Debate, Part Three

My pre debate thoughts are that I expect the President will ‘find’ a way to put a new spin on Benghazi, something he can ‘sell’. To underestimate the President is a mistake and there can be no doubt he understands the importance of the moment.

I am hopeful that Gov. Romney knows that the style of Debate Two won’t work. Answers and policy is one thing, statesmanship is quite another and he needs to project statesmanship above all else; calm and competent.

Pre Spin, Post Debate thoughts.

Dear reader, you may rightly accuse me of arrogance; neither of these candidates has presented the full context of foreign policy questions, in my not so humble opinion. (Confession is good for the soul I’m told) We all understanding that limitations accrue in these debate formats, this debate has much less limiting factors than the previous two. That being said, in general, the President’s basis for his foreign policy simply does not recognize realities, how many voters understand those realities is the question of the day. Mr. Romney, while not as strong as one might like, is less naïve but somewhat naïve nonetheless.

The most significant flaw in this debate is simply that foreign policy became a secondary topic! Both candidates continued to bring it back to economic issues. There is no refocus on the question on the table, Mr. Scheiffer apparently intimidated by prior criticisms just lets it go. Strategically, one must give the economic arguments to Gov. Romney. It is clearly a ‘run on your record Mr. President’ strategy for Gov. Romney.

In my opinion the debate, was a toss-up: until the closing statements. Both candidates landed blows, both candidates generated effective arguments in the context of the voter just getting serious about the political landscape.

Mr. Romney was not ‘caught’ in any point of ignorance, that combined with the closing means the President was not helped and Mr. Romney was not hurt. Advantage Romney

  • I was actually disappointed by the lack of foreign policy discussion in most regards. Romney did what he needed to do, the statesmanship as you mentioned. However, both men were seething to discuss domestic issues. Romney because he excels there and Obama because he’s losing there. As far as foreign policy goes, I don’t think Romney lost points last night, he went in to basically make no news and keep his momentum going. Obama had a tougher challenge trying to break the Romney momentum and turn the ship around. He failed.

    Overall, I’d score all three debates giving Romney the victory since he clearly has come out on top in terms of the polls and momentum.

  • Landreaux

    It occurs to me that debates are getting to be like a baseball trade. You have to wait a bit to see how it all works out.

  • Bones


    given your scathing critique of the President’s handling on foreign policy, I’m surprised you didn’t find last night’s debate more unsettling. Essentially, Romney would continue on the exact same path in virtually every regard. He would support Israel more openly, and have a more openly adversarial role with Russia. He’d give our navy more ships. But aside from that, you’re looking at very little in the way of foreign policy shifts for the next 4 years.

  • My ‘critque’ of foreign policy was, in the main, a statement of facts as I see them. I was unsettled by some of what I heard in the specific, the reason I didn’t jump off a cliff is that strategically I had a sense of what Romney would do. There are differences: Russia, Israel, Jihadism, Iran and defense posture. Looking at some other commentary an interesting point was made in terms of how Reagan handled the Iran hostage issue back in the day. He let it go by insisting that he would not say anyting that might jeopardize what was going on behind the scenes. He looked, in that moment, very much Presidential.

    Romney was apparently attempting to do the same thing on certain issues, Afghanistan chief among them. The President fell into it a bit, being critical even when Romney agreed with him; not Presidential.

    I also expect the natture of Romney’s foreign policy team to look MUCH DIFFERENT that what is in place now. Personally I’m hoping for John Bolton as SecState if that happens we’ll have all the difference we could possibly want.

  • Mike

    During the Primaries, the right accused Romney of unprincipled flip-flopping. He countered that by moving sharply to the right. In the first debate, he did an instant total etch-a-sketch and caught Obama standing flat-footed with his mouth hanging open. Thrilled by his victory, the right said nothing about their candidate’s quick-step to the left. Since it worked so well on domestic policy, Romney used his etch-a-sketch again on foreign policy, but Obama was ready for him this time. Romney has discovered that his base hates the foreign Muslim president so much that he can cater to the center and left as much as he wants and they will bite their tongues. He’s in an enviable position; with a submissive base, he’s able to adjust his positions at will to poach in the center and even the left. It may well win him the presidency.

    I’ve been ransacking history in search of a candidate who rivals this man in shiftiness. I can’t find one who comes anywhere close.

  • Bill Hedges

    Arguable the worse flip flop for buma is him saying bumcare will help the non-rich without devastating cost. NOT exactly a flip flop. But is in the sense a lot of “etch-a-sketch” saying SUCH AS CSPAN coverage, explained by Pelosi & buma, etc.. Buma against Bush’s non-court ordered wire taping. Yet buma fought for this in court and court decided in favor of non-court ordered wire tapes.

    Mike writes:

    “I’ve been ransacking history in search of a candidate who rivals this man in shiftiness. I can’t find one who comes anywhere close.”

    Mike the few flip flops by Mitt can EASILY FIND BUMA WHO surpasses Mitt. Mitt is no where near buma’s flip flops. You stretched this rubber band so far it broke.

    Something close to this meaning, of your quote mike, I read on liberal site I also write on. Folks such as myself siting links FULL of flip flops by buma. My favorite one is buma getting Blacks in CA, before he was president, to vote against SAME SEX MARRIAGE. IS buma for or against extension of ALL bush tax cut extensions ? *** Depends on wind direction & speed ***.

    I go to “obama’s flip flops” on goggle & find many, many links full of buma’s flip flops. Besides KING OF GOLF holed played (already beating Busk), KING OF DEBT; I bet he is also KING OF FLIP FLOPPING. Here is just one link from goggle:

    “The Top 10 Obama Flip Flops by Ari Fleischer”

    buma says he isn’t FOR REDUCING TAXES ON RICH. nOT FOR TAXING NON-RICH. Waiting more than 4 years for full bumacare helped it appear he keep that promise. CBO says THAT’S GOING TO CHANGE:

    “ObamaCare’s Heavy Toll on Middle Class Americans”

    “President Obama likes to say his campaign is about building up the middle class, but his signature initiative in office — ObamaCare — will pile thousands of dollars in new taxes and higher health costs on top of America’s middle class”

    “In broad terms, the amount of redistribution is easily ascertained form the aggregate expenditures and taxes contained in ObamaCare. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), in 2020, ObamaCare will spend $229 billion on a Medicaid expansion and a new subsidy program for health insurance. These expenditures will primarily benefit 29 million people newly enrolled in Medicaid and the insurance subsidy program. That works out to nearly $8,000 for every newly insured American, or about $21,000 per newly insured household.”

  • JD McAfoose

    I thought the debate went well for both candidates. This debate is about speaking to their base and I believe they both succeeded with this. Hence the reason why depending on your party loyalty you will say Obama or Romney won.

    Compare this to the first debate where Democrats were upset with Obama’s performance.

    Romney already has a motivated base but I do feel that Obama, in the last two debates, has convinced more of his previous voters to show up on election day. Essentially, he has convinced them to care about this election. That has always been is hurdle.