The LuLac Edition #2239, October 22nd, 2012
THE DEBATE FINALE
President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney faced off in a Foreign Policy debate that should cement their qualifications or lack thereof with the minuscule amount of undecided voters. Tonight Mitt Romney looked like a bobble head doll that kept on agreeing with the President’s Foreign policy. President Obama on the other hand looked totally exasperated as he saw Romney change his previous positions right before his eyes. The disagreements Romney brought up had to do with economics. Romney said that America could be a stronger leader in Foreign policy and the world if our financial footing was better. President Obama defended his record and took shots at Romney’s prior positions.
Interestingly enough, Romney defended himself but barely not disrespecting the President and reiterating policies that have been in place since 2009. To be sure there were disagreements but in my opinion they were cosmetic. But there were differences. Obama said he had ended the war in Iraq, was on a path to end the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan and has vowed to bring justice to the attackers of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi last month — an assault that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. He also jabbed at Romney’s having said during the campaign that Russia is the United States’ No. 1 geopolitical foe. Romney meanwhile gave a compliment to the President regarding the death of Osama Bin Laden but he did say we can’t kill our way out of terrorism. Romney also said that despite early hopes, the ouster of despotic regimes in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere over the past year has resulted in a “rising tide of chaos.” He said the President has failed to come up with a coherent policy to grapple with change sweeping the Middle East, and he added ominously that an al-Qaida-like group has taken over northern Mali.
Monday night marked the third time in less than a week that the president and his challenger shared a stage, following the contentious hour and a half town-hall-style meeting last Tuesday on Long Island and a white-tie charity dinner (The Al Smith Foundation dinner in New York) two nights later where gracious compliments were mixed with humorous barbs.
This debate, unlike previous debates really did not change anything regarding major differences in American Foreign policy. Romney, even though he look uncomfortable at times displayed a working knowledge of the world. Since Sarah Palin, the Foreign policy bar has been set pretty low. President Obama on the other hand defended his policies, finally talked about a vision as to where he was going to go in a second term and had a forceful closing.
The debates are now over. Unlike previous years, they had an impact. Debate number 1 legitimized Mitt Romney as a viable alternative to undecided voters. The second and third debates gave President Obama a chance to climb out of the hole he dug for himself in the first outing. But there haven’t been any knockouts. Polls are pretty much fluid in terms of one candidate up or down. Some are dead even.
The last two weeks will now depend on ground games, get out the vote efforts, a flow of ads to battleground states and a concentration on about 10 states out of the 50 United. It will be like watching 10 races for Governor or Senator. And each state will be winner take all. Hang on to your hat. If you are a political junkie, you’ll love it. If you are tired and hope it will all go away, it won’t. If you have no opinion, call the coroner. It’s going to be a wild ride. And there’s no debate about that.