Should you be keeping score make the final 2-1 for Barack Obama and the Democrats as Obama won the third and final U.S. Presidential debate Monday. Obama, who polls show also won the second debate, has now put his loss in the first one well out of mind.
This one, in Florida, was all Obama. The U.S. president simply didn't allow Romney to get on track, an example being when Romney went on a mini-tirade on the subject of Obama's tour of the Middle East, calling it an "apology tour." This is where he relies on talking points and spin, he knows Americans don't like their leaders apologizing, so he says it over and over but doesn't back it up. Here Obama countered by calling the phrase one of the "biggest whoppers" of many Romney has told in the campaign and then described the actions he has taken and the vision he has moving forward. His command was impressive and it left the GOP nominee with little to do but grimace.
Mitt Romney: Little vision, no substance
Throughout the 90 minute debate, moderated by newsman Bob Schieffer, Romney delineated no concrete plans as to how his administration would differentiate itself from the Obama administration and have a positive influence in the world; he spent much of this time making complaints about President Obama, who continually refuted him with facts and solutions moving forward. When it came time to blunting Romney's complaint that the U.S. now has fewer military ships, Obama cut him to the quick and in doing so managed to coin a phrase that has since taken off in the twitter universe.
“Governor," he began. "We also have fewer horses and bayonets." Obama then told his cornered opponent: "The nature of the military has changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.” Was the president harsh? Maybe, but after being criticized for being too polite in his first debate loss, Barack Obama wasn't about to suffer fools on this night.
The debate veered off the foreign policy topic as much as it stayed on it and the economy came up repeatedly. Here is where Romney has the upper hand, with most polls suggesting Americans feel he'd be the better of the two to run their country's economy; however, by failing to offer much detail on his promises vis-à-vis the U.S. economy, Romney lost a chance to solidify that impression on a national stage.
And while his biggest weapon is the economy it's not as easy a sell as it once might have been, not given that unemployment has dropped to 7.8 percent and September was the 31st straight month in which private sector jobs were added in the U.S.. Further, all this comes after a Bush administration oversaw an economy that lost some 2 million American jobs in the three months before President Obama took office.
Barack Obama: Foreign policy record strong
On this important night, heading into these final two weeks before the November 6 vote, Obama was simply smarter, stronger and he was also far more presidential seeming. And regardless of the subject at hand, the American president was well researched and not only came across as knowing but as caring and as a man who has a vision for making his country better.
And finally, in a debate on foreign policy, or on the economy or on any aspect of running the most powerful nation on the planet, the challenger has to do something to offset the incumbent's track record. That's a particularly hard proposition when the track record is so strong - in foreign policy, Obama has raised the world's vision of the U.S. after George Bush tarnished it - and when your opponent presents his ideas so well.
Romney was not equal to the task.
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