts because in truth, with the exception of Iran, both men agree than disagree more with each other. It would be novel if not unexpected if both men showed a little statesmanship. We shall see though.
A reception for Matt Cartwright, Democratic Candidate for Congress, PA-17th will be held on Wednesday October 24th from 6-8pm at the Woodlands, Highway 315, Wilkes-Barre. Cost is $35 per person. Checks should be made payable to Cartwright for Congress, P.O. Box 1805, Plains, PA 18705. For more information or to RSVP please call 410-727-0501, or email: email@example.com