President Obama and Republican Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney met Monday evening at 8PM CST at Lynn University in Boca Raton Florida for the third and final Presidential debate of the 2012 campaign season. The debate was moderated by CBS’s Bob Schieffer, who, while not a stellar debate moderator, was the best of the 2012 election season; competition was not stiff. Those of you who engaged in a drinking game where you took a drink each time the Narcissist in Chief, our President, used a first person singular pronoun will have missed almost the entire debate. Allow me to bring you up to date.
Romney, because he has had the momentum throughout the debate season, had the most to lose. I know, some had given the President the second debate. But since the polls continued to move in Romney’s favor after the second debate, we have to allow for the possibility that they may have been wrong. Romney also had the most to achieve in this debate if he were to be considered the victor. He would have to show that he was knowledgeable in foreign affairs (the focus of this debate). He would have to display some diplomatic skill. Viewers would have to be able to see Romney as the Commander in Chief. And finally, Mitt would have to appear Presidential.
What Obama would have to achieve in this debate was simple. He would have to plug the leak in the boat (ship to the President – more on that later) and stop the momentum. Apparently, Romney had the more difficult task. Obama had the luxury of singularity of purpose.
The first question was on the Benghazi attack and Scheiffer even included the language “Was there an attempt to mislead people?” Like most good conservatives I was ready to see some blood on the floor. The President should pay for this colossal failure an especially for the apparent cover-up. But I warned my readers this might not happen and it did not. Romney gave a comprehensive diplomatic answer and let it drop. As much as I would have like to have seen an aggressive response, I believe Romney did the right thing. More information on this abysmal failure comes in each day and none of it is helpful for the President. Now we have learned that there was a US drone overhead during the attack which means we had real time intelligence of all that was happening on the ground. We know that troops sufficient to repel the attack were just one hour away and that the attack lasted 7 hours. We know that no assistance was sent and that the President went on a campaign tour. The facts are beating up on Obama so Mitt does not have to.
Throughout the debate the President seemed to be in command of the facts, although like most on the left, he knows a lot, it is just that so much of it is wrong. Although he knew a lot of facts, they did not add up to a comprehensive consistent policy. In contrast Romney had what the senior Bush called “the vision thing.” This is more appropriate to a Commander in Chief. Where Romney’s viewpoint was broad and comprehensive, the President’s was the narrowly focused, disconnected, obsessive, compulsive musings of a micro manager.
Where Romney was, for the most part, understanding of the Presidents failings, the President was predatory, chomping at the bit, constantly interrupting to take a jab at the smallest of points. Romney appeared Presidential. The President came across as a desperate challenger. My favorite was when Romney was making a point that under Obama, America is becoming weaker. The example he cited was the declining number of ships in our navy (the lowest since WWI). Obama said, “Romney does not understand our military.” The President said, “We have fewer horses and bayonets too.” He continued to lecture Romney in a condescending way explaining “We now have ships which planes can land on.” And, “We have ships which can go under water.” One marine tweeted in, “We still use bayonets;” another pointed out, “We used horses in our initial actions in Afghanistan.” But what struck me was we do not have any ships which can go underwater. It’s a u-boat not a u-ship. No one in the military would refer to a submarine as a ship; it’s a boat. But what do I know; he’s Commander in Chief.
The President said many things which just do not compute. In speaking of the Middle East, he said, “We must respect all religions.” There is one dominant religion in the area – Islam. Has he not seen what they are doing to Coptic Christians there? He said his “administration is working to assure the rights of women.” Has he not seen what they are doing to women there? The President challenged Mitt Romney stating, “You would have left troops in Iraq,” as if this were a bad thing. Romney pointed out the President tried and failed to get a Status of Forces Agreement. The President denied this but the fact checkers caught this one too. The President, on several occasions, said he “would keep faith with our troops.” Yet faith is exactly what he will not keep. He has removed mentions of God, and religious symbols from ceremonies and facilities. Obama kept referring to his budget as if he actually had one. And of course, Obama trotted out his favorite whipping boy, George Bush, complaining about “the failed policies of the past.” Actually the policies of George Bush were quite successful; see the September 2012 issue of the Sentinel, page 4.
In the meantime, Romney soldiered on through the hectoring and interrupting. He kept referring this foreign policy debate back to the economy because if America does not have a strong vibrant economy, America is not strong. Our foreign policy works only from a position of strength. Romney managed again to list his five point plan for economic recovery. Additionally he offered a list of Obama’s failures in foreign policy: Disappointing Poland by the defensive missile pull-out. Ignoring the Iranian people after their stolen election. Numerous snubs to Israel. Cutting and running from Iraq. Setting up to cut and run from Afghanistan.
Obama closed out repromising (so rare is this that it is not even a word) old promises he has yet to keep, from green energy jobs to a real recovery. If he could do this, wouldn’t he have done it already?
Romney closed out saying he, “will lead us in an open and honest way.” I think we are ready for this. Many gave the debate to Obama because he knew facts although many were factually incorrect. But then they said they gave Romney the economics part. Usually this would be followed with a statement that this election is all about economics.
This debate was a clear victory for Romney and for America. He hit all the points; the diplomatic, the military, the intellectual, the Presidential. He managed to get his economic message in often. All Romney really needed to do was to show the American people he was not the kitten crushing, baby eating Wiccan, Obama and his minions in the media have been telling them about. It turns out it was just one more Obama lie. As we have suspected all along, the American people are ready to elect any acceptable candidate other than Obama. Romney is way beyond acceptable. Expect the polls to continue to shift in Romney’s direction. Two more weeks and CHANGE. ~ Terrell AronSpeer