My running notes on the last debate. What were your notes? Anything you heard that you want to argue against?
Arab scholars at the UN, apud Mr. Romney, plot the saving of the Muslim world from extremism thusly: 1. More economic development, pushed by foreign aid; 2. education; 3. gender equality; 4. rule of law; help them create civil societies. These are bogus criteria; no democracy was ever created by this blueprint. Many powerful economies do not meet them now. Liberalism may believe in spreading gender equality, but most nations worldwide do not; they neither have it nor want it; America has done nothing to persuade them otherwise.
'The 1980s are calling to ask for their foreign policy back.' I thought Mr. Obama was pathetic--high-school humor is about the best he's got.
Mr. Obama say he is making sure to only mobilize the moderates in Syria. This is liberalism: A sinister tyrant is slaughtering the people he rules. Sec.State Clinton called him a reformer. Now he's a bad guy. Mr. Obama has done nothing to stop him, not even what he did do in Libya. He is doing nothing as we are speaking. The tens of thousands of corpses are piling up--but he's worried about the moderates. What moderates? When did these moderates appear? How do you recognize them? Did moderates take over Libya & Egypt? Mr. Obama on Libya: The forces of moderation on the ground have the leadership.--Hallucinatory.
Mr. Romney made sure, again & again, until I almost blushed, that he would never use American troops--anywhere, so far as discussed. Maybe it's become poison, saying that American troops are necessary. Are there no small wars left?
I am with Mr. Obama when he says he does not see what different policies Mr. Romney is proposing. I am sure the two men have different styles & political opinions. But I have not heard the differences--they certainly agree war horrifies America like nothing else.
Mr. Obama's foreign policy is apparently perfect; it is adequate to the circumstances, & forward-looking. The dead ambassador: How does that fit into the picture? His perfect policies on Syria: How about the tens of thousands of corpses? Part of the plan? Acceptable casualties? When is success coming? What will it look like? It seems like whatever happens is alright, because Mr. Obama is doing it...
Mr. Romney on the Middle East: Let's work with whoever to have more representative gov't. Really? Mr. Bush oversaw elections in the Palestine. That did not go well. Mr. Obama failed about as badly in Egypt. Americans are obsessed with elections. Why?
Mr. Obama should be judged on one statement he made: America is stronger now than when I came into office. How come?--America's alliances, he explains, have never been stronger. Really?
Then American foreign policy turns into Mr. Romney explain how about his five-point plan to save the American economy--12 million jobs, folks, more middle class than the middle class could dream--& Mr. Obama talk about education, basically servility to teachers' unions again. Pathetic. Democratic hacks being bullied by teachers' unions in Chicago should not have any connection with the serious political affairs of America, certainly not with the foreign policy.
The moderator has to interrupt the two in order to talk about the Navy. It does not work. They get back to what they will spend or not spent--they cannot agree on facts, economics, budgets, or projections of the national deficit. Mr. Obama is still doing his shameless act as the man who cuts budgets--the worst spender in world history, no less. Mr. Romney demurely assures America that he'll cut the national deficit--it will only take a decade, or eight years, he add helpfully. Well, let's get married then, for two terms at least!
Mr. Obama then says his cutting the military budgets is fine. Yeah, national security is his thing. & Democrats & navies must be fast friends. Mr. Obama explains condescendingly that he knows what an aircraft carrier is, & a nuclear subrmaine. This is, again, high-school humor. The man seems stunted intellectually. He casually ignores the diminishment of the Navy since Reagan--not 1916, horse-&-bayonets, 1988. Also, the thing about 1916, the thoughts that Mr. Obama has any idea about The Great War is an insult to common sense & historical scholarship both. A more ignorant man when it comes to war has never occupied the White House.
Mr. Romney is far too busy agreeing with Mr. Obama. Mr. Obama is far too busy showing his contempt for Mr. Romney. Democrats are bad at national security; worse at war; having a professor play Commander-in-Chief is a pathetic joke--how did it work for T. Woodrow Wilson, does anyone remember?
Mr. Romney assures America China does not want war. Really? Is that it? He assures America & China both want economics ueber alles. This is depressive. Then he goes into protectionism, like Mr. Obama. Pathetic. Then he mentions industrial theft. True--but he will do nothing about it, nor will Mr. Obama.
Mr. Obama's aggression seemed petty. Then he explained the private sector never does enough research; the gov't might do better. He might explain that gov't created the internet for profit. The man is deluded; he spent more money than anyone before, & has nothing to show for it.
I thought President Obama made Romney look pathetic. I saw one President up there, and sat there thinking what the hell happened to the GOP when Romney was the best that they had. I hadn't really got what they all meant during the Primaries when they described him as "meh". And I got it, he is "meh"
You found bayonets and horses childish, I found it brilliant. At some point, after so many stupid things being said as fact, you need to slap the other side down.
Then there was Romney's taking Pres Obama's side on almost everything, what the hell was that?
As far as China, I didn't really hear Romney say he would do much at all, esp after the moderator asked him about the trade war. Some were probably upset, as Romney was, that Obama grilled him about being guilty of sending jobs over to China, but it was extremely relevant in my view, and Romney had no answer for it.
I've heard a number of people, each rather severely liberal, repeating this mantra. And, I believe that it comes down to a fundamental difference in each of our biases...yours, versus mine.
The debate I saw last night was between an incompetent child, and a grown-up. It's true that Obama got in a few good one-liners which will play well in the media, but when it came to showing an actual depth of knowledge, he came across as naive at best, and at worst, completely clueless.
Seriously, his performance last night was just pathetic. And, what's even more worrisome is that so many on the liberal side honestly believe that Obama's statements were in some way GOOD!
Now, let me be fair. It's difficult to argue Obama's statements about using diplomacy primarily, and using force only as a last resort. That, of course, is completely correct and reasonable. He and Romney agreed on this point.
But what Obama doesn't seem to understand is that the ability to project force is key to that approach. Diplomacy is, essentially, a bargaining process, and you do not bargain successfully from a position of weakness.
It's funny to hear that exact post repeated, with the parties reversed.
Ultimately, I don't think this debate changed any minds. I honestly have a hard time believe there actually are undecided voters.
Alright, so who wins the election? Close, or not?
As far as Romney agreeing with what Obama said I can only assume that Romney sees himself with the lead in the pols so he can shot for a a draw in the final debate and still be in the lead.
One thing stuck out for me and that was when Romney said China didn't want war they wanted peace. China is customizing their military specifically towards us. The world has asked China to help with North Korea but they chose not to. I really hope Romney was just blowing hot air and hoping to sound positive and he doesn't really believe that.
The China thing got to me as well. But I also agree that Mr. Romney seems more preoccupied with keeping his growing trend growing rather than making any shocking or unusual statements. But I'm fairly sure he would be a better Commander-in-Chief than this sort of statement suggests. I liked what he said about backbone...
I think it was strategic.
I just heard clips of the foreign policy portion of the Reagan-Carter debate in 1980. Reagan did exactly the same thing Romney just did. Reagan talked about "world peace" being the highest goal, and about military force being the last resort, and about peace through strength. He didn't say "tear down this wall", he didn't call the USSR an "evil empire" -- he didn't sabre-rattle.
Reagan also passed on a softball question about the Iran Hostage Crises, saying he didn't want to inadvertently divulge information or put the hostages at risk. He let Carter's record on the Hostage Crises literally speak for itself.
10-to-1 Romney watched that debate, and adopted it as a model. The responses sounded almost identical. Romney said the word "peace" 12 times -- Obama none. Romney said "we can't kill our way out of this mess", spoke of military forces as a last resort, and adopted a "peace through strength" stand. Romney also passed on an opportunity to eviscerate Obama on Libya -- instead letting the record speak for itself.
Yeah. I was thinking about this kind of thing. The first writer I read on Mr. Romney needing to imitate Reagan's 1980 strategy was Ann Coulter some months ago. It seems to be the right thing to do. But I did not see people in 1980, what they thought, what tipped them to vote for Reagan. I hope Mr. Romney has the chance in the upcoming weeks to make some stronger statements. I'd like to see a bit more enthusiasm in the electorate. But all in all, the more boring the election has got, the better I've liked it, at least compared to the ugly stuff.
I thought Obama had a stronger night, but Romney passed the test.
Obama supporters got what they wanted -- a couple of sassy one-liners interspersed with some fairly reasonable-sounding answers. I thought the one-liners came off as petulant and childish, but I can see why a Democrat would like them. The problem with Obama's reasonable-sounding answers is that they're the same reasonable-sounding answers he gave four years ago. He debates as if he hasn't been President for four years -- or as if all has gone well. For the incumbent, platitudes are not a substitute for results, and attacks are not a substitute for a second-term plan. It seemed to ring more hollow than four years ago.
Romney was taking a different test than Obama. The goal for a challenger in a foreign policy debate is to look like an acceptable Commander-in-Chief, and to be knowledgable and reasonable on all the topics covered. He did that. His secondary concern was avoiding being painted as a warmonger by Obama -- avoiding sabre-rattling or recklessness. He did that, too. He obviously made a calculated play. He pulled his punches on Libya -- which I wouldn't have done. He spoke of peace through strength to a war-weary nation, and he avoided being lumped in with Bush -- who, for better or worse, has been successfully painted as a warmonger.
Foreign policy debates are an interesting animal. Foreign policy is the only real area where a President or incoming President can make a significant policy change with a mere statement. Negotiations are always ongoing, and foreign leaders are watching. In that regard, I don't think either man can be taken at face value because these conversations are as not-candid as they come. They can't say what they think, they have to say what they want heard -- by foreign dictators, foreign citizens, allies, enemies ... and us.
Electorally, I think this was a replay of the second debate in that nothing changed. Obama won by a split judge's decision -- which is definitely not the decisive knockout blow he needed to make up for being KOed in the first debate. I don't think he did enough to reverse the trend. Romney passed Commander-in-Chief test ... anybody that was leaning toward voting against Obama will still be comfortable casting their vote for him.
I skipped back-and-forth between FoxNews, MSNBC and CNN for after-debate coverage. Predictably, MSNBC agreed with Shieldes -- they thought Romney was terrible, and several thought he disqualified himself from holding the office. Maddow was elated at Obama's performance ... probably the happiest a dude has ever made her. The partisans at MSNBC, FoxNews and CNN -- Hannity, Palin, Carville, Van Jones, Sharpton, Matthews, etc. -- were all equally predictable. All came down solidly for their guy. The really interesting analysis was from the less-partisan ... Brit Hume, Chris Wallace, David Gergen, John King, Charles Krauthammer (I don't think MSNBC has anyone that's "less partisan"). All gave solid reviews to both men -- saying Obama landed more punches and "won on points", but unanimously agreeing that Romney passed the test.
Mostly, I think undecided voters' eyes glaze over during foreign policy debates -- talking about leaders they've never heard of, in areas of the world they can't locate ... opposite Game 7 of the NLCS and Monday Night Football.
I also worried about the NLCS. I feel like the Cards are too big on keeping me on the edge of my seat. But then again, it's not the first year, is it? We'll see next year if they can rise above that wildcard perch; you wouldn't think how many championships they played to judge by that... As for the other thing, yeah, I really don't like the Packers on MNF, didn't it just happen last week?, but I guess big teams have to do it... I know people like it, but I prefer football in the afternoon... What was on MNF this week?
Now, about that foreign policy thing. I like Krauthammer. People I like have good things to say about Brit Hume. I don't know much about some of these other names. Glad to hear what the word on TV is, you know, without having to watch. When I stop on CNN occasionally, I cannot figure whether this is really a '90s idea or why someone in the '90s thought this would be the future; maybe that's what strikes me as a '90s idea--end of century syndrome, American-style...
I think Mr. Romney has a good chance of winning, but I am less thrilled about his prospects of governing. He will have trouble with public opinion; he will also have trouble with the people. Maybe the debates are not really a venue to do anything about that. They should be; so also the convention; that the GOP disagrees with me on this seems to me to show their unwisdom. Of course, if they happen to start winning elections like mad, like Democrats did an half-century ago, then I will seem very ridiculous. Hell, I'd like that, all things considered. I am anxious to see how this man will try to persuade Americans that there is something very wrong with trillion-dollar deficits four years in a row...
I also believe Obama had a stronger debate. Then again, I expected that to be the case going in. Every indication I see shows Romney leading at the moment. In that light I expected him to play it safe, to run out the clock if you will. I believe his sole aim for this debate was to not shoot himself in the foot, which I think he accomplished.Time will tell if it was a good strategy or not.
“POTUS is consistently trying to draw Romney into a more contentious debate. It's what challengers do who think they are behind." -- Chuck Todd, NBC, on Twitter.